What To Do After Suffering a Personal Injury: A Los Angeles Attorney’s Checklist

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What To Do After Suffering a Personal Injury: A Los Angeles Attorney’s Checklist

Any personal injury leaves you reeling with some form of pain. Not only is there physical pain, but there can be mental anguish making it hard to function. You have medical bills, loss of work, and the impact on your daily routines.

While you’re dealing with all of this, it’s easy to overlook the smallest things, and reaching out to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney may slip your mind. The attorneys at Shegerian Conniff came up with a checklist to help you take care of yourself immediately after the injury and in the months to come.

Document the Scene

If you’re in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or are injured in a workplace, document the scene if you can. Photos of the cars, property, and intersection signs all help in a car accident. In the workplace or a slip and fall, take photos of what caused the injury, such as water on the floor or ice on the sidewalk outside.

You may not be able to do this due to injuries. That leads to the next thing on our checklist. Take care of yourself. You may have to backtrack and document the scene and accident after a trip to the hospital. That’s okay. You might find that area businesses, homes, or bystanders have videos they can share with you.

Taking photos of your injuries is another part of documenting the scene. Do this if you can before you go to the hospital or urgent care. Otherwise, get photos when you’re with doctors.

If it was a workplace injury, getting witness statements from your co-workers is also important. It helps add validity to your claim, especially if the accident was related to something that people had pointed out that the employer needed to fix or change.

Get Medical Attention

You may not feel hurt right now, but once the adrenaline wears off, you could be in a lot of pain. Even a minor head injury could lead to a concussion. If paramedics show up, let them examine you. If they recommend you go to the ER, take up that offer. It’s better to learn you’re fine at the hospital than wait until you’re home and realize something’s wrong.

Plus, it gives you the paperwork you’ll need to get medical bills covered by insurance, short-term disability, or other coverages that help with your wages and medical expenses. It ties the event or accident to the injuries you received.

Take any recommended treatment plan from the doctors you work with and follow them. If you’re told to go home with someone watching you for a day, make sure you’re not alone. A concussion requires someone to keep checking on you. If it’s recommended that you work with a physical therapist for the next few months while a broken leg heals, make sure you attend every appointment.

If you don’t follow doctor’s orders, there’s a chance that any claims you make could be denied. It could be argued that you didn’t do as you were told and that caused the injury. You want to have proof of your injuries, recovery process, and all follow-up care.

Call a Los Angeles Attorney

We’re not putting this task at the end of the list. Your best time to talk to a personal injury attorney is when you’re at the hospital and haven’t forgotten tiny details. Make a call and listen to the attorney’s advice. It helps you know exactly what else is needed. 

Plus, you have someone to support you through your recovery as it can be challenging trying to manage your pain and have to talk to insurance adjusters, police, and other professionals who are trying to determine responsibility and financial matters.

Be Careful Talking to Others and Do Not Post on Social Media

You might be tempted to talk about what happened, but don’t do this. Anything you say on social media or to others could be used against you if there is a lawsuit. 

If the other party’s insurance company calls, you can give your account and share your name, address, phone, and insurance information but don’t continue past that. Reach out to an attorney to negotiate a settlement or file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. The insurance company can work with them from that point on.

Make Sure the Correct Paperwork Is Filled Out

If you were in a car accident, you have to fill out a police report. Make sure you take care of this as soon as you can. If you wait too long, you could find yourself in violation of DMV regulations. In California, you have 10 days to complete the SR-1 when the accident involves injuries. 

For a workplace injury, make sure your HR has filled out an incident report and has all of the information that’s needed. If you were involved in a slip-and-fall at a store or restaurant, verify that they’ve filled out an incident form and any necessary paperwork with their insurance company and ask for a copy. 

If they won’t give you a copy, ask why. You have the right to a copy of the form. Do not sign any paperwork without first talking to a personal injury attorney. They could be trying to get you to sign away your right to sue for the injuries you received.

Do Not Discuss Fault

Never admit fault or suggest that you might have been at fault. Let the police or authorities do their job. They can do over the evidence and witness reports and determine fault. 

California is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning even if you are partially at fault, you can still sue for damages. It’s always best to not state any wrongdoing. Don’t give the opposing party’s lawyers anything to use against you.

Organize Your Forms and Evidence

Successful personal injury claims usually have a lot of detailed records. Paperwork helps prove your case. The paperwork you want to have available includes:

  • Accident or incident reports
  • Insurance paperwork
  • Medical records and bills
  • Receipts for any medications or medical supplies your doctor recommended
  • Receipts for things like transportation to appointments, medical equipment like crutches or a wheelchair, etc.

If you’re unable to work, have a statement from a doctor on how long you’ll be out of work, what your weekly wages are, and if you’ll be missing out on things like overtime pay.

A plastic file folder with the paperwork organized by date and purpose helps make it easy to find what’s needed while building your case. 

Keep in Touch With Your Attorney

Keep talking to your attorney as you heal. You’ll want to stay updated. If there’s something you need to do, you’ll know and can take care of it ASAP. Your attorney will share what stage your complaint is at, if you’ll need to go to court, or if the other party is trying to settle. 

Your attorney’s advice offers you guidance on whether a settlement offer is fair or if you should take the case to court. This is why it’s a good idea to build a rapport with your attorney and make sure you know what’s going on at all stages of your complaint.

Shegerian Conniff specializes in Los Angeles personal injury cases. Reach us online or by phone for a free consultation. We’ll go over your case and take the stress off your shoulders if we feel you have a valid complaint.

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