If you have been in an accident resulting in a personal injury, you are probably feeling very shaken and confused still. Although accidents are a part of life, minor to major accidents, where you have been harmed, are not easy to pursue on your own. If you are seriously injured, pursuing a case pro per is often impossible. Many people have dozens of responsibilities in their everyday life, to be injured and take on a case of your own will only result in unneeded stress.
In any event where you have been wronged or injured you should immediately hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Filing a complaint in civil court is complicated and deals with specific form, language, and time restraints. Having an advocate on your side will ensure that you receive the best possible outcome of your case.
If you have already been injured and haven’t contacted a personal injury attorney, here are some great steps to take until you have contacted an attorney.
Do Not Discuss the Case
Any person that you talk to about your accident can be compelled to testify in a trial or could be called for depositions. You can state generalizations, but do not discuss if you think you might be at fault, or that you think maybe you were a little tired driving that night of the accident. The last thing you want is for a loved one to be hauled into court and exposed to the process. This is another reason why a personal injury attorney is so helpful, the conversations you have with your attorney are confidential.
Retain All Medical Records and Bills
Every doctor you see make sure to note that the injury was the result of the accident. Try not to give unnecessary details pertaining to the accident, only give the physician actual facts and not opinions. Your physician’s records will eventually become part of the case and the other side will have access to the them. You do not want anything in your medical records that could hurt your case. It is best to keep explanations as simple as possible until you hire an attorney.
Keep a file of all your records and payments you made on behalf of your medical payments. If the other party is found to be at fault, then you may be entitled to all the medical bill reimbursements, gas mileage to and from your doctors, medical equipment, etc.
Keep Track of Lost Work Days
You may be entitled to recoup lost wages as a result of your accident. Keep records of work days missed, pay stubs, and a note from our doctor stating that you were unable to work due to your injury. It is important to give your employer a doctor’s note as soon after the accident as possible if you have to miss work days.
If you are a homemaker/stay-at-home parent and your spouse misses work, or you have to hire a child care provider, make sure to keep all records and obtain a note from your doctor evidencing your inability to care for yourself or your children as a result of the accident.
The most important first step should be to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Many work on contingency, so you are not required to pay any attorney fees up front. However, if you have not had a chance to contact an attorney yet, the above steps will help organize your case and save your attorney time getting up to speed on the case. An important element to remember is that your insurance company should also be contacted as well. Your insurance is there to protect you in these specific instances and are the primary party to handle bills and any wages lost associated with the accident. Once your insurance pay out ceilings are met, then the at fault driver’s insurance company should cover the out of pocket expenses. Make sure to discuss this with your personal injury attorney as well as any payouts that have already occurred.
Contact us here for more information from Kim A. Bodnar, Attorney at Law or to schedule a consultation in our office in Pittsburgh.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.