If a serious accident like a slip and fall or motor vehicle collision has injured you, the next steps you take can have a massive impact on your personal injury case. To succeed in your claim, you’ll need to prove someone was negligent and their behavior led to damage. Unfortunately, most people don’t know this and can say or do something that jeopardizes their claim. To avoid that, here is a list of do’s and don’ts to remember when handling personal injury cases.
Here is the list of the things you should do.
Seek Medicare Care
The first thing you should do is assess your injuries and seek medical care. Call 911 if the injuries are severe. Even if you have minor injuries, you can collect evidence first and then go to the hospital for a doctor to assess your health. Fractures and soft tissue injuries are common in personal injury cases, yet they can go undetected after an accident. You will only know the extent of your injuries after a doctor evaluates you.
You need to collect evidence before the police clear the scene. Whatever is relevant to the accident is evidence. You can gather evidence through photographs and videos. If it was a slip-and-fall accident, take note of what caused it. This can be wet floors, potholes, loose floorboards, or uneven flooring. If it was a car accident, record the weather conditions, skid marks, lighting, etc. Don’t forget to get witness statements and contact information too.
Call an Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident in San Antonio, don’t wait to file a claim later. Although the Texas statute of limitation gives you two years to take legal action, it’s best to contact a San Antonio personal injury law firm as soon as possible. This gives the attorney a chance to collect evidence while it’s still fresh.
Call the Police
Always call the police, especially in motor vehicle accidents. Even if the other driver tells you not to because the accident seems minor, it’s better to involve the police. They will write the accident report, which is part of the evidence when filing a claim. Be honest when speaking about the events and only mention facts you’re sure of. If you suspect the other driver was drunk driving, you can mention this.
Here is a list of things you shouldn’t do.
Don’t Leave the Accident Scene
While most accidents are terrifying, and you may be tempted to leave, don’t do that. You could hurt your case. Stay put and collect evidence while waiting for medical care and law enforcement.
Don’t Allow Anyone to Bully You
It’s common for people at the accident scene to have their own versions of events. Some will dispute what you’re saying and make you question yourself. For instance, if a dog has bitten you, the dog owner may claim you provoked the animal. Do not accept you were in the wrong. Contact your attorney, who will know how to proceed with a dog bite lawsuit.
Don’t Admit Fault
Never admit fault in a personal injury case. While you should cooperate with law enforcement or the insurance company, ensure you don’t say anything that can be misconstrued as admitting fault.
Don’t Accept a Quick Settlement
Insurance agencies are in business and may try to give you a settlement that isn’t close to what you deserve. In most cases, the initial offer isn’t enough. Consult with your attorney, who can calculate how much compensation you should get.
While this list isn’t exhaustive, these are the basic things you should and shouldn’t do in personal injury cases. Also, because cases vary, it’s important to talk to an attorney who can give you advice based on your specific case.