Personal injuries can occur in a variety of contexts that include car accidents, slip or trip and falls, defective products, and aggressive domestic animals. When bad things happen, Missouri law may entitle you to seek compensation for your damages and losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, loss of future income, and pain and suffering.
You need to be proactive, however. Few defendants will voluntarily admit fault and no insurance company will settle a claim for more than nuisance value without receiving extensive proof of the extent of your injuries. If you are ever hurt in a car accident, public place, or even someone’s home, these four tips will preserve your rights to fair and adequate compensation.
- Collect Evidence at the Scene
No matter what type of accident you are involved in, gather evidence if you are able to do so, or ask someone else to do it for you. With automobile collisions, you should take photos of the damaged vehicles and surrounding area, get contact information for witnesses, and collect both contact and insurance details from the other driver.
With other accidents, such as trips or slips and falls, take photos of whatever caused you to fall, such as spilled drinks or objects on the floor. If you fell in a public place like a store or shopping mall, ask the manager to complete an incident report and give you a copy before you leave.
- Get Medical Attention Immediately
Go to the hospital emergency room or see your doctor even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. You could be in shock and more hurt than you realize. Some injuries are also not readily apparent.
Getting medical treatment is imperative. Not only will your injuries be treated, but they will also be documented. These records will form the basis of a future claim. Once your treating physician provides you with a treatment plan, be sure to follow it to the letter, or else your claim may be challenged later on.
- Notify Your Insurance Company
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, notify your insurance company after you’ve been seen by a doctor. When dealing with your insurer as well as that of the other party, do not admit fault or say anything that could give the impression that you were at least partially at fault or your injuries are not too serious. If they ask you how you are, simply tell them you are seeking treatment and direct further inquiries to your personal injury attorney.
- Retain a Personal Injury Attorney
When you’re planning on filing a personal injury claim, hiring an attorney will maximize your chances of getting full and fair compensation. Your attorney will examine the evidence, prevent you from making mistakes that could jeopardize your claim, and deal with the insurance company and opposing counsel on your behalf. Unlike your insurance company, which will try to use your words or actions to decrease the value of your claim, a personal injury attorney is committed to getting you the settlement or award you need to address your financial losses, compensate you for damages, and improve your recovery.
If you have been injured in Missouri, contact Ryan R. Cox & Associates. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of accident victims and will put our years of experience to work for you at the negotiating table or in the courtroom. Contact us or call our office today for more information or to schedule a consultation.