1. Gather Evidence - take photos and videos of the injuries and property damage, preferably with a digitial camera. Gather death certificate, medical records, medical bills, and contact information of eye-witnesses as soon as practicable. If the case involves a death, request an autopsy from an independent medical examiner. If it is a car or trucking wreck, make sure to report the wreck to the police on the scene and obtain a copy of the police report and witness statements.
2. Research Experienced Trial Lawyers who Specialize in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation - use the internet to review websites of law firms that specialize in your case, make sure they are licensed in the state where the incident occurred, and talk to them over the phone and in person. Free consultations are customary as lawyers in this area, such as I, work on a contingency fee basis, which means the attorney does not charge you money unless he recovers money for you.
3. Hire a Lawyer Before its too Late - the Statute of Limitations in personal injury and wrongful death cases is two years in Georgia and three years in South Carolina from the date of the incident giving rise to the injury or death. This does not mean, however, you should wait that long. It is to your advantage to hire a lawyer early on so he can promptly investigate the case, secure and preserve evidence and witnesses to prove the claim, and satisfy any legally required deadlines that may be required to safeguard your right to sue, such as an ante-litem notice, which is always required to be filed before suing a governmental entity, like a state owned hospital or a county owned vehicle.