This post was written by Josh Baker.
Accidents and injuries are an unfortunate and unavoidable part of everyday life. There are initial steps, however, which can be taken to mitigate circumstances and prevent an accident or injury from manifesting into a more serious claim or lawsuit. In the immediate aftermath of an event, the first step is to remain calm and make sure there are no injuries. The scene should also be secured and protected to prevent any additional injuries or accidents.
Once the event is normalized and no further harm is present, the next step is to write down the names of all parties involved, including witnesses. Addresses and telephone numbers are also helpful to your litigation team should later questions arise. If appropriate, photographs of the scene are also important in order to document the condition of the site at the time of the event. No physical evidence should be moved or removed if the event is serious or catastrophic.
It might also be advisable to take written statements of any witnesses who saw the accident or injury take place. Memories fade over time and creating a contemporaneous written record of events and statements can often prove beneficial later. In the event of a truly significant accident or injury, it might also be advisable to contact your attorney or legal department right away. These professionals will be able to help walk you through the process in order to make sure the event is properly recorded and documented. While taking these simple steps in the immediate aftermath of a claim might seem obvious, they are often overlooked and very difficult to re-create in the weeks and months which follow. These steps can also help mitigate liability in the event the accident or injury morphs into a more serious claim or lawsuit.