No one ever plans on getting injured, but when it happens, you need to know what to do – especially if someone else’s negligence caused the accident.
Filing a personal injury claim can be a daunting process, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to getting the compensation you deserve. Winning a personal injury case can be tricky, but with the right information, advice and help from a personal injury lawyer, you can feel confident taking on the legal process.
Follow these simple steps to get started.
Evidence is Crucial
While taking photos and collecting evidence is probably the last thing on an injured person’s mind, you need to remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Personal injury lawyers are not akin to the fact that the at-fault party often changes their story to avoid liability. So if you have evidence to back up your claim, it can make all the difference in your claim.
If you are the injured person or even a witness of the accident, your best bet is to get pictures of:
- the vehicles involved if it was a car accident,
- damage of the personal property (such as the damage to vehicles after an accident),
- injuries, and
- any other surroundings that give context to the accident (such as skid marks in the road).
The same rule applies to any personal injury accident – not just ones that involve vehicles. For example, suppose you or another party tripped and fell in a grocery store due to split liquid on the floor that was not cleaned up or clearly marked as hazardous. In this case, you should take pictures of the surroundings at different distances to give as much context to the incident as possible.
If there are security cameras in the area, that footage can also be helpful. But, unfortunately, defendants may want to try and hide the footage, so make sure to get your hands on it as soon as possible.
Witness Testament Can Help Your Case
Every case is different, but having a witness can make all the difference in your personal injury settlement. If the negligent party is not willing to admit they were at fault for causing an accident and you need someone who saw what happened firsthand as evidence against them, this could mean everything when it comes to winning or losing.
So, make sure to take the time to take down as many details as possible, including the witness’s name, contact information and home address.
Avoid Insurance Adjusters at All Costs
Insurance adjusters are notoriously known for having one overall goal: to protect the profits of insurance companies. They do this by collecting more money in premiums than they pay out when people get injured or damaged, which can be why you may not receive much help, if at all, from them, during your claim process.
So, rather err on the side of caution and wait to speak to a lawyer before speaking to an insurance adjuster.
Seek Medical Attention ASAP
When you’re injured, it’s important that your injuries are diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. This way, their extent can be determined so no further damage is done or additional complications arise.
Follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter. If you don’t get treatment for an injury, it will only get worse, and an untreated injury is more than likely to go unnoticed in your case.
Honesty is the Best Policy
With social media, electronic medical records and insurance claim databases at our fingertips, we can now be assured that there are no secrets in the modern world. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for your pastime activities or personal details from years ago not to be found. So, make sure to fully disclose any relevant information needed to proceed with your case.
If you are found to have not been honest at some point, your chances of a successful outcome are significantly reduced. Beyond that, attention to detail and honesty all play an important part in properly diagnosing you and developing an effective legal strategy.
Trust the Process
Insurance companies are notorious for using delay tactics as part of their strategy to get you to settle. But, unfortunately, they know that the longer they delay, the more people will get tired of waiting and take an unfair, lower settlement amount.
Rather than doing this, though (and sacrificing even more money), talk through all options with personal injury attorneys so that you understand the overall legal strategy and the personal injury claims process.
Steer Clear of Social Media Until the Case is Finalised
Believe it or not, a Judge is well within their discretion to grant an order that allows insurance companies to view your social media accounts for evidence purposes. And even if they can’t get a court-mandated order, insurance companies know their way around accessing the information on private accounts.
For example, they will view a mutual friend’s profile to find photos of you. Or, they’ll use another profile and simply invite you as a friend. And if you accept their request, they can view everything you have posted.
So, if you post anything on social media following your accident, it will likely be used against you in court. But by avoiding posting any content related to the incident until after your legal team has resolved things, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Find an Experienced Lawyer Who Can Guide You Through the Process
A key step is to find an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the personal injury claim process.
An experienced lawyer will be able to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. They will also be able to advise you on whether or not it is worth filing a claim and how strong your case may be.
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Time limitations may apply, so don’t delay in seeking legal assistance.