Proactive steps you can take to protect your personal injury claim

When someone is injured in an accident, whether it’s an auto, motorcycle, or bicycle accident, a slip and fall, or some other circumstance caused by another’s negligence, that person may be in shock.  It may be difficult to think straight or ask the right questions.   Without a doubt, it’s a time of confusion, pain and anger.  Many times, a person may be too injured to do anything at the time of their injury other than seek medical attention.   But often, that is not the case.  Knowing what to do beforehand can help you protect your claim.  Here are some simple tips on what to do if you are injured:    
Collisions involving moving vehicles, motorcycles, 
bicycles, trucks
Photograph the scene where the collision occurred
If possible, photograph the damage on all vehicles, motorcycles, trucks or bicycles before they are moved
Provide a statement to the investigating officer explaining what occurred from your point of view
Ask for a copy of the other driver’s insurance card
Obtain a copy of the police report from
Know the coverage limits of your auto insurance policy including your UI/UIM coverage as well as any excess coverage you may have pursuant to an umbrella policy
Notify your auto insurance carrier right away that you have been involved in an accident
Do not agree to allow your motor vehicle, motorcycle, truck or bicycle to be salvaged by any  insurance carrier until you have had a chance to examine the same and take photographs.  If liability is in question, you may need the property damage information for your bodily injury case.
Make sure that if you are asked to sign a release for your property damage, it is limited to property damage only

Slip and Falls
Photograph the rug, mat, spill, step, hole, obstacle or other item or circumstance that caused your fall
Report the fall to a person with authority and provide your own written account - do not sign their written account
Ask for a copy of the incident report before you leave the scene
Ask for the name of the company’s insurance carrier and request that a claim for your medical expenses be opened pursuant to their med-pay coverage
If the fall occurs at someone else’s home, ask for a copy of their homeowner’s insurance policy and/or the name of their homeowner’s insurance carrier
For all situations:
If requested, provide a tape recorded statement to your insurance company only – do not provide a tape recorded statement to anyone else’s insurance company or an investigator
Seek immediate medical attention – do not wait and delay treatment
Explain how you were injured to the attending physician
Follow all of your doctor’s orders and keep a copy of all medical visits, prescriptions and records pertaining to your injury
Know your health insurance coverage and keep track of your co-pays and expenses