If you’ve recently been involved in a major accident and suffered a serious and debilitating injury, then you are probably thinking about what your next steps should be. A settlement is usually in order, but the particulars of what precisely, it entails can be a bit difficult to ascertain without proper assistance. Each situation is different, and a big part of the outcome depends on the kind of paperwork and evidence you are able to present to prove the fault of the offending party. Read on if you’d like to know more about how to protect your rights in the event that you suffer a serious injury.
Keep the Evidence
Virtually, nothing is more important than maintaining a paper trail in the aftermath of a major accident. In the court of law, everything is determined by a close examination of the evidence. It’s not only about establishing fault, but even the opposing party will need this information to fairly determine your due compensation. The paperwork is the skeleton of your case and will determine its strength, especially if the matter goes to court. Therefore, the more preparation and work you or your loved ones manage to do on your behalf will determine whether or not there will be a favorable outcome in your settlement.
It’s important to note that we don’t just mean the paperwork relevant to the case or your medical bills. This should also include testimonials from witnesses, if any, who were present at the time and can accurately attest to the series of events that led to your injury. Collect their names and transcriptions of their accounts, and also make sure to submit a copy of a police report if you have one available.
Prepare the Case
In addition to preparing the paperwork and any testimonials from present witnesses, you should work to prepare the case itself. In this case, hiring an attorney is the best course of action. Getting a favorable settlement depends largely on the kind of legal representation you have access to. Furthermore, as the Pasadena personal injury lawyers will say, a lawyer with extensive experience in personal injury lawsuits will be able to help you maximize the settlement offered, ensuring fair compensation. This will be especially helpful in the event that your case ends up going to trial since an attorney will be able to help you properly navigate the state’s complex set of legalities.
It is important to get medical treatment right away, even if you’re not yet sure of the extent of the injuries or how seriously you’ve been hurt. Only a medical professional can make this judgment call since you may very well be in a state of shock in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Your physician may require that you take physical therapy for a period, or may prescribe a kind of medication to help you with pain. If you are under significant mental distress or find yourself experiencing mental health conditions such as PTSD, your physician may refer you to a therapist. These are all things you need to keep track of, including the contact information for each specialist or therapist you happened to visit. Even the evidence for seemingly inconsequential things, such as bandages or any over-the-counter drugs should be included in your records.
Stay Away from Social Media
Stay away from Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform for as much as you can. This might seem somewhat extreme, but nearly every legal representative out there worth their salt will tell you the same as anything you post on social media can potentially be used against you. If, after a personal injury, you post a picture of yourself hanging out with friends or engaging in any sort of physical activity no matter how benign, it can be used to undermine your case and even cheat you out of a fair settlement. Be aware of the fact that the offending party will be looking for any reason to deny you the monetary compensation you deserve, so it’s best to keep things quiet and not even talk about it much with anyone beyond your family or legal team.
Finally, it’s tempting to think that you should accept the first offer that comes your way and be done with it. But, you could potentially be keeping yourself from accepting a far more equitable settlement by doing so. If your personal injury lawyer advises you to continue fighting the case, then listen to what they have to say; they see the potential of your case from a professional angle and have no reason to force you to undersell.