Are you the victim of an accidental injury?
When you receive injuries from an accident where someone was at fault, it’s traumatic enough. But at least you have a clearcut case to make against the person or company responsible.
This is a lot more challenging in the case of an accidental injury. Still, there are important steps you’ll want to take after your injury.
What Constitutes an Accidental Injury?
Before we launch into the steps to take after your injury, let’s define accidental injury. Simply put, an accidental injury is any injury that could have been prevented. In other words, it’s not the result of a crime, attack, or act of God.
The following are the most common kinds of accidental injury:
Although you may think that car crashes top the list of causes for unintentional injury, it’s actually poisoning. This is primarily due to the prescription drug abuse epidemic. In fact, the over-prescribing of opioids has led to a surge of deaths because of overdoses.
More than 67,000 people died in 2018 from opioid overdoses. And given that millions more are addicted, it’s likely those numbers won’t drop significantly any time soon. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get access to opioids and in many cases, addicts report that the first opioids they took were provided by loved ones.
While drug addiction may seem an unlikely source of poisoning, there are still plenty of other household items that can be toxic and deadly. Of course, it’s of prime importance that cleaning products, pesticides, batteries, and other toxic chemicals be kept out of reach of children.
But carbon monoxide and lead poisoning are also leading causes of poisoning in the home. So get rid of any lead-based paint and be sure to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Falling often ends up bruising the ego more than the body. Taking a tumble can be embarrassing.
For people 65 and older, falling is much more serious. In fact, unintentional falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for that age group.
In most cases, falls are preventable. Removing clutter is the first step to maintaining clear pathways through a home. In addition, installing handles, bars, or railings in places prone to moisture like the bathroom and kitchen can greatly decrease the likelihood of falling.
Do you fancy yourself as a good swimmer? The National Safety Council has issued water-safety skills that are necessary for saving lives. You should be able to do the following:
- Jump into water over your head and then return to the surface.
- Exit the pool without using a ladder.
- Tread water for 60 seconds.
- Swim 25 yards without stopping.
If you’re unable to perform any of these, it’s a good idea to practice these skills to minimize the chances of drowning.
Of course, you don’t need to live near any sort of water to still be at risk of drowning. Bathtubs and sinks are drowning hazards – especially for children under the age of six. So to prevent injury by drowning, keep an eye on small children when they’re near any sort of water.
Choking is in the top five leading causes of accidental injury deaths in the United States. When an object gets lodged in your airway, it restricts breath that can cause brain damage or injury.
While very young and very old people are more at risk for choking, it’s best to be mindful when eating snacks with small diameters such as nuts and grapes, or foods that are chewy and dry. Pretzels, bagels, and peanut butter can be problematic.
- Auto Accidents
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children aged five to 19 and the second leading cause for those 25 and older.
The increase in phone usage while driving has resulted in high rates of dangerous and distracted driving. However, driving under the influence continues to be a serious problem as well. While alcohol is the most common form of driving under the influence, other drugs can impair driving as well.
Other reasons for injuries from car accidents include a lack of seat belts, speeding, and a simple lack of experience or skill.
Six Steps to Take Following an Accidental Injury
If the source of your injury was easily preventable and caused by the neglect of another, you may be able to get some compensation. Even if you think you don’t have a case, you may be able to collect. So be sure to take the following six steps following your injury.
- Get Info from Witnesses
If there was anyone around to witness the accident, you’ll want to get their names, addresses, and telephone numbers. You may need their account should the case go to court.
- Take Pictures
In addition to getting information from the witnesses, having pictures from the scene where the injury occurred can also help to verify your story. In addition, also take photos of any visible injuries such as cuts, gashes, or bruises.
- Call a Lawyer
Before you answer any questions from an insurance company representative, you’ll want to consult a lawyer. Be sure you know the important questions to ask when hiring an injury attorney.
- Talk to Your Doctor
Reach out to your personal physician and let her or him know exactly how the injury occurred. Be clear about any symptoms and complaints you have as a result of the accident. If you experienced memory problems, confusion or disorientation, mention these as well. No symptom is insignificant.
- Keep Quiet
Outside of talking with a lawyer and your doctor, it’s important you talk to no one else about the accident or injuries.
- Keep Documentation
Finally, after the accident, start keeping a diary of how your injury has affected your life and/or your family’s life. Take note of any activities you can’t do or are missing because of your injuries. In addition, record any expenses relating to the accident.
Get the Help You Need
If you’re struggling with an accidental injury, you don’t have to do it alone. Aside from asking for love and support from your friends and family members, you may be able to get legal help to offset expenses.
So be sure to follow the above steps.
And for more great tips on living your best and fullest life, keep checking back with our blog.