Crash! Bang! Bump! Thud! You’ve just been involved in an accident and have been seriously hurt. The worst part, the accident had nothing to do with your own actions or wrongdoings. You’ve been left with such significant injuries that the future of your life is uncertain. You’re not sure if you can recover from it, how long it will take, how much it’s going to cost you, or more importantly, who’s going to help you through it all. As shocked as you may be right now, it is these next few steps that will make a difference in how well you get through it.
Call the Police
The moment you’re able it is important to contact local authorities. If your injuries are that bad, ask someone nearby to contact the police for you. You need the police to create an official report, review the crime scene, try to determine a cause, and get pertinent information like witness statements and the involved party’s information.
Get to the Doctor
Not all accident injuries are visible. Even if you declined the suggestion to travel via ambulance to an emergency room, it is important to see a doctor immediately following the accident. Your doctor’s diagnosis, treatment plan, and medical notes will be important to your personal injury claim and case. Be sure to follow whatever instructions you’re provided with to the tee and keep track of all medical bills.
Consult an Attorney
Now that you’ve been seen by a medical professional and have a clearer understanding as to your injuries and how it will impact your financial future, you are prepared to contact an attorney. They can assist you with filing a claim and potentially help you get compensation for things like time off from work, emotional suffering, medical bills, and more. As personal injury laws vary by state and can be very complex, it is recommended that you find a legal expert who practices in the area you were injured in. For example, if you had an accident in New York, you might choose a personal injury lawyer in Deer Park to represent you for the best outcome.
Whether you plan on filing a personal injury claim through an insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent parties, it will be necessary for you to have key information. This includes photos of the accident scene and your injuries, contact information on the negligent party and surrounding witnesses, medical reports, and police reports. The more thorough the documentation is, the better your chances are of getting compensated. If you were unable to retrieve this information, your personal injury attorney can be very instrumental in helping you to collect it after the fact by talking with the police, property owners, insurance companies, and other legal experts.
File a Claim
Time is not on your side when it comes to filing insurance claims. The longer you wait to file a claim, the more difficult it can be to process. Not to mention, most states have a statute of limitations which can wind down quickly. Therefore, you’ll want to file a claim as quickly as possible. You’ll likely be asked to provide all the information you’ve gathered and then you’ll be assigned to an insurance adjuster who will determine how much if anything will be paid for your claim.
Depending on how many involved parties there are, the amount of evidence present, the amount of money you’re asking for, and a plethora of other factors, it could take awhile for a claims adjuster to respond to your request for compensation. In some instances, they may come back to you with a settlement amount which you have a right to accept or decline. This is where having an attorney on your side really comes in handy as you could shortchange yourself by accepting a number that is far less than you really need to survive. If you cannot agree to a settlement you would then work with your attorney to consider your chances of winning in court.
Being injured by any means is difficult to come back from. However, when those injuries are life-changing and the bills are piling up, it can be especially stressful to take on. You can help yourself by following the above-mentioned steps and working with a skilled personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the murky waters of insurance claims and personal injury suits.