FOR LAWYERS

Steps to Take if You've Been Injured by Someone Else

Being injured by another person can be a shocking and intense experience, leaving you unsure of how to seek compensation for your injuries and how to go about it. In this article, we provide an overview of some essential steps you should take when another person has injured you.

1. Seek Medical Attention

The first thing you should do when you've been injured is to seek medical care. Whether you visit your doctor, go to urgent care, call an ambulance, or find the nearest emergency room, your number one priority should be getting your injuries treated.

Not only is this important for your health as a way to take care of your injury so that you can make the best possible recovery, but it can also be helpful if you decide later on to pursue a personal injury claim. Having visited the doctor will give you concrete evidence of the nature and extent of your injuries that you can use to support your claim.

2. Take Notes and Photos

To best support your claim, you'll want to gather as much evidence as possible to prove your injuries, their extent, how they've affected you, your expenses, and so on. We recommend trying to gather as much of the following evidence as you can:

  • Detailed medical documentation about your injury from the doctors and medical professionals involved in your treatment 
  • Receipts for medication and medical devices
  • Records of correspondence with health care providers, including emails and notes on phone calls and doctor's appointments
  • Medical bills and receipts from any appointments, travel expenses to and from appointments, co-payments, and so on
  • Records of any information about the accident, such as how, where, and why it happened
  • Proof of financial losses such as lost wages
  • Names and contact information of witnesses
  • Photos of your injuries
  • Copies of scans and test results

In short, the more evidence you can gather, the better.

3. Having an Attorney Represent You

Your next step to consider after being injured by another person is speaking to an attorney with extensive experience in personal injury cases. An experienced attorney can help you with every aspect of your case, from determining your chances of succeeding to assisting you and advocating on your behalf in pursuing your claim so that you can achieve the best possible outcome and obtain the highest compensation in connection with your claim. 

Speaking to a lawyer may be a good idea even if you aren't sure you want to pursue a lawsuit. A good attorney will be able to present you with the information necessary for you to decide what course of action to pursue and which parties to seek compensation from, including third parties such as employers and insurers.

4. Decide if You Want to Pursue a Claim

If you decide to pursue a civil claim, you can expect the case to proceed as follows:

  • Your lawyer will investigate your claim, review your medical records and other evidence you've gathered
  • Your lawyer will likely send a demand letter to the other side's insurance company or legal counsel
  • There will likely be a process of trying to settle outside of court. Many personal injury cases are settled without initiating court proceedings, saving both sides time and money.
  • If you do not succeed at settling out of court, your lawyer will proceed to file a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Once the lawsuit is filed, the parties will engage in discovery, which is the process by which each side gathers and exchanges information and evidence relevant to the lawsuit
  • After discovery is completed, both sides are likely to file a motion for summary judgment, which is a motion requesting that the court decide the case in their favor without going to trial because there are no genuine issues of material fact, and they are entitled to a judgment in their favor as a matter of law
  • Note that settlement negotiations will be conducted throughout the entire process. Furthermore, depending on the jurisdiction, nature of the case, and various other factors, the parties may not proceed to trial unless they first conduct good-faith negotiations or, in some cases, attempt to resolve the matter through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings such as mediation.
  • If the parties fail to reach a settlement agreement, the case will go to trial, where the court will render a final judgment. 
  • Finally, a party who objects to the court's decision judgment will be entitled to file an appeal with an appellate court.

Featured Personal Injury Lawyers

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