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Personal Injury Legal Advice

Give yourself the best chance of winning a personal injury case

1Receiving a personal injury in itself can be stressful enough. Filing a law suit after an accident can sometimes add to the stress. In this article we run through what you might expect and what you should do immediately after an accident to ensure you have the best possible case.

Take notes

As soon as you have received all relevant medical assistance, it is important to write as much information down about your accident as possible. Ensure to write down everything that happened before the accident and how the accident has effected your life and your work.

Sometimes cases can go on for 6 to 10 months after your accident. Writing everything down will help to remind you of all the details and give you a much stronger case if it comes to it.

Here are some important things you should make notes of after your accident:-

  • Your accident – everything before, during and after including who you were with and how it happed
  • Your injuries – a detailed description of any personal injury you may have sustained from your accident. Make a note of any after affects you may have suffered such as loss of sleep, pain, discomfort or time off work as these may help you claim any further compensation you may be entitled to
  • Further losses – this may be in the form of economic, social, educational, work, vacations etc
  • Relevant conversations – make a note of any conversations regarding your injury or the accident. This includes conversations with witnesses, insurance people or medical professionals

Collect as much evidence as possible

Collecting and keeping as lots of evidence regarding your injury will give you the best possible personal injury case. Here are some important things you should try to carefully document:-

  • Photographs of the scene – try to take photos/ videos at different angles but preferably at the same time of day as your accident
  • Physical evidence – this could be a crooked paving slab or dent in a car. Try to preserve any evidence to show in court. If you are unable to preserve it take photos to show later as evidence
  • Get witnesses details – witnesses at the scene will provide valuable details which could provide information which you were not aware of. They will also be helpful to back up what your claiming and will strengthen your case even further. Be sure to get statements and contact details
  • Evidence of injury – report the injury immediately to your doctor and get copies of your medical records. Also take photographs of your personal injury to prove everything your saying is correct

Getting your medical records

According to The federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) it is your right to get a copies of your medical records. It may take up to 30 days to receive these so be sure to apply early enough for your case.

Notifying people responsible for the accident

You will need to notify the people who are responsible or who might be responsible for your accident. At this stage you do not need to give details of the accident or your personal injury but just when and where the accident took place.

Once you have decided who was at fault you will need to notify them with a letter. There may be more than one person involved so you will need to write to all of them. This letter should just be asking for a written response and should only contain basic information such as where the accident took place. Your initial notification letter should not describe whose fault the accident was or the extent of your personal injury.

You should ensure that you notify responsible parties of your accident as soon as possible. The earlier the better.2

Determining responsibility

This is often called determining liability. This can be complex and depends on whether or not someone was careless. A basic rule for determining who is legally liable for an accident is if one person was less careless than another, they must pay for the damages.

Of course it isn’t always quite as simple as that. Read more about determining liability for car accidents here. A personal injury attorney could also help with determining who’s responsible.