If you are injured, there are many things you can do that will help your chances of recovering for your injuries.
Soon After an Accident Occurs:
- Promptly seek medical attention for any injuries
- If you feel up to it, talk potential witnesses to the accident and get their contact information
- Make your own notes of the incident as you remember it soon after it occurs. Include any important details or facts that may be useful in the future, including what was happening before it occurred, what you were doing and thinking.
After the Accident:
- Contact your insurance company, other parties involved, and witnesses
- If the incident concerns your car or homeowner's insurance, you will need to put them on notice that you will be filing a claim. Most insurance companies require that you notify them within a limited amount of time.
- Contact any people who were witnesses to the accident. You will need to document their statements and make sure they will be available if they are needed later.
- Return to the scene and gather any evidence that you were not able to get or did not notice at the time of the incident. Take pictures in the daylight if the accident was at night. Take pictures from many different angles. Talk to people who are often in the area - maybe they have information about other accidents that have occurred at that location.
- Document your injuries throughout your recovery using photos or a daily journal. Include any notes about your ability to work or engage in normal activities.
- Be sure to keep or get copies of all medical records. Be clear and thorough with all medical professionals so that their records accurately reflect your injuries.
Tips for Specific Kinds of Accidents:
- In an auto accident, consider the fault of any other party present at the scene including the fault of other drivers or pedestrians who were not actually involved in the impact. Also think about whether the maintenance of the streets or traffic signals was a contributing factor.
- If you were injured by a product, consider the fault of the designer, the manufacturer, the distributor and the seller of the product and the condition the product was in when you purchased it, compared to when you were injured.
- If you were involved in a "slip and fall" accident, consider the fault of the owner, renter, or employee of the property or business where you were hurt.
Should I Contact an Attorney?
If you hire an attorney, you may not have to pay them up front. Hiring an attorney will increase the likelihood of a fair recovery and can take much of the stress out of bringing a legal claim. A personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your case if you have been injured.