What To Do After an Accident

To help insure you receive maximum compensation for your work related injuries, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Tell your employer immediately. Maine workers' compensation law requires an employee to give notice of an injury to his employer within 90 days of the date the injury occurred. As soon as you realize you have been injured at work, tell your supervisor. Tell your union steward as well if you belong to a union.
  2. Seek appropriate medical care. It is important that you seek medical care to verify your condition and obtain proper treatment. You have a right to choose your own doctor.
  3. Save your paystubs. As a general rule, you should always save your paystubs. It is especially important that you save your paystubs after a work injury because you are entitled to partial compensation if your injury prevents you from working full-time.
  4. Contact your attorney. A good workers' compensation attorney will be able to help you navigate the legal process of making a claim and obtaining compensation for your inability to work and need for medical treatment.
  5. Don't talk to the insurance company. Do not give any statements to or make any agreements with the insurance company prior to speaking with an attorney. Once you are represented by an attorney, your attorney will let the insurance company know not to contact you directly.
  6. Don't sign anything. Never sign anything presented to you by the insurance company prior to speaking with an attorney.
  7. Don't refuse suitable work. Do not refuse an offer of suitable light duty work from your employer or any employer without speaking with your attorney and union steward (if you belong to a union) first. Refusing work may result in the termination of your benefits.

If you have an accident outside of work: Your Questions Answered

  1. Do not admit fault. Say as little as possible at the scene. Do not admit that you were at fault and do not apologize for the accident.
  2. Seek appropriate medical care. Seek emergency care if necessary. It is important to treat your injuries with proper treatment. Return to your doctors as often as necessary and always report about all of your symptoms.
  3. Contact your attorney. A good personal injury attorney will be able to help you navigate the legal process of making a claim and obtaining compensation for your lost wages, medical treatment, and pain and suffering.
  4. Keep track of medical bills. Obtain copies of all medical, hospital, and drug bills. Have your own auto insurance carrier pay as many medical bills under the medical payment part of your policy as possible. We will recover these expenses in settlement or through litigation.
  5. Keep track of lost wages. Keep an accurate record of all days lost from work because of your injuries. If possible, obtain from your employer the exact days you missed from work and the amount of lost pay. If your injury has prevented you from obtaining employment, record the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all witnesses who can help prove this.
  6. Take pictures. Take pictures of any injuries you suffered before they heal. Take several pictures of your vehicle and/or the other party's vehicle showing crash damage before they are repaired. Write the date on the back of each.
  7. Don't talk to the insurance company. Do not give any statements to or make any agreements with the insurance company prior to speaking with an attorney. Once you are represented by an attorney, your attorney will let the insurance company know not to contact you directly.
  8. Don't sign anything. Never sign anything presented to you by the insurance company prior to speaking with an attorney.
  9. Keep a journal. Start a confidential diary immediately after your accident. Do not show your diary to anyone except your spouse and your attorney. Include in your diary how your injuries have affected your daily activities, your outlook on life, your family, your pain and suffering, and other losses.
  10. Make a witness list. In addition to eye witnesses to the accident, make a list of anyone who has witnessed your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and inconvenience from your injuries.