Every year in the United States around three-quarters of a million personal injury claims are filed, based on incidents of injury generally involving one of the following: vehicles, public space, the workplace, medical treatment, and faulty products.
If you are involved in an unfortunate incident and believe you may have a valid personal injury claim it’s really important that you secure certain evidence, whether you choose to pursue a legal claim independently or to use legal services.
Here we provide a brief outline on the steps you should take following a personal injury, before sharing some tips on how to decide if seeking legal help is a viable option.
4 things you should do after experiencing personal injury (if realistic)
- Take photographs of any damage done, or obvious problem with any property or other item involved, as well as visuals of your injuries. (If you cannot actually take pictures try to source them from witnesses, the police or other officials etc).
- If relevant get a copy of official reports from the emergency services.
- Place a ban on using your social media pages to document the incident as this can cause issues down the line.
- Check the statute of limitations for the type of incident you have experienced in your state. There can be a lot of variation.
Do you need legal representation or advice?
The short answer is – not necessarily; it really depends on how serious and/or complicated a claim is. If you have a relatively minor claim it is definitely possible to represent yourself, agree on a settlement, and cut out the fee a lawyer would take, but there is still a good amount of work involved, and specific protocol to follow. For example, you will be totally responsible for gathering evidence of liability, and for calculating your proposed level of compensation, before writing a demand letter.
The best candidates for self-representation are those with some legal knowledge or experience, an articulate manner of communicating, and the confidence to present evidence in a professional and organized way.
Choosing to seek legal help
In the majority of cases, people choose to hire a personal injury attorney to act on their behalf, relying on their expertise to hopefully secure an out of court settlement which is generous enough to easily cover the legal fees involved. Plus, specialist personal injury attorneys are able to cover all angles for compensation, including lost earnings and emotional distress.
For those looking for an accident or injury lawyer in Bellingham get in touch with Tario Law.
When a claim is not completely straightforward or is likely to attract a huge payout, then it’s always worth seeking legal advice as these are the cases more likely to be strongly disputed. (Be aware that many personal injury lawyers are very good at settling before a case goes to court, but consequently have limited experience of actual trials – something to bear in mind in complicated cases.)
Choosing to pursue a legal claim for personal injury is an individual choice, but there are plenty of options for advice and support out there for those who decide to go ahead and seek compensation.