Where to Begin 1. What You Need to Know Once You ve Been Injured 2. The People Playing a Role in Your Recovery 5

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2 Where to Begin 1 Contents What You Need to Know Once You ve Been Injured 2 The People Playing a Role in Your Recovery 5 Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer 8 Frequently Asked Questions 11 Recovery Diary 16 Expense Journal 17

3 Where to Begin A serious injury can have a devastating impact on you and your family. Your physical and psychological recovery should be the primary focus; however, there will be many decisions that will have to be made, some regarding your immediate needs, as well as those decisions that may affect The Where people to Begin playing a role in your recovery you for many years to come. For most, this can be an unfamiliar and overwhelming process. Fortunately there are advisors and experts you can turn to for guidance during this difficult time. In addition to your medical team and family members, a personal injury lawyer is an essential part of the recovery process, removing many of the stresses that can negatively impact your physical and emotional recovery. A specialist in personal injury law will assist you in understanding your rights and entitlements under the law and ensure that you and your loved ones receive the care and the maximum compensation you deserve. 1

4 What you need to know once you ve been injured. The period immediately after any serious injury should be completely focused on the physical and emotional recovery of you and your family. If you are in hospital, you may be meeting with a social worker and/or case What you need to know once you ve been injured manager who will assist you and your family over the course of your hospital stay and help coordinate with the various health care professionals dealing with your case. In addition to the medical and psychological aspects of your recovery, there are many details related to your home and work life that will need to be tended to. Having a professional navigate the complex legal and insurance issues of your case will allow you to focus on getting well. 2

5 The following is a checklist of things you should do and be aware of as you make your way through the recovery process: Inform police of the accident Begin your Recovery Diary A recovery diary can be a valuable tool in recording important information collected in meetings with social workers, case managers, doctors and other health care professionals. Consult with a personal injury lawyer Not only is a personal injury lawyer able to inform you of your rights and entitlements under the law, but a reputable firm is also able to assist you in dealing with many of the details outlined in this checklist, as well as a host of other important details you will need to deal with. Inform your insurance company of your intention to apply for accident benefits within 7 days of the accident Set up a family meeting with the health care team Inform your employer Inform your children s school (if appropriate) Inform your family doctor Inform your bank manager and credit card companies about the accident Inform your landlord or mortgage broker An example of a Recovery Diary has been provided for you on page 16 of this booklet. Record expenses incurred as a result of the injury There are out-of-pocket expenses you may incur as a result of the injury. Keep all receipts in order to obtain reimbursement. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to indicate to you what you may be reimbursed for, which is why it is important to record and save these expenses. For more information on reimbursable expenses, contact Neinstein & Associates. An Expense Journal form has been provided for you on page 18 of this booklet. 3 4

6 The people playing a role in your recovery You may meet many health care professionals and specialists over the course of your recovery. Here is a brief description of some of the people who may play a role in your treatment. The people playing a role in your recovery Social Worker Usually working out of a hospital, they provide counselling and support after a serious accident. They can help with emotional and social issues as well as the practical issues you may face after a serious accident. Case Manager A person hired by you and your lawyer to be your day-to-day contact on all matters pertaining to your rehabilitation. They help coordinate all rehabilitation needs you require and will require in the future. 5

7 Clinical Leader / Manager They supervise the day-to-day operation of the patient unit and oversee the health care team. Registered Nurse The patients most usual contact with the medical staff, they provide nursing care as well as carrying out treatment prescribed by the doctor. Doctor The person ultimately responsible for your care while you are in a hospital. Your medical team may also include residents and medical students under the supervision of an experienced doctor. Personal Injury Lawyer As your personal injury lawyers, Neinstein & Associates will ensure timely access to benefits and treatment, assisting in the coordination of your care, and managing your claim with the insurance company. Insurance Adjuster A representative of your insurance company, who will make decisions on your insurance claim. It is important to retain a personal injury lawyer prior to engaging in any discussions with your adjuster. Occupational Therapist Health professionals that help people learn to deal with life after an injury. They help you return to home and work life by improving or helping you learn new ways of performing daily tasks. Physiotherapist They test and prescribe appropriate physical activities to restore strength, flexibility and abilities to patients affected by injury. Psychologist / Family Counselor Assisting you and your family in coping with the psychological and emotional effects of your injuries. 6 7

8 Why you need a Personal Injury Lawyer A personal injury lawyer plays a critical role in ensuring that your rights are properly protected and that you are receiving the medical treatment you require. If you are Why you need a Personal Injury Lawyer wondering whether you really need to speak to a lawyer, the answer is definitely yes. A consultation with a personal injury lawyer will inform you of your options, determine whether you have a case and outline what the next steps will be. There is no cost to you for your initial consultation. In addition, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that there is no cost to you for the legal services your receive until your case is resolved successfully.* *For more information on contingency fees, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section. 8

