In today’s world, many dangers can arise without warning. The old saying is true: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Therefore, it is important to protect your legal rights after suffering an injury. It starts with documenting the incident and reporting it correctly so no question was at fault for the incident. Don’t try to work through your injury. Take some time to heal, and let the doctors do their job! Get help from a lawyer who will ensure you can get back on your feet.
Reporting the incident correctly
Taking the proper steps to notify the authorities is extremely important. This ensures the insurance company will not try and weasel its way out of paying for what is a legitimate and fair claim. Once an accident happens, a personal injury lawyer in Waipahu advises you to report it as soon as possible. To protect your rights, you need to make sure you have a detailed enough account of what happened. Keep in mind that even if there are written records of the accident, this may not necessarily be considered a true and accurate record of events.
If you have suffered a minor injury and are conscious, make sure to get as much information as possible from the other party, including:
- Their name and contact information.
- The name of the insurance company if they have it.
- The address for this company so you can properly inform them about your injuries and damages.
- If they leave without speaking to you, get a description of how they were driving.
Be sure to take down all of this information in detail, including the date and time of the accident, weather/road conditions (if any), etc. You should also document any damage with photographs or video footage if possible.
On the other hand, if you are not able to record anything, take written notes about what happened. These should include details such as the time of day, weather conditions, traffic patterns in your area at that hour, etc. Talk to anyone that came forward to help and ask for their contact information in the event you need them as witnesses.
Types of injuries
From a legislative perspective, all states within the US have specific guidelines on what injuries they will compensate victims for. These include various mental illnesses, disabilities, and other conditions that may arise as a result of an injury. The most common injuries compensated are those that result in physical harm, including:
- Medical expenses
- For the treatment of pain and suffering resulting from the injury.
- Loss of income or earning capacity
The court will decide how much you should receive based on your financial situation. This is to keep it fair for everyone involved. For example, someone who makes $50,000 a year may have to pay for several years of lost income if the injuries were severe enough.
Lawyers are often required by law to give you notice before they file a lawsuit on your behalf. They must make it clear that they are representing you along with what type of compensation or other services will be provided to you.
Types of compensation and levels of fault
People who win personal injury cases often receive both compensatory damages and punitive damages. This depends on the level of misconduct or negligence that was present during the accident. For example, if the defendant is found to be only 1 percent responsible for your injury, you can still sue them for compensatory damages but punitive damages were not necessary. If the defendant was 99 percent responsible for your injury, however, compensatory damages would be nonexistent while punitive damages may still apply depending on the situation.
Statute of limitations
Each state has a deadline by which a personal injury case must be filed or else it will no longer be accepted. If you do not file, you give up your ability to obtain legal compensation for your injuries. This is different from criminal law in that you cannot be arrested or charged with a crime after the statute of limitations. If you are unsure what the deadline is in your state, contact an attorney immediately.
Some conditions can be very difficult to prove or receive compensation for (such as emotional distress) but for the most part, if you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should be able to receive compensation for it. It is important to speak with a lawyer to get the best possible representation in court.
Getting legal representation is important no matter what state you live in. This is the safest way to protect your rights and receive payment for any injuries you or a family member suffered. Keep in mind that you should not speak to anyone involved with your claim until you’ve contacted a lawyer and received their services.