10 tips for a speedy recovery…and a successful claim
The average Canadian has a 95 per cent chance of being involved in a car accident sometime during his or her lifetime—a stat that’s worth pondering. Check out the list below for helpful tips to ensure you’ve got the right insurance coverage in place now…and are ready to take appropriate steps to protect your health and your financial future if the unthinkable happens.
1. Beef up your basic auto insurance coverage. Changes to insurance regulations in 2010 slashed the basic accident benefits for care and rehabilitation to less than half of what they were before. The good news is that it doesn’t cost much to buy some extra peace of mind. Look into increasing the amount of money you can receive if you’re off work, to cover care you receive at home, compensation for housekeeping and maintenance, and any medical and rehab treatment that’s not paid for by OHIP. If you’re in a serious accident, you’ll be very glad you did.
2. Don’t play the blame game. Right after an accident isn’t the time for profuse apologies and confessions that “it was my fault.” Don’t sign anything that says you were responsible for the accident and don’t make any offers to pay for damages. Stay calm and take down important information, including how to contact witnesses.
3. Get medical help right away. Lots of people walk away seemingly unscathed from accidents that have totaled their cars, thinking that they’re fine. No matter how minor the bump on your head or pain in your neck, get it checked out by a reputable health professional as soon as possible. It’s important to your recovery…and to any future accident benefits claim.
4. Be proactive with your treatment. When dealing with healthcare providers, one three-letter word can make all the difference: ask. Ask questions. Ask for things you think would help your recovery. And, if you aren’t making progress, ask if you should see a specialist or have additional tests. Make sure you follow through on all treatment recommendations, attend all appointments and consistently report all the injuries from your accident to the various healthcare providers you see, even if the injuries only bother you sometimes.
5. Don’t sugar coat your pre-accident health. If you had health problems before your accident, remember to include them in your health history. Of course, if these pre-existing problems worsen as a result of the accident, make sure you discuss this with your treatment providers.
6. Remember the insurance adjuster is not your friend. Don’t be duped into thinking that the friendly, caring person overseeing your claim is on your side. It may be a ploy to gain your trust so you’ll share information or sign documents that could decrease your compensation. Be reasonable with your insurer, give him or her accurate information and fill out the forms correctly—but be aware this doesn’t always mean you’ll get the benefits you’re entitled to.
7. Return to work as soon as you’re able. Maximize your mental health and minimize your financial stress by returning to normal activities, including employment, as soon as you can. Even if you find you can’t do your pre-injury job, you’ll have learned important information about your new reality and people will credit you for trying your best. If you can’t return to your old job, there’s often money and support available to help with retraining—check to see if this is available through your insurance provider.
8. Facebook fans beware. Social media is not an appropriate place to discuss your health, details of a car accident or anything about an ongoing lawsuit. This type of information should not be posted online. Make sure to max out your privacy settings and never accept friend requests from people you don’t know. The insurance company may try to access your account and use information or pictures they find there—often taken out of context or misunderstood—to argue that you’re fine.
9. Keep careful notes. When you visit a healthcare provider, speak to your insurance adjuster or talk with a lawyer, write it all down. Make sure the notes are detailed, including the date, time, who you talked to and any information that you may want to refer to later. Family and friends who are involved in your care following a serious injury should keep their own sets of notes. The method is up to you—paper calendars or notebooks work for some while the tech-savvy tend to use smartphones and computers (don’t forget to back them up).
10. Talk to a lawyer. It’s at times like this that people need someone on their side. Choose a lawyer who specializes in personal injury and has an excellent track record with motor vehicle claims. Most lawyers have a free initial consultation and many don’t take payment unless you win your case. The best ones will have excellent relationships with highly respected healthcare professionals and staff members who can provide guidance on rehabilitation and care.
Disclaimer: The information throughout this website is not intended to be taken as legal advice. The information provided by Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers is intended to provide general information regarding personal injury law, catastrophic injury cases, wrongful death claims, medical malpractice lawsuits, car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and more for residents of Hamilton, Burlington, Stoney Creek, Brantford, Niagara Falls, and nearby areas in Ontario. This website is not intended for viewing or usage by European Union citizens. If you are interested in learning more about our law firm, please contact us for a personal consultation.