Personal injury is an injury inflicted on your body, emotions, or mind, as opposed to an injury to property. The injury could be due to causes like auto accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites, AND workplace incidents, to name a few. Navigating personal injury cases can be overwhelming. This is since, besides the case, you also want to recover and return to your routine. Personal injury can result in significant losses, financially and otherwise. For instance, you could be bedridden for the rest of your life, lose the ability to work, or enjoy an intimate relationship with your partner, to name a few financial and non-financial considerations.
Personal injury cases are complex, considering that you need to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, they breached it, the breach caused your injury, and that you suffered damages due to the injury. You also have to navigate through complex legal matters, such as ensuring you file the case before the expiry of the statute of limitations. Here is the kicker; if you are dealing with corporate, you could be approached and offered low-ball compensation to conclude the matter fastest possible. So, how do you navigate the personal injury cases, ensure your rights are protected and receive rightful compensation? Let’s look at some steps you should take after the personal injury to help your case.
Get immediate medical – even if your injuries seem minor
Two main reasons to seek immediate attention:
- The accident may have caused injuries that aren’t obvious. This means you may, for example, have internal bleeding or other unobvious injuries that can worsen in time. With thorough checks, the medical professional will help you understand the accurate nature of the injuries, ensuring you take the right measures.
- If you delay the doctor’s visit, it may be argued that your injuries happened before or after the accident or aren’t related to it. This is among the loopholes that could see you missing out on significant compensation, especially if the defendant can segregate certain injuries that could be associated with other concerns.
Seeking immediate medical attention is not just about staying healthy and avoiding worse consequences. It is a part of building a solid personal injury case since you’ll gather more evidence to support the claim. The doctor will assess the situation and provide thorough notes, which you can include in your evidence list, giving the case more weight.
Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries
Sure, this may not be on top of your mind, especially as you nurse the injury. Today, Smartphones are part of our daily lives, and even in pain, you can easily access and use it to capture valuable evidence. Documenting the scene before it is disturbed can provide valuable evidence. This also includes the injuries before medical professional touches them, showing the “ugly” nature of the personal injury. Documents play a significant role in your personal injury claim, and the more you have, the easier it’ll be to build a solid case.
Get the contact information for any witnesses to the accident
Who was around when the incident occurred? It could be a co-worker or someone who was simply passing by. Their testimony can add weight to your case, but only if you can bring them. Collecting their contact details, which don’t have to be detailed, such as their phone number, can help. This way, you can reach out and ask them to provide their testimony even a few months later. Evidence gathering is a complex process. Nonetheless, it’ll be easier to collect more information and give the personal injury cases an edge with more detail at your disposal, like witness testimony.
Document your symptoms and how your injuries have impacted your life
Most personal injury cases focus on financial losses. However, this doesn’t paint the whole picture. For instance, an injury may have impacted how you enjoy life, which is suffering that should be accounted for in the final compensation. Maintaining a journal and documenting how the injury impacted your life can help quantify such emotional suffering. Keeping a journal doesn’t have to be a complex process. Simple details, such as “I could not hug my kids for three days,” can be enough to paint an image of the potential emotional suffering experienced even by those close to you.
Contact a personal injury lawyer
Well, this should have come up on the list, but let’s put it as the main element that can help make your case. So, why do you need a lawyer in the first place, especially if the case looks straightforward? First, the lawyer knows the ins and outs of personal injury cases and discussing your legal options will help you follow the right strategy. This includes:
- Avoiding common pitfalls
- Ensuring technicalities such as statutes of limitations don’t hinder your quest
- They are savvy negotiators
- They won’t be intimidated by corporations and their lawyers
- They’ll argue your case in court without emotions getting in their way
These are just a few reasons working with a personal injury lawyer is critical. With the best lawyer in your corner, you also get a chance to focus on the recovery as they manage the process. The best part is that the lawyers have extensive networks. They can work with parties like law enforcement, medical experts, and scene reconstruction experts and ensure no stone remains unturned. They also know how to handle witnesses, such as asking the right questions and avoiding creating a sense of pressure to gather more information.
The lawyer can also advise you on the best measures to favour your case. For instance, they can ask you to avoid talking to anyone besides them and your doctor about the incident. This eliminates chances of self-incrimination, which you can be tricked into and used to deny the claim or offer low compensation.
Personal injuries can be traumatic, and considering their extent, they could turn your life inside out. Taking the appropriate measures can help you build a solid case, protect your rights, and get fair compensation.