Personal injury can encompass many different things. Knowing rights and how to obtain a personal injury settlement can be overwhelming because of the wide variety of types of injuries. There are a few steps to take in order to clear up what happened in an accident and figure out which lawyer can best assist the case.
People who experience personal injuries may be entitled to compensation for economic loss and for family, social, education, or other losses, including pain and suffering. This compensation requires excellent documentation.
Make notes immediately after the accident about anything that has been lost because of the accident and injuries. This includes work hours, job opportunities, meetings, classes, events, family or social gatherings or vacation. Think of anything else which would have benefited you or which you would have enjoyed but were unable to because of the accident.
Right after an accident, as soon as your head is clear, write down everything that can be remembered about how the accident happened. Begin with what you were doing, where you were going, the people you were with, the time, and weather conditions. Include every detail of what was seen, heard, and felt.
This can include twists, blows, and shocks to the body immediately before, during, and after the accident. Include anything you remember hearing anyone say about the accident. This can be a person involved in the accident or a witness. Even the most seemingly inconclusive details can make a huge difference in how the case pans out.
In the first few days after the accident, make daily notes on all pains and discomfort the injuries caused. There could be pain, discomfort, anxiety, loss of sleep, and other problems that are not as visible or serious as other injuries. These should still receive additional compensation.
If no specific notes are made of them immediately and exactly, you may not remember exactly what to include in the claim for settlement weeks or months later. Taking notes makes it easier for you to later describe to an insurance company how much and what kind of pain and discomfort you were in.
Writing down the different injuries helps doctors diagnose. A relatively small bump on the head or snap of the neck may not seem worth mentioning, but it can help the doctor and insurance company understand why back pain developed several weeks after the accident. Telling the doctor about the injuries makes the injuries become part of the medical record. This provides evidence later.
It is important to determine who is liable in an accident. Most accidents happened because someone was careless. If one person involved in an accident was less careful than another, then the less careful one must pay for the damages. This is just the general rule; there are many more ways to determine who is at fault in a personal accident accident.
If the injured person was not supposed to be where the accident occurred, or in a place where those kinds of accidents occur often and it is well-known, then the person who caused the accident might not be liable because there is no duty to be careful to the injured person.
If the injured person was also careless, compensation may be reduced. This is called comparative negligence. If a negligent person causes an accident while working for someone else, the employer may be legally responsible. Accidents caused on a dangerous property means the owner is liable for being careless in maintaining the property.
Lastly, if an accident is caused by a defective product, the manufacturer and seller of the product are both liable. This is true even if the injured person does not know which one was careless in creating the defect, allowing the defect, or knowing how exactly the defect happened.