Accidents happen every second around the world. Many of these result in death. Unintentional though it may be, persons who are seriously injured because of the actions of another have the right to pursue legal action. How you go about that process will have a major impact on whether you are successful in your claim.
Being the subject of an accident, you may be hit with confusion, despair, anger. Breathe. What you do next and what you say could be your downfall. Don’t wait till such a situation befalls you, prepare yourself now for the potential eventuality so that you are clear in the steps you should take to safeguard your rights.
The Leading Cause of Injury
Vehicular accidents represent the leading cause of serious injury and death. Driving while distracted, be it by a cellphone or a conversation, driving while drowsy instead of being smart and pulling over to rest, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs, and/or alcohol have caused many injuries resulting in long periods of hospitalization, rehabilitation and even permanent disability. Someone must be held accountable. And if you are not at fault, justice should be handed down in your favor.
Call 911. The dispatcher will send officers to your aid. An accident report will be generated. All extenuating circumstances will be detailed along with the personal and insurance information of the other party involved. Without this key piece of document, you stand no chance of legal victory.
Be careful with whom you communicate. The insurance provider for the other party may well try to contact you to reach a settlement rapidly. Their cash offering may seem very appealing especially as you see medical bills mounting. This offer, though, usually is not the best you will be able to receive and will be much less than what you would be paid by way of proper litigation processes.
Workers’ Compensation + Lawsuits?
What if you were not injured on the road from a vehicular accident, instead, you suffered some form of grievous injury while at work?! Immediately report the incident to your supervisor if you are able. Whether you observe physical signs of injury or not, give a formal report. It could very well be that injuries become apparent later on.
Be very clear about your workers’ compensation insurance. If this is in effect, as much as you may want to sue your boss, this will not be possible. Only in the state of Texas can you be covered under workers’ insurance and still proceed with a lawsuit against your employer.
Seek Medical Help
Ensure you receive emergency help. Visit your private doctor or the emergency room. If you need to be transported by ambulance, so be it. Wherever you do go, be sure to get a copy of the medical report. Take photos of all areas on the body where damage can be seen. Bruises, cuts, swelling, burns. These will dissipate and heal over time, so you want to get the photographic evidence while it is still fresh.
Take Photographic Evidence of the Scene
Waste no time in snapping pictures of the accident. Vehicular in nature: take clear pictures of the vehicles involved. Focus on points of damage. Take photos or videos of the immediate surroundings. You want to cover all bases so that your insurance company, police, and legal team can clearly see everything and have no lingering doubts. A workplace accident: equally, photograph the scene as best you can. A picture really is worth one thousand words.
Contact Your Lawyer
This is a professional you need on your side at a time like this. Anything from head injuries, compensation for accidents occurring on the construction site, car, and workplace accidents, all the way to medical negligence and amputation claims, can be brought before your attorney for legal action to be taken. Never hesitate when it comes to your serious Injury claim, as the longer you wait, the more the odds of a successful result diminish. The legal process can take many twists and turns and involve many people and documents.
This is not a journey you want to undertake alone. A no-win, no-fee set-up should motivate you even more. Unsure if your case qualifies? Take advantage of a free consultation. A specialist compensation lawyer awaits your call.
Take on Your Insurance Provider
With your attorney at your side, this task is no longer too formidable. Once your case has been accepted the ball will get rolling to filing your claim. Many questions will come your way from the insurance company. Answer these in a factual and prompt manner. All of the photos, the medical report, and the accident report, along with any medical expenses you were called upon to pay should be submitted to your lawyer who will then submit these to your insurance, ensuring nothing is left out.
If your insurance agency denies your claim upfront, you will already be in the most competent hands to back you up.
Should the insurance company see validity in your claim, a first settlement offer will be given. Consult with your attorney whether it is acceptable or not. If you reach the conclusion that it is unfair, your lawyer will reject the offer and the process continues with a counter-offer. Mediation will take place with your insurance agency, their lawyer, you, and your lawyer until a settlement is agreed upon by both parties. Final documents will be drafted. Go over these with your attorney with a fine-tooth comb. Once signed, there’s no turning back.
When accidents strike, it’s easy to get thrown off and thus, make poor choices. Keep your head on straight and follow the points listed above. The takeaway points are to get medical help. Without this, you cannot really claim injury. Be sure to have a copy of the accident report. If the police were not called, did it really happen? Photograph everything. Video evidence is also useful. Last but not least, contact an injury specialist lawyer who will help you file your claim and increase your chances of walking away with a decent settlement.