Clifford W. Horwitz, a principal partner and lead trial attorney at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates answers a listener’s question on Free Legal Advice Friday’s:
What’s the first thing I should do when I get hurt?
The first thing you should do is go to a doctor or the hospital. Immediately. Report it immediately AND be accurate in your reporting.
I’ve seen cases where employers say, “Don’t say you got hurt at work, we’ll just have our private insurance pay for it,” or “I’ll pay with cash.”
I’ve seen that hurt so many people. They go to the emergency room and say, “I got hurt at home.” And then they find out they have a more serious injury than they thought. The back pain doesn’t go away, the end up having a herniated disk and their original history says, “I got hurt at home.”
Well what does the insurance company do with that? They say, “If you change that story, that you’re lying.” So you must be accurate with your doctor. You must accurately tell them what happened in very clear language.
“I fell in a hole.”
“I fell in a ditch.”
“I fell off a scaffold.”
“I got rear-ended by a car.”
And always the same story. So that when you first go to that doctor, that first history is going to follow you for the rest of your life.
So go to the doctor or hospital day one.
Tell them what happened.
Tell them the truth – don’t over-exaggerate, don’t under-exaggerate – and let them treat you.
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