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What Should I Do if I Need to File a Personal Injury Claim?

By Demetry Pikrallidas

Accidents can happen at anytime, but handling the legal aspects of a personal injury claim can be challenging. Personal injury claims can involve many different types of injuries, including automobile, truck, Metro, Motorcycle and Pedestrian Accidents.
Here are some Tips:

1) Seek out medical attention immediately: If you have been seriously injured, the first thing you should do is to get medical attention. Do not attempt to handle any claims before you have properly addressed your injuries with a medical professional.
You should be aware that failing to seek medical attention after an accident can sometimes reduce the amount of damages you are able to recover. As the injured party, you may have a duty to “mitigate your losses”. This means that you must take steps to ensure that your own neglect does not cause any further injuries or economic losses.

2) File a Police Report: Filing a police report can help ensure that you have records of important information. This may include the names and contact information of other parties that were involved.

3) Be aware of what you say at the scene of the accident: While it is necessary to communicate with the other party after an accident, exercise discretion when speaking with other parties. You are under no duty to state whose fault the injury was or to offer additional information. Avoid making statements that might make the situation more complicated, and avoid creating conflicts in relation to the event.

4) Keep accurate records of all costs and expenses related to the injury: These may include hospital bills, medical diagnosis statements, bills related to property damage, and insurance records. You may also need to maintain records of lost wages if the injury has caused you miss work. It’s also a good idea to make a written account of the injury, especially while the events and facts are still fresh in your recollection.

5) Be cautious when dealing with insurance companies: Hire an experienced Injury Lawyer and do not speak with them unless instructed to do so.

6) DO NOT sign any forms or documents without understanding them: Make sure you completely understand the terms of any forms and documents to be filled out in relation to the personal injury. Do not sign any forms if you are not sure of how they will affect you in the long run. This includes any forms that may be presented to you well after the actual event. Be especially wary of any documents or contracts that ask you to release the other party from liability, or that require you to forfeit your right to a lawsuit.

7) Avoid trying to settle on your own if you don’t understand what to do: Trying to settle on your own with the other party or with their insurance company can sometimes be a complicated process. If you are unsure of what you are doing, it is best to find some help through the advice of a legal expert. This is especially important if the other party will be hiring a lawyer. Working with your own lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes that can have negative effects on your claim.

8) Be aware of filing deadlines: Make sure that you file your legal claim or lawsuit in a timely manner. For most personal injury claims, you only have a certain window of time after the accident to file with the courts. This is known as the “statute of limitations”, which can vary depending on the state and the type of accident involved. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you might not be able to file your claim anymore.

Pikrallidas Law Offices has successfully handled Personal Injury cases in Virginia, DC, Maryland and in several other states. We do not charge to discuss any potential injury case you may have. 703-267-2600 (See More at www.PIKLAW.com)

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4 Comments

  1. Posted January 13, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I have been in a car accident before, and to say the least, it was not fun. Like you suggest, the first thing to do is get medical attention, and that is exactly what I did. While at the doctors office, I learned that I had severe whiplash. During my recovery process, I kept accurate records of all of my transactions relating to my treatment. One thing that I always kept in mind was not signing documents I didn’t understand. While I do wish I had known that a PI lawyer could help me settle with less stress. I will keep this in mind for next time, which I hope isn’t anytime soon. Thanks!

  2. Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate your suggestion to write down what you remember about the accident and the injury. My mom was just in a bad crash and I don’t know how long it will be before she’s well enough to go out and work with a lawyer, but at least I can ask her what she remembers and record it for her. I’m going to get that taken care of tonight so that when we go out and get a lawyer we’re as prepared as possible. Thanks for the tips.

  3. Posted March 3, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Two of these tips stand out to me; to be careful what you say at the scene of the accident, and to keep records of all medical bills. My mother had taught me at a young age to avoid taking the blame for an accident to the other party (unless it was obviously my fault, like if I hit a parked car), since that can damage any insurance or personal injury claims you make. Additionally, when my husband was in a car accident a few years ago, we were careful to keep all of our medical records, and it helped us a lot when going through the personal injury claims because we knew exactly wheat it cost us.

  4. Posted March 10, 2016 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    These are some really great tips on what to do if you need to file for a personal injury claim. I particularly liked your tips on not signing any documents or settling if you don’t fully understand what that entails. That sounds like a smart way to protect yourself. If you are having a hard time understanding something in the process for filing it might be a good idea to talk to a lawyer about it.

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10605 Judicial Drive, Building A-4
Fairfax, Virginia, 22030 USA
703.267.2600