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What to Do Immediately After an Injury:
If you are injured and it may be someone else’s fault you need to do two things immediately:
- You need to preserve evidence.
- In fall cases this means cell phone photos of whatever caused you to fall and reporting the fall to the business entity.
- In traffic collision cases, if it is a serious injury, the police will investigate and as a practical matter they will be the only investigators on the scene. A lawyer can hire an expert to dispute or review or supplement police report findings later, sometimes by examining the vehicles which had been in the wreck after they have been towed away. A LAWYER WHO SAYS THEY ARE SENDING OUT AN ON SCENE INVESTIGATOR IS REALLY SENDING OUT SOMEONE TO TRY AND MAKE YOU SIGN A RETAINER AGREEMENT ON THE SPOT.
- If you have Medicare, Medicaid or health insurance with a major insurer such as United Health, it is ok to go to the emergency room if you feel it is necessary. (Medicare, Medicaid and major insurers get big hospital discounts. Minor insurers do not.)
- If you lack health insurance or have a minor Obama Care insurer, and you go to the emergency room, the hospital may end up with most of your settlement
- Regardless of coverage, don’t take an ambulance to the emergency room unless it would be dangerous not to. Nobody gets a significant discount off an ambulance bill and just an ambulance ride to a local ER can run $1300.
- Whether or not you go to the Emergency Room you need to follow up with an office visit to a doctor with a couple of days of the injury if not sooner, if you are hurt. Most doctors think inflammation peaks 24-48 hours after the injury. So, if you don’t seek medical care soon after the injury, the defense will try and make it look like you weren’t hurt.
- If you are not admitted to the hospital and need further treatment it is a good idea to contact a lawyer within a day or two of the injury to discuss treatment options.
- If you are hospitalized with a serious injury such as broken bones, or a brain bleed, there is no need to rush and contact a lawyer for treatment advice. This is because your treatment will be dictated by doctor evaluations and emergency conditions so you won’t have much control over your treatment. Taking a couple of weeks or so to contact a lawyer in this situation is usually fine.
- If you are hurt badly enough to be hospitalized and it appears you have very serious injuries, it may be useful to contact a lawyer as soon as you can as there could be evidence beyond the police report that needs to be preserved. For example, if you had a serious head on collision and your airbag did not deploy, it could be a defective product situation and you might need to talk to a lawyer about preserving the evidence, possibly your totaled car.
- BOTTOM LINE ON CONTACTING A LAWYER: The ideal time to contact an attorney is between 1 and 2 days after the event to a few weeks after the event. THIS GIVES YOU TIME TO SEARCH THE NET FOR A LAWYER YOU THINK WILL DO YOU A GOOD JOB FOR YOU. YOU DON’T NEED TO IMMEDIATELY CALL THE FIRST LAWYER YOU REMEMBER FROM TV ADS.