5 Steps to Take When You're Ready to Seek Legal Help After a Personal Injury

If you've been injured in a personal accident, you might be wondering what your options are for seeking compensation and moving forward. An attorney can help you build a case and get the compensation you deserve. Before you can receive compensation for your injuries, there are five steps you need to take.

A personal injury can have an incredible impact on your life. Getting hurt isn't just inconvenient - it can also be incredibly damaging. Long-term side effects of personal injuries include long-lasting pain, emotional problems, and financial difficulties. According to the CDC, there are more than 72 million doctor visits each year. Many of these are due to injuries sustained while jogging, slipping in public, or motor vehicle accidents. If you have been injured in an accident and you want to seek legal counsel, make sure you understand the five steps you need to take.

1. Get your medical records.

Did you seek medical assistance after the accident? If you did not, make sure you visit your physician as soon as possible. It's important to document the extent of your injuries. You may also need to provide your medical records when you seek compensation. Your medical records will be used to prove that you were injured, as well as the type of injuries you sustained. Additionally, your records may be used to calculate the amount of damages you are owed after a personal injury case. Understand that in order to share your medical records with the court, you may need to sign a release form that gives your doctor permission to share these documents.

2. Obtain a copy of the police report.

It's important that you bring a copy of the police report when you meet with your attorney. This report dates the accident and shows your attorney exactly what happened, where it happened, and who was involved in the incident. If you do not have a copy of the police report, you may call and request a copy of the report. In some cases, you can also request this directly online, which simplifies the process of receiving the records to show your attorney.

3. Bring photographs.

If you took photographs of the accident or of your injuries, make sure you save these. Your lawyer can use them and reference these pictures as he builds your case. Photographs can not only show the extent of your injuries because of the accident, but can also show what caused the accident. For example, if you were bitten by a dog, you may have a picture of the animal that attacked you. If you tripped at a store, you may have a picture of the damaged floor that led you to becoming injured.

4. Meet with your attorney.

Always meet with your lawyer promptly. Sometimes dealing with an injury can be challenging, but it's important not to wait. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to receive the compensation you need after your accident. Remember that each state has a statute of limitations. Once this time period has passed, you will not be able to sue for negligence.

5. Be patient

It's important to stay patient. Pursuing compensation after a personal injury can take time. Unfortunately, legal situations aren't resolved overnight. While many personal injury cases are settled out of court, The Law Dictionary estimates that 4-5% of personal injury cases do go to court. Understand that this can be time consuming and may impact how long you wait for compensation.

When you experience a personal injury, call your lawyer quickly to schedule an appointment and talk about your options.