What are the Actions to Take in a Personal Injury Accident
What are the Actions to Take in a Personal Injury Accident?
Most people are not aware that a personal injury claim can be filed cover a number of accidents and injuries. For instance, personal injury is a term given to various types of claims including car accidents, slip and falls, work related injuries, medical malpractice and nursing home abuse. While each of these claims may be different, the actions you need to take to pursue a personal injury claim are very similar. Listed below are the steps that you can take to preserve your claim and make it stronger.
Actions to Take
- Seek medical attention – if you are injured, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention.
- Document the facts of the case – gather any evidence concerning the injury such as police reports, photographs of your injury or the site of the accident, witness statements, insurance policies, and medical records. It is also a good idea to write down the details of the injury while your memory is still intact. It is amazing the details we can forget if we don't have a written record of the day we were injured.
- Take steps to protect the evidence - evidence can deteriorate with the passage of time. Take pictures of the accident scene or your injuries, keep any clothing you were wearing, or store any damaged property when possible. Winning a claim means you will need evidence of your injury, damage, or loss.
- Keep records of your all your expenses - keep any bills or documents that will support your claim for compensation or reimbursement including your medical bills, medical travel expenses, lost wages and hospital visits.
- Contact a personal injury attorney - if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence or actions, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. And even when the insurance company offers to pay all medical bills and offers you a cash settlement, it is important to speak with an attorney before you sign anything. Do not make any written or verbal statements to your insurance company prior to talking with your attorney – what you say can, and likely will, be held against you.
- File a timely claim - the time to file a lawsuit or claim can vary depending on the accident or injury so it is imperative that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney as soon after the accident as possible – before you sign anything. All personal injury claims must be filed within a specified time.
- Consider settling the claim - if the terms are good and the compensation is fair, you may want to consider settling your claim. Protracted legal proceedings can drain your emotions and wreak havoc on your finances if you are unable to work. Sometime, the best thing to do is to settle. But don't settle before consulting with an attorney who can not only advise you on the terms of the settlement, but can negotiate additional terms that can protect you.
- File your lawsuit – if you don't want to settle or can't get the compensation that is fair, then filing a lawsuit is your best option. What often happens is you have a good claim with ample proof of your injuries, but the insurance company is not willing to offer a fair settlement. Filing a lawsuit is often the only way to get the insurance company to negotiate in good faith.