Every year, tens of millions of people have to go to the emergency room or another medical provider for treatment due to accidental injuries. From auto accidents to workplace injuries to defective products, accidental injuries and deaths are far too common. If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence or actions of another person, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
This ensures that you are rightfully compensated for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages that result from the accident.
Read on to learn more about what to do after experiencing a personal injury.
If it is safe for you to remain at the scene of an accident, and if your injuries are not life-threatening, you should stay and attempt to collect evidence. Once you leave, any evidence will likely be cleaned up (or removed), moved, or altered, so you want to gather information as soon as possible.
Take photos of the accident scene (close-ups and wide-view photos, to capture other details), any injuries you may have, damaged cars, bikes, property, etc. and also write down information about the accident, such as the day, time, weather conditions, and any other relevant details, such as whether you can see any security or traffic cameras in the area.
If there are any witnesses, ask them for their names and contact information. If you hire a lawyer, they will likely want to talk to them.
Things to take photos and videos of include:
- The accident scene both close-up and wider pictures of the whole area
- Tire tracks, debris on the roadway, or broken fences, guardrails, etc.
- Damage to your car and any other cars involved
- Traffic signs
- A photo of an area where you slipped where there is no “wet floor” sign
- Damaged flooring, raised sidewalks, loose rugs, etc. that could cause a fall
- Your injuries as they progress (bruises, for example)
If you are in doubt about whether it’s important enough to take a picture or video of, take it. It’s always better to have too much than not enough and your lawyer can decide later if they want to use it.
Seek Medical Treatment
If your injuries are severe, you should call an ambulance. If they are less serious, you can seek medical treatment on your own. If you want to drive yourself or have someone else take you to the emergency room or other medical provider, you should do that as soon as possible.
Many injuries, especially car accident injuries, don’t show up immediately. You may start to feel pain hours or even days after the accident, which is why it’s important to get a medical evaluation. You’ll need documentation of any injuries caused by your accident, so seek medical attention sooner rather than later.
Establishing the connection between your injuries and the accident is crucial to a successful personal injury case. Any time you see a medical provider, get copies of all of your records and keep any receipts or billing statements for your treatment.
Contact the Police
The police should be called for car accidents, pedestrian accidents, bike accidents, etc. In many states, laws state that you must report an accident within a certain amount of time if there is an accident resulting in property damage, such as a car, home, building, road sign, etc.
Your lawyer will want a copy of the police report, so be sure to find out how to get one and et the information of the officer who responds to the call.
Don’t Speak to Anyone About Your Case
Avoid talking about your case to anyone other than your close family members, your attorney if you have one, and your medical provider. Don’t post anything on social media and don’t speak with an insurance adjuster for the person responsible.
Anything you say or post on social media could be used against you later if the insurance company tries to deny your claim or argues that the accident didn’t cause you injuries or your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim they are.
Contact an Attorney
If your injuries resulted from someone’s negligence, then you should consider consulting with an attorney. They can help you navigate the insurance process, determine how much your case is worth, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and handle all communication with the responsible party’s insurance company.
While you might think that you can successfully file a claim on your own, an attorney will help you get a settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries, including your medical bills and future medical treatment and rehabilitation, damaged property, lost wages due to missed work, and loss of future wages if your injuries prevent you from working in the same job.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis as well, and will typically take cases that they feel are strong. You won’t have to pay any money upfront, and your lawyer will get paid from your settlement amount.
Follow These Steps After a Personal Injury
If you experience a personal injury, you should do what you can to ensure that if you do decide to file a lawsuit, you have a strong case. By gathering evidence, getting information from witnesses, and working with an attorney, you can help build your case and get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries and property damage.
Here at Sweet Law, our attorneys specialize in personal injury cases. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you and whether you have a strong case or not.