If you've been injured in a car accident or on someone else's property, they may be responsible for your injuries and damages. If you need serious compensation and want to file a claim or sue the responsible individual, check out these five steps that you should take after you've been injured.
Step One: Visit the Doctor
After the injury, the most important thing is to make sure you are okay. Don't worry about contacting lawyers or insurance carriers yet. Focus on treating your injuries. Not only is this the best way to expedite your healing, but it is also important for proving your case. As the injured party, you do have a responsibility to mitigate your damages. Basically, this just means you have a responsibility to actually seek treatment for your injuries so they don't get worse. If you do wait to seek medical attention, it may make it difficult to argue that the accident caused long-lasting injuries or if it was just because of your own failure to seek treatment.
Step Two: Make Your Life Private
Once you know you do need financial reimbursement for medical and other expenses, it's time to start getting serious by making your life private. Don't draw a bunch of attention to yourself because this could make you look less injured. There is a chance the insurance carrier may hire someone to monitor you and see if you are exaggerating your injuries. Make sure you remember to make your social media accounts private too.
Step Three: Contact an Attorney
When a settlement is involved, it's best to contact an attorney before you start seeking reimbursement. Firstly, your lawyer is equipped with all the knowledge, experience and training needed to prove your case and your injuries to their full extent. Without a lawyer, you may not even realize that an injury you have now may affect your life forever, such as nerve damage, etc. Your lawyer will be able to explain to you how much money is fair based on your short-term and long-term injuries. Your attorney can then use this to argue for you.
Step Four: File Your Claim
If you do have an attorney, they'll likely do all the work for you, including filing any claims. However, make sure you don't wait to do this. Some types of insurance or insurance carriers have deadlines on how long you have to file. For example, if you fail to report a car accident, the insurance provider may completely deny your claim even if you truly require medical attention. It's also important to file early because it shows that you are serious. Waiting, makes your injuries look less serious. By filing right away, you help show that you were injured right from the start.
Step Five: Avoid the Other Insurance Company
If you're a go-getter and like to get things done quickly, you may be tempted to contact the other insurance company yourself to see how you can help. Unfortunately, this is not a good idea because anything you say to the insurance carrier may be used to reduce or deny your settlement. Be careful what you say, and if you do have a lawyer, let them handle all communications with insurance companies. Above all, don't sign or agree to anything without speaking with your attorney first.
If you are injured and due a settlement, don't sabotage yourself before you even start. Following these steps will help you get everything you deserve. If you haven't yet, get to a doctor now. For more information about personal injury law and your rights, contact a personal injury attorney in your area today to schedule a consultation.