Personal injury claims can involve a range of different injuries, including auto accidents, defective products, and slip and fall accidents. While accidents can happen at any time, dealing with the legal and emotional ramifications of a personal injury claim can be a daunting challenge. Fortunately, there are some specific steps you can take if you’re the victim of a personal injury and are considering filing a lawsuit or claim. If you ever find yourself in this situation, here are the top ten things to remember:
Seek medical attention
Your health comes first. Do not worry about filing a claim before properly addressing your injuries with a medical professional. Failing to do so can also reduce the amount of damages you might be able to recover.
File a police report
This will ensure that you’ll have records of all pertinent information, including names and contact information of all parties as well as key facts. The report will likely be used in court if there is a lawsuit.
Watch what you say
While it’s important and necessary to communicate at the scene of an accident, use discretion. Do not discuss “fault” or offer extraneous information.
Keep accurate records of all of your expenses related to the injury, including hospital and doctor bills, property damage costs, lost wages and insurance records. Make a written account of the injury while the facts and events are fresh in your memory.
Exercise caution with insurance companies
Insurance companies can often make the legal process much more complicated, yet dealing with them will likely be necessary in a personal injury lawsuit or claim. Be sure to protect your interests; consult a lawyer for any specific legal advice.
Don’t sign it unless you understand it
Make sure you completely understand all of the terms of any form or document in relation to your injury. Don’t sign it if you’re not sure of how it will affect you long-term.
Do your homework
Familiarize yourself with the basics of personal injury lawsuits that have taken place in your area. Speak with a lawyer about the basic guidelines and important points to be aware of.
Don’t go it alone
Avoid settling on your own if you aren’t clear about what you’re agreeing to. Seek help from a legal expert, especially if the other party hires a lawyer. Hiring your own legal professional can help you to avoid expensive mistakes and receive maximum benefits.
Stay abreast of filing deadlines
File your lawsuit or legal claim in a timely manner. There’s usually only a certain window of time following the accident to file called the “statute of limitations.” It can vary from state to state.
Hire a lawyer
Lastly, find an advocate to help you. Be aware of what type of attorney you’ll need to hire; not all personal injury lawyers are the same. Some handle general claims while others specialize in specific fields. Find the personal injury lawyer that will be most suitable for your situation and specific needs.