When you’ve been involved in a not at fault accident, there are important steps to take to protect yourself. Suffering from an accident can result in costly medical bills, missed wages, trauma and more. Failing to follow the correct protocol could leave you disappointed. We’ve listed below the vital steps you should take when preparing to file your personal injury claim.
1. Verify the Person at Fault
When preparing your case, it is vital to identify who the person liable is. Not doing so, can result in a dismissed case and disappointment. Despite how simple this sounds, it can be a difficult task to overcome. For example, if you’ve suffered from a slip and fall accident you would be able to sue the owner of the property.
This could be the individual homeowner, the store owner, or the municipality/city. If you’ve suffered from an accident and are having trouble identifying the property owner you should contact a lawyer immediately. A lawyer will be able to track down the person liable, prepare your case and get you the settlement you deserve.
2. File Within the Limitation Period
Many personal injury claims have a limited period of time following the accident where a claim can be made. This time limit can change depending on the type of personal injury accident occurred and where. For example, if you are injured on municipally owned land and intend to sue, you must notify the municipality of your intention within 10 days.
To verify the time period, it is best to contact an accident lawyer. An accident lawyer will be able to tell you the time period you can file within and be able to prepare your case.
3. Provide Proof
Proving a personal injury claim can be difficult to do. When you’ve been injured in an accident it is absolutely essential to gather all of the proof you can. This means, you should gather all of your medical records documenting your injuries.
Plus, if your injuries have long term consequences you should have written statements or proof from a medical practitioner outlining these affects. If you are unsure of what documentation you will need to prove an injury in court, you should contact an lawyer. A lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and advise as to what proof you will have to present to win your case.
4. Gather Witnesses
Another thing you should do immediately following the accident is gather the information of any witnesses. A witness is a valuable asset to have when proving your case. Plus, it will help to verify to the courts that you were not at fault. To help track down the witness and request for them to appear in court it is best to contact a lawyer.
5. Avoid Immediately Settling
If you’ve undergone a traumatic accident, it is vital that you do not accept an immediate settlement. This is especially true when it comes to personal injury claims. This is because, injuries can take a long time to form. As well, they can have long term consequences that may not immediately be known to your doctors. Oftentimes, insurance companies will want to settle quickly to avoid addition costs and are likely to offer you a payment.
However, once you accept a payment you will not be able to sue after the fact. Rather than accept a settlement right away, you should take your time to heal and contact a lawyer to review the offer.