It can be a true struggle to get back to normal life after getting injured, getting into an accident, or being a victim of medical malpractice. Any of these incidents can turn your life upside down. Taking legal action, knowing your legal rights, and protecting them is probably not what you’re thinking about days after the incident. These are thoughts that are likely to be furthest from your mind. Most people who have experienced a personal injury or have been involved in an accident that has caused them and their personal property damage think about the physical and monetary effects of the incident.
However, protecting your legal rights and knowing what to do following a medical malpractice incident or personal injury is vital to your recovery and financial well-being. Our attorneys at Davis, Levin, Livingston can help. Further, knowing the steps to take following any incident is critical in saving time and effort if you should decide to hire an attorney – which is advised – and sue someone later.
Steps To Protect Your Rights:
- Taking injury/incident notes
- Taking photos
- Preserving evidence
- Obtaining and using police reports
- Meeting with and hiring an attorney
Taking Injury/Incident Notes
Even if you’re not thinking about taking any legal action right away, it’s still important to take a few precautionary steps toward protecting yourself just in case. One of the very first actions to take is to take as many notes about the injury and/or accident as possible. If you are in no condition to take notes, have a friend or family member do it for you. Although there will likely be police involved who will file their own report, you would do well to take your own notes. Write down exactly what happened before, during, and after the incident. Make sure to list anyone involved. Also note the extent of your injuries while they’re still fresh in your mind.
Taking Photos & Preserving Evidence
Make sure to keep all evidence related to the incident. In a personal injury or accident, broken equipment, torn clothing, other such items should be kept safe for possible use later. Copies of medical records – this goes for all incidents, including medical malpractice – and property damage estimates will be useful when speaking to an attorney. Moreover, taking photos of the injury and of any damages is highly advisable because they provide another piece of physical evidence.
Obtaining and Using Police Reports
If police officers were present during the incident, which is true of a car accident and many personal injury incidents, they will take a report. Make sure to take the information of the officer(s) on duty so that you can contact the right department later. You may need to pay photocopy fees and will need to pick the report up in person, but they are extremely helpful if a lawsuit needs to be filed. This is because they are legal documents filed by state employees.
Meeting With and Hiring an Attorney
Probably one of the most important steps to take following any incident is looking for an attorney. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but meeting with an attorney can have a number of benefits.
First, an attorney will let you know what your rights are in your particular case. They will also let you know if what you have experienced constitutes filing a lawsuit. Just as important still, an attorney will inform you of any compensation you’re rightfully owed. This is especially critical in personal injury and medical malpractice cases since you’re often dealing with large organizations with their own lawyers.