If you’ve been injured at a fault of someone else and you think you’ll need reparations for the damages they’ve caused, then there are some things you should make sure to do. Following is a quick list of steps that you should make sure to take after you’ve been in an accident that’s personal-injury related.
Make Sure You’re Okay
First and foremost, if you’ve been injured then it’s critical that you make sure you’re okay. Before you’ve done anything else, you should get help if you’re in need of some and make sure that any injury you’ve sustained doesn’t require further immediate attention.
Get Contact Information
Perhaps needless to say, if anyone was around at the time of the accident, you’ll want to take down their contact information so that they could act as potential witnesses on your behalf. During this step, it’s also important that you contact these people once you’ve received their information in order to make sure that they weren’t just falsifying their information to avoid the inconvenience of the justice system.
In order to preserve your right to personal injury claim, you’ll need to have as much evidence as possible to present in front of a jury. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to pickup anything directly related to your injury — if you injured yourself on something that was broken into pieces, then pickup the pieces (but be careful not to injure yourself again!) In most cases, photographs are your best friend when it comes to proving your injury to a jury, so you should definitely try to snap a few quality photographs of the area that the injury took place.
Write Down Everything
It’s important to remember everything that happened, just as it happened. Knowing this, you should write down that happened during the accident with as much helpful detail as possible, and if the injury took place longer ago, then you’ll need to write down everything that has happened to you after the accident. For instance, this step may include things like medical bills, hospital visits, or any lost work or wages.
Also, if you’ve talked to anyone that observed or was involved in the accident, it’s critical that you take notes about your conversation with them and everything you both talked about. In some cases (particularly if the defendant’s lawyers are exceptionally well-versed in personal injury litigation), failure to document everything you’ve done since the incident, including people you’ve spoken to about the incident, can shatter your court case.
Keep Time In Mind
Contrary to what some may think, there is a time limit when it comes to setting up a personal injury claim. Often times, personal injury claims can be quite time consuming and it’s important to understand that if you fail to file your claim in a timely manner, you may be completely out of luck when it comes to collecting any kind of compensation.
Laws that state the maximum time you have to bring certain types of lawsuits are called “statutes of limitations.” If this time period passes while you’re still getting all your things together, you may be barred from filing a claim to compensate for your injuries. With this in mind, you should always check your state’s statute of limitations in order to ensure that this time window doesn’t sneak away from you.
Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney with the firm Bandré, Hunt & Snider, LLC in Jefferson City, MO. Bandré, Hunt & Snider specializes in helping their clients with DWI’s, personal injury and criminal defense cases.