Settling Your Personal Injury Claim FAQ

I've been hurt in an accident and I want to file a claim for my injuries. What's the first thing I should do?

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I've been hurt in an accident and I want to file a claim for my injuries. What's the first thing I should do?

There are a number of things you can do in the first few days and weeks after an accident to protect your right to compensation should you want to file an injury claim. Except for filing a formal claim against a government entity, there's no single step that you absolutely must take to obtain a fair settlement, and no set order in which you must proceed. However, the more of the following suggestions you can follow, the more smoothly your claim process is likely to flow.

  • Write down as much as you can about the accident itself, your injuries, and any other losses (such as wages) you've suffered as a result of the accident.
  • Make notes of conversations that you have with people involved in the accident or the injury claim. (For more details on what notes to take, see the article Take Notes After an Accident or Injury.)
  • Preserve evidence of who caused the accident and what damage was done by collecting physical evidence and taking photographs. (For tips on what evidence to collect, see the article Personal Injury Accidents: Preserve Evidence.)
  • Locate people who witnessed the accident and who might be able to help you prove your case (for information on how to locate witnesses, see the article Personal Injury Accidents: Preserve Evidence), and
  • Notify anyone you think might be responsible for the accident of your intention to file a claim for your injuries. (For more information, see the article Personal Injury Claims: Notifying Responsible Parties.)

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