Automobile accidents happen every day and the reality is that it could happen to you or anyone at any time. As if suffering from injuries caused by an accident aren’t enough, you also have to deal with the often complicated legal aspects of filing a personal injury claim.
Whether you are the victim of an automobile accident, a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall injury, a dog-bite incident, or other serious or catastrophic injury, the process of filing a claim and securing the compensation you are entitled to as a result of those injuries can seem very intimidating. In fact, many people fail to file a claim at all because they simply do not understand how the process works or what things they should do immediately following a dog bite incident or other injury-causing event.
If you ever find yourself the victim of an injury that could result in a personal injury claim, keep the following five tips in mind. These tips help prepare you for the personal injury claim process and afford you the greatest chance of being compensated for your injuries.
- Get immediate medical attention. If you are injured during an accident, seek medical attention right away. Failure to seek medical attention in a timely manner can often reduce the amount of damages you can recover because as a victim, you are expected by law to mitigate your losses. In other words, you must take steps to ensure that your injury does not cause additional injuries or financial losses that could have been prevented by prompt medical treatment. A qualified auto accident attorney can help you to understand how mitigation of losses works and what your responsibilities as a victim are in the eyes of the law.
- File a police report. You also need to file a police report about the accident and any injuries you suffered as a result. The police report contains pertinent information about other people involved in the accident and the report can be used as evidence if your personal injury claim goes to trial as a result of the lawsuit.
- Be discrete at the scene. After an accident, you need to speak with the other party to exchange information but you are under no legal obligation to state who you believe to be at fault or to offer any other information that might make resolving your personal injury case more difficult. Your car accident lawyer can better explain your legal rights and responsibilities when involved in an automobile accident, bicycle accident, or other type of personal injury.
- Maintain accurate records of the accident and resulting injuries. Hospital bills, insurance records, paperwork regarding property damage, and statements of medical diagnosis are just a few of the things you should have available following an accident. Your attorney at law will need these documents to build your case. You should also keep accurate records of any wages lost as a result of missing work (as it relates to the injury in question). Finally, take the time to write a detailed account of the entire incident and subsequent injuries while it’s still fresh and easily recalled.
- Be wary of insurance companies. In most personal injury cases, working with insurance companies is a necessary part of the claim or lawsuit but that doesn’t mean that the insurance company has your best interests in mind. Protect yourself by working with a personal injury attorney who can shield you from the insurance companies and make the entire claim process much less complicated. Always remember to protect your interests when working with an insurance company and consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer before agreeing to anything; especially documents containing a waiver of liability or forfeiture of the right to file a lawsuit.
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident isn’t easy, straightforward, or guaranteed to work out in your favor, but you can save yourself a lot of time and aggravation and increase the probability of winning your claim by hiring a professional personal injury attorney.
Paul Le Chevalier has over 20 years of experience working with courts and insurance companies to ensure that his clients receive the benefits they are entitled to after an accident resulting in personal injury.
Call Paul today at (949) 837-2971 to receive a FREE personal injury consultation.
Also, check out Part II of this article which covers another five important points you need to keep in mind after being injured in an automobile accident to ensure your personal injury claim has the best possible chance of being successful.
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