If you’ve had the misfortune of being hurt in any capacity, the immediate steps taken thereafter are crucial and can impact the outcome of your potential claim. Things that may seem minimal or of little consequence are often key elements that can make or break a case.
Whether or not you decide to make a claim, it is beneficial to speak to a personal injury lawyer. They can guide you through the process and make you aware of your rights and limitations. At Rastin and Associates, your initial consultation is free; in fact there are no fees unless we are successful in winning your case.
First and foremost, always seek medical attention if you are seriously injured. If you are bleeding or in trauma, call 911 or have someone call on your behalf.
Once your injuries have been attended to it is imperative to take a physical note of what you were doing before, during and after the incident. Documenting all aspects of the case can combat forgetfulness and help establish an accurate account of what happened. Eye witness accounts are helpful, so getting their contact information is an important step.
A picture is worth a thousand words and they can be the voice that you do not have. Be sure to take pictures of the scene as well as visible injuries you may have. Get all angles, and take as many as you need. Incidents vary and sometimes your options may be limited, for example in a vehicular accident; if the issue is a defective part in the engine, you may not be able to get to the actual problem, but pictures of the engine and surrounding area will all aid in establishing where the fault lies. Technology permits us to use a digital format to capture images and these are the best quality. Digital photos also provide the benefit of a time and date stamp. A fresh set of eyes can pick up on something you may have missed so returning to the scene helps ensure that you have not forgotten anything.
Though it may not be admissible, obtaining a copy of the police report can aid in strengthening your case. It can be used as leverage during initial negotiations if it is in your favour and it may also contain pertinent information such as eyewitness contact information. It can also offer a preliminary assessment of fault and an unbiased backup for date, time, location, weather conditions and other factors that may have contributed to your incident.
Through the complaint and recovery process, you should make note of your day-to-day experiences. If you speak with the insurance companies, make a note of the time and date, the person you spoke to and what was discussed. Document the progress of your recovery as this can help establish fair and accurate compensation for your pain and suffering. Your symptoms may not always be visible, for example sleep loss and anxiety, so having that information helps not just your case but it can be essential for a doctor’s diagnosis. Medical bills, lost wages and any other interruptions in your everyday life need proper documentation as well.
In such an uncertain world, gaining some semblance of control over unfortunate events can be our only source of solace. Let us at Rastin & Associates help you on your road to recovery.