If you are injured in a car accident, at work or in public there are certain steps you need to immediately take in order to protect yourself. Failure to follow these basic steps may result in an otherwise strong personal injury case being denied or dismissed.
So what are these basic steps, and what should you know if you get injured?
Make a List of Witnesses to the Accident
The very first thing you need to do if you are injured is to identify individuals that may have witnessed your injury. Witnesses are important, as you need other people to support your side of events. Failure to have witnesses on your side may result in a “he said, she said” scenario.
These are scenarios in which it is solely your word versus the person who may have injured you. There are several ways of securing witnesses to an event. One is to immediately call the police in the event that you are injured. Police will often show up to a scene and take down names and contact information.
If you are unable to contact the police, consider having yourself or someone who is with you talk to those nearby. The information you need to gather includes, but is not necessarily limited to, full name, age, address of where they reside, and a phone number. This information will help your lawyer locate the witnesses and request that they be at trial or submit statements to insurance.
Go to the Hospital
The second thing you need to do is to make sure there is a record of your injuries. The most common way of doing that is to go to the hospital immediately after being injured. Many people forget this step, and feel that, in the heat of the moment, the injury is not that bad.
However, adrenaline could be going through your system immediately after being injured. You may not feel the injury until several days later. Additionally, there are some injuries which will not manifest themselves immediately. For example, it may take several days for soft tissue damage to become apparent.
If you fail to go to the hospital immediately, you may have problems down the road proving that your injuries are a result of the accident that occurred. One of the most common tactics of insurance providers and businesses is to claim that something else may have aggravated the injury. This is a common tactic to deny your claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
The third step is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Many people may think to contact insurance first, but you may accidentally say something to the insurance adjuster would could hurt your case. Insurance adjusters are specially trained in trying to get you to answer questions that may harm your claim. Their job is to try and prevent payouts.
Therefore, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect yourself and your claim. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations.