If you are injured in an automobile accident, in an accident at work, or in some other way due to someone else’s negligence, the first piece of advice you may get from your family and friends is to call a personal injury lawyer. Calling a lawyer quickly after an accident is a good idea. The sooner you act, the easier it will be to collect and preserve important evidence, recall crucial details, and track down witnesses. Your attorney may need to work quickly to pull important data from your vehicle’s “event data recorder” or search for surveillance cameras near the auto accident. Insurers quickly destroy totaled vehicles and surveillance videos are automatically deleted after a certain amount of time passes, so you absolutely should contact a car accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Importantly, before calling a lawyer for a consultation, there are some things you should do. You may not think of these things when you are hurt, confused, or distressed immediately after a car accident, but knowing these things before a car accident happens will help you if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in such a situation.
If you are able, take as many pictures as possible at the site of the car accident. If you are involved in an auto accident, take pictures of both vehicles before they are moved. Pictures of the area surrounding the accident may be helpful also; these might include traffic signs, skid marks on the road, debris in the road, trees, or other objects that might obscure the view of the road or of signs. Pictures can also show what the weather conditions were at the time of the accident. Make sure your photos visualize all of the damage to the vehicles.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, pictures of the surrounding area can show unsafe conditions such as uneven pavement, debris, or spills before they are moved or cleaned. Photos can also show negligence on the part of the property owner. Did they fail to place warning signs? Was the source of the slippery substance placed by the property owner? Was the thing that tripped you negligently placed by an employee? Was it negligently maintained by the business or property owner? Photographic evidence can make the difference between whether you have a successful claim or not, they are that important.
If you are unable to take pictures, any people who were with you at the time of the injury can do so and you should ask them to help. Their concern for you will be about your physical well-being and not necessarily on an injury claim.
If possible, it is very important to get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Often, injury clients mention people who assisted them at the scene but fail to obtain their contact information. Nothing can be more helpful to your claim than an independent third party who saw everything happen. If the witness does not ignore you in the aftermath of your injury, there is a strong chance they would be willing to assist you further as necessary.
Write Everything Down
As soon as possible, write down everything you remember about the accident. Details may fade over time, so it is always helpful to write everything down while it is still fresh in your memory. This narrative will help when you have your first consultation with your attorney.
Get Copies of Documents
You may not have immediate access to all of your medical records, but it may be helpful to let your lawyer see all of the records you do have. This will include medical records, accident reports, hospital billing records, and police reports. If you do not have these, your attorney can request them from the proper parties.
Choose the Right Attorney
Do some research before choosing a personal injury lawyer. Often, the online reviews for a personal injury attorney will offer terrific insight into what you can expect from them. Read as many as you can before you consult someone. You may be working with this person for months or even years, so you should make sure you choose the right person. You should choose a lawyer who has experience handling accident cases like yours and who makes themselves available when you need them. Your attorney and their staff should be willing to listen to you with respect and respond to your questions in a timely manner.
Prepare for Your Consultation
Before you have your first consultation with your lawyer, gather the documents, photos, and other information you have. The more information your lawyer has, the easier it will be to evaluate your case and give you a realistic idea of what to expect. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: learn who will be handling your case and who you can call with questions or problems. Ask about the process and how long it might take to conclude your case. Ask about possible outcomes in both settlement and litigation.
Be prepared to answer questions also. The more information your attorney has the easier it will be to give you an accurate evaluation. Be prepared to answer a lot of detailed questions about the accident, your injuries, your medical care, and your previous medical conditions. All of this information is helpful and necessary to determine the best course of action for you.
Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me
Attorney R. Joseph Kramer dedicates his practice to helping injured people get the compensation they need and maximize the compensation they deserve. When you entrust us with your case, you will be treated as a person, not just another case to build our bottom line. We work with you every step of the way, from compiling the evidence needed to present your case to insurance companies to getting paid for medical expenses and lost wages while your case is pending. Ultimately, we are happy to represent you in court when necessary. Call us at (312) 775-1012 to learn what we can do for you, and to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. You may also ask us to call you by filling out our online free case evaluation request form.
Don’t settle for less than you’re owed. Call our Chicago car accident personal injury lawyers now at (312) 775-1012 for a free case consultation. You may also request a free case evaluation online.
Right now, you shouldn’t worry about whether you can afford a lawyer or not. That’s why at Kramer Injury Law LLC we often take personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay us unless we recover damages for your injuries.