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Important first steps to take after an injury

An injury due to an accident or work-related incident can be an uncertain time in the lives of many Rhode Islanders. The first steps you take following an accident can determine your long-term path to recovery. Insurance companies and employers will consider their bottom line before they consider your immediate needs.

While the task of working through your injury may seem daunting, you can increase your chances of successful recovery by hiring a personal injury lawyer. Litigation may not seem appropriate, but having your case heard in front of a judge and jury may be the best way to get help when the red letter of the law cannot.

Know the steps you should take before you are injured so that you aren't left with one more thing to worry about. Here are three things to do following an injury:

1. Collect evidence and witness information

We are all able to gather information with our cell phones, and the device in your pocket can be a valuable tool following an accident. Take pictures of the incident, people involved and insurance cards. Put contact information of witnesses and parties directly into your contacts for safe keeping.

If you are seriously injured, you may be unable to collect this information yourself. Have a conversation with a loved one or trusted co-worker on how to react following an injury.

2. Notify parties of your intentions

If you are planning to file a civil lawsuit, there are some strict deadlines to follow. Although a courtroom date could be months away, notification of your intentions can keep your options open until you have time to begin proceedings formally.

A personal injury lawyer can help you with this initial paperwork to ensure that the language of your notification maximizes your opportunity for compensation.

3. Know the statute of limitations

Every state has its own statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim: that is, a time limit on how long you can seek compensation after an injury. Rhode Island's statute of limitations is three years after an injury. This limit may seem generous, but the requirements leading up to the filing of a lawsuit need to be met promptly.

The day-to-day tasks of going to work and taking care of your family can be difficult when you are injured. Make the recovery process easier by seeking the help of a team-oriented personal injury lawyer after an accident.

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