Naturally, your first concern should be the health and well-being of yourself and anyone else injured in the accident. Seek medical care for any injuries you’ve sustained, and, as soon as you feel healthy enough, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
You should take these first two steps no matter what type or cause of the accident, whether:
- Motor vehicle accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Bike accident
- Boating accident
- Slip and fall
- Abuse or assault
- Dog bites
- Pedestrian accident
- Or any other incident that results in injuries
Even if you’ve been told or believe that your injuries will be covered by insurance, you should contact an injury lawyer. Insurance often fails to provide complete compensation for all of the various expenses that a personal injury can cause. Consider that Ontario’s “no-fault” car insurance program, which provides compensation no matter who may have caused the accident, provides maximum compensation of up to $50,000 for non-catastrophic injuries. While this might seem like a lot, many serious injuries require extensive medical and rehabilitation costs, along with months of recovery time, which can add up to expenses that go far beyond $50,000.
Medical Evidence Needed to Build a Strong Claim
Given that the basis of your claim depends largely upon the extent of your injuries, documented evidence of your medical condition and treatment after the accident is crucial. Even if you declined medical help immediately after the accident, make sure you get a complete check-up at the hospital or through your health care provider as soon as possible. The full extent of some injuries may not become apparent until hours or even days after the accident occurred. Delayed treatment can raise the question of whether your injuries were actually caused by the incident raised by your legal claim.
As for the treatment itself, make sure that you keep all medical documents and bills and try to take down the names of any attending physicians, emergency medical technicians, and physical therapy specialists. If the extent of your injuries prevented you from doing this at the time of initial care, your accident lawyer should be able to track down the relevant medical records. Still, make sure you keep anything given to you by health care providers.
Scene of the Accident Evidence Helps Build a Strong Claim
Evidence relating to the accident itself is also crucial for building a strong case. As allowed by the state of your health, try to begin gathering evidence as soon as possible. Also, refresh the details of the accident in your mind and write them down with as much detail as possible. In the days and weeks after the accident, add to this narrative by writing down how the injuries have negatively impacted your life.
If you’ve been involved in a traffic accident, try to get the contact information of any investigating police officers. If you were a passenger, make sure that on-the-scene police know that you are one of the accident victims so that your name is included in the police records.
Whatever type of accident, try to get any witnesses' names and contact information. If you have a smartphone or camera, take photos of the accident scene and any element of the scene that may have contributed to the accident. This would obviously include any vehicles involved in a vehicular accident or the physical condition of a floor or walkway in a slip and fall.
Do Not Talk About the Accident or Lawsuit in Person or on Social Media
While you may want to talk about the accident and the impact it may be having on your life, only discuss the incident, the status of your injuries, and legal strategy with your close family and personal injury lawyer. These topics should also be kept off of your social media feeds. And if anyone asks you to sign any documentation relating to the accident, your injuries or related legal action, consult with your accident lawyer first.
Consider Taking Out a Lawsuit Settlement Loan
Recovering from injuries sustained in an accident can be stressful, especially when it’s impacting your ability to earn an income. This stress can be compounded by the time it takes to move your case through the litigation process. Consider taking out a lawsuit settlement loan to ease this stress and make sure you can still pay the bills while your lawyer fights for the compensation you deserve. Such settlement loans can also be used to tide you over if you have hired a disability lawyer due to a disability denial lawsuit.
Trust in Your Personal Injury Lawyer to Guide You Towards Just Compensation
Your personal injury lawyer will ultimately strategize how to build the most robust personal injury case possible, but actions you take after the accident may strengthen your case in the near term.