After you have been involved in an accident, your main priority should be seeking medical care. Once you seek medical treatment and receive the proper care required to treat your injuries, you may wonder what you should do next. Often, these uncertainties cause accident victims to delay initiating a claim or personal injury lawsuit for longer than is necessary.
To begin the process of recovering compensation for an accident you were involved in, you first need to identify who was responsible. The at fault party or parties will ultimately be the ones liable for your accident and any resulting injuries you sustained.
How Do I Know Who is Liable?
When you make the decision to file a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, you will need to identify all of the responsible parties. At this early stage, you do not need to know who was at fault. That determination will come later on. Instead, you simply need to identify who may have been responsible for your accident.
For example, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, a number of parties may be to blame including the driver, the vehicle owner, or a business if a commercial vehiclehit you. In a supermarket slip-and-fall accident, fault could lie with a property owner or retail establishment.
Remember, you only need to identify who might be responsible at this point so you may notify them of your accident and intention to file a personal injury claim. When you do not know who may be at fault or need help identifying all potentially liable parties, consult with a personal injury lawyer. He or she will be able to investigate your accident and establish which parties should be held liable for your injuries.
How Are Notifications Made?
After you have identified all of the potentially responsible parties, either through your own or with the help of a personal injury lawyer, you will need to notify them. The purpose of this notification is twofold:
- Inform them of the date and time of the accident
- Let them know you intend on filing a personal injury claim
The best way to make notifications is to send what is known as a notification letter. If you retain an attorney, they will draft this for you. The notification letter is simple, to the point, and does not divulge too much information like the nature of your injuries or any medical treatment received. As a claim is initiated, there will be plenty of opportunities to discuss your injuries and treatments with the other parties involved or their representatives.
Make Notifications Sooner Rather than Later
In most cases, you will not face a time limit in which you will need to notify responsible parties. Even so, it is in your best interest to make notifications as soon as possible following an accident. Doing so allows you to begin the often lengthy claims process and more quickly recover compensation you are entitled to under the law.