When an individual becomes injured due to no fault of his or her own, it can have a devastating impact on his or her life. Hospital bills can add up, and missing work to heal can lead to lost wages. There are some simple steps that any individual can take to protect his or her rights in the event of a personal injury, though.
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
The most important thing to do after sustaining a serious injury is to seek adequate medical attention. Concerns regarding the legal aspects of the issue can be placed on a back burner until any serious wounds or injuries are attended to.
Step 2: Write Down Details
As soon as possible after the immediate trauma of the situation has been dealt with, write down every detail of what happened. People’s memories are unreliable, so writing down what occurred can help victims further down the road in their claims process.
Include specific details about time and place, any witnesses, and the circumstances immediately surrounding the incident. Don’t skimp on the details. Write down anything that seems even remotely relevant, including every possible detail of the incident itself.
Step 3: Seek Legal Advice
Find a lawyer who can answer any questions regarding legal fault and advice as to whether or not it is worthwhile to proceed with a formal complaint. In most circumstances, personal injuries are covered under some type of insurance.
If the injury occurred while seeking medical treatment, medical malpractice insurance should cover it. If it occurred due to an automobile accident, the car insurance company offering coverage to the responsible driver will foot the bill. If the injury occurred on another person or business’s property, he or she should have an applicable insurance policy to cover it.
Step 4: File a Claim
With the help of a lawyer, file a claim. Keeping track of details such as the degree to which the injury has impacted different aspects of the victim’s home, work, and social life throughout the proceeding can be extremely helpful. This is especially true if there has been a significant economic impact such as lost wages or missed vacations.