Preserving Your Legal Rights After an Accident

Preserving Your Legal Rights After an Accident

Accidents happen everyday in America. In fact, they seem to have become an inevitable fact of our busy lives. Even so, it is not necessary for those who are the victims of accidents to suffer in vain. Our legal system has created laws to protect those who have suffered injury at the hand of another. If you or someone you love has suffered personal injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you have the legal right to hold that party responsible for your losses and suffering. It is important, however, to take certain steps to ensure that your rights are protected.

1. Take notes – The personal injury claims process is often lengthy and complex. Sometimes it is difficult to remember all the details of the accident. Taking notes will help you to remember the precise details of the accident as well as the subsequent personal injury or harm.

You will want to include in your notes the following: what happened before, during, and after the accident, time and location of the accident, who was present at the scene and what was said. It is especially wise to take notes after conversations you have with the various parties involved including doctors, attorneys, and insurance adjusters. Finally, you will want to take notes as to the extent of your injuries. This should include information about the effect the injury had on the different aspects of your life (for example, work, social, and/or personal).

2. Maintain a file of important documents – The court will probably require you to provide documentation of your injuries. Therefore, you should maintain a file of all pertinent documents. Such documents might include doctors’ letters, bills, or other medical records, correspondence with attorneys and insurance companies, pictures of the accident or injury, or any other documents you think might be relevant.

3. Preserve evidence – You will be responsible for proving your case, and presenting evidence is an important part of this process. While it may impossible to preserve all of the evidence, you should try to preserve as much of it as possible. For instance, taking photos is one way of preserving evidence after an accident. Also, if you have been injured as the result of a defective product, you will want to save that product as evidence for your case. If you’re not sure whether something is considered evidence, save it anyway. You never know what will help you prove your case.

4. Be aware of the statute of limitations – All personal injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations, which essentially limits the time you have to file your personal injury claim. Each state determines its own statute of limitations, so it is important to know the law in your own state. Typically, the statute of limitations begins to run on the date the accident occurred. There are, however, exceptions to this, especially since the type of personal injury claim often plays a role. Also, you should not automatically conclude that you cannot file a claim because the statute of limitations has expired. Sometimes there are circumstances that will extend the amount of time you have to file.

5. Contact a qualified attorney – There are many different types of personal injury cases including (but not limited to) those stemming from vehicle accidents, medical mistakes, product or premise liability, construction accidents, and animal bites. If you or someone you love has suffered injury as the result of an accident, you may be eligible to receive economic recovery from those who are at fault. Contact us for a FREE consultation with a caring and competent attorney who can help you understand the law and protect your rights.

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