When you have been injured in an accident, whether it was at work, in public, or in a road traffic collision, you may have to cope with a significant level of discomfort, as well as having to pay substantial medical bills. This is particularly difficult if the injury has caused you to take time off work.
In the United States, people often do not realize the steps they should take after such an event to protect their rights and gain the compensation they are entitled to. Every personal situation is different, but it is still important that as soon as you have received an injury, you seek legal advice.
In this article, common FAQs asked by personal injury claimants are answered by a legal representative so that you can gain more insight into your rights and the process as a whole.
What Should I Do After The Accident?
If you have been injured in any kind of accident, the first thing you must do is seek medical attention. That is, of course, assuming you are not taken by the emergency services to an emergency room.
If possible, you should take videos and photos of the incident and get the contact information of any people who witnessed it so that when you hire a personal injury lawyer, you will be well-equipped to start your case.
It’s also worth noting that in instances like a road traffic accident, it is best not to get aggressive with the people involved, as this can be used against you later and will not look good in your case.
How Soon After The Accident Do I Have To File The Claim?
This will depend on the state you live in and the statute of limitations. In some instances, you will need to file a personal injury case within a year, or you may have as many as four years. This is why it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible while the evidence is still fresh and accessible and before the time limit for claiming runs out.
How Do I Know If I Have A Good Case?
This is not a decision that you need to make on your own, and that is why it is wise to contact a legal representative who specializes in personal injuries. The majority of them will be able to set you up with a free consultation and will allow you to discuss the situation in detail.
They will be able to tell you whom you should sue, what you can expect to recover based on the incident, and the laws surrounding your case. But consider that in the majority of cases, if somebody acted carelessly and caused injuries, you will have a case.
I Wasn’t Hurt At The Scene – Can I Still Make A Claim?
Even if you were not hurt at the scene, yes, you can still have a case, and the reason for this is due to a biological process to traumatic situations which causes adrenaline to surge through the body.
This can temporarily reduce discomfort, so it is always wise to consult a doctor after any kind of incident or emergency, even if you feel well, because serious conditions can emerge later on or over time and will need tracking. These steps will play out well in your favor should you want to take the matter further legally.
Will I Have To Go To Court?
In most cases, no – personal injury claims are often settled out of court, and your attorney or lawyer will be able to oversee this process for you. It is only when the parties involved state that they do not have any legal responsibility that these cases will usually end up going through a court process.
What Kind Of Damages Can I Claim?
The main kinds of damages that you can claim in a personal injury case include economic damages and non-economic. Economic ones are related to losses such as medical bills, lost income from not being able to work, earning capacity, and property damage such as damage to your car.
Non-economic damages are related to things such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, and of course, the discomfort that may have been caused by the incident.
What If I Was Partly At Fault For The Accident?
If you were partly at fault for the accident, then you can still make a claim. But this will depend on where you live; there are only a few states which can use a contributory negligence rule. This states that a victim is not able to recover damages as they were at fault.