When you or a loved one is injured because of the recklessness or negligence of someone else, your main concern, naturally enough, is recovery. However, the decisions you make immediately after the injury can affect your recovery a great deal. Florida law protects you from the high cost of injury caused by someone’s negligence or recklessness. If you have suffered lost income, high medical bills, property damage, and other costs as a result of your injury, Florida law allows you to seek legal redress so that these costs do not come from your own pocket. Seeking legal help can ensure that you have the assistance you need for medical costs, living costs, and other associated costs. However, to safeguard yourself legally after an accident or injury, you need to:
1) Seek out a consultation with a qualified Florida injury lawyer. As soon as possible after your accident or injury, consult with a Florida attorney to learn about your options and your rights. You should schedule this consultation before you sign any papers from insurance providers or other attorneys. Many attorneys – including the law firm of Flaxman & Lopez – offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation, so you incur no costs or obligations by speaking with an attorney.
2) Start gathering information as soon as possible after your injury. Immediately after your injury or accident, you may be disoriented and frightened. However, as soon as possible, you should start securing information that can help your attorney. Take down the names of witnesses, doctors examining you, and possible defendants. Take photos of injuries, property damage, and the scene where the accident or injury took place. Start a journal as soon as possible after your injury and keep track of everything – any costs you incur as a result of your injuries, anyone you speak with about your injury, anyone who visits you and sees your injury, any treatments you get. Secure copies of your medical reports and police reports, if applicable. The more information you can provide, the more your attorney will be able to help you. Whether you have sustained a head injury, broken bones, burn injury, spinal cord injury, or another injury, information gathering is important.
3) Start establishing a good relationship with the attorney who will eventually handle your case. When you first schedule an interview with an attorney, make sure that you ask questions about your attorney’s qualifications. You may wish to ask where an attorney studied law, what their status is with the Bar Association, how many injury claims they have handled, and what sort of trial experience they have. You want someone with the education and the experience to pursue your rights aggressively. When you first speak with an attorney, you also want to be clear about the legal costs and fees involved in your case.
4) Make a decision about what legal steps (if any) to take. Once you have found a qualified attorney and have discussed your situation, you will need to make a decision about whether to pursue legal action. This decision will be based on what you and your attorney have discussed and on what you, personally, feel.
If you do make a decision to pursue legal action, you will need to continue building a good relationship with your attorney through good communication. Your attorney will guide you on the steps you need to take to safeguard your legal rights. This may involve keeping more records of your injuries or it may involve allowing professional investigators to explore the circumstances that led to your injury.