Naperville is known as a peaceful and prosperous suburb of Chicago, with a low crime rate and a thriving civic spirit. However, this doesn’t mean that life here is problem free: catastrophic injuries can happen anywhere, at any time, to anyone. While they’re more likely to happen in relation to a workplace accident or a car crash, there are numerous other types of catastrophic injuries, all of which can leave a person permanently disabled and unable to work.
Catastrophic injuries can wreak total havoc on a person’s life, making them unable to enjoy simple activities like sports or even reading for enjoyment. As such, it’s important to receive prompt medical attention, then turn one’s attention to receiving justice for this injury. Here is a quick guide to the steps you must take should you find yourself the victim of a catastrophic injury, where that is a severe dog attack or a motorcycle accident.
Call the police and stay at the scene of the crime
While this may be obvious, you might be surprised at how many people try to leave even when they are severely injured, as they are in a state of shock. Some people report walking on broken legs or trying to get up with a spinal injury because they do not realize how bad the accident was and simply want to go home.
That’s why it’s important to remember that you must always get to a safe place near the scene of the crime, then call 911 to receive prompt medical attention and documentation of the accident. Don’t be tempted to try to “walk it off,” even if you don’t appear injured: catastrophic injuries may not be immediately apparent, and moving can make them worse.
Receive immediate medical attention, and keep all the records of your treatments
After the police have been called and begun a report, you need to get prompt medical attention to ensure that you are stabilized. The full extent of your injuries may not be obvious, so you need to trust in the professionals, who will give you a full examination and decide on the interventions necessary to ensure you deal with as few complications as possible.
You need to keep all the medical records so that you can ensure you get full reimbursement, as well as to advocate for your own care. If the accident took place near home, ask the ambulance to take you to the hospital system you use for your primary care appointments, as this will make it much easier to keep track of what procedures have been done, as well as allow your primary care physician to correspond with the emergency room staff.
If the accident was further afield, you can ask them to transfer the records to your usual hospital system; however, you should still ask for paper copies as well, just in case your request was lost in the hectic, fast-paced atmosphere of a hospital.
Get in touch with a lawyer – and fast
When you’ve been severely injured, the last thing you’re probably thinking of is contacting insurance agencies and starting a lawsuit, but it’s essential that you allow a qualified Naperville personal injury law firm to negotiate on your behalf. Both your insurance agency and that of the other parties involved in the accident want to diminish their own costs, so they will attempt to haggle you down to lower compensation than you actually deserve. They may even try to argue that you were negligent in some way, insisting that you admit even partial culpability for the accident.
This is why you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer before talking to the insurance agency, as you may say the wrong thing and damage your chances of getting an appropriate settlement. With your permission, the law firm will discuss the matter on your behalf with the insurance company, providing the necessary documentation that you’ve given them. Most insurance companies want to settle out of court, as they want to avoid complicated legal battles, but they will work to diminish what they have to pay to far below what you actually deserve. Personal injury law firms have experience in working with insurance agencies, and they will also know when to file a lawsuit after all negotiation has failed.
It’s important to get this started right away, as the Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is only two years. That might seem a lot, but you must consider that settlement negotiations can take a long time, and the clock begins ticking as soon as you’ve had the accident.
No one wants to deal with a catastrophic injury, but unfortunately, accidents happen, and we must always be prepared for the worst case outcome no matter how safe and peaceful our life may be. Remember that you must stay at the scene of the crime, receive prompt medical attention, and reach out to a personal injury law firm right away, as this will get you on the fast track for regaining your quality of life.