9 An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you in: Assessing structural changes you may need to make to your home and/or vehicle appropriate Understanding the long-term implications of your injuries Assisting your family in receiving counselling to help cope with the changes to your life as a result of the injuries suffered Referring you to various specialists and experts who will assist you over the course of your recovery Determining whether you will be able to return to your job in the same capacity as before you suffered your injuries or facilitate retraining Identifying potential liability problems and retaining experts to help prove liability against the other party Exploring the benefits and options available to you and your family At Neinstein & Associates we see our role as going well beyond legal and insurance issues. We hope you will see us as a trusted advisor and a valuable resource during this stressful time. Determining what your long term care needs and care costs will be Protecting your rights and getting the maximum compensation you are entitled to 9 10

10 Frequently Asked Questions 1. Why do I need a personal injury lawyer? A personal injury lawyer will coordinate all aspects of your case and your recovery, ensure that your rights are protected and that you will receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to. Frequently Asked Questions 2. Why do I need a lawyer from Neinstein & Associates? Neinstein & Associates specialize in personal injury law. We will be able to quickly and properly understand your case. We deal with insurance companies and medical experts on a daily basis. We have the resources and contacts to put together a carefully crafted team of rehabilitation workers, case managers and doctors to specifically address your needs. 11

11 3. How much will the legal process cost? We work on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that in addition to your free consultation, legal fees will not be charged unless your case is successfully resolved. If the case is not resolved successfully there are no legal fees. The free initial consultation and contingency fee structure are offered to ensure that victims are comfortable discussing their case with Neinstein & Associates and getting the critical information they need without having to worry about the legal fees. 4. What can I be compensated for? As every case is unique, it is essential to consult a lawyer to determine the exact benefits you are entitled to. The following is a brief list of just some of the areas of compensation you may be entitled to: Medical and rehabilitation expenses and future care needs Loss of income and ability to earn income Your family is entitled to compensation for the loss of care, guidance and companionship that may result from your injuries Any home maintenance, renovation, housekeeping or other potential expenses incurred 5. How long will it take for my case to resolve? Before a case can be properly evaluated it is important to understand the full extent and longterm consequences of the injuries sustained. As a result, a typical case can often take 2 to 4 years to resolve. Your lawyer will be able to give you a more accurate estimate regarding your legal timeline. 6. Will I have to go to court? Few cases actually go to court. Most cases are settled out of court through negotiation and mediation and do not require a court trial. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help negotiate an out-of-court settlement. In the event of a court trial, your personal injury lawyer will work vigorously to ensure that you receive the compensation and care you are entitled to. Pain and suffering 12 13

12 7. If I am unable to work, how will I be able to manage my financial affairs? 14 There are various sources of income replacement benefits available to you. Arrangements can be made so you are taken care of while your case is being settled. Your lawyer will investigate the various options with you and can assist you in managing this process during your recovery period. 8. This is all so overwhelming; how am I going to deal with all of this? Dealing with insurance companies, medical appointments and lifestyle adjustments or interruptions is a burden. By engaging a personal injury lawyer, a significant portion of your burden will be managed on your behalf, allowing you and your family to focus on your recovery. 9. How should I choose a lawyer? Look for a lawyer with experience in handling personal injury law. Meet with your lawyer personally. You should feel comfortable dealing with your lawyer and a face-to-face meeting will establish that level of comfort. Ask for recommendations from health care providers and social workers. 10. How soon after my injury do I need to hire a lawyer? It is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that the statute of limitations has not expired, potential witnesses are identified and experts are retained to help advance your claim. Ideally, a lawyer should be involved right from the beginning. Dealing with the insurance company can be overwhelming, especially in the early stages when the patient should be focusing on recovery. A lawyer can take care of this burden as well as begin to coordinate care. 11. How should I proceed with my insurance company? We recommend you get legal advice and know all your rights before meeting with them. Once an insurance company has been notified that you are claiming accident benefits they will need to investigate the accident. You should not be dealing with your insurance company on your own. If you have any questions or concerns about documents you are being asked to sign, you should contact us immediately. 15

13 Recovery Diary Recovery Diary You will be meeting a number of health care professionals and care providers over the next while, all of whom will be discussing various aspects of your recovery and things you ll need to do to stay on track. It is important that you maintain a record of your care. Below is an example of a recovery diary where you can keep track of who you have met with, what was discussed and where and when the meeting took place. This will not only help you understand what s going on, but may also prove useful in future discussions about your case. Call our office, we will be happy to provide you with a diary for your personal use. DATE: WHO WAS AT THE MEETING: NOTES: NEXT STEPS: 16

14 Expense Journal Any out-of-pocket expenses you incur as a result of your accident may be recoverable. We recommend that you keep a journal of all your expenses related to your injury to assist your lawyer in helping you recoup some, if not all, of these expenses. Receipts for expenses must be retained. The Expense people Journal playing a role in your recovery Here is a list of just some of the types of expenses you may be able to recover: Hospital expenses (i.e. meals, parking, etc.) Visitors expenses (i.e. hotels, taxis. etc.) Housekeeping expenses Medication Ambulance fees Assistive devices (i.e. crutches and any other items related to cost of treatment) Replacement clothing costs 17

15 Expense Journal Item Date Description of Item or Service Amount Expense Journal Item Date Description of Item or Service Amount E X A M P L E S /10/ /27/ /05/ /22/2010 Hospital Parking Massage Therapist Car Repairs (deductible) Prescription (Dr. Smith) $20.00 $80.00 $ $

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