An injury can be costly to treat, and it can take time to heal. Recovery might result in lost wages, physical and/or mental discomfort, and family activities that are limited. If the injury is caused by another person’s negligence, you have legal recourse to claim monetary compensation for your bills and expenses. Here is how the process works.
Organize Documentation and Receipts
Get a copy of the accident report, which may involve a police report depending on the nature of the injury. Keep your medical bills and receipts stemming from diagnosis and treatment handy and organized, so that the information is easy to find when needed. Copies of income reduction or loss are helpful, along with any changes in your job duties as a result of the accident.
Make a Timeline of Injury-Related Events
Write a chronological list of events that occurred before, during, and after the accident. Include who witnessed the key events as well as explanations for certain actions, such as why you were at the pharmacy or the condition of your vehicle at the time of the accident. Keep descriptions short but succinct to help create a helpful idea of when, where, and how the accident occurred. If other people are mentioned, include their contact information or have it ready.
Contact an Attorney
Make an appointment with a personal injury attorney to discuss the circumstances of your accident and the resulting effects of your injuries. Explain who you think is responsible, and why. Be honest in describing your role in the accident, if any, and the prognosis for complete healing as well as a return to your job if you have not yet done so.
Comply with Legal Proceedings
If the attorney thinks that you are justified in filing a legal claim for damages, there will likely be a series of legal events that enable you to explain why you feel the other party is guilty. The other person’s insurer may make settlement offers, but discuss them with your attorney before accepting one. If you do not settle the claim, you may need to prepare answers to interrogatories, which are questions from the negligent person’s attorney. You may be asked to give a deposition and provide witnesses to the accident or a medical expert to discuss your injuries and their impact on your health.
Filing a claim for an injury caused by a negligent person is your right. An attorney can help you understand the legal process that might lead to compensation for your losses.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.