How To File A Personal Injury Claim

If you’ve been recently injured, it can be confusing to figure out what to do next, especially if you are struggling with emotional trauma. “Personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers from an accident or injury, and someone else might be legally responsible for that harm.” (FindLaw 2018) The first steps in taking control of the situation begin immediately after the initial incident. Taking care to follow these steps can help lead the way to successfully holding someone responsible for the emotional and physical damage they have cost you.

First Steps in a Personal Injury Claim

The first action taken is ensuring sustained injuries are taken care of. Failing to have injuries properly evaluated and treated by a medical professional may unintentionally give the impression that there weren’t real injuries, to begin with. This can severely impact the ability to file a personal injury claim, let alone have a successful case. Early treatment also assists in proving that the injuries suffered are all directly related to the accident and not from another underlying cause.

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The subsequent steps to be taken into consideration when filing for personal injury are separated into two categories: documentation and notice. Documentation of an injury includes calling the police immediately following the accident (if you are able), taking photographs of the incident and resulting injuries, giving a statement on the accident and injuries, keeping discharge records from the ER, creating a notebook journal of evaluation and treatment after the accident, keeping receipts for any prescriptions used to treat the injuries, providing a doctor’s note for missed work, etc. Always strive for the most accurate record possible of the event to ensure there is ample proof of the accident and injuries sustained.

The ‘notice’ category begins by formally notifying the parties involved in the accident and injuries. This can include but is not limited to, informing auto insurance of the accident (if the injury is vehicle-related), working with an adjuster to resolve the property damage claim, coordinating with any health insurance that may be applicable, letting the workplace know if you will be out, etc.

Things to Avoid

Filing a claim for personal injury is weighted with several things that should always be avoided, or there is a risk that the claim will be deemed invalid. Never admit fault in the incident, do not make a recorded statement, don’t downplay injuries (let the medical professionals know if your pain rating is 10/10), and don’t try settling a personal injury claim without the assistance and guidance of an attorney.

All of these factors are critical to building a solid case and ensuring that your claim has validity. Take the time to approach the situation with a personal injury attorney who can help you through the legal process of properly filing a personal injury claim to greatly improve the chances of receiving the compensation sought. Hopefully, these steps aren’t needed any time soon, but there is no such thing as ‘too prepared’ for unexpected obstacles one may face.

Contact our attorneys today.

 

https://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/personal-injury-law-the-basics.html

https://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/first-steps-in-personal-injury-claim.html

Notes from Attorney James M. Payne

 

Driving Without a License

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Driving With A Revoked Or Suspended License

In my more than twenty-five years as a practicing criminal/traffic defense attorney, one of the more frequent offenses I see is driving with a revoked or suspended license. The reasons for the revocation/suspension are varied. There are of course people who have lost their license because of a drunk driving conviction or some other serious traffic offense, or for a controlled substance (drug) conviction. Others are suspended/revoked because of an accumulation of twelve or more points in twelve months. Many are even suspended for not paying traffic tickets.

Driving After Suspension

Driving after a suspension is a non-criminal offense and carries a penalty of a fine only. Driving after revocation is a criminal offense with penalties ranging from a fine of up to $2,500, mandatory imprisonment in the county jail of up to one year, or both. If the driving results in an accident where someone is seriously injured or killed, driving after revocation itself can be a felony in addition to any other charges.

The Snowballing Of Penalties

Sadly, many of these cases are avoidable. Often, the situation is like a snowball rolling downhill. A person gets a speeding ticket, does not pay the fine, gets a license suspension, gets caught driving again, and again, and again, and ends up in jail because of what started as a simple speeding ticket.

Reinstating Your Driver’s License

Reinstating one’s license can involve paying overdue fines, obtaining insurance, satisfying court other obligations, or simply by paying the $50 reinstatement fee. It is also possible to reopen prior traffic offenses and remove the HTO status.

Reinstatement May Not Always Be Possible

If reinstatement is not possible, an occupational license allows an individual to drive up to twelve hours per day and sixty hours per week for employment, educational and religious purposes.

Being Charged With Driving After Revocation Or Suspension

If you are ever faced with a charge of driving after revocation or suspension, especially if potential jail time is involved, you should consider consulting an attorney experienced in criminal and traffic laws. Sometimes these criminal traffic matters can be resolved as a civil, non-moving violation. If you get into an accident without a license and need an auto wreck attorney, contact Rizzo & Diersen today.

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Safe and Legal Winter Driving

Driving For Weather Conditions

wisconsin, racine, kenosha, westosha, milwaukee, driving, weather, weather conditions, conditions, drive, driver, drivingDriving safely can be a challenge in the winter. Cold weather, early sunset and massive snow accumulation can make it easy to accidentally break some very simple traffic laws. For example, it is common for headlights and taillights to burn out because the sun sets much earlier and we do a greater amount of driving at night.  Another example is how bumpers with integrated steps, such as those on trucks and SUVs, allow snow to accumulate and obscure the vehicle’s license plate. And since nobody likes to be out in the cold for longer than they must, snow often sits on a car without being removed, sometimes covering essential equipment like headlights and tail lights.

Traffic Offenses

We have all experienced one or more of these situations. Usually, they are innocent mistakes. But even if you accidentally break the rules, your innocent mistake is often not a defense. Many traffic offenses are strict liability offenses, meaning that your intent is not something that must be proven for you to be found guilty. And even a minor ticket carries a fine that is substantially more expensive than simply replacing a burnt out light bulb.

OWI

The worst case scenario is that an accidental violation of a simple traffic rule can lead to more serious charges, such as Operating While under the Influence (OWI). A traffic stop for a serious offense like OWI only needs to be supported by an officer’s reasonable suspicion that any law is being broken. It is therefore not uncommon for a burnt out tail light to be the entire basis for a traffic stop that leads to an OWI arrest and possibly even a conviction.

Safe Driving

Safe driving is just as important as legal driving. Following other cars too closely and driving at an excessive speed is illegal but also frequent causes of accidents. In many instances, prosecutors are less likely to negotiate in situations where the defendant caused an accident because of his driving. So even though winter can make driving a challenge, remember to be safe and drive legally. Many things are quite simple and totally within your control. If you decide to drink, drink responsibly. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination, especially if the weather is bad. Check your headlights, tail lights, license lamps, and your registration sticker. License lamps, in particular, are easy to miss when inspecting your vehicle and every single one must be working correctly. Make sure that your car is in good working order with a good battery, decent tires, and good brakes. You should frequently do all of these things, but be especially sure to make an extra check if you plan to go out to dinner or the bars.  If you still happen to get into an accident and need a car crash attorney, contact Rizzo & Diersen today!

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