Personal injury claims can arise from various circumstances and usually has two distinct aspects. One is the aspect of liability, and the other is damages. If you have suffered an injury or property loss or any loss, by filing a suit for personal injury claims you can seek compensation, legally termed as damages, from the defendant who has caused those losses or contributed to it. It has to be determined if the defendant is liable for the damages that you have undergone and what is the extent of damages and its nature. You could receive compensation for the losses provided you can prove liability and damages.
Automobile accidents are most common causes for filing personal injury lawsuit claims even though you can claim compensation or damages for losses or injury arising from many other instances like motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, dog bites, burn cases, wrongful death, premises liability, trucking accidents and Uber and Lyft accidents. The process of filing personal injury claims involves some special laws and best handled by Los Angeles M&Y Injury Lawyers who are experts in helping people with personal injury settlement according to what they deserve. Although the attorneys would do everything possible to recover maximum damages, you should set your expectations right by knowing the process in brief for establishing fault in an injury case and how to figure out the worth of the claim. Besides, you must be aware of the first steps you should take to protect your legal rights and help your case.
The first steps consist of taking notes of the incident, the accident, and injury, preserving evidence, and getting your medical records.
Take notes of the incident
Every piece of information about the accident, injury, and its effects on your life are critically important for filing a personal injury suit demanding for damages which would take a few months. The best way is to write down every detail about how the accident happened, details of injuries and how it impacts your life. Referring to written records is always more dependable than relying on memory. Make a note of everything that you feel could have some bearing on your personal injury claim.
Jot down what led to the accident, what you were doing at the time, where you were going, the weather, and the people who were around you and the time of the accident. Include every detail that you saw and heard including your feelings of pain and agony at that time. Note down what kind of suffering, discomfort, and hurt you have undergone after the initial trauma. Capture the type of anxiety and depression you go through. Do not forget to keep notes about the conversations of people involved at different stages related to the accident to support your claim.
The documentation is necessary because it would help to ascertain the economic loss as well as losses arising from social distress that the family has to undergo.
Since you have to prove your case to the insurance company, it is critically important to gather and preserve evidence related to personal injury case and find witnesses who can stand by you to strengthen your claim. You must become very active within the few days of the accident for recovering and preserving evidence by going back to the accident scene as well as documenting your injuries.
- Go back to the spotof the accident– Go back to the scene of the accident as soon as you can and take photographs of any condition that you feel should help to establish facts and support your claim. Gather every piece of evidence available and preserve it. You could also find some witnesses to the accident who might help to corroborate stated facts and even tell about other accidents that took place in the same spot.
- Preserve physical evidence– Physical evidence often becomes very important for establishing fault for an accident because it is much realistic and evident than describing situations and conditions about what happened. Items like an overhanging tree branch that obstructed the vision of the driver, a broken piece of stair from where you had fallen, or the dent in the car are some physical evidence that you have to retain carefully. The damage to the car could help to substantiate the extent of injuries sustained in the accident. Taking photographs is an excellent way of preserving evidence.
- Find out witnesses– Try to find out some witnesses to the accident who had followed the incident and remembers the events that took place. When witnesses describe incidents related to the crash, it confirms the facts that you have stated and their statement is highly valuable to bolster your claim. Moreover, they might provide additional information that you had perhaps overlooked but could be of immense importance to prove that the defendant was at fault. Even some witness who may not have seen the accident happen could confirm the pain and suffering that you had to go through at that time. It may also happen that they have heard the conversation of some other people involved in the accident that could absolve you of any fault.
- Document your injuries– You must also preserve evidence about your injuries, and the best way of doing it is taking photographs of the affected areas of your body that shows the cuts, bruises, swellings, and also reporting to a doctor who makes a record of everything and provided the initial medical treatment.
Medical records are a crucial element in a personal injury lawsuit, and you may have to get copies of your medical records which could have many other uses too. You can obtain your medical records from any medical provider because it is your right to get it as per HIPAA laws. The medical records should help to establish that the injuries had resulted from the accident and had not existed earlier.
What kind of compensation you get depends on the skills and expertise of the personal injury lawyer, whose reputation revolves around their capabilities of high-value claim settlement.