Annually there are millions of people that are injured in mishaps such as car collisions, workplace incidents, outdoor and indoor mishaps and other types of accidents. In some of these injury cases another person’s actions that are considered negligent or responsible for the victim being hurt and in these cases the party that has been harmed has the right to seek compensation. Common questions by the parties affected by injuries typically involve the queries like, “what are the most important steps for a victim to take?” The answer in a nutshell is, “it depends”, but generally speaking, when you have been involved in a motoring accident, slip and fall incident or any other kind of mishap that results in injury it can seem overwhelming to deal with filing a personal injury claim. If the harm has been suffered due to another person’s negligence and resulted in causing financial expenses, physical or mental damages it is in your best interest to file an injury claim to recover financial damages. Therefore some steps can be taken can make filing this claim successful and reduce the stress of the legal process.
- File a Police Report: Filing a police report is essential after an accident, since this will provide written evidence by an authority who is a third-party of the important events that occurred immediately prior to the incident and during the incident. It is important to have as much information recorded in this report, such as the names and contact information for everyone involved. This is an official document and you should not provide opinions about what you think may have happened. This police report will be one of the major factors in improving a personal injury case, because it is documented at the scene and while memories are still fresh.
- Immediate Medical Attention: When an accident occurs it is important to get immediate medical attention, especially if there were obvious injuries from a medical professional. There are two reasons to obtain immediate medical treatment. (1) The first reason is that not all injuries can be seen, if the injuries are internal there may not be immediate symptoms. (2) The second is that it could hurt your overall case. It will make it very difficult to prove there were injuries if they are not documented by a healthcare provider and the person that has been hurt may be partially blamed for being at fault. In the end it could be possible without medical documentation the amount of compensation sought could be reduced due to lack of medical documentation for the severity of the injuries
- Never Sign Documents: It is important not to sign any documents without having legal advice after being involved in an accident, in which someone else’s careless actions caused the mishap. If the unfortunate occurrence resulted in minor damage or injuries then it is crucial to read the documents thoroughly to make sure you understand what they entail. Generally this is an insurance company release, which they will offer a settlement and once the document is signed then it will release the insurer of any obligation. It results in limiting the liability of the negligent policy holder and ends your rights to further claims in the same incident, such as bringing a lawsuit. The best thing to do is to consult an injury attorney when the accident causing harm has taken place in California, and most other states presumably, before signing any release documents from the insurance company.
- Expense Detailed Documents: It is important to keep a detailed account of expenses that are directly related to the tragic situation that gave rise to the event. This will include medical costs, lost wages from being unable to work and the expenses related to replacing or repairing damaged property. It is also important to have official receipts and documentation for these expenses and any others.
- Retaining a Personal Injury Attorney: These cases can be overwhelming for someone who has been wounded, and they can be complex. This is why it is often the best choice to hire counsel close by location the accident occurred. While not every case will require the assistance of a legal advocate, if the harm that has been sustained is moderate or severe then it is advisable to have the representation of a legal professional, who will be able to ensure the proper insurance claim process is followed (Read more about insurance claims here), or post litigation verdict, or compromise is obtained. It is also a good idea to hire counsel even in a claim where minor injuries occurred, if there is a problem recovering a fair settlement. It is always smart to consult a PI lawyer even with minor harm to learn about your legal rights and the best course of legal action to take. Consultations should be free, and also should be an educational experience. Without the information that can be learned from a legal professional, the claimants may accept the first offer they are given by the insurance company that is typically much lower than they deserve, and they will not have a recourse at a later time when it is realized the settlement does not cover all of the incurred expenses.
What a Personal Injury Attorney Does to Help
Hiring a well prepared and knowledgeable legal beagle if you have been harmed due to negligence is very important. This is because they will typically investigate all of the elements of the incident and determine all of the liable parties. The consummate legal professional will prepare a strong case that can be used during insurance company negotiations and in the event a settlement cannot be reached, in order to bring a strong lawsuit against the negligent party. If you have sustained harm as the result of the reckless or non-feasant actions of another party consulting with a professional should enable you to determine if your case has validity, and what you can expect in filing a claim. The answer to your questions as a victim can normally be received when seeking out and having free consultation to learn about your claim, and the course of legal action that will provide the windfall like compensation that you deserve.