Accidents are unexpected, unusual, and unwelcome events. They can evoke all sorts of negative emotions. When accidents happen, they take you off guard. They can completely alter the course of your day or even your life. If someone else’s negligence causes your accident, it becomes extra annoying.
A serious accident can be much more devastating when you or a family member is injured. It is serious when you get injured in an accident caused by someone’s negligence. And once you are injured, you need to take fast, essential steps. These steps would help you heal and recover what you may have lost.
Personal injury is the legal term for an injury to a person due to another person’s negligence. Thus, Personal Injury Lawyers are legal experts that handle personal injury victims’ cases. And yes, you will need a lawyer because a personal injury can ruin your quality of life. Also, it would help if you get the best personal injury lawyer in California.
Personal injury situations may vary, and so can the resulting cases. Yet, there are some basic and necessary steps you ought to take after getting injured. Once you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence, here are 8 steps to take:
Get Yourself to a Safe Area
Many people freeze at the point of injury due to shock or pain. This reaction is not the best. Yes, your body needs time to react. But once injured, you must quickly evaluate your surroundings. It is imperative that you find out if there is anything else that could further harm you. Getting to a safer place as soon as possible is the goal.
For example, if you are in a road accident, you must get off the road as fast as possible. Head away to the median or shoulder. But don’t move any vehicle if it will cause more harm to you or anyone else.
The first thing after getting injured is preventing further injury. So, it would be best to find a safer area to stay in to calm down and assess the situation further.
Assess the Damage
Once you’re in a safe spot, check your body for immediate signs of injury. You will need to ask and answer the following questions as best as you can:
- Is there blood? If so, where is it coming from?
- Do I feel numb? If so, where is the numbness localized?
- Am I struggling to breathe?
- Is my vision blurry or reddish?
- Am I able to stand?
- Can I wiggle my extremities, that is, fingers, toes, arms, and legs?
- Where do I feel pain?
- How severe do you think the pain is?
Run through this list and confirm your condition. Then, if you feel okay, ask any other accident victims the same question. Of course, this is nothing close to a proper medical check-up. Yet, this will help you know how to act should there be a problem.
Call 911 to report the accident. Call instantly if you find that something is wrong. If you cannot dial or reach your phone, ask someone on the scene to call. Be sure that someone is on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.
Gather Useful Information
If you don’t have to go straight to the hospital, speak with the person who caused the accident and injury. Get their name and insurance information. When you talk with them, choose your words carefully. Do not admit fault in any way nor apologize.
Also, don’t excuse their actions. Instead, focus on keeping things straight to the point and about their details.
Ensure you take several photos of the accident scene and your injuries. You need to document these with their information to build a good case.
Seek Medical Attention Quickly
After assessing your status, seek medical attention immediately if there is a sign of injury. Don’t assume you’re all okay after an accident. Instead, let a healthcare professional check you out and clear you even if you don’t see or feel any injuries.
Visit the emergency room, your general physician, or a healthcare clinic as soon as possible. If necessary, call an ambulance at the scene of the accident.
If you get medical care soon after an accident, it is easier to prove your injuries were due to the accident. This way, a personal injury lawyer can improve your court case.
When you speak with your doctor, tell them where you have pain. Never think any pain or numbness is a minor issue. Let everything be checked. But don’t exaggerate anything. Just say it as you feel it, and be honest.
Talk to Eyewitnesses
Most accidents happen in the presence of other people. If you suffer a personal injury, eyewitness testimonies can support your lawsuit. So, get witness information, including names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Witnesses can verify and clarify the event from their perspective. In addition, they can confirm or deny details about the accident to help your case.
Get First Responders’ Reports
First responders get to the accident scene within minutes of a 911 call. Let them assure you that they will make a police report. Once they do, you must go through the inconvenience of getting a copy. But this is for the strength of your case.
To ensure you can easily access the police report later, collect the following:
- Officer’s names
- Badge numbers
- Police station address
A police report will have more detailed information for building your case.
Journal the Event
This advice may surprise you, but writing your narrative after the accident is essential. Journal how the injury is affecting you. Record everything you remember after the incident. Every detail will make a difference and reveal things that will strengthen your case.
Ensure you write down your report as soon as possible, so details remain fresh in your mind. Elements can get mixed up the longer you wait to write. Also, when you record, more specifics will resurface in your mind.
Your accident journal can be used as evidence in your case. Describe your pain levels and how the accident has affected your quality of daily life. Try to answer these questions:
- What continual impacts have you experienced?
- What residual effects from the accident?
- What is your present pain level?
- Does your pain level vary throughout the day?
- How mobile are you now?
- Has the injury affected your work? In what way?
- Has the injury affected your relationship with family and friends? How?
- What challenges does your injury make you worry about?
Record your experiences in the aftermath of the accident to describe the full impact.
Compile the Evidence and Documentation
Your personal injury lawyer must prove that you were injured due to someone’s negligence. So, you need to provide all the evidence and documentation necessary.
Get records and documents of everything about the case. The following items are critical:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Witness contact information
- Personal statement, etc.
Keep copies of all evidence and documentation until your case is resolved and closed.
A personal injury lawyer is necessary for getting you the settlement you want from the lawsuit. They can help you take the proper steps and secure the information necessary for your case.
It is also good practice to only speak about your case with your attorney. If you have to talk to anyone else about it, it should be with the lawyer’s consent. Also, note that the time limitations for a personal injury case is 2 years.