Understanding The First Steps Of A Personal Injury Claim
Anytime you are injured due to the fault of another person, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. A personal injury claim can come out of all sorts of accidents, including but not limited to: car accidents, construction accidents, workplace accident, injuries due to defective products, injuries due to unsafe environments, etc. However, the time right after an accident can be very confusing and this can lead to a weaker claim if the proper steps are not taken. Below are a few of the things that should be taken into consideration if you think you may be filing a personal injury claim.
Evidence. If you’re thinking of filling a personal injury claim then one of the most important steps is making sure that you collect and preserve all necessary evidence. Examples of what counts as evidence are police reports, photographs of the accident or cause of injury, medical reports of the injury, etc.
Records. Good records lead to a stronger and more organized case. Keep track of everything that has happened since the accident. This would include medical bills, number of hospital visits, lost wages or work because of the injury, etc. If you speak to other people, possible witnesses, at the scene of the accident, make sure to note down what you talked about.
Witnesses. Make sure to collect all the names and contact information for anyone that may have witnessed the accident that caused your injury.
Notice. There is no set deadline before which you have to inform the other party that you intend to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. However, the sooner you inform the other party, the more you increase the chances of resolving the personal injury claim as quickly as possible, without tomalley delays. Keep in mind, notifying someone that you intent to file a lawsuit does not bind you to it – you don’t have to file if you decide not to, but the notification opens the door for settlement or arbitration talks.
Lawyers. It is entirely possible for you to settle a small personal injury claim on your own without involving attorneys. However, in most cases the other party, especially if the defendant is a business (for example if you slipped and were injured in a store) has a lawyer. It is recommended that you contact a lawyer in order to best protect your rights.
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Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.