If you suffer an injury either on someone else's property or due to somebody's negligence, it can be tricky to know what to do. This problem is exacerbated when the person at fault is a friend or family member. There are some prudent measures that you should take if and when you are injured at the hands of another person, and that may impact your compensation for the injury.
When you are injured:
Seek medical attention. The first thing you should do when you are injured is to seek medical attention. Be sure to document any visits to the emergency room, as well as out-of-pocket costs for medications or doctor visits. Don't delay because you lack insurance, as this may prevent some carriers from covering the costs of your treatment.
Provide some proof. If you are injured on someone's property due to their negligence, such as a fall on unsafe stairs or you are bitten by their dog, try to capture proof of the incident with your camera. Take pictures of your injuries, the environment or situation that caused the injury, or damages to your car if you were injured in an auto accident. These may help later to show whether negligence was a factor in you becoming hurt.
Read anything you are asked to sign. If you are filing a claim with an insurance carrier, be wary about signing anything until you have recovered from your injury or until your lawyer has a chance to examine it. Insurance carriers will push to get you to sign-off on any future payments, compensation, and coverage as soon as possible, but be aware that some injuries may require medical treatment or follow-up later, which won't be covered when you sign-off with the insurer.
Try to talk it out. Don't try to go behind your friend or acquaintance's back to get the information that you need to file a claim, if you feel that their insurance should cover it. Talk to them about the incident; if they are truly a friend, they will offer to file a claim on your behalf. If they resist, it might be time to move on to the next suggestion.
Consult with a legal professional. The best advice for a legitimate injury is to speak with a lawyer that has personal injury expertise. These professionals are in the best position to advise you whether you should pursue an insurance claim or if you should take legal action. Many may postpone a retainer in lieu of a portion of any money recovered for your injuries and damages.
Be sure to speak to a personal injury attorney (such as one from Clearfield & Kofsky) before signing away any rights or compensation that an insurance carrier may be offering you. It is in the insurance company's best interest to get you to sign-off on your injuries and claim, but that might devoid you of any further medical treatment or future costs. Be informed about what your rights are, and make sure you are protected by consulting with a personal injury lawyer.Share