Like most things, we do not tend to think of preparation until it is too late. We often neglect maintenance on our cars until they break down and repairs are required. The same principle applies to intense personal injury accidents. If you or your spouse is rendered speechless, decisions will be much easier to make if certain legal agreements are in place before the accident.
We have summed up what we have learned this week from our legal resource network:
1) Find a Personal Injury Lawyer Now
Finding an attorney is a very personal process. Most people like to do a fair amount of research before they choose to work with an attorney. You obviously need to feel comfortable conversing with your attorney, and be confident in their specialty. Personal Injury Law covers some very personal topics, and a foundation of trust could not be more important. Attorney Joe Carson of Homsey Law Center explains furhter:
“Most people don’t think about hiring a lawyer until they desperately need one. Go ahead and have the name of a personal injury lawyer and a connection with him or her. I know many clients who had little time to find a lawyer, so go ahead and have a lawyer you respect and trust on speed dial.”
2) Prepare a Health Directive
A health directive ensures that your wishes are abided by in the case of injury. It is essentially a set of written instructions that give the designated person a guide to which decisions you would like made in regards to your health. When you are incapacitated, this ensures that your wishes are abided by. Attorney Allan A. Sigel of The Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C. shares the importance of health directives:
“Each person must prepare a Health Directive. The Directive will identify the person who will speak for you when you are unable to do so. The Directive should be placed with the person you designate with a copy to other responsible persons.”
It is smart to designate a person, but to also make sure other responsible people in your life have a copy to make sure your directions are followed.
3) Married Couples Should Have a Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a useful tool, but must be made before the injury occurs. A durable power of attorney ensures that the power of attorney will continue to be effective after an accident or injury leaves one incapacitated. Attorney Leighton Rockafellow of Rockafellow Law Firm explains how a durable power of attorney is advantageous:
“Every husband and wife should have a durable power of attorney on file and recorded in the county where they reside. A durable power of attorney that survives disability is enough to get a case started.”