People file personal injury cases in order to recover for the medical bills and other expenses they incur. The term “personal injury” covers a variety of situations. The most common cases that our accident attorneys handle include motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, and personal injury at work. Personal injury cases frequently arise from careless acts by an individual or a company. Our accident lawyers also specialize in personal injury cases such as those involving defective drugs or products.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Our accident attorneys have experience with cases such as:
- Accidents involving an auto, bus, truck, motorcycle, van, or other motor vehicle.
- Personal injuries from brake failure, tire defects, crushed roofs, airbags, defective seat belts, or child car seats.
- Personal injury involving boats, trains and planes, and involving dangerous products, including defective drugs, food poisoning, and recalled products.
- Personal injury at work, including industrial disease such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, chest diseases due to toxins, occupational stress and deafness, and repetitive strain.
- Personal injury involving premises, such as slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, swimming pool accidents, fires and explosions, dog bites and other animal attacks, and other accidents in the home.
- Catastrophic personal injury such as injuries involving the spinal cord or brain, or burns.
- Personal injury from other causes such as assault and battery or injuries suffered in a nursing home or at a sports event.
The purpose of personal injury law is to help accident victims recover money to pay their past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, changes in lifestyle, and related expenses. The accident attorneys at The Reeves Law Group have extensive experience in handling a wide variety of injury cases. For more information about our practice, please see our California Personal Injury Lawyer page.
What to Do in Case of a Personal Injury
If you or someone you know suffers a personal injury, you need to protect your legal rights as soon as possible. Here are some ways to help your injury attorney preserve your personal injury claim:
- Seek immediate medical attention for your personal injury before doing anything else. For example, if the injury is severe then call an ambulance and explain to your physician or paramedic how your injury occurred.
- Summon the police if necessary to document the accident, and cooperate with law enforcement and emergency personnel when they arrive.
- Take photographs of your personal injury, the property damage caused by the accident, and the accident scene.
- Preserve evidence of the accident that caused the personal injury, such as the defective product, or the automotive part that failed.
- Get names, addresses, and other contact information from those involved in the accident, such as the other driver in a collision, the owner of the animal in a personal injury caused by an animal attack, any relevant witnesses, or the owner of the premises where the accident occurred.
- Write down information about the accident, and take notes about conversations you have had with witnesses or those involved in the accident.
- Contact your health, home, or automobile insurance company.
In addition to this list of things you should do to help your accident attorney fight your claim, there are several things you should not do. For example, DO NOT:
- Move your vehicle following an automobile collision, unless necessary for safety or required by law.
- Remain in a danger zone (such as the middle of traffic).
- Throw away any potential evidence relating to your personal injury, such as the defective product, the automotive part that failed, or blood-stained clothing.
If anyone asks you for details about your personal injury, do not respond. The only exceptions are law enforcement personnel at the scene, medical personnel attending to your personal injury, or paralegals and other personnel from your personal injury attorney’s office. If any asks who caused your personal injury, do not admit fault or responsibility, and do not agree to any settlement until you speak with your personal injury lawyer. In general, before responding to any questions about the accident other than those just mentioned, wait to speak with your accident attorney about your injury case.
Preserving Your Claim
The first steps in preserving your personal injury claim occur at the accident scene. You should:
- receive immediate medical attention
- talk to law enforcement personnel who may have responded to the scene
- collect or preserve any evidence documenting the accident
Over the next few days and weeks, you should continue to work on collecting information that will help preserve your claim for your personal injury lawyer.
The more documentation you have, the easier time your accident lawyer will have making your claim. And the easiest time to collect information about your personal injury is just after the accident, when the evidence about the accident you suffered is fresh.
Some of the steps you can take to help build your case while recovering from your accident are:
- Regularly photograph your injury.
- Keep notes about medical treatment you are receiving for your personal injury. This might include doctors’ notes about your personal injury, medical prescriptions, notes about any pain you are experiencing from the accident, and notes about physical therapy or rehabilitation.
- Document the time your injury has kept you away from work, as well as any activities you can no longer pursue because of the accident.
- List any special expenses you incur due to your personal injury, such as home nursing care specialists, additional administrative personnel to help your business while you are incapacitated by your accident, and assistants you hire for household tasks and chores that are more difficult than usual due to your personal injury.
Be sure to keep all receipts for expenses relating to your accident. Label these receipts for your accident attorney, and organize them chronologically in a separate folder.
Keep all evidence regarding your personal injury organized for your accident lawyer by using manila folders and files. For example, you might take photographs of your injury every week, and keep all the photographs in chronological order in one manila folder. You might then have another folder in which you keep doctors’ notes about medical treatment for your injury. By organizing information about your personal injury in this way, you can more easily continue to build on your initial personal injury records. This will help your personal injury attorney track all the necessary details to pursue your claim.
Be sure to keep your personal injury lawyer informed about your record-keeping efforts regarding your situation. Ask your accident lawyer any questions you might have about organizing receipts and records to build your claim. Remember, your accident lawyer is your best guide and expert ally in building your case.