The steps you take immediately following an accident that leaves you injured, and in the days or weeks after the accident can affect any potential personal injury settlement or award that you receive. Personal injury is not something that happens to you multiple times in your life, and as such, you may not know how to react, what to say, or what steps you should take in order to maximize your personal injury settlement. Here are a few tips that can help put you on the right path to getting the most amount of money for the injuries you sustained as the result of someone else’s actions or negligence.
Document as Much as Possible When the Accident Occurs
One of the first ways that you can maximize any potential personal injury settlement you may be entitled to is to document as much as possible as quickly as possible after the accident or incident occurs. This should be done regardless of whether you know you are injured or not. For example, after a car crash occurs, you should take the time to photograph the scene of the accident. If possible, photograph the accident site before anything is moved. Also photograph anything that may have contributed to the accident, such as a tree limb covering a stop sign or weather conditions that made it hard to see. Once an accident scene is cleaned up, it can be hard to show that there was a spill on a grocery store floor or a dog was off the leash, so documenting right away helps to prove your case and prevents a your word against theirs situation.
Obtain Witness Information
Another vital thing to do following an accident or incident in which you may have been injured is to obtain witness information. Ideally, you want to obtain the witnesses’ full name, as well as different ways to contact them, such as their address, phone number and email address. Obtaining witness information is important because a witness can explain exactly how the incident occurred and who may have been at fault from their point of view. Once a witness leaves the scene, it can be hard to ever find them again, so obtaining contact information immediately is important. Obtaining multiple ways to contact the witness is also important, as witnesses may move or change their phone number. Having multiple ways to contact them can help in this scenario.
Do Not Take Any Responsibility for the Accident
One of the most common mistakes that people make in regard to personal injury cases is accepting responsibility or fault for the accident or incident. For example, if you have fallen on a slick floor, you may immediately tell the store owner that your shoes were slippery. Or, if you were in a car accident, you may tell the other driver that you are sorry and you must not have been paying attention. Accepting any responsibility for the accident, even if you do not feel the accident was solely your fault, can harm any potential personal injury settlement you receive. You should refrain from apologizing for the accident or saying anything that may indicate you had any fault in the accident or incident whatsoever.
Seek Medical Attention When You Realize You Are Injured
Another common mistake people make that can negatively affect a personal injury settlement is putting off medical care or attention. Some people simply think that they are a little bit sore and that their pain will go away, and as such, they put off treatment until it becomes evident that the pain is not going away. If you have any pain following a car accident, slip and fall, or other type of personal injury incident, you should seek out medical attention. Having a medical professional document, the injuries right away can help to eliminate the question of whether the injuries were really caused by the incident in question or whether they were sustained at a later time.
Retain a Personal Injury Attorney
The final tip that can help you to maximize a potential personal injury settlement is to retain a personal injury attorney. Studies have shown that those who are represented by an attorney recover more money than those who are not represented by an attorney. A personal injury attorney can help direct medical care, prove fault, and knows the value of a personal injury case. All of this is key to ensuring that you get the money you deserve following an accident that has left you injured.
If you were injured and you believe someone is at fault for the injuries you sustained, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit is designed to help you recover money for your medical expenses related to the injuries you sustained, pain and suffering and disfigurement or disabilities caused by the injuries. A Tacoma personal injury lawyer will work hard to help you recover the maximum amount of money allowed by law for the injuries you have sustained. Reach out to a lawyer quickly after your accident to help maximize your settlement.