First and foremost, a person who has been injured should seek out appropriate medical attention. The precautions outlined in this article are secondary to those needed to preserve your health. Hospital records, photographs and testimony from a treating physician will be sufficient to demonstrate the extent of the injuries suffered. Similarly, if a person feels they have been hurt or injured as the result of a crime, they should immediately call 9-1-1. You may have a civil claim against the offender, but the first step should be to call the authorities and report the crime.
Next, you are likely to hear from a lawyer or insurance company representing the party at fault. They will ask you to be examined by one of their doctors or make a statement regarding the incident. Aside from your own insurance company, you should not talk to anyone before retaining an attorney. Any information given to the other party, whether in the form of a statement or a medical test, can be used to minimize any potential recovery. However, a person is obligated to comply with his or her own insurance carrier. Failure to do so can result in a loss of coverage.
At this point, you should contact a Personal Injury attorney. An attorney will help you negotiate and try to resolve the case out of court. If negotiations do not resolve the matter, the attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Time is of the essence as the Statute of Limitations controls the timeframe in which a lawsuit can be filed. In New York, a claim against a Municipality requires a filing of a notice of claim within 90 days of the underlying incident. Claims for an intentional tort must be commenced within a year. Personal Injury actions, most commonly a result of negligence, must be filed within 3 years. A Personal Injury Attorney will be familiar with the statutory limitations and ensure your claim is appropriately filed.
These are just a few of the steps that should be taken to best protect your claim. However, each case is unique and any questions should be directed to the attention of a Personal Injury Attorney.