In a perfect world, when someone causes you to be injured (or worse) they step up to the plate and take responsibility for their actions. They pay you for the damage, medical bills, inconvenience, and pain you suffered. They are fair and honest and do what is needed to ensure that you are made whole. But, we do not live in a perfect world.
In the world we live in, people are hesitant to pay for anything. They rely on their insurance companies to pay, and they pretend that they have no further responsibility. Insurance companies are going to do everything in their power reduce or eliminate your payments. Why? Because that is how they make their money and that is why they are a multi-billion-dollar industry.
If you have suffered a personal injury, you need the services of a qualified personal injury attorney to maneuver through the legal system and get you the compensation you are entitled to after an accident. But, even the best attorneys need your help. We are going to give you a brief overview of what you need to do when you are faced with a personal injury situation.
Record and Document Everything
Most of us carry smartphones that can easily record us. If you do not have access to or feel comfortable with recording, grab a pen and start writing everything down while it is fresh on your mind. Here are some of the things you will document:
- The time and date of the accident
- Exactly what happened in as much detail as you recall
- Note if there was something out of place that caused you to trip
- Were there any lighting issues?
- If you were in a car accident, did the other driver signal? Did their brake lights and signal lights work?
- The weather conditions
- Was there rain or slush on the floor?
- Were the streets wet?
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
- Ask them for a statement
- If you are unable to do this at the time, ask someone to do it for you
- Exactly what the other party said
- Did they apologize?
- Did they offer to pay for your medical expenses?
- Did they admit guilt?
These things can be used in future settlement negotiations.
If you are physically able to, take pictures at the scene. If you are not, ask a friend to assist you. You need photographs of:
- The accident scene from each angle
- Landmarks around the area to identify it or around the building location to show exactly where the accident occurred.
- All your injuries
- Some bruises and marks may not show up immediately, so be sure to get more photographs when they do.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
It is a big mistake to assume you are okay. Sometimes we do not know we have an injury immediately. If you have suffered an accident, go to your doctor and get it documented. If you are at work when the injury happens, report it to your employer as soon as possible. It is best to do so via phone or in person, but follow-up with an email or letter.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Let a personal injury attorney assist you and advise you on what you need to do. Follow their instructions exactly, and you will have a great chance of winning your case.