Being involved in any type of accident can often be a life changing event in anyone’s life, especially if is a major accident that results in a personal injury of any kind. Whether this personal injury is as a result of a motorcycle or car accident, workplace injury, airplane crash, or an injury that occurred in any other setting, it can often become an overwhelming situation for the person involved as well as for their loved ones. More often than not, the injured individual may not immediately know what to do to get needed assistance, as they might not always be in the best state of physical or mental health. This is where family and/or friends should hopefully be able to step in to help the individual in question.
Having said that, here is a list of immediate actions that should very likely be taken in the event of someone being involved in any type of accident that results in a personal injury:
- Seek Medical Assistance:
It goes without saying that the very first action that should be taken, is the seeking of medical attention. Regardless of the whether there are any apparent injuries to the victim or not, it is always a good idea to have the person checked out by a medical professional because oftentimes, injuries are not always external or apparent, nor do they always appear immediately. Brain and whiplash injuries are just a few common examples that come to mind, though there are several others.
The good health of an individual is arguably the most important and valuable thing or asset to them. Therefore absolutely nothing else is as important as ensuring that the health or situation of the injured person is not at risk of getting worse than it is at that point in time, especially to the point where the injury leads to something life threatening. Or just as bad, leads to a permanent disability.
- Collect and Preserve Evidence:
Once the health and wellbeing of the injured person has been taken care of, then thought can be given to trying to ensure that he or she is able to receive compensation that they may be entitled to, as a result of the injury they have suffered. This is perhaps especially so if the accident and injury they suffered was caused by someone else. And the very first step in doing that is to make sure that any and all evidence that can gotten towards proving that the accident was caused by the fault or negligence of another party or individual. The reason for, and value of this evidence, will become apparent when the process of communicating with the relevant insurance company begins. These evidences will be required and needed by the insurance company, or any other organization that may be responsible for compensating the injured individual.
These evidences will include photos, videos, police and medical reports, or any other potential evidence that will prove to be helpful in ensuring that the injured individual receives compensation.
- Contact a Personal Injury Attorney:
While not an absolute must, or while not as important as seeking medical help as stated in point one above, contacting a personal injury attorney can often prove to be an equally important thing to consider and do. A personal injury attorney will almost always be much more knowledgeable and experienced than the average person on the street with regards getting compensated after a personal injury, and how to go about dealing with what may often be several moving parts in this regard. These moving parts might sometimes involve things like dealing with an insurance company that may either refuse a compensation payout claim, or offer a reduced claim amount, a negotiation or lawsuit that may be necessary in the event that the previously mentioned situation plays out, and everything that that involves. Or it might include other things like dealing with an unhelpful or uncooperative police department, a medical practitioner, or even a witness to the accident, any or all of which might be necessary to achieve the objective of getting compensation of any kind.
- Stay in Touch With Your Attorney During the Process and be Informed:
After engaging and retaining the services of an attorney or law firm to take on your personal injury case, they will often begin the process of engaging with any relevant party in this regard.. Sometimes the involvement of your attorney will make the process a tad bit more straight forward, sometimes not. Either way, it is still a good idea to keep in constant touch with your legal team, so as to keep abreast of the goings on with the case. And even though it is or should usually be the responsibility of the lawyer to constantly keep you updated, people are not always known to do what they should. Therefore you should be as informed as possible about the process of getting compensated, and just as importantly, where possible you should also your own independent research or investigation into certain things about the case. This way, you can sometimes be able to cross-reference between whatever your lawyer tells you about the case, and what your research/reading tells you. The main idea being to be informed, so that you can ask questions, and be able to contribute to increase the chance of having a successful case or claim.
- Determining the Kind of Compensation:
In the matter of a personal injury, depending upon the exact personal injuries that were sustained, there are various types of personal injuries which the law allows you to seek compensation for. Your attorney will guide you as to what you can and cannot seek compensation for, as it relates to your specific case, however some of the things for which you can claim compensation for, all of which add up to the total monetary claim that you might ask for, from an insurance company, or from the party responsible for the accident and personal injury, in situations where an individual or company is held personally liable, are:
- Medical treatment
- Doctor’s visits
- Medical equipment
- At-home care
- Loss of companion/companionship
- Funeral costs
- Punitive damages
- Lost wages