What to Do After a Personal Injury Accident?
The experience of an injury can be frightening, confusing, and physically and mentally traumatizing. Whether you were in a car accident, slipped and fell, or were involved in any other kind of accident, receiving medical attention should always be the first step. However, it’s essential to know what happens after the emergency room or doctor’s visit.
If you’re searching for an answer about what to do after you’re injured, Erie Injury, Erie, Pennsylvania’s go-to law firm for personal injury cases, has you covered. We’ll discuss the most common personal injuries, the personal injury claim process, and where to go for help.
The Most Common Personal Injury Accidents
There are nearly endless ways for a person to get injured. That said, there are certainly a few scenarios that stand out by frequency. Some of the most common injuries include:
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2.2 million people annually suffer from injuries related to car accidents. In Pennsylvania alone, there are more than 100,000 crashes a year.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for over 8 million hospital and emergency room visits. Slip and falls, where someone falls due to a slip, occur over 1 million times annually. Moreover, slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older.
In conjunction with slips and falls, the most common workplace injuries are exposure to harmful substances or environments and overexertion. According to the Bureau of Labor, private industry employers report around 2.7 million workplace injuries annually.
While every person’s injury is unique, there are some best practices you’ll want to follow after you’ve been injured:
- Seek medical attention
- Document your injury
- Find an injury lawyer
- Settle or file a lawsuit with the help of an attorney
- Negotiate and mediate (if needed)
- Go to trial (if needed)
Seek Medical Attention
Your health, safety, and wellbeing always need to be your first priority. Seek medical attention immediately and call the police, fire department, and emergency medical service (EMS) if needed. In addition to keeping you safe, this part of the process is also vital to ensure there is documentation of your injury. Keep all of your medical bills, police reports, and other notes for future reference.
Document Your Injury
Memories get less accurate as time passes. Therefore, in conjunction with police reports and doctor’s notes, you should take the time to create your own account of what happened. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may not be able to gather information from others that were at the scene. However, if possible, get witness information, and, if you’re in an automobile accident, it’s essential you get the following information from the other driver:
- Insurance info
- License number
- License plate
- Phone number
- Take pictures!
Also, consider if there is any evidence available that may be helpful in a court case. Photos and videos serve as excellent pieces of evidence, so don’t be afraid to capture as much of the scene as you can.
Find an Injury Lawyer
You should find a personal injury lawyer to represent you to ensure you’re compensated fully for your injury. Be sure to give your lawyer any documents from your doctor’s visits, police reports, and your own account of the situation. These records of the accident will be valuable if there is a lawsuit.
If you’re unsure if you need a lawyer, consider the severity of your injuries, who is at fault, and any insurance complications. If your injuries are severe, alcohol was involved, legal liability is uncertain, claims were denied, and/or the injury has caused you financial hardship, it’s a smart idea to reach out for help. Even if you don’t think your injuries are that severe, it’s best to run your facts by a lawyer first before trying to handle it on your own. You never know what an attorney can do for you unless you ask.
Your lawyer will help you file a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim is a legal dispute that arises when a person or business has caused harm to someone and may be legally responsible for the resulting damages.
We recommend searching for a lawyer who works on a contingency fee, as our firm does. Doing so eliminates the need for upfront costs as the fee only applies in the case of recovery, meaning the lawyer will get a percent of the awarded funds, but you won’t be charged for their services if you aren’t awarded money in the settlement or verdict.
Settle or File a Lawsuit
Personal injury claims often settle before your lawyer files a lawsuit. However, when parties can’t agree, the claim needs to go into litigation.
Negotiate and Mediate
A filed personal injury lawsuit doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to go to court. In fact, many cases settle without ever going to trial. However, there are instances where parties are simply unable to reach an agreement on their own, in which case they may consider mediation.
Go to Trial
Unfortunately, negotiation and mediation don’t always work. In this scenario, your case will go to trial, where a judge or jury decides the outcome of the personal injury lawsuit. Should the court rule in your favor, you could be entitled to compensation.
Get Help When You Need It
Accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Whether you’re dealing with mounting medical expenses or lost income, the impact of personal injuries can cause significant financial hardships. If you or a family member has suffered injuries due to another individual or business, contact the personal injury lawyers at Erie Injury.