Sustaining a personal injury can be a traumatic experience. In addition to the pain caused by the injury itself, many people also face emotional and financial challenges following the incident. Whether it’s a dog attack or a slip-and-fall accident, it’s essential to take the proper steps to protect yourself now and in the future.
Here’s what you should do following a personal injury.
Document the Event
Start documenting what happened as soon as it’s safe to do so. The less time that passes from when your injury occurred to when you start documenting what happened, the clearer and more accurate your records will be.
This step is vital for various reasons. First and foremost, you may be required to share this information in a legal setting. Second, the scene of the incident could change before it’s adequately investigated. Finally, your memory of the event may become foggy over time, as your mind begins to protect you from the traumatic experience.
If it’s not possible to document the scene yourself, ask someone else (a witness, co-worker, friend, etc.) to do so. Write down your memory of events as they happened, but don’t share them publicly. If you are ever a witness to a personal injury event, take the initiative to document the scene for the people involved.
Seek Medical Attention
You should always seek medical attention for an unexpected injury that didn’t occur at home, even if you feel fine immediately after. Adrenaline does interesting things to the body and could be shielding you from sensing underlying pain. Once the adrenaline wears off, you could find yourself in a different frame of mind.
Seeking medical attention is also important for building a paper trail regarding your injury. You might require this information for insurance claims, worker’s compensation, or legal matters.
Talk To Your Employer
Let your employer know about your injury as soon as possible. If you don’t require time off work, it’s still important to share any limitations you’re experiencing that could affect your performance. Depending on where the injury occurred and your policies at work, you could be granted paid time off, lighter work or modified duties.
If the injury occurred at work, it’s important to speak to an attorney before engaging in further conversation with your employer.
Call an Attorney
Calling an attorney doesn’t mean that you’re committing to filing a lawsuit; it means you’re exploring your options and protecting your best interests. It’s integral that you talk to an attorney before you agree to anything regarding compensation or liability.
A personal injury attorney can help you identify what kind of damages you should explore. In addition to economic damages, there are also non-economic damages such as emotional distress and diminished quality of life. During the early days following your injury, the long-term implications might not be readily apparent. Discussing your options can help you make informed decisions that impact the long-term.
Take some time to relax and let your body and mind heal after an injury. The stress, fear, concern, and pain can all wreak havoc on your well-being. Tell people what you need for help and support, and cut yourself some slack.
During your recovery period, pay close attention to both your physical and mental well-being. If you notice any behavioral changes such as angry outbursts, insomnia or mood swings, document them and bring them up with your doctor. Monitor your physical symptoms as well. If you experience any increased pain or a lack of mobility, there could be an underlying issue at play.
Watch Your Words
Finally, be mindful of what you tell people about the accident. If you end up in a legal situation, those words can come back to haunt you.
Getting injured is never a fun experience, but with the right steps, you can get through it with your physical, mental, and financial health intact.