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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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Pikrallidas & Associates is located in Fairfax, VI and serves clients in and around Fairfax, West Mclean, Oakton, Merrifield, Vienna, Annandale, Dunn Loring, Clifton, Fairfax Station, Mount Vernon, Falls Church, Reston, Chantilly, Mc Lean, Greenway, Centreville, Springfield, Herndon, Fairfax County, Fairfax City County, Falls Church City County and Manassas Park City County.
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