When you have been injured in an accident, securing the medical treatment you need should be your first priority. However, concentrating on healing could be difficult if you cannot work, and the bills are piling up. An Addison personal injury lawyer could offer you guidance and support in that situation, as well as legal advice about how to secure compensation for your injuries. Seeking help from a determined attorney soon after an accident could help strengthen your position and ensure all your rights are preserved.
Steps to Take After an Accident
A person could make their claim for damages stronger by taking a few simple steps after they get into an accident. Step one is to report the incident to the proper authority immediately. A person in a motor vehicle accident should call the police, injured workers should inform their superiors, and someone who falls in a grocery store should inform the store owner or manager. Failure to make an immediate report gives the insurance company adjuster or defense lawyer grounds to question whether the accident really happened.
Step two should be seeking medical treatment right away, even if the person is not experiencing symptoms. Soft tissue injuries and some other internal damage might not be apparent immediately. However, if an injured person delays seeking medical treatment, it leaves the door open for a potentially negligent party to claim that the accident did not produce the injury or that the plaintiff is faking an injury.
The third step that any injured person should take is to consult with an Addison accidental injury lawyer as soon as possible. Even if the plaintiff strongly prefers to handle the matter through negotiation, the advice of a professional could make a big difference in the strength of their negotiating position.
Damages Compensate for Losses
People whose carelessness results in injury to others are legally responsible for compensating the people they injure. An attorney could help someone compile the evidence they will need to substantiate a claim for damages.
Some damages, called economic damages, pay the out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and future costs associated with the injury. A plaintiff must provide documentation of their expenses to support a demand for damages.
Non-economic damages offer compensation for the intangible losses someone might suffer because of an injury. Pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and lost enjoyment of life could be elements of a claim for non-economic damages. Disability due to paralysis could also be claimed as a loss.
Damages Require Proof of Negligence
When an injured person seeks monetary damages, they must show that someone else’s negligence contributed to their injury. Negligence is a failure to take a reasonable amount of care to protect others from the foreseeable consequences of an action. That could include a doctor who committed malpractice or a company that manufactured a defective product.
Proving negligence depends on the circumstances that caused an injury. Different situations require different degrees of care. A person doing something that could be dangerous to others, such as driving a truck, has a greater duty of care than a person who is not engaging in an activity that usually poses a risk to others.
Sometimes an injured person might have contributed in some way to an accident or failed to seek necessary medical care, exacerbating the severity of their injuries. 735 Illinois Consolidated Statutes §5/2-1116(c) allows an injured person who bears some fault for the accident to collect reduced damages, as long as they were not the one who was primarily responsible for the accident. Even when an injured person acknowledges fault, it is worthwhile to consult with a local personal injury attorney, as the injured person often remains entitled to collect damages from other negligent parties.
Partner Up with an Addison Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured and believe that someone else was to blame, do not try to reach a settlement on your own. You need an advocate who could stand up to defense lawyers and insurance companies, and not be intimidated into accepting an inadequate settlement. Contact an Addison personal injury lawyer to get a committed professional working for you. Schedule a case review today.