What to do when you suffer a Personal Injury in an accident
If you have been injured in any type of accident, you should immediately write everything down. Most importantly, write down any witnesses. Get their names, addresses and telephone numbers and write down exactly what time you injured yourself or when the accident occurred and all the details relating to the accident. Do not forget to write down the time of day and the date you were injured. The date is important because you have to know the time period when a lawsuit must be filed. This is called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitation requires you to file a lawsuit within a specific period of time, depending on where the accident happened and the nature of the accident.
It is imperative you secure an attorney and/or file a lawsuit within the statute of limitation time period. If you fail to file a lawsuit by the time, you will be forever barred from bringing a claim or being compensated. This is why you should contact David K. Kremin & Associates immediately if you are injured.
These written notes will be very helpful when or if the case goes to trial and when you give your deposition, which could be more than one year later. You should keep a journal of everything that occurred from the date of accident and forward to the settlement or verdict of your case. You should write down all of your medical treatment, the doctors who treated you and any medical services that were provided. You should keep the address and telephone number of all medical providers and the dates you saw them. It is imperative you give your lawyer the names and addresses of all medical providers so your lawyer can secure all the medical records and bills. You should purchase a folder, specifically for your notes, relating to your potential claim. If you can, you should carry the folder with you so when you remember something or something occurs you can write it down immediately.
In summation, you should write down everything you remember as to how the accident happened, from the date it occurred to the settlement or verdict. You should write down the names of the people you were with, the weather and the time the accident occurred. Try to include every detail of what you saw and heard. Also include what you have experienced in relation to pain and discomfort. Write down when you experience pain and details about how the pain starts and how ends.
Writing down this information will be very helpful. Your lawyer will be answering interrogatories which could ask very detailed questions all about the accident and your background. In addition to your lawyer needing those notes to answer interrogatories, if you give your deposition, you will have to disclose all the information you have which will be evidence as to how much money you will secure. The more serious your injury is, the larger the result will be. In order for the lawyer to prove your case, normally he or she will obtain a narrative report from your doctors or the doctors will give a deposition. It is very important you tell the doctor what pain and injuries you incurred, the date occurred and the accident details so the doctor writes down that the injuries were caused by a certain accident on the date of accident.
This will be very helpful when the insurance company reads your medical records. If the medical records do not reflect you were in an accident and the date you were injured, most agents of insurance companies will not pay attention to those injuries.
You should not talk about the accident to anyone other than your lawyer and your medical providers. If you talk to other people, they could misconstrue the information and advise the insurance company that you said something about feeling better, when in reality, you are still injured. It is best to keep all the information about the accident between you, your lawyer and the medical providers.
You may also be entitled to economic damages. It is important you write down all the money you lost as a result of the accident. You are entitled not only to economic damages, but also non-economic damages such as what has occurred between your family, social relationships, your education and anything which was affected by the accident. If there are any documents which prove your loss, such as a lost wage statement from your employer, this would also be helpful and you should tender that to your lawyer.
You also may have lost job opportunities, education and social gatherings including vacations. You should keep note of those losses also to give to your lawyer. If you give any statement to the insurance company, you should write down the date and time and the name of the person you gave the statement. It is this author’s opinion that you should not give any statement to the insurance company unless your lawyer tells you or suggests you give a statement. Most of the time, lawyers do not want the client to give recorded statements to insurance companies because all they can be used for is to contradict you when you give your deposition or at trial.
If you do talk to any representatives regarding your injury, it is important to send a confirming letter setting forth exactly what statements you said occurred.
Get the help of a Personal Injury Attorney, if injured
Given the above notations, filing a claim and proving a claim are very detail orientated. For this reason it is imperative you secure an attorney to represent you for your accident and injuries. It is the author’s opinion that trying to resolve a claim on your own without a lawyer who has years of experience, would most likely harm your case. It is this author’s opinion that if you have to pay for an attorney on a one-third contingency fee basis, you probably end up with more money at the resolution of the case than trying to settle it on your own. If you try to settle the claim on your own, the insurance company will most likely do everything they can to defend it and do so by getting you to make statements you did not mean to make and were taken out of context.
Your lawyer will notify the insurance company and send out letters to all your medical providers to secure all the medical records and bills.
You should also notify your own insurance company, because many insurance companies require you give them notice within a reasonable period of time which is normally within a few days of the accident. Your insurance may be applicable for many reasons. You may have a medical payment provision which will pay your medical bills for a period of time if related to the accident. This could be an addition or supplement your health insurance coverage. Your insurance can also help you if the other entity or person who injured you did not carry enough information. This is why you should carry for your vehicles uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and an umbrella policy of at least one million dollars. This coverage will cover you if a driver of a vehicle hits you and they do not have insurance or adequate insurance coverage. If they do not have either of the above and you have a million dollar umbrella policy that includes uninsured motorist coverage, you will be covered for one million dollars as opposed to no coverage and no money if the driver of the responsible car is not insured or not insured enough.
Also, there is evidence you should secure which is noted below:
If you were injured in a car, a slip and fall or any other manner, you should take photographs of everything which caused your injury. If it was a physical object, you should tell your lawyers immediately to make an attempt to secure that potential evidence to prove your case. For example, if you were hit by a car while riding your bicycle and your bicycle was damaged, you should not repair it but take photographs of it and keep in a safe place until the case is settled or a verdict is secured.
You should take photos of any damage to your vehicle if it was an automobile accident and you should also secure “to fix it” and have the service provider write down all the damage and cost to repair the damage. You should call our law firm before you repair the vehicle in that we may be able to secure the vehicle and take professional photographs.
Other examples of physical evidence is faulty or broken stairs which can cause a fall, a branch hanging that fell, torn or bloody clothing all can show physical evidence.
However, it is not as easy as it seems because you cannot just take the physical evidence and store it in your garage. There are certain rules in which you must prove the evidence has not been changed or modified from the original damage which caused the injury. There is a requirement called the “Chain of Custody” which basically states exactly when and where the item was moved from place to place. Unless you have that, it would be difficult to have it admitted into evidence.
The above is another reason why it is important for you to hire an attorney. When you call, we promise you will talk with a lawyer with 20-30 years of experience. We never charge unless we collect money for you. Please contact David K. Kremin & Associates at 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800) 275-2529.
A problem which could exist is when someone is injured and they do not look back at the scene. If you do not recall exactly what occurred, you should return to the scene of the incident. If there are witnesses such as store personnel or residents near the accident, you could ask them if they saw the accident and if they would be a witness. Your lawyer should hire an investigator to see if there are any witnesses or other evidence which can be used to prove your case.
With that being said, the most important thing for you to do is secure an attorney immediately. Your lawyer will tell you what needs to be done, will hire investigators to investigate the scene and secure other evidence. Also, we may send an expert to the scene of the incident for where the object which caused your injury is located, to view it so the expert can take photographs, measure or do anything else which is needed to keep the “Chain of Custody” properly documented.