In law, personal injury describes any harm a person experiences resulting from another person’s negligent or wrongful behavior.
I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials or billboards for personal injury attorneys at some point. But what actually constitutes a personal injury case?
Personal injury law permits victims of personal injury to be compensated for injuries, expenses, and losses by the person or party who is responsible. A personal injury claim is, in essence, a negligence claim in which the accused is said to have failed in his or her ‘duty’ to exercise reasonable care.
“Most personal injury cases are governed by the law of negligence, which dictates the level of reasonable care that is owed from one person to another in a given situation, and the kinds of conduct that would amount to a breach of that legal duty, leading to liability for any resulting injury,” further explains an attorney at Mesriani Law Group.
Vehicle accidents, defective product claims, pedestrian accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and fall accidents are among the most common personal injury claims. Car accidents account for the most personal injury claims and include personal injury between cars, but also cyclists and pedestrians.
Though negligence is often the cause, weather can also be a factor. Slip and fall personal injury claims may be a result of negligence on the part of a property owner. An injury caused by a defective product that was being used as intended can also result in a personal injury claim. Medical malpractice, while often controversial, is injury which occurs in a medical setting. In medical malpractice cases, the injured party must prove the doctor or personnel did not provide competent medical services and caused the injury.
Assault as well as Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED) are not a result of negligence, but rather, are intentional, and can qualify as a personal injury claim though most often they are classified as criminal cases. Though not an inclusive list, this should provide an ample understanding of what provides a personal injury claim.
Personal injury claims are based in three concepts – negligence, strict liability, and intentional wrongs.
Negligence results from carelessness or the inability to refrain from dangerous or harmful behavior. In negligence cases, the injured must establish negligence on the part of the accused person or party.
Strict liability holds designers as well as manufacturers liable for injuries incurred as a result of defective products. Strict liability differs from negligence in that the injured is not required to show negligence but rather to demonstrate the product was designed in subpar fashion making it dangerous when used for its intended purpose.
Intentional wrongdoing or intentional wrongs can also become personal injury claims, though they are not as common as negligence and strict liability. Intentional wrongs occur when one individual hits or pushes another, even in jest, and the person is injured. The injured party may be able to file a personal injury claim as a result of the injury incurred.
Personal injury, while often thought of as physical harm, also includes injuries which cause damage to an individual’s quality of life. For example, legally personal injury could occur if a colleague provided false information regarding another colleague’s qualifications damaging his or her opportunities for advancement or a new position, thus impacting income and quality of life.
When in doubt regarding personal injury and resultant claims, it is imperative for the injured party to contact an experience, well-qualified personal injury attorney to determine a positive course of action going forward.
Were you in an accident? Have you suffered multiple injuries? Are you missing work and losing money? It is understandable that all you want right now is to feel better and get back on your feet, but what you need right now is an excellent personal injury lawyer. It is not difficult to find one.
Personal injury law in New York State can be more than a little complicated for the novice person. Getting the compensation you deserve from the liable party and filing the claim with your insurance provider can be challenging. It is a tedious process unless you have a local attorney firm in Buffalo, New York, helping you with the paperwork.
Before proceeding any further, you should find an exclusive personal injury lawyer. Here’s what you need to do to find one –
Look for an attorney who takes cases to trial when necessary
Many attorneys believe in settling matters outside the court only. If you do that, you might lose out on considerable money. You might not even receive the sum your physical injuries, and emotional trauma deserves. Check with the firm if they have a history of taking cases to trial instead of settling for a pittance.
Find lawyers with a history of successful personal injury cases
You should only work with winners. In court, a confident attorney can determine which direction your case will proceed. It is imperative to know that your lawyers will get the best possible settlement or verdict for you. Get top rated Buffalo personal injury attorneys at the O’Brien and Ford Law Firm, with a proven history of winning personal injury lawsuits.
Check the attorney’s credentials and memberships
Every registered attorney should be a member of the national and state bar associations. Furthermore, they should be parts of other prestigious groups. You might find advertisements of accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys on billboards near the highway, but there is no guarantee that the person behind the advert actually has the credentials he or she claims to have. Therefore, dig deep and visit online forums to confirm the qualifications, certifications, and memberships of the attorney you plan to hire.
