First Steps After a Personal Injury: Practical Tips for Everyday People

If you’ve been injured in an accident, it can be hard to know what you should do. In the confusion and pain of your injury, you may be overwhelmed and without a clear pathway ahead. At the Law Offices of Colby Lewis, we understand the trauma and stress that comes with a personal injury and have created this blog to give you a roadmap of what you should do if you ever become a victim. Read through our practical tips for everyday people and, if you would like a full case evaluation, contact our offices

Personal Injury Defined

So, what is personal injury law? A personal injury occurs when someone suffers damages because of the actions of another. While it may seem straightforward, personal injury cases can be complicated and often require the expertise of a personal injury lawyer.

If your case is successful, you can receive both economic and non-economic damages depending on the unique circumstances of your case. Economic damages include expenses such as medical bills while non-economic damages refer to those that are non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering. To determine what type of damages you qualify for, seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney.

Types of Personal Injury

There are as many types of personal injury as there are types of accidents. Common injuries include:

  • Slip and fall
  • Wrongful death
  • Premises liability
  • Auto accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dog bites
  • Other accidents

These are just some examples of the types of injury you may have suffered. No matter what form your accident takes, it’s always best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine whether you have a valid case.

Steps to Take After an Accident

The time period immediately following your accident is crucial. Because evidence disappears, memories fade and the window to show causation shrinks, your actions right after an accident can mean the difference between a successful case and an unsuccessful one.

Seek Medical Attention

Your first step should always be to seek medical attention. Whether you visit the emergency room or are evaluated by your doctor, seeking prompt medical attention is important for two reasons. First and foremost, seeking medical attention is the best step to assess your injuries and come up with a treatment plan. Your health should always be the top priority! Second, in order to prove a personal injury claim you need to show causation, meaning a showing that the accident was a “direct and proximate cause” of your injuries. If, for example, you wait two weeks before seeking medical attention, it will be hard to prove that it was the accident and not something that occurred during the two-week span that caused your injuries. Retain copies of medical records, reports and test results to use as evidence in your case.

File an Incident or Police Report

Next, you’ll need to file either an incident or police report. Incident reports are generally used in cases of slip and falls, workplace accidents and other instances of accidents relating to commercial or employment entities. Police reports, on the other hand, are typically filed after auto accidents, assault, dog bites, and other types of harm caused by private defendants. Either report will include your personal information, a description of the accident, the other party’s information if applicable, witness information and other valuable information that you will need to pursue a claim. Police reports are especially helpful as they will often assign blame to one or both parties and are an especially crucial piece of evidence later on.

Gather Evidence

You’ll next need to gather evidence. It’s important that this is done in a timely manner as conditions change and witnesses begin to forget. For instance, in the case of a slip and fall,fellow shoppers may not be able to recall what they saw weeks after and the conditions that caused the slip and fall will be long gone. One of the most reliable forms of evidence is surveillance or personal security footage that shows the accident taking place. You can also rely on witness statements, incident or police reports, and other types of evidence that will help you prove your case, again remembering that urgency is key.

Negotiating with the Insurance Company

When it comes to negotiating with your or someone else’s insurance company, it can be tricky. Statements made to insurance adjusters – especially those that are recorded – can be used against you in the settlement process. It’s best to not negotiate with the insurance company directly and instead allow an experienced personal injury attorney to negotiate on your behalf.

Seek the Help of a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney

Oftentimes, it’s best to reach out to a qualified personal injury attorney after seeking medical attention. Your attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate with the insurance company and represent you in civil court if necessary. By having an attorney guide you throughout the personal injury process, you ensure that mistakes that could doom your case aren’t made along the way.

Colby Lewis Protects The Rights Of Personal Injury Victims

When you have been injured in an accident, you want one of the best personal injury lawyers in Texas by your side advocating for your interests. At the Law Offices of Colby Lewis, we know personal injury law and understand the nuances that make the difference in our clients’ cases. We can help you from day one of your accident through the very end. We fight hard for our client’s interests and will zealously pursue the highest possible payout for your injuries. If you’ve been injured and would like a full case evaluation, we are just a call or click away – contact us today to get started on the road to recovery.