After you’ve suffered serious personal injuries due to the negligence of another, you may ask yourself what to do next. With mounting medical bills, multiple doctor’s appointments, and taking time off work, you may be curious if and when your life will go back to normal.
If another person, company, or government was responsible for the incident that led to your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In this article, you’ll learn more about what to do after a personal injury to help protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Understand Your Rights
As you consider what next steps to take following a personal injury, it is important you are aware of your legal rights in your state. Personal injury law allows for civil financial recovery for any accident that was due to the negligence of another party. Most often, personal injury claims are filed for car accidents, but other common types of incidents include defective products, negligent security, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, workplace injuries, or nursing home abuse.
The statute of limitations and damage caps differ from state to state, but generally speaking, an injured person will have two years to file a personal injury claim without a financial cap. If you were injured due to another’s negligence, speak to a personal injury lawyer in your area to explore your legal options and learn more about filing a claim.
Get Medical Attention
After sustaining a personal injury, seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel your injuries are not severe, some injuries, like whiplash, aren’t readily apparent and may take time to develop. Getting proper medical attention sooner rather than later will not only help ensure your well-being, but will also help build your case should you choose to file an injury claim later.
In most serious injury cases, medical attention extends beyond the first few weeks following an accident. You may need additional, long-term medical help, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or surgery, to make a full recovery or maximum improvement.
Document The Scene
It’s important to document the scene after a personal injury incident, should you need evidence in the future. After an accident, ensure you collect the following:
- Police report. File a police report as the report can serve as a credible documentation of the incident
- Photographic evidence. Take pictures of the scene and the area surrounding the accident to serve as evidence
- Credible witnesses. Gather the names and contact information of witnesses
It is also important to note that some things should not be documented: avoid posting pictures on social media. Insurance companies may use your photos and social media content as evidence against your claim.
Speak to an Attorney
Meeting with an experienced injury lawyer can be helpful, even if you choose to file a claim on your own. An injury lawyer can help explain the legal process as well as what damages you may be entitled to recover.
While each and every personal injury claim is unique, you may be entitled to recovering the following damages: medical bills and treatments, loss of income, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, damage to personal property, or punitive damages. An attorney can also deal with the insurance companies and find expert witnesses should your case go to trial.
Sustaining a personal injury can cause much more than physical pain. A personal injury can disrupt your personal, emotional, spiritual, and work life. If another person’s negligent or wanton actions caused your injury, you have legal rights to compensation. Learn more by contacting an experienced law firm in your area.