Only select attorneys, who specialize in personal injury law
Law has several categories. A good lawyer does not have expertise in every field. When you have a potential personal injury lawsuit in hand, you should only look at attorneys with extensive experience in the field of personal injury. Since a person is least likely to see a gynecologist with a headache, it makes little sense to visit a divorce lawyer with a personal injury case. Some attorneys also have a list of clientele you can check online or speak to, to learn more about his or her claimed services.
While these tips should help you find an excellent personal injury attorney, you should not neglect their online reviews. The client reviews can help you find out more than you can from personal interviews with each legal professional.
You have a legal entitlement to compensation if you sustain injuries in an accident as a result of carelessness or negligence of someone else. Filing a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation can be a lengthy and challenging process. Personal injury cases are more complicated than what most people think. Consequently, you need to maximize your potential benefit. What most people do not know is that what they do after the injury plays an integral role in the personal injury claim as well as the amount of compensation that you will get. These tips will help you to make the most out of your personal injury claim.
The jury will decide your case based on the evidence you present to them. Similarly, the other party will select the compensation amount based on the strength of your case, which is determined by the evidence that you present. As such, the more evidence you preserve, the higher the chances you have of winning your case. You should take photos of your immediate injuries and the accident scene immediately after the accident if you are in a position to do so.
Additionally, it is wise to collect contact information and names of the witnesses because you will need them to testify in court. It is also wise to get a copy of the police report if it is available. A personal injury attorney can follow up on the details and collect witness statements to prepare the case.
Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer
You need to carefully select the right personal injury attorney to represent you when you have been severely injured due to a defective product, accident or medical malpractice. The personal injury lawyer you select for the claim will have a significant impact on the outcome of the claim. The level of expertise and skills vary from lawyer to lawyer. As such, you must pay close attention to the kind of attorney you hire if you want to get maximum compensation for the personal injury claim. Also, the type of personal injury cases the lawyer has handled in the past, and the attention you get as the client determines the compensation amount you will get.
Stay off social media
One of the tips you should never overlook if you want to get the most out of the compensation claim is staying off social media. Notably, anyone can find and use the comments or photos that you post on social media sites, including the defense. Personal injury attorneys search for evidence even on social media sites so that they can use the information against you in court, which affects the compensation amount. Consequently, you must refrain from posting anything concerning the case on social media so that you do not give the defense team information to use against you. Also, you could be suing against devastating injuries, but your social media platforms tell a different story, which could potentially ruin your case. Remember that the other party is watching and it could adversely affect your compensation benefits. Additionally, you should not discuss any aspect of the personal injury case with anyone until the jury settles.
Get medical treatment
Winning a personal injury lawsuit means that you will get a fair payment for your losses and injuries. Therefore, you need an accurate image of your damages. Doctors and other medical practitioners should document the injuries you sustained from the accident and come up with a treatment plan. The documentation might encourage the other party to offer a higher settlement amount than they would have if you did not have the documents. Unfortunately, most people reduce the compensation amount unknowingly when they fail to get medical treatment perhaps when they think that the injuries are minor. Also, you should follow the recommended treatment plan including physical therapy and treatment for post-traumatic stress so that you get the maximum compensation benefits.
Don’t lock in the first offer from the insurance company
Insurance adjusters are trained and experienced in starting negotiations by offering a low settlement amount or even deny liability. Therefore, you should not allow yourself to be fooled by the adjusters because they use tricks to find out if you know the value of the claim. They then motivate you to accept a smaller compensation amount than the required by trying to fill your pocket quickly. You must first think if the offer that has been made by the insurance company is reasonable or not. Also, you should never agree with the third party if the Foyle Legal Perth has to offer is not present. Some people think that they are limited to one type of damage. In reality, there are several types of costs that people suffer because of the injury they sustain from an accident. Usually, most people are not aware of the losses and injuries that they have experienced. To maximize the compensation benefits, you should claim for emotional damages and loss of regular use of your body. Those should be beside the out-of-pocket losses that you will incur during the recovery period or the future damages because you might not have recovered from injuries during the trial.
Don’t wait to file your case
One of the things that reduce the compensation amount or sometimes lead to denial of the claim is filing the injury claim late. Most people do not know that they have limited time to present their case. You should submit your claim as soon as possible to avoid running out of time. You need to know that you cannot recover at all after the expiry of the statute of limitations.
