You have just suffered a personal injury – be it a slip and fall, an auto-accident, or a battery. Perhaps you are or were in some pain. Perhaps the whole ordeal was disorienting or unnerving. No matter the circumstance, it is always best to retain an attorney as soon as possible. In the meantime, this article should inform you on what you should do to preserve your claim and ensure the best settlement possible.
- Take Care of Your Health and Safety
Your health and safety are important. Call paramedics if needed and attend to your needs. Make sure you are in a safe situation. If you are in the middle of the road, get to a safe place. If you were battered, make sure the situation is safe. If you slipped and fell, make sure to identify what caused the fall so that you can avoid an additional fall.
Before taking any other steps, you need to take care of yourself and your well-being.
- Identify What Caused the Injury
Suffering a personal injury can be disorienting. Thankfully, people do not experience a personal injury every day, so this out of the ordinary event will require focus. Did you fall? What caused the fall? Were there liquids on the surface you fell on? What color are they and why were they there? If you were in an auto-accident, piece together the events preceding the accident. If you were battered, try to recall identifying characteristics about the tortfeasor.
All of these immediate impressions will be important later on.
- Collect Evidence
Did anyone witness the incident? Get their contact information. Is there a defect in the flooring – photograph it if you can. Whatever caused the incident, get as much relevant information as you can because this may be your only opportunity to gather the evidence needed to pursue your claim.
- Write it Down
When the event is fresh in your head, write down your thoughts and recollections about the incident. Memories fade, but a document either in a computer or on paper will help you jog your memory. Write down what you experienced. Think about how you identified the issue above and describe it in writing. Write down your feelings about the event and what you did in response to it. Write down the date, time, and location of the incident and the date of your report. Document the incident as if in a diary that you could read ten years later to remember the incident vividly.
Your memory will fade so be proactive in writing down your thoughts, feelings, and actions as soon after the incident as possible.
- Report the Incident
If your incident happened on a private property, like a business, report the incident to the property owner. Concisely describe to them what happened. Do not get into too much detail. Your goal in this report is to notify the property owner of the incident. Later, when you hire an attorney, you will get into more detail and strategize about what to say, to whom, and when.
- Document Your Injury
Take photos of your injuries. Seek out all medical attention needed – have them take x-rays if needed. The more information the better. Tell your health care providers all of your needs. Don’t be bashful – this is why you seek the advice and treatment of health care professionals, and the information that is recorded by health care professionals will be used later in your case.
- Contact an Attorney
Get an attorney involved early in the process. Each incident is different and every situation has its nuance. The law can be a complicated beast. That is why you retain an attorney. An attorney has the experience in dealing with these incidences, the expertise on the law, and the authority to take action and help you recover. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better the attorney can pursue your claim, the sooner you can recover for your loss.