What to Do After a Personal Injury
Even if it seems like a relatively minor slip and fall or fender-bender auto accident, an accident of any kind could sometimes be unsettling or even traumatic. Besides seeking prompt medical treatment for any injuries, you must take some vital steps after your accident. Acting strategically and as soon as possible can obtain the assistance you may need to treat your injuries and/or address any property damage.
Report the Accident
Regardless of may be at fault for the accident, you’ll still need to inform your insurance company and/or the other party’s insurance provider about the accident. Failing to do so might hurt your ability to file an insurance claim later on. Also, you may have to inform law enforcement officials about the accident, particularly if there are injured individuals or there was a significant amount of property damage. If there’s a police report, make sure to get a copy, as this can contain vital information that can verify your claim later on.
Collect Relevant Evidence
If you’re physically able, take photos or videos of the accident scene because you can use these as evidence to make your claim more solid. You must also obtain the contact details of potential witnesses to the incident. For example, in auto accidents, you should get the contact details of people in other vehicles or pedestrians. These people can help verify your description of the things leading up to and during the accident. They may even have photos or videos of the accident as well.
Identify Potential Defendants
You might file a claim against various parties following certain accidents, like auto accidents, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice injuries, so you shouldn’t assume that only one individual was at fault for the accident. By including all parties that could potentially be liable for your injuries, you raise your chances of getting a compensation amount that’s most suitable for the damages you sustained.
Aside from drivers in truck accidents, for example, defendants may also include the distributor or manufacturer of a defective auto part and the driver’s employer if the reckless driver was on the clock at the time of the accident. In more complex incidents, you may even hold the entity that maintained or designed the surroundings or the road responsible for the accident.
Part of preparing for settlement and trial is doing an investigation of the case and performing discovery. Investigating the case may involve hiring expert witnesses. Serious and catastrophic injuries can have a profound effect on your life going forward. They usually involve complex diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Your attorney has the resources to locate and hire qualified experts to analyze your condition and assess future treatments and impairments.
If you have been injured in a car accident, your lawyer will typically request a copy of your auto policy or other relevant policies from your insurance companies so that they can review all available coverage.
Your lawyer will also need additional documents to support your case. Your legal team will obtain doctor’s records and request narrative medical reports from your treating physicians. These describe the nature of your injuries, as well as treatment and prognosis. These reports can help establish whether you can return to your previous work or if you will have permanent impairments.
To evaluate your damages, your attorney also needs confirmation from your employer of any income lost because of your injuries. If your case involves a potential for substantial future treatment costs and wage losses, your attorney may hire an economist to project these costs.
Along with gathering information and evidence on your case, your lawyer reviews applicable statutes, case law, common law, and relevant legal precedent. This information helps establish a legal basis for holding the responsible party liable.
The Benefits of Seeking Legal Help After Your Accident
While you focus on your treatment and recovery, your attorney is focused on protecting your legal rights. This may sound simple, but your attorney must identify and anticipate legal issues. By doing so, they can effectively oppose any possible barriers to your recovery. There are a great many tasks involved in preparing for settlement and/or trial.
To protect you from a flood of requests and demands from the opposing party, your attorney will notify all opposing parties and that all future contacts or communication must come through the attorney’s office. This relieves a great deal of stress for you. It also allows a personal injury attorney to keep track of communications and insurance claims, injury prognosis, treatments and bills, and other information critical to your case.
It is generally helpful to work with a local attorney for several reasons. Someone with a local law practice has specific knowledge of local, state, and federal laws. They are familiar with the local courts and their particular procedural rules, and they also know many other members of the local legal community.
Work With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you have significant injuries, or if you think that the other party might contest your claim, get an experienced personal injury on your side.
Personal injury attorneys work on a no-win, no-pay agreement, also called a contingency agreement, meaning that you’ll only pay them if and when you get paid. Make sure to work with a McAllen personal injury lawyer who has experience in your specific claim.
Have You Suffered a Personal Injury in McAllen?
Personal injury cases are complex and involve many rules and deadlines. The statute of limitations is the time limit that a person has to file a legal action. For most personal injury claims in Texas, the statute of limitations is two years. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so you should consult an attorney to advise you on the appropriate time limits.
If you were injured by someone else, you need to speak with a dedicated, experienced McAllen personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation, please call the Patino Law Firm at (956) 255-0023 or contact us online.