Additionally, filing the case as early as possible gives you the chance to start gathering evidence formally. It is a vital aspect of preserving the evidence required to build your lawsuit. It also acts as a sign to the other party that you are serious about claiming your compensation benefits.
A personal injury attorney will help you to get the most of your injury claim when the case goes to trial. These tips will also assist you to get a fair settlement. The legal process might take a long time, so you must be patient.
Anyone living and working in Los Angeles probably thinks that traffic along the I-5 corridor through the county is about as bad as it gets in the United States. Actually, that’s ‘almost’ true! Yes, traffic is congested but you may be interested in learning that according to statistics listed in Forbes online magazine, LA is only the 5th most congested! Ahead of Los Angeles are Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, and New York City respectively. Even so, that doesn’t help when there are so many traffic accidents with injuries in Los Angeles. So other than road rage and impatience in traffic, what are the five of the most common causes of car accidents with injuries? Check this out!
1. Distracted Driving
If you haven’t already done so, do yourself a favor and get a Bluetooth earpiece for that blasted cell phone! Although the other causes of accidents with injuries are in no particular order, distracted driving holds the lead in no uncertain terms. If you’ve been injured due to a distracted driver, the first thing you should do is hire a car accident attorney who can get you the just compensation you deserve. With so many types of hands-free apps and devices, there is no reason for such negligence! See to it that you are compensated!
2. Traffic Volume
Getting back to the sheer volume of traffic in LA, it stands to reason that this could be a huge cause of accidents, especially during rush hour. Not only will you be literally gridlocked in traffic on the interstate but you will feel that frustration on city streets as well. Too many drivers become impatient waiting for traffic to begin moving and this is where heat and rage take over. Drivers tend to want to make their own “passing laws” but with serious consequences. This is another time that a lawyer would come in handy. Any driver that can’t control their emotions when behind the wheel should pay the consequences – or get off the road!
In a state with legal medical and recreational marijuana, you’d think that pot is a leading cause of driving under the influence in California. Actually, alcohol still takes the lead and, unfortunately, is the leading cause of traffic fatalities among teenagers in LA. This is according to LAPD.
4. Dangerous Lane Changes
Here again, gridlock and impatience in all that traffic can lead drivers to make dangerous lane changes. Have you ever been at a standstill on the 5 when all of a sudden a vehicle swerves out from behind you into a lane not meant for traffic? It could be the shoulder on either side of the road, but those illegal lane changes are often the cause of serious accidents on the highway,
Speeding is also a leading cause of accidents with injuries but usually, it is accompanied by other offenses at the same time. Speeding, along with tailgating, dangerous lane changes and distracted driving can increase the odds of an accident many times over.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the carelessness of another driver, know that you do have recourse. Hire a lawyer at your earliest convenience before you speak to anyone. Be careful what you say to officers at the scene and always make sure to let your lawyer do the talking after that initial contact. You deserve to be compensated, so let them get the settlement you so rightfully deserve.
There are more than 130,000 personal injury lawyers currently working in the United States. Collectively, these lawyers bring in more than $35 billion in revenue each year.
Have you recently been injured? Are you considering hiring a lawyer to help you get compensated for your injuries?
Before you add more money to a lawyer’s pockets, it’s important to do your homework and make sure they’re the right one for the job.
Read on to learn more about personal injury lawyers and gain some helpful tips for hiring a personal injury lawyer.
What is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer is someone who represents individuals who have experienced an injury (either physical or psychological). Usually, their injuries are the result of negligence or carelessness from another person or an organization or entity.
Personal injury lawyers ensure that their clients receive compensation for their injuries. They also help to protect clients from being victimized by insurance companies or the defendant’s legal representation.
Some personal injury lawyers specialize in a specific type of injury, but many of them work with a variety of clients.
According to Heard Law Firm, personal injury attorneys can work with issues that range of car accident injuries and wrongful deaths to catastrophic injuries and chemical and toxic exposures.
Tips for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Do you think a personal injury lawyer is the right person to handle your case and help you get the compensation you deserve?
If so, be sure to keep these tips in mind when you begin your search. They’ll help you make sure you’re hiring the best lawyer possible:
1. Consider Their Specialization
The first step toward hiring a good personal injury lawyer is to find someone who specializes in helping clients whose situations are similar to yours.
