What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Injured And Need To File A Claim?
If the person is able to, they should take photographs with their phone at the scene of the accident. Most people have a phone with a camera. You should take a photograph of the area in which you’ve been injured. The next thing you should do, if you’re able to obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses. Next, find out who owns or occupies the premises and let them know you’ve been injured. Make sure someone knows you’ve been injured and if emergency services have to be called, tell them what happened and they will document it. Go to a doctor or go to an emergency room, if you can. Be sure to tell them exactly what happened and exactly where you’re hurting without minimizing your pain.
If you can, call a lawyer. That lawyer may be able to suggest to you the best hospital near you or the best doctor who does forensic medicine cases. Get as much data as you can, depending upon how you feel, but try very hard to get the name of at least one witness.
What Steps do I Take to Claim an Injury in Tampa, FL?
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident or a slip and fall accident, you may be wondering about how to collect financial compensation from the person or entity responsible. It all starts with filing a personal injury claim.
Most people may be intimidated by the process of filing an injury claim, but there’s no need to be. To help you understand the process, here are the steps to take to claim an injury in Tampa, FL.
- Take photographs: If you’re able to, take photographs at the scene of the accident with your phone. Photograph your injuries and the physical location where you were injured. Be sure to take photos of anything you may have slipped or tripped on (e.g., broken sidewalk, ice, etc.). If you were injured on a commercial property, then you should ask if there are video cameras that may have recorded the incident.
- Inform the owner: Tell the owner of the property that you had an accident on their property and you need medical attention. Ask to fill out an incident report.
- Talk to witnesses: If anyone saw the accident, ask for their names and contact information. They may be able to provide useful information later on if you case goes to court.
- Seek emergency medical treatment: Go to your doctor or to an emergency room. Tell them exactly what happened in as much detail as possible. Even if you are not feeling pain right after the accident, seek treatment anyway. You may be in shock, which can hide pain that you’ll feel later on. Also, if you avoid seeking treatment right away, the responsible party’s insurance company will use that as evidence that your injuries are not as bad as you claim.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer: An experienced attorney can tell you what your rights are and guide you as you take the next steps to claim an injury in Tampa, FL. Your lawyer can also give you a realistic estimate of how much your case may be worth.
- Setting up the claim: Your attorney will let the party responsible for your injuries and their insurance provider know that you plan to file a claim to recover damages. Sometimes, that alone prompts a quick settlement.
- Ongoing medical treatment: As you continue to receive treatment for your injuries, make sure you collect medical records and invoices from your doctor, physical therapist, pharmacist and any other medical professional you visit. Ask how long your treatment will last and if they can provide an estimate of costs. You also want to estimate any lost wages if you’re missing time from work due to your injuries.
- Negotiation: Your attorney can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Typically, there are a few rounds of “back and forth” before you reach an agreement. In most cases, an agreement on a dollar amount is reached and the matter is settled without ever having to bring the matter in a courtroom.
- Filing a lawsuit. If the steps above to not lead to an out-of-court settlement, then you can file a lawsuit in an effort to receive the compensation you deserve from the responsible party. Your attorney can advise you on how to best proceed with a lawsuit.
Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. That means, if you don’t take steps to file a claim in Tampa, FL before a certain period of time, then you’ll lose your chance at recovering damages.
Should I Call the Police if I’m Involved in an Automobile Accident?
If you’re ever involved in an automobile accident, then you should definitely call the police to the scene. Having a police report is always helpful for insurance purposes.
You should know that in Florida, a police report cannot be used as evidence in a trial. The police officer cannot be called as a witness unless he or she actually saw the accident as it happened. If they show up after the accident, then can tell the court what they found and what they saw at the time of their arrival, but they cannot give an opinion on who is at fault.
Are The Police Always Called In An Auto Wreck Situation?
The police should always be called in an auto crash for insurance purposes. Now, a police report in Florida cannot be used as evidence. The police officer cannot be called unless he or she saw your crash. They can tell what they found and what they saw. They cannot say who is at fault. The police report will record the name, address, phone number, and insurance company of the at-fault party. Don’t be afraid of a police report because it is usually more helpful than hurtful.
Who Should I Notify To Ensure Proper Documentation Of The Incident?
If the owner occupied the premises or if it is a large business, you should make an incident report. Some businesses now have cameras and, in Florida, you’re always able to get the video of the scene. Some of these cameras are so well placed that they show exactly what happened.
What Evidence Is Important To Gather From The Scene Of The Crash or Place of The Injury?
If you are able to get the names and contact information of witnesses, it will be incredibly helpful to your case.
For more information on the steps to take to claim an injury in Tampa, FL, call Bokor Law at (813) 251-1000 for an initial consultation.