Have you suffered some type of personal injury? Maybe you were involved in a car accident, truck accident, workplace accident, or slip and fall. These are all common.
Regardless of how or why your accident occurred, it’s imperative to do two things:
- Focus on your health and well being, doing whatever it takes to recovery from your injuries.
- Learn more about your legal rights.
There is more to your injury than meets the eye. At first, you may have nothing on your mind but receiving medical care. However, as you learn more about the accident, you find that you may be able to receive compensation from the negligent party.
The below checklist provides an outline of the steps to take if you’re injured in an accident.
- Seek medical attention. Your health is more important than anything else, so this is where you should focus most your time and energy. There is time for other details in the future, but upfront you need to focus on restoring your health. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may require treatment well into the future.
- Take notes. Why did the accident occur? Who were the other parties involved? Were there any witnesses? These are the types of questions you’ll want to answer as you take notes. Along with this, don’t hesitate to take photos of the accident scene, if your health allows you to do so. All of this information will come in handy in the future.
- Collect evidence. This may or may not be something you’re able to do, but it should be on your mind nonetheless. For example, if you were involved in a slip and fall accident due to a missing handrail, take a photo of the scene. This way, if the property owner fixes the problem after your accident, you still have proof of how things were at the time.
- Collect your medical records. As you receive treatment, your medical bills and records will begin to pile up. Do your best to keep close track of all your records. If you think it’s important, you should add it to your file. Not only will this help from a legal perspective, but it also keeps you organized in regards to your recovery and treatment.
- Decide who was at fault. It goes without saying that there are accidents in which nobody but the victim was at fault. For example, this may be the case in a single vehicle car accident. However, there are other times, such as when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, that there is at least one party who was clearly responsible.
- File a claim with your insurance company. This is easier said than done, as you need to be careful about how you approach this. On one side of things, you don’t want to wait to speak with your insurance company, such as if you were involved in a car accident. Conversely, you don’t want them to push you around, making an offer that is much lower than what you should receive.
- Consult with a personal injury attorney. Since you don’t know the ins and outs of the legal system, you’ll want to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. This person can review your case, ask the right questions, and collect all the necessary information. Best yet, he or she will guide you through the process from beginning to end. Your goal is to find somebody who can help you receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Final note: you’ll never know how much your personal injury claim is worth or how to start the process until you speak with an attorney.