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Follow Your Doctor's Advice

I am often asked from a legal medical perspective what is the first thing a client should do following an accident. The answer is fairly simple: Follow your doctor's advice and concentrate on your recovery. Although straight forward, this advice is sometimes difficult to follow.

From a legal perspective, many jurors understand that clients often do not know where to turn for medical attention following an accident. They do not have regular medical doctors or any knowledge of the medical system in their community. Clients often look to their lawyers to assist them in sorting through the maze of medical options. Experienced lawyers have dealt with doctors for years and are aware of the doctors who are most seasoned in treating and healing accident victims. On the other hand, there are clients who have a full understanding of their medical options and are well served by pursuing those options without the advice of their lawyer. Although I disagree with the rationale, some jurors believe that a lawyer who assists a client with finding a doctor somehow has developed a "lawsuit mill," and there may be those lawyers out there, but Abraham Watkins and its 65 years of existence, has never done this.

The second big hurdle for our clients is trying to navigate instructions while trying to get their life back to normal. It is very important to do everything your doctor tells you to do. This not only includes activities in your life, but it also includes obtaining the medical treatment the doctor orders, attending follow-up appointments and therapy visits, and following up with other medical specialists recommended by your treating doctor. While there are occasions where a doctor's appointment must be missed, the term "no show" is often used by cagey defense lawyers to indicate the client must not be injured. The effort needed to explain the "no show" because of a more pressing event is often not worth the explanation.

Finally, it is important to follow your doctor's orders to recover as quickly as possible. Jurors appreciate those clients who put forth their very best effort to recover, and a "small" case with a full recovery is almost always better than a "big" case with less than adequate recovery. So follow your doctor's orders, focus on your recovery and let your legal issues take care of themselves.

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  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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