Any accident, severe or not, can affect your life in several ways. But in one that results in catastrophic injuries, the ongoing effects can be even more life-changing. Whether you’ve found yourself with catastrophic injuries, or you’re interested to know your rights if they did happen, then read on. Here are five vital steps to take after suffering from a catastrophic injury in an accident.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
Firstly, it’s essential to know what a catastrophic injury is and how it can happen. Such an injury is one so severe that it causes long-term debilitation or disability. Typically, these injuries affect your spine, spinal cord, and brain. They may also be an injury involving your skull or a spinal fracture.
A catastrophic injury can occur in many ways, such as through a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian accent, or through an oilfield accident and slip and fall accidents. No matter the situation, though, it may be in your best interest to contact a catastrophic injury lawyer.
1. Immediately After the Accident
Immediately after an accident, the scene is typically chaotic. Given that you’re potentially facing catastrophic injuries, you may not even be in a position to move from the scene. If you are, make sure you’re as safe as possible and take deep breaths to remain calm.
If you are in a position to check on others, do so. Make sure emergency services can be called to manage the scene. If your injuries are catastrophic, then this job may fall to someone else.
2. Seek Medical Care
Many people who suffer injuries in an accident can feel reasonably okay at the time. Your adrenaline levels are high, and the pain your body is experiencing may not be immediately apparent. However, severe brain injuries and spinal injuries are not always detectable right away. Therefore, it’s essential to seek medical treatment immediately.
3. Report the Accident
Depending on your injuries, either you or someone else at the scene needs to report the accident to authorities. While first responders are administering care, the local police department will be investigating the accident to compile a report and find out what happened and who’s at fault.
If the incident occurred at work, then follow the company’s reporting guidelines to the letter. Don’t delay in reporting the accident, for this may count against you if you decide to file a claim.
It’s at this point that you or someone else close to you should get as many witness statements or contact information as possible. All of this information can come in handy for filing a catastrophic injury claim with a Texas lawyer if you decide to do so.
4. Collect Evidence
Evidence is a vital part of any claims process involving catastrophic injuries. Even if you’re not in a position to collect evidence, it’s something that a family member and a lawyer can assist with.
This evidence compilation process can involve getting access to your medical records, police reports, and witness statements. It’s also important to take photos at the scene and images of your injuries. Where possible, keep the clothing you wore during the accident, as well.
5. Talk to a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
A catastrophic injury lawyer in Texas can be one of your first ports of call after a severe incident. You or a family member can get the ball rolling, and a Texas attorney can assist in ensuring you’ve got all the evidence you require to go through with a claim if that’s your intention.
Such a lawyer can also advise on whether you may be entitled to financial compensation to assist with current and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
However, to establish a claim, your lawyer must be able to prove that someone else’s carelessness, bad intentions, or negligence resulted in you or a loved one’s catastrophic injuries. That’s where hospital records, police reports, and other forms of evidence are important.
Is it Time to Call a Catastrophic Injury Lawyer in Texas?
Brain injuries, spinal injuries, and other catastrophic injuries can take their toll on any individual or family. Whether a traffic accident or work accident caused such injuries, it might be time to contact us. J. Alexander Law Firm is your local personal injury firm in Dallas, Texas to help you determine the next best steps to take.