If you were injured in a car accident, you don’t want to hire a lawyer who exclusively works with victims of medical malpractice, right?
Look on their website to see what kinds of injuries their clients have typically sustained and make sure their specialization areas match up with your needs.
2. Look at Their Trial History
In most cases, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer who has a history of taking cases to trial when necessary. Ideally, you won’t need to go to trial and will be able to settle your case out of court.
Should you actually need to go to trial, though, it’s good to have someone on your side who has lots of trial experience and knows how to handle those situations with ease and confidence.
3. Look at Their Verdict and Settlement History
This is especially important if you’re dealing with a large case and serious injuries.
If you have millions of dollars on the line, you need to know that your lawyer can help to deliver a settlement that matches your needs.
When you’re considering a particular lawyer, be sure to ask about their verdict and settlement history and find out how many million dollar verdicts or settlements they’ve had.
Even if your case is not worth a million dollars or more, it’s still a good idea to work with an attorney who has a history of delivering large settlements to their clients.
4. Consider Their Professional Affiliations
Look for a lawyer who is affiliated with professional organizations. This includes state and national trial lawyer groups.
Being affiliated with these groups shows that your lawyer is dedicated to staying informed about the latest changes to the law and knows about the results of other cases similar to yours.
5. Find Someone with Lots of References
When you’re looking to hire a personal injury lawyer (or any kind of professional, really), they should have plenty of references ready to go.
They also shouldn’t be shy about letting you see and reach out to these references.
If a lawyer is hesitant to provide references or tries to convince you that they’re not important, that’s a major red flag.
Remember to also look at the lawyer’s online reviews. This will help you get a more objective idea of the kind of work they do and how satisfied their clients generally are.
6. Conduct an Interview
It’s always best to meet with a lawyer before you decide whether or not you’re going to hire them.
Ideally, you would meet with them in person at their office, but you should at least be able to sit down for a phone conversation.
During your meeting, be sure to ask plenty of questions about the experience, specialties, and trial history.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure they check all your boxes. If you’re going to be paying them to defend you, you deserve to make sure they’re the real deal.
7. Ask for an Assessment of Your Case
During your interview with the lawyer, ask them for an assessment of your case, too. What are your chances of winning, in their eyes? What kind of outcomes do they usually see for cases like yours?
8. Trust Your Gut
Finally, remember to trust your gut. Above all else, your intuition will let you know is a particular personal injury lawyer is a good fit for you.
Pay attention to the way you’re received when you arrive at their office and how they treat you. Do they give you their undivided attention, or do they seem distracted?
Do you, generally speaking, like them? You’re going to be working very closely with this lawyer for several weeks or months, so you need to make sure you can handle spending a lot of time with them.
Hire a Lawyer Today
As you can see, there are a lot of tips for hiring a personal injury lawyer that you need to keep in mind.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to find a lawyer, especially when you’re also dealing with the stress and discomfort of having been injured.
If you remember these tips, though, the process will be a lot easier.Are you ready to find a great personal injury lawyer in your area? If so, be sure to make use of our free online directory today. Check it out to narrow down your search and find a qualified and credible personal injury lawyer to handle your case.
Everybody has to deal with hardships that come with most jobs. Burnout, not enough vacation time, or friction between coworkers are all facts of professional life. However, nobody wakes up and expects to get injured at work that day.
Unfortunately, injuries are more common than you may think. In fact, private employers reported approximately 2.8 million workplace injuries in 2017 alone.
This best way to avoid work-related injuries to understand which types are the most common for your industry. To help educate you, we’re going over five types of workplace injuries you may encounter during your career.
1. Repetitive Motion Injuries
This type of injury is sometimes hard to identify. It can also affect people in all types of job roles, from office work to factory assembly.
Repetitive motion injuries result when a person must perform the same task over and over throughout their shift. Eventually, deterioration occurs.
An employee can suffer from a repetitive motion injury as a result of lifting objects, remaining on their feet all day, or typing. Even sitting for too long can lead to workplace injury.
Problems can include back issues, joint issues, carpal tunnel, or vision problems. These injuries can sneak up on an employee and cause them to have to miss work or seek medical treatment.
Many businesses are now integrating ergonomic equipment into the workplace to prevent repetitive stress injuries. This equipment includes ergonomic chairs, standing desks, special keyboards, or back supports.
