Instructions To Clients: Your Case
- TALK TO NO ONE. Do not talk to anyone about your case or the facts except your lawyer or his or her investigators. You should always require identification. Don’t even talk to your own insurance company or to any lawyers hired by your own insurance company without notifying us so that we may be present if we desire. Give no statements and sign no papers. If you should receive a form pertaining to this matter, do not complete it but send it to us right away. Do not discuss your case publicly even with friends, co-workers or associates. Caution: Do not try to contact the defendant or any members of the defendant’s family or any one connected to the defendant. Also, of course, do not EVER contact the Judge.
- Letters and emails. Letters and emails to your lawyers are always confidential and the other side cannot get them. However, any letter or email you send to ANYONE else might have to be given to the other side. It is best not to write about your case, the facts, how you are feeling or what’s going on in your lawsuit. If you already have sent letters or emails about it, you must give copies of them all to us immediately. They have to be kept throughout the lawsuit. If they are destroyed, even by accident, very bad things can happen to the lawsuit. There are even a few cases where the judge has stopped or dismissed the lawsuit because one of the people involved destroyed documents. SO DON’T. Even if you are afraid you said something that will hurt your lawsuit, it is much worse to try to hide the letter or email. And from now on, just don’t send anything to anybody but us that has anything to do with your lawsuit.
- SOCIAL MEDIA. Do not post anything on social media about what happened, your injuries or your pain. Even though you may only share such material with those who are friends, the other side may still be able to get. Indeed, we might have to give it to them. Social Media Policy (Link below)
Regarding Email and Social Media
- YOUR DOCTOR. You should return to each of your doctors as often as necessary and should always tell them about all your complaints. You should not minimize your ailments to your doctors as it is one of their best ways of knowing how to treat you. However, don’t exaggerate either. If you see any additional doctors, be sure we are advised immediately of their names and addresses.
- RECORD OF COMPLAINTS. Please keep some record of your complaints and progress. This can be very helpful when, a year or so later, you are asked questions. Make it brief and factual. NO whining. Defendants will probably get to see it.
- WAGES AND EARNINGS LOST. Please keep an accurate record of all days lost from work because of your injuries. One of the major things in your case may be the loss of income or potential income. We will need a copy of your union contract, if applicable, which shows wage rates. We will also need copies of your W-2 forms, and your income tax returns for at least the last five years. Please obtain from your employer the exact days you missed from work because of your injuries and the amount of money you would have made if you would have been working these days. If this injury has prevented you from being advanced in your employment or has prevented you from obtaining employment, please give us the names, addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses who may prove this for you. We would also like to know in detail what services you have been prevented from performing around the house, such as supervision of the children, and all the other services performed either by a husband or a wife.
- MEDICAL BILLS. Obtain and keep duplicate copies of all medical, hospital and drug bills. You should periodically send these bills to us for our files. Also keep records of any other expenses you may have in connection with your accident such as the hiring of extra help. All your bills should be paid by check or you should obtain and keep receipts. You should make and keep current an up-to-date list of all your bills and costs.
- CAR REPAIR. If your case is one involving an automobile collision, do not have your automobile repaired until you check with us so we may obtain pictures of it. After pictures are taken by this office have your collision insurance carrier repair your car.
- TRAFFIC OFFENSES. Never plead guilty to any traffic offenses and if you are arrested in connection with this collision, call one of the lawyers in the office immediately and we will see that someone represents or advises you. In the event of any type of hearing be sure to notify this office so that we will be able to represent you in connection with this hearing.
- WITNESSES. Furnish to us immediately the correct names and addresses and telephone numbers of any and all witnesses. Besides witnesses to the incident itself, we will need friends, co-workers, etc., who can testify as to how this injury has affected your life. Contact those people and provide us their names, addresses, phone numbers, and have them describe in detail what they have observed. For example, your neighbor could tell about how you are not able to work as much around the house, or your friends could tell how you don’t bowl now. It is all right if they are your friends or relatives, because they would be more likely to have observed you.
- SAVE ALL PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. Keep everything pertaining to your incident such as the clothing you were wearing at the time, your eyeglasses, or the product that injured you. If your injury requires a cast, brace, traction or other appliance, save it for evidence and trial. You should notify us that you are keeping these things and when the case is set for hearing you should bring these items with you.
- PHOTOGRAPHS. Send us any photographs pertaining to your case which you or any of your friends have taken. If you are required to be in the hospital and are receiving any type of treatment like traction or physical therapy, please notify our office so that we can decide whether or not to have photographs taken of your treatments.
- HOSPITAL AND DOCTOR BILLS. Have your own auto insurance carrier and/or hospitalization insurance carrier pay as many hospital and doctor bills under the medical payment provisions of your policy as possible. Doctors and hospitals are more cooperative when their bills are paid. You should not expect them to wait until your case is tried or settled to receive payment. You should, therefore, pay any balance as soon as possible.
- KEEP COPIES. When you send us records, bills or other documents, keep a copy for your own records.
- QUESTIONS. We will probably not contact you until we have something definite to report. We will be contacting you for depositions, answers to interrogatories, and when your case goes to trial, which may be in excess of two years from the time that suit is filed. If you have any specific questions in regard to these instructions or any other matters in regard to your case, drop us a line. In general, it is easier and more efficient to respond to written letters or emails than to phone calls, except in an emergency. We will then have a record of our communication with you. Because of the nature of our litigation practice, we are often difficult to reach by phone. However, if something requires our immediate attention, please feel free to call.
- YOUR STATUS. Be sure to keep us advised of any change in your address or telephone number. Write to us also if you return to work, if your marital status changes, or if you see a new doctor.