A personal injury can have a serious impact on someone’s life. Whether you suffer from a car accident, bus accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, fire or explosion accident, or on-the-job injury, there are things that you should do right after the accident to ensure you protect your rights and get everything that you require for recovery.

1. Verify the Situation and Injuries

If you have been injured in an accident, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible. Contact an ambulance or go to the hospital. This isn’t the time to worry about the cost — nothing is more important than ensuring your health. Your well-being takes precedence. The longer you wait to receive medical attention, the more the insurance companies can use it as an argument that you were not injured in the accident.

Even if you feel fine, still get checked out. Some injuries do not present right away, and hesitating can put your health in jeopardy.

2. Call Law Enforcement

It is important to have a report from the police. The authorities will record the incident details and do a preliminary investigation of the accident. They will obtain the insurance information from both parties, interview the witnesses, and provide a determination of who was at fault in the accident. The police report will be integral evidence when you go to file a claim or lawsuit. Always call the authorities and get a report after the accident.

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3. Record All the Details

If your injuries do not prevent you from doing so, take photos and make videos of the scene. These may end up being important pieces of evidence in your case. Make sure you obtain as much information at the scene of the accident as you can, including witnesses’ names, phone numbers, or other types of information that could be helpful for your case.

4. Pursue Medical Care

If you did not receive emergency medical attention, it is important to seek medical care to document and treat your injuries. Even if you feel mostly fine, it is still advisable to speak with a doctor and receive a full check-up. A small pain could get intense over time and become a serious injury. Some symptoms get worse if left untreated. Internal bleeding, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other wounds can take days to manifest before displaying symptoms. Waiting only puts your health at risk.

Let your medical provider document your injuries to create a record that will preserve your rights and get the compassion that you deserve for all the pain caused by the accident. Keep in mind, the longer you wait to get medical attention, the more likely an insurance company will use that delay against you.

5. Don’t Make Any Statements

After you have been injured in an accident, you could get a call from an insurance representative to discuss your injuries or a letter requesting access to your medical records. They could tell you that they just need a statement to clarify everything, but you don’t need to say anything. It’s in your best interest to say no. Do not sign anything that your attorney has not told you to. Your lawyer can handle all correspondence on your behalf.

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6. Contact a Professional Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident, you should seek the assistance of an expert lawyer to represent you. A personal injury lawyer from Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson can work with you through the entire process, notify your insurance company, and help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Each state has its own laws detailing how long you have to file a lawsuit after suffering a personal injury — this is called the statute of limitations. In New York, the deadline is set at three years in most cases. However, there may be exceptions. A lawyer can help you understand your deadline and ensure you pursue compensation before time runs out.

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