The Right Steps to Promote Your Legal and Physical Recovery
In the immediate aftermath of any type of accident, the adrenalin and emotions you feel can cause you to lose focus of the important things you need to do to give yourself the best chance at a full financial and physical recovery. Here’s a checklist of the things you should do:
- Get the medical care you need—Nothing is more important than your health. Take a quick assessment of your physical condition. If you are in significant pain or can’t move under your own power, don’t try to do so. This is not a time to be heroic or strong—accept that you’ve been hurt and may need to go to the hospital. Unless doing so puts you in greater danger, stay exactly where you are until emergency medical professionals arrive. They’ll know what to do and whether you need to travel to the hospital by ambulance.
- Even if you are able to move around, or don’t feel much pain or discomfort, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Go to an urgent care facility or schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Some symptoms will take hours or days to appear. In addition, the longer you wait to seek medical care, the greater the risk that you’ll suffer an intervening injury that will negatively affect a personal injury lawsuit, or that defense attorneys will argue that your injuries were not that serious.
Gather information and evidence—You can help your attorney and your case by getting the names and contact information from all parties to the accident, as well as any witnesses. Don’t rely on a police report, as it may be incomplete. In addition, take pictures of everything (with your phone camera, if necessary), including any injuries you suffered, any damage to property (such as vehicles), any conditions that contributed to the accident (such as a slippery floor, icy steps or slick pavement).
- Hire an attorney—Once you’ve had any necessary medical care, retain an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can be your liaison with insurance companies, helping you get the benefits to which you are entitled. Your attorney will also move quickly to preserve evidence and take the necessary steps to protect your legal claim.