When you have a personal injury or accident, it becomes vital that you act appropriately. Only by using quick thinking and employing an agent of the law can you hope to reclaim the expense being sick has cost you. Accidents and injuries incur medical bills, which are galling enough but worse if the accident was someone else’s fault. The only reasonable recourse is to claim compensation from those who are to blame. However, not all personal injury cases are successful.
Follow these ten steps to take immediately after a personal injury or accident if you want the best chances of a successful personal injury claim.
The 10 Steps To Take After An Accident Or Injury To Successfully Claim Compensation
There are things you can do immediately following the accident, and things you can do later, which will improve the chances that a sympathetic judge will rule in your favor. Here are ten steps to take after you are the victim of an accident or injury.
1. Make Yourself Safe
Get somewhere safe. Safety should be your priority. Whether you have had a car accident, have been in a collision with a vehicle, or have come off your bike – get somewhere safe. In the event of a car accident, somewhere safe might just be at the side of the road, away from other vehicles. It might be out of the way of petrol leaks or fire. Remove yourself from the dangerous situation.
Although you have no legal protection if you help someone at the scene of an accident, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help. It is entirely up to you. If you have first aid training, your duty of care does kick in. If you do not have first aid training, it might be best to stand back.
2. Stay Calm
Whatever you do, stay calm. The second golden rule is that you should not admit responsibility. Don’t even apologize since some insurers take this as proof of guilt.
3. Call the Emergency Services
Once you are in a safe place, call the emergency services. In the event of an auto accident, you will need to call the police and the ambulance service. You might also need the fire brigade. Emergency services are there for two reasons. The first is to treat everyone and treat the wounded. The second is to attend the incident and log a formal report on it.
Since you are thinking of making a claim for compensation, you really need there to be a legal paper trail that tells the judge you were involved in an accident. Speak with the police and give a formal report. If you are too injured to do so, be sure you visit the station in the next few days to speak with them or have your accident attorney do it for you.
4. Visit The ER
This is vital: whether you become wounded or not, visit the emergency room and have them check you over. This is another vital part of building the jigsaw surrounding events. The police will want a record of all that happened during the accident. Your insurance company will also require proof that you became injured in the accident. Visiting the ER is best for your personal safety, too. High impact collisions can cause unseen effects on the body.
5. Call A Lawyer
Only when you are completely safe, have been to the hospital, and have dealt with the police, should you call your lawyer. Don’t opt for the nearest personal injury lawyer to you, or the one who reaches out to you first. Instead, look for professional accreditations and customer testimonials to make your decision.
Also, choose a specialist personal injury lawyer rather than a generic attorney. The team at Szakacs Accident Lawyers are industry renowned for producing quality results. They can advise you further, should you need help.
6. Call Your Family
Next, call your family and let them know you are safe. If you haven’t spoken to them yet, they may be worrying about you. It could be that you should have been home hours ago. If this is the case, call your family. Do this sooner if you are able, just don’t forget about them. That stiff drink can wait until your loved ones hear from you.
7. Concentrate On Recovering
If you become incapacitated in the accident and confined to a hospital bed, you can’t do this yourself. Instead, concentrate on the recovery. Do everything that the doctors and specialists tell you to do. You can worry about claiming the medical bills back later when you claim compensation.
8. Police And Witness Statements
Giving a police report is essential to making a paper trail that records all aspects of the accident. The police will speak to everyone involved so make sure they hear your side of events. Similarly, it is a clever idea to collect witness details if there are any. You do not need full statements, just their phone numbers. You can give these details to the police later, or to your insurance company or personal accident attorney.
9. Document The Scene
If you are in hospital, you can skip this step. You ought to document the scene of the accident as this gives you more protection. The more evidence that you have, the less chance the insurance company has of winning the claim. Documenting the scene means taking pictures of skid marks in the road, or of damaged street furniture. Photographs of the accident itself are better, so try to take photographs as soon as you can. If you become incapacitated, a lawyer can do all of this on your behalf.
10. Report The Accident
Report the accident to your boss. If it involved a large animal, you may need to report the accident to the local rangers. Reporting the accident just means calling your boss to let them know what happened. At the very least it should earn you a day off work.