Personal injury law oversees the area of law that protects victims who have been injured due to another party’s negligence. Personal injury accidents are often times overwhelming and confusing. You will likely not know where to turn or what to do if you or a loved one finds yourself injured as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence. The moments that follow a personal injury accident can be very stressful and it is not uncommon to not know what steps to take that are in your best interest. When you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, it is important to remember to put your health first and foremost. Then, when you are ready you can begin to consider the options that surround your accident, including whether your case falls under the protection of personal injury law and whether or not you should consult a personal injury law attorney.
Frequently Asked Questions About Steps to Take Following an Injury
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding personal injury law and what the injured party should do after an accident.
I was injured in an accident. What is the first thing that I should do?
As previously mentioned, if you have been injured in an accident the first thing that you should do is to look after your health and well-being. After you have sought medical attention for your injuries you can then begin to consider a number of steps to take that will serve to preserve your right to file a claim under personal injury law. These steps are valid in almost all personal injury law cases and you should note that there is no particular right or wrong order to take. However, if you are looking to file a claim under personal injury law against a government agency or the government, then there are other steps that should be taken.
- Write down everything that you have incurred as a result of the accident. This includes things like a hospital visit, medical bills, lost work wages, etc.
- Collect any and all evidence that might indicate who was at fault for the accident, as well as all damage caused by the accident. It is a good idea to take as many photographs as possible, without tampering with evidence of course.
- Collect names and contact information for anyone involved in the accident or who may have witnessed the incident.
- Be sure to document all conversations that you have with anyone involved in the accident. Taking notes on any specifics that might enhance your personal injury claim.
- Tell those who you intend on filing a personal injury law claim against that you intend on filing a suit for your injuries and property damage.
How long do I have to notify the other party if I want to file a personal injury law claim against them for damages?
If you are filing a suit against an entity or individual that is not a government or government agency, then there is no set time limit in which you must notify the party of your intentions. However, this in no way means to take your time with the matter at hand. When it comes to personal injury law, the longer that you wait to file a claim, the less your chances are of resolving your case in a fast and effective manner. Note, just because you notify the at-fault party of your intentions to file a suit, it does not mean that you are required to file a claim. Instead, by giving the other party notice you are simply preserving your rights and further preventing them from defending against your lawsuit by stating that you waited too long to announce your injuries. Simply put, by notifying the other party or parties, you are ensuring your ability to proceed with negotiations regarding arbitration and settlement at your own pace.
Are there any time constraints surrounding how long I have to file my claim?
Personal injury law can be complex and confusing. Furthermore, settling a personal injury claim will likely be time-consuming and even more complicated. If you fail to file your claim within a suitable amount of time, then you may find that you are completely out of luck when it comes to being compensated for your injuries. In personal injury law, there is a law in the books referred to as the “statute of limitations,” which states the maximum amount of time that you have in order to bring certain types of claims to the court. If you allow this personal injury law statute to pass you by then you might be barred from ever filing suit and furthermore ever collecting the damages that you deserve.
What are the time constraints that surround filing a suit against the government?
Unlike those personal injury law claims that are filed against a private entity or an individual, if you are filing a suit against a government agency or even an employee, you will have a limited amount of time to do so. The time period that you have to file a claim will depend on your case and the state that you live in, but usually ranges between 30 days and one year. If you do not bring your suit to court before this time period expires then you will lose your right to ever recover any sort of damages for your injuries or property damage.
Steps to Take Following an Injury
In order to better your odds of recouping damages owed to you under personal injury law, you should follow the following steps after your accident.
- Seek medical attention
- Contact a personal injury attorney
- Participate in your attorney’s investigation
- Discuss injuries incurred and damages owed