The First Steps To Take When filing A Personal Injury Claim
In this article, you will learn:
- How to proceed with a personal injury case
- The importance of evidence in a personal injury case
- Common tactics used by insurance companies to avoid paying out claims
The first step when you are injured in a car accident, is to first and foremost, assess your medical condition. Once you’ve established that, and you’re in a comfortable situation, then it becomes time to gather information. You want as much information as you can get, including photographs, if you’re able to do so, and everybody has a cell phone nowadays so that’s become a typical part of a case. It is also important that you get all the correct information from the other party that is involved in the incident with you. You want to get all that information and as much insurance information from the other people as you can, and you want to document everything that you can that is relevant to your case.
When the police officer arrives at the scene and I’m referring now primarily to a motor vehicle collision, you’ll want to make sure that they have an accurate rendition of what your version of events is, and that they are not simply relying on what the other party is telling then. Often, everybody agrees as to what is correct. But as often as not, there are different versions of who is at fault and how the accident was occasioned. If it’s a premises liability, such as a fall due to a dangerous condition at someone’s premises, for example, on icy steps, you’ll want to make sure that it’s well-documented at that particular moment as to when the incident occurred because the scene of your fall is going to change in time. There may be ice on the steps today, but they may not be icy tomorrow.
Documentation is vital. If you’re not in a comfortable enough position to get this documentation, find somebody close to you who is. They can get to the scene, they can help take photographs. Call your lawyer and get something done before the scene and the situation changes.
The Necessary Evidence In A Personal Injury Claim, And How It Is Collected And Preserved
If we are called early enough in the process, we certainly can get there and help document all this information, or often, there may be remote cameras that we are able to use and we will send letters to the owners of those cameras asking that they preserve that evidence. If the owner of the camera happens to be an involved party, we will send them a letter advising them that they need to retain that as evidence or they will be responsible for its loss. So we’re able to do these things very early on in the process if we get involved at the earliest stages.
The Importance Of Seeking Timely Medical Attention After An Accident And Documenting It Properly
Typically, an injury does not manifest itself until sometime after the situation took place. The adrenaline is rushing, and people don’t recognize or appreciate the significance of their injury. I handled a case recently involving a father and a young child who were injured when they were hit by a car while waiting at a restaurant. The father was very seriously injured, he had suffered a head trauma. He didn’t do anything about that initially. His primary initial concern was for his child. He tended to his child, he went to the hospital with his child, and it was only after a number of hours where the doctor said, “hey, you look like you’re in pretty bad shape. You need to be examined,” and it was at that point that he received his first medical attention.
So yes, it’s important that you seek medical attention for the injuries, it’s important that it be documented, oftentimes, it doesn’t happen until afterwards. That will require some explanation on our part, but there are frequently very good explanations as to why a person did not seek medical attention immediately. Whenever possible, if you can, yes, get immediate medical attention. But if it happens to develop at a later time, if you happen to be sore the next day and something only kind of bothered you earlier, then seek medical attention the next day.
Tactics Insurance Companies Use To Avoid Or Delay Paying Out On Claims
An insurance company defending a claim typically has a three-pronged attack. One, I didn’t do it, two if I did do it, it wasn’t my fault, or three, if I did do it, and it was my fault, then you weren’t as injured as you claim to be. The different variations of that will occur on each case, but essentially that’s what it comes down to when the insurance company is defending their claims.
For more information on Steps To Initiate A Personal Injury Case, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (401) 831-0555 today.