Personal injury, generally as a result of an accident, malpractice or negligence on someone’s part, can be either physical or psychological. Common types of claims can include slip and fall, automobile accidents, work related accidents, injury from an assault, and accidents due to defective products. A personal injury can occur anywhere, including inside someone’s home, in the workplace, in a business or even out of doors. Medical and dental malpractice and product liability matters are all incorporated under the banner of personal injury, however, different injury claims in different states are subject to different rules of law and statues of limitations (these are filing deadlines) which must be adhered to strictly. It is advisable to consult an attorney as a first step if you feel you have a case for a personal injury lawsuit in order to properly protect your interests.
A potential claim for personal injury may result, for instance, if an automobile driver were to run a red light and smash into your vehicle, causing you injury, or if a medical provider failed to properly treat an illness, misdiagnoses an illness or botches a surgery, causing you further injury or even death. Therefore, a personal injury clam can be made for pain and suffering, disabilities caused by treatment or accident, permanent injuries or wrongful death. A claim can also be made in the case non-physical injuries, such as extreme emotional distress or verbal abuse.
Immediately following an accident, or as soon as possible thereafter, generally within the first few days, you should attempt to make a written record of the accident, your injuries and other matters which concern you, such as lost wages, etc. It is important to this right away so that the facts will still be clear. You should additionally maintain a record of any conversations that have taken place between participants in the accident or injury. It is also important that evidence from the scene of the accident or injury is preserved as it was at the time of the accident. Therefore, it is wise to take pictures or collect any physical evidence which can support your case. You should also attempt to get names, addresses and statements of any witnesses to the accident or injury. Finally, it is necessary that all responsible parties are notified of an intention to file a claim. In some cases, as with a government agency, such notification must happen within a very short period of time following the accident. Simply notifying the responsible parties that you plan to file a claim does not obligate you to do so, but it does preserve your rights to file should you wish to in the future. Keep in mind that statutes of limitations govern how long you can wait before filing a claim.
All of the above steps can be handled through the assistance of a personal injury attorney, who will be well versed with the rules regarding personal injury matters in your state, which is why you want to seek their advice as soon as possible.