What to do after a Personal Injury


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The moments following an accident or other injury are confusing and overwhelming. You may not know what to do or where to turn if you or a loved one has been injured due to someone's negligence or wrongdoing.

1. Seek Medical Help.

If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury, the very first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Even if your injuries are not readily apparent, you should see a doctor because many injuries are not immediately obvious and some jurisdictions now require that you seek medical attention within a specified period of time or lose your ability to bring a claim.

Remember, some injuries, especially soft tissue injuries or brain injuries, do not show symptoms for days, weeks, or even months following the injury. A doctor will do a thorough evaluation to diagnose your injury and provide the proper treatment and may be able to identify injuries that you or your loved one is not even aware is going to be a problem yet.

2. Contact an Attorney.

After you have received the appropriate medical attention, you should contact an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. After hearing the details of your accident and injury, your attorney can advise you on whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim. Best of all, most personal injury attorneys will give you a free initial consultation and will work on a “contingency” basis, meaning they only get paid if you get paid, and they take their money out of whatever you receive, so you never have to go out of pocket.

3. Participate in the Investigation.

Once you have an attorney, they will thoroughly investigate your accident and begin planning how to prove your injuries were a direct result of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. Most attorneys will have teams of accident reconstruction specialists, doctors, and other professionals who will analyze the incident and your injuries to determine what happened, who was at fault, and how seriously you or your loved ones were injured. But, in order for all of that to work, you must remain in contact with your attorney, follow his instructions, and participate in the investigation as directed. Rememer, it might seem like a little bit of a hassle, but your attorney is working to get you the maximum compensation to which you are entitled and can only help you if you help him.

4. Discuss What Kind of Compensation You Should Receive.

There are several items for which you may be compensated, depending on the nature of your injuries. Your attorney will best be able to advise you as to what you can expect to receive money for, but some common examples include:

Doctor visits
Prescriptions
Medical equipment
At-home care
Funeral expenses
Loss of companionship
Lost wages
Pain and suffering
Punitive damages

Remember, this article is purely for informational purposes and is not intended to replace the advice you will receive from a qualified, competent attorney in your local jurisdiction. So, when in doubt, pick up the phone and call your lawyer.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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