After an injury, your life may be changed forever. Even if the injuries you’ve sustained aren’t life-altering, they can shake up your routine and make it hard to get back to normal.
Following any kind of injury—whether it be from a car crash, slip and fall, or dog bite—you should know the first steps to take to help protect your legal rights.
Get Prompt Medical Treatment
Some injuries will require you to be whisked away via ambulance to the hospital. Others may not be as urgent, but they will still require medical treatment. You mustn’t delay as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
It is common in car accidents for injury victims to refuse treatment only to have symptoms of traumatic brain injury or internal bleeding surface hours or days later. Some people don’t even realize they have broken bones or suffered other injuries. Others are simply afraid of how much it will all cost, but the reality is that if you don’t seek medical treatment quickly, your condition may worsen and become permanent. Medical bills and other expenses can be recovered in a personal injury claim.
Call the Police
Following any accident, the police and emergency medical services will show up when someone calls 911. The police will create a report that details what happened in the accident. It will also have the contact information of all involved parties, something that is useful for filing a claim later on.
Ultimately, the police report may not make or break a personal injury case, though it does carry weight. The facts and conclusions recorded by the officer may shed some light on who was at fault and improve your chances of recovering proper compensation.
According to personal injury lawyers Caputo & Van Der Walde, the sooner you preserve evidence after your injury, the better off you’ll be. Waiting too long may mean that crucial items are destroyed or erased. For example, after a car accident, there may be valuable video footage from surveillance cameras at a nearby business or from traffic cameras. Taking too long to recover these items may mean you’ll lose your chance.
You can also take your own photos and videos in the aftermath. If you slipped and fell at a supermarket, you would want to have evidence of what led to your injury before it is cleaned up or repaired. Taking notes also provides more details about what happened, your injuries, and how those injuries have affected your life.
Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer
No matter what kind of injury you’ve suffered, if it was caused by another person’s negligence, you should speak to an attorney. Most offer free initial consultations where you can obtain valuable legal advice.
Additionally, they often use a contingency fee payment basis, which means you do not pay them anything upfront. They only get paid if they get you a settlement or win at trial, which will come out of your overall awarded compensation.
It can be helpful to have a personal injury attorney go over your settlement offer after an injury to ensure you’re being compensated appropriately. All too often, accident victims are so eager to get a check that they don’t realize it isn’t enough to cover their medical bills, property damage, lost wages, mental anguish, or future medical costs from the injuries.
By consulting a personal injury attorney, you’ll have someone standing up for your rights. This can put your mind at ease, making it easier for you to rest and heal from your injuries.