First Steps in a San Francisco Personal Injury Case
The very first step you should take when injured is to take care of yourself. This means seeking out treatment for your injuries. Once you have received your initial treatment, you can focus on a personal injury claim to cover the medical costs.
Most personal injury claims are made against businesses or organizations that through their own negligence allow the conditions for an accident to occur. To have the best chances of success in filing your claim, you will need to do the following:
Record Your Accident
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you can start gathering evidence right away. Taking pictures of the area where you were injured, obtaining contact information from witnesses, and documenting the injuries that you suffered. If the injuries you suffered were minor and you can seek treatment on your own, take a little time to snap some photos of the scene.
Keep Records of Your Bills
You should keep all the medical bills associates with the injuries received in the accident. This includes the initial treatment, future visits, and rehabilitation if necessary. In addition, you may have other bills associated with the medical treatments that includes lost wages and other expenses.
Inform Those Who You Plan to File Suit
It is important that once you have decided to file suit against the entity that you claim was responsible for your injuries that they be notified before you go to court. You will need to do so in a timely manner because there are statutes of limitations that apply. You only have a certain period of time to file a lawsuit and informing those who will be sued is the first step. No matter their response, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, you will need to hire an attorney.
Hire a Lawyer
If you have not done so yet, you will want to hire an attorney skilled in personal injury cases even if the party you want to sue is willing to settle. There are different reasons why having a skilled, experienced attorney by your side is important.
Most attorneys will have an initial free consultation where you will be informed of the options their services can provide. You may find that the services of the attorney will help you receive more compensation for your injuries and will increase the chances of a settlement that is in your favor.
Keep in mind that most lawsuits end in settlement, so your attorney will help you prepare for that eventuality. However, if your lawsuit does go to court, you will be fully represented. This is also true if you plan on filing a lawsuit against the government or an entity associated with the local, state, or federal agency. Your need for expert advice on what course of action to take is paramount, which is why having a skilled attorney is so important when you decide to file a lawsuit.