The steps apply to a variety of personal injury scenarios, but may not be complete for your specific situation. Call us at Birk Law Firm if you have questions.
Steps To Take If You Are Injured
Each Injury Process is Unique
People involved in an injury often don’t immediately realize the significance of their injuries. For instance, what appears to be a minor slip and fall accident, where you get right back up, may result in substantial injuries that develop later. After all, all of us have at some point slipped on a wet spot or tripped and it was no big deal. Even a slip and fall accident can result in major injuries to you, such as slipped discs in your back, head injury, etc. Further, the initial injury can lead to other problems, which can be part of your damages if we can relate them back to the initial injury.
Often when you suffer an injury, someone failed in their legal duty of care (defined as a “tort”). For example, property owners must keep their premises reasonably safe and clear of hazards that could cause a slip and fall. A doctor must perform surgery or other procedure at or above a certain standard of care. A product must be designed and manufactured and operate in a manner that is not dangerous to you.
If someone failed in their legal duty of care, and you are injured, you will usually have a viable claim against them for damages. Sometimes your damages are more than you realize.
You should always take several steps to “preserve” your case. Those steps will vary somewhat depending on the exact cause and nature of your injury and the specific facts of your case, but the following should be helpful.
Call 911. You should call for an ambulance if there is any chance that you have been seriously injured. Sometimes even a serious injury, such as brain damage, does not appear serious right away. In some cases, people have died afterwards even though they felt only slightly injured right after the accident. Also, if you don’t contact emergency medical help the insurance company or defendant will use that against you in a later claim or lawsuit.
Determine cause. Exactly what caused your injury? Was it a defective product? Was it ice that was not cleared or melted? Was it an uneven surface? Was it loose carpet? Was it an accountant that gave you bad advice (financial injury)? After determining the cause, notify the property owner or other relevant party at fault. If a substance on the ground caused your fall, take a sample to be used later as evidence.
Witnesses. Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses in the area. They can be helpful for your claim even if they did not actually see the accident or other injury. They can still provide information regarding the surrounding circumstances before or after the accident.
Photos. Get photos of whatever it was that caused your slip and fall. Take pictures of the direct cause as well as anything surrounding that could have contributed, such as dim lighting.
Keep records, lots of them, everything! Record everything you can. You cannot record too much. Write it down, keep copies, make a voice recording, film it; whatever you can do to create and keep a record of what happened before, during and after the incident that caused your injury. Your memory will never be as good as keeping good records. Include the names, phone numbers and anything else you think is relevant about other people involved. If you are injured at a place of business, write down names of employees with whom you spoke, and take special care to note anything they say that might indicate they were previously aware of the hazard. Oftentimes an employee will admit that the sidewalk, step or other problem was known by them and was neglected and not fixed. Other people may have been injured by same problem, which will help your case. Your case will be greatly enhanced when we can prove that the property owner should have known about the hazard and fixed it.
Get medical treatment. Be sure to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the incident if you don’t call 911 immediately. Toughing it out won’t help your case. Your refusal to seek medical treatment will be viewed as you not needing any treatment and therefore not injured. Keep all medical records, no matter how unnecessary some items may seem.
Hire an Attorney. If you or anyone with you was injured in the accident, it’s best to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. An injury attorney at Birk Law Firm can help you maximize your recovery if you’ve been injured. You may be entitled to more damages than you realize. For an injury case, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we only receive a fee if you’re awarded damages or receive a settlement. Contact Birk Law Firm today if you have suffered an injury.
ALL YOUR LEGAL NEEDS
Why Choose Birk Law?
Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.
Our clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.
We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.