When you suffer an injury because of an accident, it’s normal to have questions. “What comes next?” “What will my recovery look like?” And of course—“How will I cover the costs of my injuries?” There’s no doubt that medical care can be expensive. Naturally, if you face an unexpected injury, it can feel a little overwhelming.
If someone else’s negligence injured you, the law may entitle you to financial compensation. You shouldn’t have to worry about how to pay your bills when the only thing that should matter is your recovery. To learn more about your legal rights, contact an experienced accident attorney.
What Should I Do after an Accident?
According to the CDC, over 39 million people visit their physician’s office every year due to unintentional injuries. Motor vehicle accidents, falls, and accidental poisonings are among the leading causes of these injuries. Sometimes, these injuries happen because of the actions of someone else.
After an accident, the steps you take can affect your health and your right to make a legal claim.
While every accident is different, there are a few things you can do to protect your rights:
1. Prioritize Your Safety
After an accident, make your health and well-being your number one priority. If you are seriously injured, go to the doctor right away. If you have been in a motor vehicle move to the side of the road to prevent further injury.
2. Gather Evidence
After an accident, you need evidence to support your side of the story. Often, the best evidence is only available at the time of the accident. One of the best things you can do is take pictures of the scene. If you were in a car accident, take pictures of any vehicle damage or property damage. If you were in a slip and fall accident, take pictures of what caused your accident and the surrounding area. Try to get contact information from any witnesses.
3. Seek Medical Attention
After any accident, it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor. A doctor can rule out any serious injuries and record your symptoms. In a personal injury case, your medical records can prove your actual injuries and the onset of your symptoms.
4. Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney
Personal injury attorneys work with victims who suffer injuries that result from someone else’s negligence. An attorney can evaluate your case, gather evidence, and help you pursue monetary damages.
What Is a Bodily Injury Claim?
The law defines a bodily injury as any actual physical or mental injury, illness, or physical pain. In Texas, for example, if you suffer an injury because of someone else’s negligence, the other party may hold legal liability for the cost of your injuries. To recover these costs, you must make a bodily injury claim.
In short, a bodily injury claim is a legal demand for damages against the at-fault party (or in most cases, their insurance company). When you work with an attorney, they can help you make a bodily injury claim and negotiate with the insurance company to help you recover actual and general damages.
Damages can differ from case to case, but may include:
Actual damages are damages that result in an economic loss. This refers to any cost you incur out of pocket or money you lose as a result of your injuries. Examples include:
- Past, present, and future medical bills: Unfortunately, medical bills are a very real concern after an accident. For serious injuries, these bills can add up quickly. A bodily injury claim can help you pay for these costs, so you don’t have to worry.
- Lost wages: After an accident, you may not feel ready to go back to work right away. But most people can’t afford to just take time off of work. A bodily injury claim can help you recover lost wages so you don’t have to go back to work until you’re ready.
- Rehabilitation costs: If you suffer a serious injury, your doctor may recommend physical, occupational, or psychological therapy. In many cases, your attorney can argue to include these costs in your bodily injury claim.
- Residential modifications: When a serious injury affects your mobility, you may need to adjust to your living situation. A bodily injury claim can include the costs of wheelchair ramps, stairlifts, and handrails.
General damages include damages that don’t have an exact monetary value. For these damages, the insurance company or the court will look at the effect of your injuries on your overall quality of life.
General damages may include:
- Pain and suffering: Pain and stress after an injury can affect your day-to-day activities. Pain and suffering may include anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
Loss of companionship: Different injuries can affect your relationships in different ways. When your injuries affect your ability to have a physical or emotional relationship with someone you love, your claim should recognize this loss.
- Loss of companionship: Different injuries can affect your relationships in different ways. When your injuries affect your ability to have a physical or emotional relationship with someone you love, your claim should recognize this loss.
How Long Do I Have to File a Bodily Injury Claim?
The law limits how long victims have to make a bodily injury claim after an accident. In Texas, for example, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against the other party. Beyond this deadline, you may not have legal recourse. While two years may seem like a long time, the longer you wait, the harder it may be for your attorney to prove your case.
Get the Help You Need
After an accident, it may take time to recover and begin to move forward with your life. At a time like this, take care of yourself. A bodily injury claim can help pay for your costs, so you can focus on what matters: getting better. Don’t wait to get the help you need: Contact Us, Start Your Recovery Today.