Personal injuries can throw a wrench in the most carefully laid plans, throwing an individual’s life into turmoil with respect to finances and health. Automobile accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, defective appliances: All can potentially result in civil suits against an individual or company. A successful personal injury suit (a judgment is entered against the defendant) means compensation for medical expenses and lost wages as well as pain and suffering.
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or bad acts, you may be entitled to make a claim for your injuries. However, you may not know where to begin or how to get started with your injury claim.
Your first step should be contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer who can guide you. If you believe that you have a case, find an attorney with experience in personal injury law and schedule an appointment. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to review your case and let you know if it is worth pursuing as well as what to expect during the course of your claim.
Below are some useful tips on what to do if you have suffered personal injuries as a result of someone else’s actions:
- Seek immediate medical assistance if you have been injured, whether it is a broken bone, dog bite, or any other injury that requires immediate attention from a medical professional. This will ensure that charges for current and future medical care are available to you through an insurance company or the defendant in your case. Also, make sure that you have received all of your medical records.
- Write down everything that happened leading up to the accident and everything that occurred during the course of your injury in chronological order. This information will be important for your attorney in building a sound case against the defendant in your case. Additionally, take photos of any injuries and keep a record of all medical expenses.
- Gather all documents in an organized binder with appropriate tabs for each document, including important information such as insurance cards, medical records, and bills. This will be helpful when it comes to communicating with your attorney or the defendant in your case.
- If you are not sure if you have enough evidence to win your case, or need more evidence before bringing your case to court, consider a private investigator. While this can be costly, it may be well worth the investment if you are unsure about key pieces of evidence that would help your case.
- If your injuries prevent you from working at all or have caused substantial loss in pay, keep track of all lost wages and be prepared to present this information in court. If you are able, take note of the work that you are not able to do because of your injuries in order to substantiate your claim for lost wages. You may also need to hire a vocational rehabilitation specialist who can help with calculating lost wages in your case.
- Keep all receipts for expenses related to your case, including filing fees for documents you have had filed in the court of law. Expenses that may be reimbursed through your personal injury settlement include medical bills, travel expenses, investigators’ fees, and court costs.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
A seasoned personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in getting you what you are owed when an accident victim. A personal injury lawyer can help you get more compensation than if you were to try and represent yourself, which is why it is imperative that you find one who focuses on personal injury law.
One of the most important jobs of a personal injury lawyer is to investigate the accident to find out what caused it. These lawyers track down witnesses, take photos at the scene and collect evidence that can be used in court down the road.
In addition, while people often assume they already know how to handle their own personal injury case, but this is one area in which it is highly recommended you seek out a personal injury lawyer. These lawyers know the law when it comes to injuries in your state or geographical region, so let them figure out what type of compensation you are entitled to.
Types of Injuries
Some of the most common causes of personal injuries include:
- Car accidents: These accidents can include everything from a small fender bender to more serious and fatal accidents. They usually involve one or more automobiles and result in some sort of physical trauma. Car accident injuries can range from minor whiplash to broken bones, paralysis, and death.
- Slip-and-fall injuries: These are also known as premises liability accidents. These accidents can include a wide range of incidents, from a trip and fall in a grocery store to falling down the stairs at your apartment building. Slip-and-fall injuries can result in anything from minor cuts to broken bones, brain damage, and paralysis.
- Work injuries: Work-related injuries, which are also known as industrial accidents, happen when you are injured on the job—no matter where that might be. Work-related injuries can result in anything from minor cuts to broken bones to amputation and death.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice is a form of personal injury that occurs when someone is injured during treatment by a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or other medical professional. Medical malpractice can result in anything from a misdiagnosis to a surgical error and death.
- Dangerous or defective products: Any product that is defective or dangerous can cause personal injuries if used improperly. These products range from children’s toys with lead paint, to airbags with defects, to power tools without safety guards. If you are injured by a defective or dangerous product, you may be able to file a claim for compensation against the manufacturer or distributor of that product.
- Dog bites: Dog bites can cause injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones and death. Most states have strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites, meaning that the owner of the dog is responsible if their pet injures someone.
How Much Does an Injury Lawyer Cost?
It is important for those considering legal representation to factor the cost of hiring a lawyer into their decision. This can help to ensure that the potential cost of settlement does not become unmanageable, and to also determine whether they can afford an attorney if their case becomes more complicated. In personal injury cases, many top legal professionals will work on contingency, which means that you do not have to pay anything unless you collect.
If you have suffered an injury caused by someone else, you deserve compensation. Talk to an attorney in Washington, DC, today to learn how you can hold the at-fault party responsible.