It’s also important for employees to take regular breaks during their shifts. Even short breaks can help reduce the chance of repetitive stress injuries.
2. Slip and Falls
In workspaces with hazardous footing, slip and fall accidents are bound to happen. This may include construction sites, kitchens, or retail settings.
Many of these accidents occur when surfaces are often wet or oily. Employees have to take proper precautions and make sure to wear the right shoes.
In cluttered environments like construction sites, uneven surfaces or poor lighting may cause an employee to lose their footing. Unfortunately, many of these accidents don’t end well.
When a slip and fall occurs, a broad range of injuries can result. A person may sustain anything from sprained ankles to serious head injuries. Broken bones or major cuts can occur as well.
Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment for their employees. In places like kitchens or warehouses, the use of proper warning signs is a necessity. Construction workers must also go through the right safety training to avoid injury.
If a slip and fall occurs due to the negligence of a business owner or other employee, a worker may have a right to seek compensation. They’ll need to hire a personal injury attorney to evaluate their case.
3. Vehicle Accidents
For workers who frequently operate semi-trucks, taxis, or any type of motor vehicle, auto accidents are always a threat. This is why these jobs often require extensive safety training and a specialized license.
Operators of semi-trucks must take extra precautions. Due to the frequency of highway driving and the heavy weight of eighteen-wheelers, accidents can result in serious injury.
This risk gets amplified when drivers must work long hours. Exhaustion can greatly reduce a person’s reaction time, which is dangerous when driving at highway speeds.
Drivers of smaller vehicles are also at risk of neck injuries, broken bones, or head trauma. This is why companies must carry adequate insurance for their employees.
It’s important all drivers wear seat belts and employ defensive driving techniques. Businesses must also take measures to ensure their vehicles are properly maintained.
Background checks are a must for driving jobs. Ensuring employees have a clean driving record helps protect them and other drivers on the road.
4. Strained Muscles
People who regularly bend and lift heavy items are at high risk of strained muscles. This is a common injury in the warehouse, moving, or construction industries.
Neck and back strains pose the biggest threat. Sustaining this type of injury can lead to mobility issues and intense pain. When this occurs, an employee will need to take time off to recover.
Muscles strains can often start small and get worse if an employee continues performing the same task. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment at the first sign of a strain.
Employees who must bend, lift, and carry objects on a regular basis need to use correct lifting techniques. This includes using the legs instead of the back. Braces can provide added back support.
It’s also important for employees to avoid overworking their muscles. To help prevent injuries, most companies that require heavy lifting put a cap on the number of hours an employee can work. Employees can also help reduce the chance of a strain by performing stretching exercises before and after their shifts.
5. Machine-Related Injuries
Work environments that require the use of machinery pose an added danger to employees. This could include everything from a kitchen to a manufacturing facility.
When workers have to use machinery as part of their job, they must remain very diligent. It only takes a fraction of a second for a distraction to lead to serious injury.
Depending on the type of machinery, injuries could include cuts, fractures, or burns. In extreme cases, a machine-related injury could lead to the loss of a limb or even death.
Employees using a machine must go through proper operation and safety training. It’s also important for businesses to ensure their workspaces are clean and that warning signs are in use around dangerous machines.
Workers should avoid wearing loose clothing while working with machines. Many injuries occur when an employee’s hand or arm gets caught. Wearing form-fitting clothes is a good way to prevent this.
Take Steps to Avoid These Work-Related Injuries
A job-related injury has the potential to put you out of work or even compromise the future of your career. The best way you can prevent this is by engaging in workplace safety practices on a daily basis.
It also helps to educate yourself on the most common work-related injuries discussed above so you know what risks to keep an eye out for.
For more legal articles on personal injury, check out our blog today.
There are a lot of different circumstances that can lead to personal injury. Many of the situations in which injuries occur are the result of someone else’s negligence. If you have been in any type of accident, such as a workplace accident, slip and fall accident, or auto accident, and you were injured, there are some steps you should take to protect yourself and your right to compensation.
