Filing A Personal Injury Claim? 3 Things You Should Do
While it may be true that an accident can occur at any time and at any place, it can be extremely overwhelming. It can also leave you very unsure of what to do next. Whether it is a dog bite, slip-and-fall or a vehicle accident, an unexpected accident can leave you at a loss. However, if you want to file a personal injury claim, it is important that you take the appropriate next steps to ensure that you are ready to file that claim when the time comes. Here are three things that you need to do:
1. File a Report with the Proper Authorities.
When any type of an accident occurs, it is crucial that you file a report with the police. This ensures that there is an official record of the accident on file. That official record will include all details of the accident, including the names and contact information for all those involved. The police will take detailed notes of what happened and include in the report, which can be used later if and when necessary. Also, in some cases, the police report may be able to be used as a negotiation tactic during settlement discussions. So, it may seem as if it is unnecessary to call the police to file a report, but it really can make a big difference down the road.
2. Keep Records of Injury-Related Expenses.
You need to also make sure that you keep a record of all things related to your accident. This helps to paint a clear picture of potential damages. This needs to include all of receipts from when you have visited your family physician and any specialists, picked up prescriptions, etc. You should also keep copies of any non-monetary records that you have, as these will document the extent of property and physical damages.
It may also be a good idea to go ahead and write down your thoughts, particularly while they're fresh in your mind. Write down exactly what happened and take note of as many details as you can, including the weather. Aside from the accident itself, you can also begin detailing your injuries, your recovery and your mental state. By writing everything down, it may help you in the event that you need to recall something in the future.
3. Never Sign Anything Without Understanding It First.
When you are in an accident, there is a good chance that there will be forms placed in front of you that you will need to sign. Forms may come to you immediately after the accident or months after the accident. It doesn't matter when they are presented to you – just make sure you know what you're signing before you sign it. Do not sign a single form until you have read it over thoroughly and you understand it fully. If you aren't sure what they mean, speak to a personal injury attorney first. This is particularly true if there is any mention of forfeiting your right to filing a legal claim or releasing another individual from any liability.