Getting hurt or injured is never fun to deal with. And when it happens on someone’s property, and they are at fault, it can be even more annoying. If someone was negligent, causing your injury, you might want to pursue a compensation case against them. This is an understandable desire, so here are the steps you’ll need to take.
Get medical attention
The first and most important thing to do is always to get the right medical attention. You should not be thinking about compensation or legal issues until you have seen a doctor. Your health is always more important than anything else, and it’s important to remember that.
You should never assume that you’re alright and choose not to bother seeing a doctor. This is a big mistake because many of the symptoms that you experience when you are injured don’t present themselves until later on.
The adrenaline that your body releases in the heat of the moment often serves to mask the injuries that your body has sustained. So, even if you feel fine to begin with, you should see a doctor just to make sure that there aren’t serious hidden problems.
Record evidence of the injury
When you’ve seen a doctor, and you’re 100% sure about what your injuries are, you need to get some evident. This will help you to put together a case later on. And because your injuries will start to heal, you should record any physical evidence that might be in place. It will support your case, so it’s definitely worth doing.
All you need is to take photos (or ask someone else to take them) of the parts of your body that show the physical signs of damage. If you don’t have any physical signs of your injuries, it’s important to get a copy of your medical records and your doctor’s testimony. Not all injuries cause physical symptoms. For example, brain injuries often don’t; but they’re still very severe and damaging.
Collect other evidence
Once you’re back on your feet, and you feel able to pursue your case in more detail, you should think about gathering evidence. The most valuable thing you can do at this stage of the process is find people who will be able to support your recollection of events.
If you have an independent witness who is able to back up all your claims, then it will make getting compensation a lot easier. So, try to think about who was present at the time and then get in contact with them.
Get their contact details and keep them stored in a safe place. You don’t need to ask them for a statement or anything at this stage. You just need to get confirmation from them that they’re able to backup what you say.
Find an expert lawyer
Before you take your case any further, you should probably get the help of a lawyer. This is something that many people are hesitant to do. They think that things will get more complicated when a lawyer gets involved.
But the truth is that things are about to get complicated anyway. It’s the job of the lawyer to make things easier for you. They will be there to make things understandable and use their expertise to make sure that you get the outcome that is best for you and your family.
You need to make sure that you pick the right lawyer though. They should have a particular expertise in this kind of law. There are plenty of premises liability lawyers out there. So, you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that will be prepared to represent you.
File a report
If you got injured on the premises of a business, you should think about reporting the incident to the business. This could allow you to get an immediate response from the business. They might choose to conduct an investigation and come to a conclusion.
If this is not the case, you might want to rely on a police report if they were involved at the time of the accident. This is not always the case, but if you do have a police report to rely on, it could help you a lot later on.
There are not many reports that will be more trusted and respected than an official report on the incident from the police. So, whatever reports are available should be copied and kept in a safe and secure place. And they should also be shared with your lawyer.
Prove all your costs
To get compensation, you will need to prove what your costs are. These costs are not the only thing that help to decide how much compensation you will be entitled to, but it does play a big part.
The other thing that you need to show is how the injury has impacted on you emotionally. But those real world costs are important. So, start by thinking about the costs of your medical treatment. And you should also show how much income you missed out on by having to take time off work.
These things all cost you and your family money. You don’t want to lose the ability to pay the bills or the mortgage repayments. So, don’t be afraid of being honest about how much of a financial hit you’ve taken.
Don’t sign any documents
There are many tricks that people might try to pull when they’re trying to avoid having to pay compensation. That’s why you should be very careful about what you say to people. And one thing that you should definitely not do is sign something without reading it.
In fact, you should not sign anything relating to the accident without first getting your lawyer to read it and advise you. If you do accidentally sign something that you didn’t read properly, you might have to say goodbye to getting any compensation.
That’s not what you want, so don’t do it! And the only person you should discuss the incident with in detail is your lawyer. You don’t want to do anything that might give your opposition the upper hand.
Let the lawyer do the work
Many people try to micromanage the situation when they are looking for a way to get compensation for an incident. But it’s important to remember that your lawyer knows what they’re doing. They are the ones with the experience and expertise to carry the case forwards. They should be the ones who do all the difficult work.
If you don’t feel like your lawyer is doing an adequate job, you should think about firing them and hiring a new one. Your lawyer needs to be on your side and willing to do everything possible to make sure that you get the compensation you need.
Don’t try to do the job of the lawyer by yourself because this will never have a very positive outcome for you. You will make the kinds of mistakes that an expert lawyer would not make.
See if you can come to a settlement
Before you decide to head for the courts, it’s a good idea to try to reach a settlement out of court. Going to court can be pretty stressful, and it’s never much fun. That’s why both sides of the dispute should want to avoid this eventuality.
If the company or individual who your case is against acknowledges their neglect, they might be willing to give compensation. But things don’t always go as smoothly as that, unfortunately.
Instead, you have to undertake some mediated discussions. This allows both sides to sit down together and discuss what the best outcome for everyone is. If they’re not willing to negotiate or even discuss the issue with you, there will be only be one option left to consider.
If not, go to court
If your attempts to reach a settlement out of court fail, you will have no option but to take the issue to court. Before you do this, sit down with your lawyer and make sure that your case will stand up to scrutiny in court. The opposition will throw everything at you, so you will need to be prepared for all of that.
Your lawyer will give the guidance that you need. Their expertise should help you come to an informed decision with regards to whether you take the case to court or not.
When you eventually do go to court, make sure that you follow the advice given to you by your lawyer. As long as you present your evidence and your case in a clear and coherent way, you should get the outcome you want.
This whole process can be difficult and stressful, especially when you also have an injury to deal with. But if you are entitled to compensation, you should make sure you get it.
The company that is responsible for your injury will try everything to get away with not paying it. But don’t let that put you off; simply follow the steps outlined above.