You might find it hard to think about the logical things to do when a personal injury occurs following an accident. However, you should accept medical assistance at the accident scene if offered or seek it out independently. In addition, you should exchange information with the other involved party and participate in any investigation as much as your condition allows.
Ideally, you might also consider hiring a personal injury law firm to help you seek compensation. Share any information you obtained with the lawyer who represents you. You should also avoid speaking to the at-fault party or their insurance company until you talk to your lawyer because they can handle communications for you. Finally, you should act promptly to ensure you do not run out of time to file your potential lawsuit.
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Get Medical Attention Right Away
If your injuries are severe enough, you will be offered emergency medical care at the scene and transported to the hospital via ambulance. Accept the care when offered and make sure to keep track of all related expenses and paperwork.
If you can leave the scene on your own and opt to do so, get medical care – either from your family doctor or the emergency room – without delay. The adrenaline rush you experience after an accident can hide some injuries from you. In addition, you could have internal injuries that only a medical exam can detect.
Collect As Much Information As Possible
Unless your injuries prevent you from doing so, exchange information with the at-fault driver at the accident scene. Insurance Information Institute (III) guidelines also recommend an information exchange. The police may facilitate this exchange for you. Make sure you get their contact information and details for their insurance company. If you plan to ask for compensation from their insurer, this information is critical.
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File a Relevant Report
A personal injury case can result from various types of accidents. As a result, the information you document in an accident report will vary. Depending on how you sustained your injuries:
- After a dog bite or attack: Get the name and contact information for the dog’s owner along with the dog’s medical records and animal control report.
- After a car accident: Exchange the information detailed in the previous section.
- After a slip and fall accident: Get the name and address of the residential or commercial property where you fell and the manager on duty if you fell at a business.
- After suffering from a medical error: Get the name of your health care provider and the treating facility.
Do not overlook the importance of filing a report or obtaining copies of the relevant report when requested. In some cases, your lawyer will request your report for you.
Take Pictures and Ask Others for Theirs
Very few people leave their houses without taking their smartphone. This habit can work to your advantage. If you notice passersby taking photos or videos, get their contact information. If you can, use your smartphone to take pictures or videos of:
- Both vehicles from a variety of angles in the event of a car accident
- The accident scene, points of impact, and hard-to-see damage
- The offending dog, including its collar and tags, after a dog attack
- The spill or debris on a slick floor
- The hazardous condition on a premises
Additionally, take a picture of the at-fault party’s insurance card—auto, pet, or homeowner. However, do not put yourself in harm’s way to take pictures.
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Contact an Attorney After a Serious Accident
If the accident results in severe injuries or property damage, consider hiring a lawyer to help your fight for a financial settlement. In most cases, a personal injury lawyer will prefer that you speak to them before speaking to the insurance company.
What Not to Do When a Personal Injury Occurs
After an accident, the worst thing you can do is talk too much or post excessive details on social media. Share your information with a legal team rather than the public. In addition, you should avoid:
- Accepting a fast but inadequate settlement
- Failing to file the relevant report
- Forgoing a lawyer because of cost (most personal injury attorneys work on contingency)
Most importantly, do not sign anything or make any admissions of guilt – full or partial.
Find Out How the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Can help after an accident
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, our case review team is committed to helping injured clients know what to do when a personal injury occurs. In addition, we can get you started down the road to compensation. Learn more about our passion for helping injured clients recover damages today by calling 1-800-747-3733 to speak with a team member.