Accidents can be shocking, and it’s rational to feel angered, stressed, confused, or even fearful following a tragic event. This is especially true when the damage caused was due to someone else’s negligent actions. The latest statistic shows that the ‘Windy City’ has recorded many injury cases. This checks out, given that Chicago is a hub of economic activity. The city serves as a busy traffic intersection, increasing the odds of an accident on the streets or in the workplace.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident, a Chicago personal injury attorney can help you pursue compensation and rightful justice after suffering a personal injury. Victims of faulty/defective work equipment, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of distress, invasion of privacy, etc., require legal assistance to navigate the claims process. Competent legal aid is the best path forward after suffering a life-altering event.
What to do after a personal injury accident
Personal injury encompasses bodily, emotional, and mental harm from someone else’s or an entity’s malicious or negligent actions. Personal injury laws allow victims to seek compensation for harm due to a third party’s actions or inaction. They enable victims to recover both economic and subjective damages.
However, not all personal injury situations are the same. But even so, the basic steps to approach these kinds of accidents are the same. Accidents can be stressful, but just keep a calm head and take the following steps:
Move to a safe place
It’s important to evaluate one’s surroundings after an accident. Move away from things that can cause further harm and examine yourself and others for injuries, then call for emergency medical help.
If you cannot move, stay where you are and call for help. Never assume that someone else will do these things. Call 911 yourself or confirm that someone else has done it.
You can collect evidence before others arrive at the scene, depending on your physical state. Take photos of the scene, debris, damaged equipment, torn clothes, injuries, and vehicle plates (in case of car accidents). Obtain witness information too. Third-party witnesses are onlookers, passers-by, and anyone who might’ve witnessed the incident. These people seldom hang around for long, so get their statement and contact details. Be respectful and seek consent to film their statements. Also, get their personal information, like phone numbers, so your lawyer can reach them if your case goes to trial.
While still at the accident scene, talk to the emergency responders to confirm they will submit a police report. Once police finish their report, you can get a copy online or from the incident-responding station. But ensure to get the officers’ badge numbers, names, and station addresses while still at the scene. Chicago allows police reports to be evidence in personal injury cases, so obtain a copy for your lawyer.
Get medical attention
Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention after an accident. You might have suffered internal injuries even if you are not in pain. The sooner you get checked, the better. Also, most insurers tend to argue against victims who delay seeking medical attention, saying it’s a sign their injuries weren’t serious after all.
After finishing with the accident scene, head to an emergency room as soon as possible. You can even call an ambulance for these services. Inform the doctor about how you feel. Don’t leave out any details. Just remember not to exaggerate or embellish.
Collect information and write your testimony
If you can move around after the accident, collect the information of other parties involved. Seek their contact information and insurance details.
Just be careful when talking with them to avoid giving the impression of admission of guilt. That said, don’t let them bully you either. Simply gather information, including scene photos, for later use, including making your statement.
Writing your testimony after an accident is important. It will help you recall the facts later when speaking with an attorney, so do it as soon as possible. Note everything you recall about the incident and how your injury impacts your life.
Don’t post details on social media, lest they be used against your claim. Be careful when discussing the accident and your injuries with friends and family. Ask them not to include you in their photos to avoid revealing information.
Hire a qualified lawyer
Pursuing a personal injury claim alone can be stressful. These cases also involve statutes of limitations, and the burden of proof and dealing with everything alone can be overwhelming. Furthermore, it’s hard to be objective when suffering pain because of accident injuries. That’s why it’s important to work with lawyers in such matters.
They bring legal practice knowledge, skills, and objectivity to help you obtain compensation and rightful justice. They understand all aspects of claims or court trials. They will examine your case and advise on the best possible action. However, most personal injury cases usually end in settlements because insurers don’t like to be dragged to court by aggressive attorneys.