Handling the legal aftermath of a personal injury accident in Tampa Bay can be difficult. Personal injury claims can include many different types of injuries, including slip and fall accidents, automobile accidents, or defective products. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take after an injury in order to prepare for filing a claim.
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you have sustained an injury, the first thing you should do in Tampa Bay is seek medical attention. This is first and foremost. Do not attempt to file a claim until your injuries have been addressed by a medical professional.
You should also know that failing to seek medical attention after an accident often reduces the amount of damages you will be able to recover. You have the duty to “mitigate your losses” as the injured party. This means you must ensure that your injuries do not cause further damage.
2. File a Report with the Police
Filing a report with the Tampa Bay police ensures you have records of important information. Simple information will be included such as the names and contact information of the other parties involved. Additionally, the report itself serves as a record of the accident. The police report can be used in court if a lawsuit ensues.
3. Be Cautious of What You Say
Exercise discretion when speaking with other parties involved in the accident. You are under no obligation to state whose fault the accident was or to offer any sort of additional information. Avoid making statements that will further complicate the situation or create conflicts.
4. Keep Accurate Records
Be sure to keep records of all costs and expenses related to the accident. These include medical diagnosis statements, bills related to property damage, insurance records, and hospital bills. You will also want to maintain records of lost wages if you have missed work because of the accident.
5. Use Caution When Dealing with Insurance Companies
Working with an insurance company is a necessary part of filing personal injury claims. When negotiating with these companies be sure to protect your interests. It is helpful to have a Tampa Bay lawyer on hand when dealing with third parties.
6. Do Not Sign Forms Without Understanding Them
Make sure you completely understand the terms of any documents you sign in relation to your personal injury claims. Do not sign any forms without understanding how they will affect you in the long term. Be especially wary of any documents that release the other party from liability or require you to forfeit your lawsuit.
7. Avoid Settling Without a Proper Legal Consultation
Settling on your own is not advised. It is best to seek legal counsel in Tampa Bay before making any decisions. This is particularly important if the other party has retained legal representation. Working with your own lawyer will help you avoid costly mistakes that may affect the outcome of your claim.
8. Filing Deadlines
You should file all personal injury claims in a timely manner. Most claims have a limited window of time after the accident in which you can file. Known as the statute of limitations, they can vary depending on the type of accident and other details. Some claims may not be able to be filed after the statute of limitations has expired.
9. Preliminary Research of the Legal Process
It is suggested you research and familiarize yourself with the basics of personal injury claims in your area. Local rules in Tampa Bay will vary, and it helps to go into your initial consultation with your lawyer with a good sense of the process. We are not suggesting you become a legal expert, but simply read up a little to get a better idea (like you are doing now).
10. Specialized Lawyers
Not all lawyers are the same. Most specialize in a specific field of personal injury claims. To ensure you have a better chance of a positive outcome, be sure to retain an attorney who has experience in cases related to yours.
Take Personal Injury Claims to K LAW, PLLC in Tampa Bay
Finding the right attorney in Tampa Bay is critical to the success of anyone’s personal injury claims. At K LAW, PLLC we specialize in auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, pedestrian accidents, boating injuries, and wrongful deaths. We can help you obtain the appropriate legal remedy and help you avoid costly errors. Call us today at (727) 201-8444 or email us to set up your initial consultation at no cost.