What to do After an Accident
Personal injuries can come in a variety of forms – auto accidents, work accidents, assault claims, tripping accidents, defective product injuries, etc. A personal injury can also refer to medical/dental accidents or industrial disease cases (like asbestos exposure or repetitive strain) related to one’s occupation. Aside from the physical harm endured, personal injuries can also refer to mental or psychological anguish. If you think you may potentially have a personal injury claim, you’re likely wondering where to start and what steps must be taken to ensure you claim remains valid.
Immediately after an accident or injury is sustained you should seek medical treatment. Regardless of whether or not you think it necessary, if you are claiming an injury occurred your chance of receiving compensation is almost impossible if you didn’t need medical care for your injuries – courts will determine that the injury wasn’t severe enough to warrant any type of financial recovery. In addition to receiving initial medical treatment, you must continue with the care recommended by your doctor. This might include additional visits, therapy, or even a medical procedure. Failure to comply with doctor’s recommendations can also be looked at by courts as evidence your injuries weren’t severe enough to deserve compensation. Keep record of any paperwork related to your medical treatment and how it affected your lifestyle. Following the accident, as soon as you are able to, take detailed notes regarding what happened, who was involved, and your injuries. In the days following you should document any changes/treatments, and how the injuries are affecting your daily life. Depending on the nature of these claims, it could takes years to reach a settlement, and having exact dates, times, and a timeline of your treatment progress will help immensely down the road when trying to recover damages.
Next, it’s important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced with personal injury cases. While legal retention will help with smaller claims too, it is absolutely necessary to hire legal counsel if you suffered a significant injury or other losses. A case might be considered smaller if medical bills totaled less than $2000 or you didn’t miss any days of work. Typically, a claim won’t be filed until the injured party has reached their MMI, or maximum medical improvement. MMI has been reached when the injured party is as recovered as they are likely to get. Without knowing the full extent of injuries or treatment needed, a case might be grievously undervalued by courts. While it is typically in the client’s best interest to wait until MMI to recover maximum compensation, sometimes mounting medical bills or other financial hardships require the lawsuit to be filed earlier.
Whether you have a small or large claim, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced attorney. The Salazar Law Firm offers free case evaluations, so contact them today to have your personal injury case evaluated.