Accidents don’t just happen to careless people. According to the CDC, 24.2 million people a year visit the emergency room due to unintentional injuries. Most people can also tell you at least one story about a time they hurt themselves in some random freak accident.
So, while being careful and watchful is good advice everyone should follow, part of being prepared is knowing what to do if you do wind up suffering from a personal injury – an injury sustained because of another person’s negligence. Here are the most critical steps to take as soon as you can.
1. Get to safety as soon as possible
If you’re like most people, your first reaction to suddenly finding yourself hurt is to freeze while you try to process what just happened. Your next thing may be to have a knee-jerk response to the pain, shock, and fear attached to any injuries you’ve sustained.
But, if you’re able, it’s still vital to take a minute to evaluate your immediate surroundings and figure out how to get to safety ASAP, just in case other hazards in the vicinity could harm you further. For example, if you’ve been hit by a car, you should try to get out of the immediate path of any other vehicle.
2. Self-evaluate before seeking medical attention
The minute you’re safe, do a quick self-check for immediate evidence of injury. For example, assess whether you’re bleeding, experiencing numbness anywhere, can stand, are in pain, and so forth. If you or anyone else involved shows these symptoms, call 911 or ask someone else to do it for you.
However, it’s essential to seek medical attention even if you’re not in a 911 type of situation, as not all injuries are immediately apparent. Go to the emergency room in a Spectrum-owned hospital, Trinity-owned hospital, or another trusted hospital in Grand Rapids, if you think you need immediate attention. But even if you don’t, you’ll want to visit urgent care or your usual physician for an evaluation at your earliest convenience.
3. Collect the necessary information
Anytime you have an accident or sustain a personal injury, it’s essential to collect crucial information as soon as possible. Examples include the name of the person responsible for the accident, their insurance information, the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident, and the names of any first responders.
When you get a chance, you should also type out a brief narrative describing your experience in detail. The fresher the incident is in your mind, the more you’ll remember.
4. Contact a local personal injury attorney
Seeking legal counsel after a personal injury is nearly as important as seeking medical attention, so don’t skip this step. Anytime someone else’s negligence is a factor in an injury, you need the right attorney in your corner to help ensure you get any and all compensation you might be entitled to.
Get in touch with someone who can discuss your case as soon as possible – same day, if you can. And make sure they’re local, as an experienced Michigan attorney will have the best understanding of state, city, and county laws governing personal injury cases in the area. If you’re injured while visiting a relative in Grand Rapids, don’t wait until you’re home again to seek legal advice. Instead, contact a same day personal injury attorney in Grand Rapids immediately.
Proceed exactly as your attorney advises to avoid doing anything to hurt your case. For example, you shouldn’t discuss your case with anyone except your doctor and legal team. And if you talk to someone else moving forward – like insurance agents or members of the negligent person’s legal team – make sure your own attorney is present. You’ll be glad you did.