Unexpected accidents can wreak havoc on a victim’s life. Physical pain, financial burdens and an inability to work are common issues accident victims face, but personal injury claims are designed to help victims enforce their legal rights to full financial compensation when their injuries were caused by negligence.
Report the Accident
When you’ve been involved in an accident, always report the incident to the appropriate authorities. In situations where laws may have been broken, victims can call the police to file an official report and document their claims. When you have been injured on someone else’s property, make sure to notify the business or property owner.
If you were injured at work, then it’s imperative that you promptly report the incident to your supervisors promptly. Laws such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 require that employers provide a safe work environment for all employees, but these laws can only protect employees when they have formally reported the incident that caused an injury. A copy of OSHA’s official Employee’s Report of Injury form can be found here.
Promptly reporting an accident allows investigations to begin right away. In motor vehicle collisions, police will diligently search for proof of broken traffic laws, interview nearby witnesses and collect any physical evidence that can help reveal the cause of the incident. Property owners or employers will also work to prevent further accidents and look into the cause of your injury.
Seek Medical Care
In serious situations, accident victims should contact 911 emergency medical services to respond to injuries. If the accident isn’t life-threatening, then victims may decide to transport themselves to the hospital or contact non-emergency services to arrange a ride. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate around 30.8 million individuals visit emergency rooms nationwide seeking treatment for injuries after an accident each year. You should always consult with a doctor about your accident even when you believe your injuries may be minor. This important step further verifies that an accident occurred and directly caused your injuries.
Document Your Losses
Damages and physical injuries arising from unforeseen accidents can be extensive. Victims may incur unexpected medical bills, lose the ability to return to work right away, find themselves unable to perform daily responsibilities and suffer property damage to their primary form of transportation. In addition, the physical and emotional strain of an injury can impede on the victim’s ability to function normally. The extent of these damages is usually a determining factor in whether a victim will choose to seek compensation from the responsible party. Begin documenting and keeping records on any expenses and losses you’ve incurred. This step will help expedite your claims, prove your financial damages and increase the likelihood that you receive your rightful compensation. Save any medical bills, store medication prescriptions from your doctor, request police reports regarding your accident, ask your employer for a copy of your average weekly pay and the days you’ve missed from work, save receipts proving the extent of your property damage and document any further losses caused by your injuries.
Consider Your Legal Options for Compensation
These expenses from injuries can quickly add up. It’s critical to keep documentation about these expenses to prevent yourself from settling for an amount that is far below the actual cost of your losses. According to firms like Accident and Injury Law Group, insurance companies or other legally responsible parties may attempt to offer you a small financial sum to cover expenses, but be wary of accepting anything less than the full and complete amount of your losses. As someone who has been injured by another person’s negligence, victims are entitled to be fully financially compensated for all provable losses.
When you’ve had an accident, always remember to report the incident, seek out medical treatment, document your losses and consider your legal options for compensation. It’s important to learn about your legal rights before accepting any lump sum of payment from an insurance company or other party. Following these steps will help protect your right to seek out full compensation for the injuries you’ve endured.