Personal injuries sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence can be very serious and can affect every aspect of a person’s life – from health to finances to qualify of life.
An experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer will have the necessary legal knowledge and expertise to negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf and help you to obtain a fair settlement for your case. In the event that the insurance company is unwilling or unable to settle, an attorney will likely file a lawsuit on your behalf in order to ensure that you get the compensation to which you are legally entitled. However, there are some steps that you can take in order to obtain the most value for your personal injury claim.
How to Start a Personal Injury Claim
Visit a Hospital Emergency Room or Urgent Care Facility Immediately After the Accident
Injured accident victims should immediately seek same-day medical treatment at a local hospital emergency room or urgent care facility. This is true even when no symptoms are immediately present. Same-day treatment is necessary for the following reasons:
- Symptoms sometimes do not manifest until well after the accident (e.g., days or weeks), and it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Failing to seek same-day emergency medical treatment sends a message to insurance adjusters that the accident victim was not all that seriously injured and/or was not making medical treatment a top priority following the collision.
It is also important for accident victims to be complete and accurate when describing their pain and symptoms (without overstating their cases), and that they follow through with all of the emergency room physician’s treatment recommendations. This may include doing one or more of the following:
- Following up with a primary care physician or specialist for subsequent medical care and treatment
- Beginning a physical therapy regimen at a separate facility
- Seeking follow-up care and treatment at another facility
- Taking time off of work or from physical activity
Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries and Concentrate on Getting Better
Following a same-day hospital emergency room or urgent care visit, it is important to start treatment with a health care provider immediately for injuries sustained in an accident. Long delays or gaps between treatment as well as missed appointments (or late arrivals) are red flags for insurance adjusters.
Rightly or wrongly, gaps in medical treatment or physical therapy send a signal to the insurance company that a car accident victim is not as seriously injured as he or she claims.
Seek Legal Representation
An experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer will be able to do the following:
- Recommend further treatment options
- Obtain all medical records and bills from hospitals, treating physicians, and physical therapy facilities
- Obtain information from insurance companies about their available policy limits
- Submit a settlement demand to the insurance company
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters to obtain a fair settlement offer on the case
- File a lawsuit and litigate the case in the court system, if necessary
- Take the case to trial or explore alternative dispute resolution options
Contact a St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by another person, it is important for you to take steps to ensure that you are compensated for your losses. At the Law Offices of Patrick O’Brien, we will handle every aspect of your case on your behalf and advise about things you can do to maximize the value of your claim. To schedule a consultation with a member of our team, contact us or call our office today at 866-333-4504.