Steps to Take After a Personal Injury: A Guide to Protecting Your Rights

May 17, 2024

A car crash, medical malpractice, slip and fall, or any other type of accident can turn your life upside down. The medical bills will quickly pile up, and you may be unable to return to work to pay for them. During your recovery, you will also feel significant pain, and potentially invasive medical treatments, and you may not be able to enjoy the things you once did. If someone else’s negligence, or carelessness, caused your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for these losses.

Claiming the full damages you need after any accident is never easy. You must prove certain elements of your case and all the while, the other side will be preparing defenses as to why they should not be held accountable. Below, our Houston personal injury lawyer explains the most important steps to take to protect your claim.

Prioritize the Safety of Everyone Involved

After an accident, the biggest priority is always the safety of others. Make sure that anyone involved in the accident is not in harm’s way and call for medical attention if you or anyone else is injured. If anyone is hurt, call 911 so you can report the accident and obtain the necessary treatment. Making sure everyone is safe will ensure injuries do not become worse and that a secondary accident does not occur.

File a Report

The type of report you file after an accident will depend on what caused your injuries. For example, if you were hurt in a car crash, you should call emergency services so a police report can be filed. Under Texas law, you are required to report all car accidents that cause injury, fatality, or property damage valued over $1,000, or if the vehicles cannot be moved. Within the report, police may indicate which driver was at fault, which can help you prove negligence in the future. After law enforcement has filed their report, you can also use that documentation as evidence that the crash happened, and how it occurred.

Even if you were not injured in a car accident, there are still likely reports you can file. For example, if you were hurt in a store, they may have an incident report for you to fill out. Or, if medical malpractice is the cause of your injuries, the hospital may have a report for you to fill out. You should fill these out but always ask for a copy before you leave the scene of the accident.

Gather Evidence

To prove the different elements of your personal injury claim, you need strong evidence. Some of the best evidence to use is at the accident scene. It is critical that you collect and preserve any evidence that can help prove your case. This can include damaged clothing, personal belongings, and other property. Pictures of the accident scene can also prove how the accident occurred. Also keep all records of medical treatment, prescriptions, and other costs related to your treatment, as this documentation can prove the nature and extent of your injuries.

Seek Medical Treatment

Your health and well-being are the most important priorities after an accident. For this reason, it is critical that you seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. If paramedics did not arrive on the scene, you should visit an emergency room as soon as you leave the scene. Some injuries do not show symptoms right away, and a doctor can examine you to ensure that injuries are not overlooked.

Additionally, seeking medical treatment as soon as possible will also document your injuries. If you do not see a doctor after an accident, the insurance company representing the negligent party will argue that you were not hurt. They will claim that because you did not seek medical treatment, you could not have been injured during the accident.

Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer

It is critical that you obtain legal advice right away after any accident. A Houston personal injury lawyer can handle all of the legal elements of your claim while you focus on recovering from your injuries. A lawyer will identify the liable party, collect evidence on your behalf, and ensure that your rights are upheld. Studies have also shown that accident victims who work with an attorney obtain approximately three times more compensation than individuals who do not have legal representation. A lawyer will communicate and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf so you obtain the full and fair settlement you are entitled to.

Notify Your Insurance Company

In certain instances, you may have to notify your insurance company about the accident. For example, even though Texas is a tort state, you should contact your auto insurance company after any car accident, even if you were not at fault. Most insurance policies require you to notify your insurer after any crash. If you fail to do this, the insurance company may cancel your policy.

You are likely required to notify your insurance company after any car accident, but you are not required to give them an abundance of information. Simply state that you were involved in an accident and that you were hurt. Remain honest when providing information, but stick to only the basic facts of the case. If an adjuster from the negligent party’s insurance company contacts you, do not feel as though you have to speak to them. Instead, direct them to your attorney who can speak to them on your behalf so your rights are protected.

Our Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston Can Help After an Accident

If someone else’s negligence has caused you serious injury, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and more. Unfortunately, obtaining the full settlement you deserve is rarely easy. At Integrity Law Group, PLLC, our Houston personal injury lawyer can advise on the steps to take to protect your rights and help you obtain maximum damages. Call us today at (832) 280-9576 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and get the legal help you need.

Back to top