What To Do After an Accident
You may not know what to do if you are involved in an accident on someone else’s property. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or medical expenses if you were injured in the accident, but you have to build a strong case for a personal injury lawsuit first. Preparation is key for building a strong case so learn these four steps and perform them every time there is an accident in case you decide to pursue legal action.
Obtain an Incident Report
Immediately after the accident, the property owner or manager will write up an incident report to document what happened. This report will likely be extremely sparse and list only the facts because the property manager will be trying to protect the property from being sued. Make sure all pertinent facts are listed. You can then approach witnesses to ask them to give more detailed statements from a third-party view. If you hope to get a good settlement, this step is crucial as the insurance company will base its offered compensation on the incident report.
Photograph the Scene
Witness statements are good evidence for personal injury lawsuits but pictures are even better. If your injuries are not too severe, try to document the accident scene immediately after the incident occurs. You’ll need to show the absence of warning signs in addition to liquid on floors and hazards in the aisle. If the accident happened outside, document the condition of the ground and any factors that could have contributed to the incident.
Visit the Doctor
Whether you have sustained serious injuries or not, it is a good idea to visit the doctor immediately after an accident. You may have minor injuries that aren’t obvious and a doctor’s evaluation will prove that the problem happened following the accident. Without this information, the defense lawyer can argue that you left the scene of the accident with no injuries so the problem could have started at a different time, thus dismissing the case. If you have a doctor’s note, you can prove exactly when the problem started so you can link it to the accident.
Hire a Lawyer
Arguing your case yourself is never a good idea. A licensed personal injury attorney is better equipped to navigate the legal system and can ensure your case is strong before it goes to court. He or she will also serve as a mediator to ensure you receive a fair settlement if you decide to go that route.
Being involved in an accident is scary but being prepared can help you feel more confident if you ever find yourself in that position. Knowing what to do can help alleviate some of the anxiety around accidents. These four steps can prepare you to build a strong court case for a personal injury lawsuit so you are ready if you need to pursue one after being involved in an accident. Commit them to memory so you are better equipped to handle a serious accident if you are ever involved in one.