Unfortunately, accidents occur every day and often lead to permanent, painful injuries. Whether it is an auto accident, a slip and fall, food poisoning, hit by a falling object, or a dog bit, here are good steps to take to protect rights and make a claim.
Seek medical treatment
The first step is always to seek medical treatment for you injuries. Prompt medical attention will help treat any active injury, speed your recovery, and aid in the prevention of further injury or your injuries becoming worse. In addition, since doctors and nurses take excellent notes, receiving immediate medical care help create a solid record of how your injury happened. These notes and records will play an important role in your claim for compensation. No matter how small or minor you believe your injury is, you should still seek medical care to document the injury and to insure nothing more serious is present.
Write down details about the accident
If you able to, document or jot down some notes on what happened while everything is still fresh in your mind. After a car accident, write down details about the other car and driver (including his or her name, address, home and work phone numbers, driver's license number, insurance company and policy number). If there were witnesses, get their names, contact information, and notes as to what they observed. If you have a camera or camera phone, take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. These records will help your attorney prepare and make your claim.
Get legal help
Seek legal assistance promptly. If you sustained serious injuries, your attorney can begin investigating your case, obtaining evidence, requesting medical records, conducting witness interviews, and negotiating with the insurance company sooner. Even if you feel your injuries are minor, it is still a good idea to seek legal assistance because small injuries can turn into permanent injuries down the road and it is good to know what are your legal rights and remedies. Additionally, there are time limits for making injury-related claims; if you wait too long to speak to an attorney, you may be forever barred from recovering for your injuries.
Keep track of your expenses and losses
From the moment after your accident, start keeping track of all your out-of-pocket expenses and other costs associated with the accident. This includes medical-related expenses, prescription costs, lost wages, and property damage. In addition, keep notes on how your injuries impact your daily life, any events you missed, limitations on what you can do, as well as details about your pain and discomfort.
Notifying insurance companies
Depending on the type of accident, you should immediately report it to an insurance company – the other parties’ company, your company, or both. Your attorney will advise you which insurance companies to notify. With that being said, never give a statement to an insurance adjuster without first consulting with an attorney or having one present when you give the statement. Insurance adjusters are not trying to maximize your claim; instead, they are trying to do the exact opposite. Further, never accept a settlement offer or sign any documents without first reviewing it with a lawyer.
These are some of the first steps to take after an accident, starting at the accident scene. Following them will help create a good record of what happened and will also help increase the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries and losses. If you have any questions about what to do after an auto, slip and fall or other kind of accident, including your legal rights and obligations, please call us. We will be happy to help you.
Contact an attorney at Triscaro & Associates today. Please call us for all your legal needs. We offer a full range of legal services to individuals, families and businesses, including personal injury, estate planning, real estate, family law and business matters. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services at a reasonable cost.