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Knowing Your Legal Rights If Injured

By Stephen P. Rapp, Attorney at Law

Law Office of Stephen P. Rapp, Quincy, Illinois

"Being involved in an automobile collision or getting hurt at work can be serious challenges, both physically and financially," says Stephen P. Rapp, a local personal injury attorney representing injured people. 

"Many individuals fail to get full medical care and treatment in the beginning," Rapp said. He believes that some injured people are more concerned about getting their car fixed rather than attending to current and future physical needs. "If you do not go and get evaluated and treated by a physician for accident-related injuries, you are most likely not protecting yourself physically," Rapp said. Adjusters often contact a claimant early and may attempt to minimize the injuries that can appear weeks if not months later. It is important to get fully evaluated and treated and to consult with the Law Office of Stephen P. Rapp as soon as possible.

Knowing your legal rights if injured early on is so critical because insurance company representatives work for the insurance company and not for the injured person. "Injured people need to know what they are entitled to and how much their claim is worth," Rapp added.

With his experience concentrating in personal injury law, Rapp notes generally that, "without the benefit of legal representation, statements taken by an insurance adjuster can be used against a claimant's interests and claims can be settled by the insurance company for less than their full value."

If injured in an automobile collision or at work, it is important to know and protect your legal rights. "People need to realize that making a claim is not necessarily suing someone and that injured people have the right to legal representation to protect their rights."

Although not considered a complete list and every case should have the benefit of a review by an attorney, Stephen P. Rapp says that those making claims sometimes make the following general mistakes:​

  • Failing to notify authorities after a collision. An accident report may be useful to prove the circumstances of the collision.

  • Failing to obtain prompt, complete and appropriate medical care for any injuries. Seeking prompt emergency care or your doctor for a prompt examination will allow a person to obtain knowledge about the nature and extent of the injuries suffered in an accident.

  • Providing recorded statements or signing medical records authorizations to an insurance company before consulting with an attorney. Remember, these statements can be used against you and your attorney can obtain for you any medical records and billings when your claim is presented for settlement.

  • Failing to document (preserve) the injuries or damages sustained by way of vehicle photos, photos of the accident scene or of the physical injuries sustained. Once information is lost, the vehicle moved or the bruises heal, no opportunity exists to fully document a claim.

  • Attempting to quickly settle a claim without the full understandings of claim's value or without the benefit of an attorney's advice.

  • Failing to recognize future medical bills or the future effects and complications of injuries.

Law Office of Stephen Rapp

Quincy, Illinois

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Law Office of Stephen P. Rapp

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Quincy, Illinois 62301