Your Personal Injury Checklist

No matter which type of accident you might have experienced, suffering an injury can be traumatic. You might be left with property losses, time lost from work, mounting medical bill, and physical limitations and pain from your injuries.

When an accident results because of the negligent acts or omissions of other people or entities, personal injury law offers a method for injured victims to seek and recover compensation for their losses. This injury checklist can help you when you are involved in an accident so you can protect your rights and have the evidence that you need to obtain a successful outcome for your personal injury claim.

At the accident scene: Photographs and witness names

Whether you are injured in a motor vehicle collision, a slip-and-fall accident, or another type of accident because of the conduct of someone else, there are some steps that you should take while you are still at the scene of the accident. If you can, take pictures of the scene, or ask someone else to take them for you. You can use your smartphone to take pictures.

If your accident was a motor vehicle accident, take pictures of the damage to both of the involved vehicles, their relative positions, and the surrounding scene. You should also take pictures of relevant things like nearby traffic signals, speed limits, the weather, the road conditions, and speed limit signs.

If the accident was a slip-and-fall, take photographs of what caused you to fall such as a spill, debris on the floor, a hole in a parking lot, or other defects. Photographs and video of accident scenes provide strong evidence to support your personal injury claim. Finally, if there are witnesses who saw what happened, encourage them to remain at the scene to give statements. Ask for their names and contact information so they can be contacted later by your attorney.

Get immediate medical attention

You need to seek a medical evaluation after an accident. Some injuries do not show symptoms for days or hours after an accident. Seeking immediate medical attention can help to aid in your recovery and to prevent complications. It can also help to show a link between your injuries and the accident.

If you wait to seek treatment, the insurance company will likely try to argue that your injuries were caused by an intervening event. Even if you are unsure if you have been injured, you should see your doctor for a thorough medical examination. A doctor may identify internal injuries, soft tissue injuries, and other injuries that you initially didn’t notice and that could be potentially serious.

Get copies of the police reports and incident reports

After you have sought medical attention, you should get copies of the police reports that were written after your accident. If you suffered a slip-and-fall injury, you should get copies of any incident reports that were prepared by the store or business. These reports can help your lawyer to understand what occurred and to determine fault. You can obtain a police report from the police station where your accident happened. Incident report copies should be available from the store or business.

Obtain your medical records, but do not sign any authorizations

The at-fault party’s insurance company may ask you to sign a medical authorization to allow it to obtain copies of your medical records. You should not sign an authorization without talking to your lawyer. Authorizations are used by insurance companies to dig through the medical records of injury victims to find an earlier incident on which they can blame their injuries. You can simply tell the company that you want to talk to a lawyer before you will sign anything.

You should obtain a copy of your medical records from the doctors and hospitals where your injuries were treated and bring them with you to your consultation at a personal injury law firm. Your attorney will review your medical records to determine the seriousness of your injuries and your likelihood of recovery. Your treating physician may also be an invaluable expert witness in your case later.

Schedule an appointment with The Law Offices of Jose M. Francisco

Any time that you are injured in an accident because of the actions or omissions of someone else, you should talk to an experienced injury lawyer. Call the personal injury law firm of Jose M. Francisco to schedule a consultation as soon as possible after your accident. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help to protect your rights, negotiate on your behalf, and build a stronger case for you. With our help, you may recover damages that fairly compensate you for both your economic and noneconomic losses.

Save your receipts and medical bills

After your accident, it is important for you to be organized and to save all of your receipts and medical bills that are associated with your claim. You should save the following types of receipts:

  • Alternate transportation cost receipts
  • Medication receipts
  • Rental car receipts
  • Transportation receipts when you have to see an out-of-town medical specialist
  • All hospital bills
  • Ambulance transport bills
  • Bills for prosthetics and medical devices
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Doctors’ invoices

Copies of your insurance policies

Even if another driver caused your accident, you should bring a copy of your policy to your lawyer. Some policies have additional coverages that might provide a source of recovery

Provide a copy of your automobile insurance policy for your attorney to go over. This way he can see if you have a policy that will cover your expenses or if you should file a lawsuit to seek compensation from the at-fault party. If you obtained a copy of the at-fault driver’s insurance card at the accident scene, provide it to your attorney for his review.

Documentation of your income losses

If your injury has forced you to take time away from your job, you will want to provide documentation of your income losses to your lawyer. Get copies of your paystubs from before you were injured together with any documentation showing your missed time. If you are disabled because of your accident and can no longer work, proving what you could have earned will be important to your case. Bring this documentation to your attorney to review.

Keep all of your medical appointments

It is important for you to follow your doctor’s recommendations and to keep all of your medical appointments. This can help to prove the severity of your injuries while also helping you to recover. You should also be honest about your injuries and avoid trying to exaggerate them.

If you have been injured in an accident, following the steps on this checklist can help you to build a stronger claim. Following these steps might also help to convince the insurance company that it should settle your personal injury case instead of litigating it at trial. Contact a Miami personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Jose M. Francisco to learn more about your rights and your potential claim.

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