When you are injured by someone else’s negligent actions, you have the right to file a claim and recover damages. This is the basic principle of personal injury law all over the US. However, one of the core aspects of winning your compensation is proving the other party’s fault and your injuries.
This is where a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer steps in. However, they will also need evidence to build a solid case.
Thus, your actions immediately after the incident are crucial for the success or failure of your personal injury claim. Here are the right things to do immediately afterward.
1. Report the Incident
The first thing to do after any personal injury event is to report it. Whom you report it depends on the type of accident:
- To the police in case of a car accident
- To the manager if you suffered a slip and fall on business property (retail store, office building, etc.)
- To the owner if you were injured on a private property or bitten by a dog.
Reporting car accidents is legally required.
2. Look for Eyewitnesses
Perfect strangers who saw what happened to you are extremely helpful in proving your claim. They are unbiased and their testimony cannot be doubted by any insurance adjuster.
Even if the only witnesses to your personal injury are friends and family members, their testimony is still valuable. An experienced lawyer may corroborate their statement through CCTV camera footage, for example.
3. Document the Accident Scene
Some of the most critical pieces of evidence a Philadelphia personal injury attorney will need are photos and videos of the accident scene. You must take these photos immediately after the event, covering:
- The hazardous condition that caused the accident
- Your injuries
- The property damage you suffered.
You must remember to do this even in the case of a car accident when you know that the police will investigate the crash scene. The officers may miss a crucial element, which can win your case.
If the accident happened on someone’s property – a business or an individual’s home – you must keep in mind that the owner will try to avoid an insurance claim at all costs. If you fail to document the unsafe condition just after the accident, when you come back later you will find it fixed. Thus, you will be unable to prove your case.
4. Seek Medical Attention Immediately after the Accident
Once you are done documenting the scene of the accident and talking to the eyewitnesses and the police (if applicable), go to the nearest hospital or ER for a checkup. If you are in pain and have severe injuries, ask for an ambulance to come and pick you up at the accident scene.
This is a key step in proving your injuries. If you walk away thinking that you only suffered minor injuries, but need medical care days later, an adjuster can cast doubt on your story. They will say that you probably got injured at home or in other circumstances and then remember the incident involving another person.
Even an experienced attorney will have a hard time disproving this narrative. Thus, the insurer will deny your claim and you will have to take the chance of suing the negligent person. And there is no guarantee that the jury will believe you.
5. Contact a Skilled Lawyer to Help You File the Claim
The last important thing to do to help your case is to enlist the help of an experienced attorney from the very beginning. Trying to file your claim or negotiate with the insurer is very risky.
Insurance adjusters are skilled at finding discrepancies in your story or tricking you into making self-incriminatory statements. A lawyer knows how to negotiate effectively, reaching the best result for you within an acceptable period. They have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies, and adjusters know this.
Bring Your Evidence to an Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer!
Getting compensation after a personal injury is not as simple as it appears. As the claimant, you have to prove everything by a preponderance of evidence. This is where a skilled Philadelphia personal injury lawyer steps in. They know how to present the evidence, how to interpret it according to the law, and how to prove your damages.
As a new client, you benefit from a free case review, so call us at 267-314-8024 as soon as possible after your accident!