Accidents occur every day. People can be affected by automobile accidents, workplace accidents, accidents at home, and accidents in public venues, such as parks or stores.
Accidents cause personal injuries and wrongful deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks accidents as one of the leading causes of death, claiming more than 173,000 lives in 2019. There are some crucial steps you should take if you’re affected by a personal injury accident. Let’s look at those steps and why they’re essential.
1. Call the police.
Every state has guidelines determining when you’re obligated to call the police. Suppose you’re in a car accident. Each state sets a minimum financial threshold for damages. When damages exceed that threshold, the people in the auto accident must call the police. It can be tricky to know if the vehicle damages will exceed the $500 or $1,000 minimum common in most states. It’s also mandatory to call the police if someone has sustained a serious injury. Calling the police ensures there’s a police report documenting your accident, and this can help you when dealing with your insurance company or a lawsuit stemming from your accident.
2. Consult a personal injury attorney.
You may have grounds for a lawsuit stemming from any type of accident, including pedestrian accidents and truck accidents. Contact a personal injury lawyer promptly. Personal injury attorneys represent accident victims in legal proceedings, and they offer free consultations, ensuring accident victims can consult a law firm before hiring a legal team.
When you contact a Denver personal injury lawyer, they’ll evaluate your personal injury case and determine if you have legal grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Your law firm’s objective is to ensure you receive fair compensation for medical bills, property damage, loss of income, and pain and suffering stemming from your injuries. They take appropriate legal actions in their client’s best interests to ensure accident victims receive a fair settlement.
Your personal injury law firm may use its years of experience in negotiation with the at-fault party and the insurance companies. Personal injury attorneys understand how catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, contribute to economic losses and will use relevant factors, such as negligence contributing to the accident, to secure the best settlement. If you don’t negotiate a settlement, your trial lawyer will present your case in a courtroom.
3. Get medical treatment.
Every injury victim should consult medical professionals promptly and get a thorough assessment of their condition. Go to the hospital and report any symptoms from your accident. Address any symptoms that emerge in the days following your accident. For example, whiplash is a common injury people suffer after car accidents, but symptoms may not appear for 24 hours or more. Complete all recommended medical tests to ensure doctors identify all medical issues stemming from your accident. You may need a referral to spine trauma experts to evaluate your spinal cord injuries and determine the appropriate treatment for your injuries. Common symptoms of spinal trauma include pain, weakness, and paralysis.
4. Gather relevant documentation.
If possible, start gathering documentation at the scene of your accident. Use your smartphone to collect contact information from witnesses. If necessary, photograph or video anyone at the accident scene. If you pursue legal action, your legal team may need to interview witnesses and call witnesses to testify in court. You can also take photos and video footage of the area surrounding the accident.
Collect all medical documents, including bills, prescriptions, and test results. These documents can establish grounds for compensation for medical expenses. Your law firm can use medical documents in negotiations or during a trial.
Accidents cause severe injuries every day. You must take steps to protect your legal rights and health after suffering a personal injury in an accident.