There are numerous ways that Personal Injury may result. Personal Injury may be caused by defective or dangerous consumer goods, motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls or even animal injuries. Personal Injury attorneys are experienced in recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of your case. They know how to present the proper evidence to develop a strong case. Personal Injury attorneys often work the experts in various areas that assist with intelligently investigating the technical and medical aspects of your case as well as investigators to develop all of the facts and details of your case. Competent Personal Injury attorneys make certain all investigations in your case are completed to ensure everything is done precisely and correctly. If there is any possibility that you or a loved one was involved in a Personal Injury accident, it is imperative to contact a reliable Personal Injury attorney as soon as possible to guarantee all possible supporting evidence is acquired quickly.
What to do in case of injury or accident
1. STOP. If you are involved in an automobile collision, or see an accident or injury, stop. Leaving the scene of an accident, even a minor one, without first stopping to see whether there are damages or injuries is required in most states. Leaving the scene of an automobile accident may be criminally prosecuted. Even if you are not involved, you may be a key witness to the incident.
2. CHECK FOR INJURIES. You should not move an injured person unless they are in imminent danger. If you are injured, do not move unless you are placed in imminent danger. Call 911 if you are hurt. If you are unable to call, have someone else make the call to 911 so that the proper emergency personnel and please can promptly respond to the scene, as they will ensure the police and proper emergency personnel respond to the scene.
3. WARN. If possible, turn on your four-way flashing hazard lights, raise the hood or trunk of the vehicle or set our flares to notify oncoming traffic to proceed with caution.
4. EXCHANGE INFORMATION. If you are in a motor vehicle collision, provide your name, address, driver's license number, phone number, license plate number and identity of the automobile insurance carrier to the other drivers and to the police. The police will record this information on a motor vehicle accident report. Pay attention to what is said by the other drivers, since statements made at the scene of a collision may be deemed to be a legally binding admission of fault. If another driver attempts to leave the collision scene without providing any information, write down the license plate number of their vehicle and provide that information to the police.
5. OTHER WITNESS INFORMATION. Obtain identifying information from any witnesses to the crash, and ask them to provide the same information to the police.
6. TAKE NOTES. Write down as much as you can remember about the collision-where and how it occurred, what the road and weather conditions were, the speed limits, if there was a stop sign or stop/caution light, what the lighting conditions were (time of day, were street lights on, etc.), and where the automobiles were at the time of the collision.
7. LISTEN TO WHAT OTHER DRIVERS SAY ABOUT THE CAUSE OF THE CRASH. Regardless of who is at fault, listen to what the other drivers have to say. Do not volunteer that you were at fault. There may be other factors that you are unaware of that may have caused the accident. An admission of fault may be used against you later on.
8. COOPERATE WITH POLICE. Stay at the accident scene until the police tell you that you can leave. Tell the police only the facts of what happened, and do not assume anything or read any information into the facts. It is not always a simple matter to determine who is legally responsible for causing the collision. Do provide the police with an accurate description of all of your injuries. If you subsequently claim you are injured and you fail to advise the police at the scene that you were injured, the insurance company may try to claim that the collision did not cause any of your injuries. The police officer that takes the report should provide you with a business card and the “incident number,” so that you can obtain an accident report. If the police officer doesn't give you an “incident number”, ask for the number.
9. CALL YOUR INSURANCE AGENT. It is important to notify your insurance agent right away, whether you are at fault or not. There is always a chance the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. Your insurance agent may ask you to provide information you obtained from the other driver and the police report information. Do not give any written or recorded statements to any insurance company. Do not meet with any insurance agent without first consulting your Personal Injury lawyer. Statements made to an insurance company may turn out to be incorrect and can harm your credibility in a subsequent legal proceeding. Refer all insurance company requests for information to your Personal Injury lawyer.
10. PHOTOGRAPHS. Take pictures of the accident scene (even one or two days afterwards, preferably about the same time as the accident-if the accident was at night, also take pictures of the scene during the day). Also, take pictures of your injuries and the damages to your car.
11. CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY. Before filling out any insurance documents, giving recorded statements to any insurance company, or meeting with any insurance company representative, call us. Consultation with an experienced Personal Injury attorney is extremely important before giving a statement to any insurance company. Do not sign any check or document from any insurance company without first consulting an experienced Personal Injury attorney. NOTE: ALWAYS be honest with your insurance company. Not doing so may cause your policy to be invalidated.
12. CONSULT A PHYSICIAN. It is possible that you may not know the full extent of your injuries at the time of the accident. Various injuries may not be evident until some time later. If you do not see a doctor, it is possible to risk aggravating your injury by delaying your treatment. A nagging soreness may be an indicator of a more significant injury. If there is any chance you may have been injured, it is safer to see a physician as soon as possible to rule out any unseen injuries. Insurance companies have argued that individuals that failed to properly be treated after a collision have minor injuries or have injuries that must have been caused by something that happened after the collision. The longer you delay in seeing a physician, the more aggressive an insurance company will be in arguing that you were not injured. Make sure that you are completely honest with your physician and report all of your symptoms, including things like dizziness, confusion, disorientation, nausea, headaches, ringing in your ears and all areas of pain.
13. REVIEW. Review the notes you have taken at the accident within a few days. Check to make sure that you have documented all of the important information.
14. DOCUMENT. Keep track of all medical bills, prescription bills, round-trip transportation costs to the physician's office and all lost wages. Your Personal Injury lawyer will also review with you the effect the accident had on your life and your family. Your Personal Injury lawyer will also help you identify all other losses that may be associated to your accident. Please feel free to review my pamphlet entitled, “What to Do If You Are in a Traffic Accident“.