It’s never fun to think about, but everyone is at risk for a personal injury at nearly any time. You could trip down some stairs in your own home. Work-related injuries are common, especially in dangerous occupations like construction. Car accidents are extremely common in the United States, with over 33,000 fatal car crashes occurring per year. Millions more result in serious injuries that require medical attention each year, whether they’re caused by distracted driving, drunk driving, tractor-trailers, or anything else.
Suffering a personal injury puts you through more than physical pain as well. In addition to the emotional stress that comes with it, you may also face significant medical expenses, lost wages due to time out of work, or even partial or total disability. Naturally, if your injury from an auto accident (or any other source) was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of an at-fault party, you’ll want to seek fair compensation and justice for your suffering. In order to help with all that and more, here are some tips for getting through a personal injury case.
Seek immediate medical care.
Even if you think you’ve only suffered a minor injury at first, it’s always important to get medical attention as soon as possible after an accident for your own safety. While car accidents aren’t likely to cause as obvious of injuries as motorcycle accidents, drivers commonly hit their heads nonetheless. Some forms of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), like concussions, can have late-developing symptoms or long-lasting ones.
In addition to protecting your health, injured people can help their injury case by having their medical records establish that all injuries they suffered were caused by the accident as they describe it. If you wait to get medical treatment, you’re giving a defendant the opportunity to discredit your story by claiming that your injuries may have been caused by another source later or that they were made worse due to your own actions.
Speaking of your medical records, you’ll also want to take all medical recommendations to heart and keep your follow-up appointments. This lets your medical records prove that you’re taking your recovery seriously, and it’s documented evidence of the pace of your recovery.
Find the right attorney for your case.
If you need to seek compensation for your medical bills and other damages, or if you’re having an injury claim unfairly denied by your insurance company, you’ll need the expertise of someone like this New Orleans personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer with years of experience will know the insurance system and have experience fighting for the rights of accident victims in court, if it comes to that. Just keep in mind that an initial consultation doesn’t constitute an attorney-client relationship—that’s only done after all the paperwork is filed, and your attorney is officially retained.
Speaking of your consultation, it’s important to realize that personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingent basis. This means that they’ll only be paid a percentage of your settlement after a successful lawsuit. This means that each case is a risk for them, so you’ll need to bring your medical records, any photographic evidence you have of the accident scene and your injuries, and any witness statements to your consultation to show that you have a good case.
Keep your lawyer updated on any developments.
Just because you’ve retained an injury lawyer doesn’t mean that your role as a client is over. You’ll need to keep your attorney updated on any developments in your recovery or suspicious phone calls and other communications. Now that you’re involved in a legal case, it’s more important than ever to figure out who called you when you see an unknown number on your caller ID.
Phone harassment is itself illegal, but unknown callers may actually be trying to contact you about your case. Under no circumstances should you ever divulge this information, and if you receive a call from someone else’s insurance company, simply direct them to your lawyer. Also, let your lawyer know if you’ve started to get strange calls, as they may be able to help.