Types of Personal Injury Accidents
These steps are necessary for any personal injury accident. There are a number of ways that you might be injured due to someone else’s negligence. Some of the most common personal injury accidents include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bite attacks
- Construction site accidents
- On the job accidents
- Product malfunction or dangerous manufacture
- Accidents in retail establishments
If you are every injured due to the negligence of another party, you should take these measures to make sure that you are protected. Your ability to be compensated for your injuries depends on the steps you take when the accident first occurs.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you think that your injuries are minor, you should seek medical attention immediately after any accident resulting in personal injury. Some injuries are worse than they first appear. If you do not seek treatment immediately, it could be argued later that your injuries were caused by something else. Seeking immediate treatment is important for building your case to be compensated for your injuries.
If you are restricted on your work duties or given limitations of any kind due to your injuries, you should be sure to follow them. Make sure that you attend any follow up treatment as well. Even if you start feeling better, you need to follow up and make sure you are following your doctor’s orders. Not only could you injure yourself again by ignoring restrictions, but you could put your ability to be compensated for your injuries in jeopardy.
Don’t Sign Anything
Insurance companies, whether it is car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or worker’s compensation insurance, are in the business of protecting their profits. They will try to settle with you for the lowest amount they think you will agree to. This may not cover all of your medical treatments and losses due to your injuries. Before signing anything, you should make sure that you understand fully what compensation you are receiving. Once you sign or cash the check, you will be unable to get any additional compensation.
Contact an Attorney
The first thing you should do in any personal injury accident is contact an attorney. You will need someone fighting on your side to negotiate with the negligent party and their insurance carriers, if any. An attorney will be able to fully understand the scope of your losses and what compensation you are entitled to. You will fare much better if you talk to an attorney before discussing the accident with the negligent party or their representatives. Let the lawyer negotiate and discuss the case with them on your behalf for the best chances at receiving the full compensation that you deserve.
Personal injuries are tragedies by themselves and personal injury lawyers are often the only hope of getting you some form of compensation for the pain and financial burden that you should not have had to suffer, had it not been for someone else’s negligence or actions. Unfortunately, not every personal injury lawyer is up to the task and there is no point in wasting time with them. But the question remains, how will you know that the personal injury lawyer you have hired is not the right one for you? Well, it’s not that hard to figure this one out really, but you will have to know and accept the signs for what they are.
Your Lawyer is Uncommunicative
A lawyer has legal obligations to keep you informed about the case and its developments, so if he/she is uncommunicative regarding those details, it’s a sign that you are not dealing with a good personal injury lawyer. A good lawyer will pick up your calls/emails/texts or return them at the earliest, as well as keeping you informed on their own. Also, notice how fruitful each meeting with your lawyer is in terms of effective communication. Does he/she seem disinterested or closed off to your questions?
Visiting Your Personal Injury Lawyer Makes You Feel Bad
It is unprofessional for any lawyer to be rude or impolite to their clients, so that’s always a red flag. If a visit to your lawyer makes you feel bad in any way, owing to his/her behavior, it is time to fire the lawyer and find a personal injury lawyer for your case that actually cares about the client, the case, and how he/she feels during the whole ordeal.
The Firm Does Not Know Who You are
If the law firm for which your lawyer works seems completely uninformed about your case or even your connection to the firm or is unable to find someone who can answer your queries for you, it is a bad sign that indicates unconnected and disorganized client management. A smaller, but reputed law firm might be a better idea for personal injuries, as they cater to their clients as a unified legal force.
Does the Lawyer have a Case of Misconduct in their Past?
If a lawyer in the US has been disciplined by the Bar in any given state, it does not reflect well on his/her resume. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are dealing with a bad lawyer, you should check up on the cause for which the disciplinary action was taken, and also, if any of the other symptoms we just discussed can be observed while working with the lawyer.
Check for online reviews about the firm and the particular lawyer before hiring because it is always better if you take some time doing the research necessary for hiring a good personal injury lawyer, to begin with, but just in case you made a mistake, there is no reason to make it worse and continue either.
What would you do if an accident changed your life today? Most people never think that a rear car collision or a simple slip and fall can have a big effect on their lives. But when accidents happen, they can be devastating.
Accidental injuries have become the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. And plenty that don’t die end up suffering severe consequences for simple mistakes.
Injury lawsuits have helped people get financial compensation for their injury and prevent others from experience the same pain they went through. But these lawsuits are never a sure thing.
You may have been harmed by no fault of your own, but you could still lose your lawsuit if you approach it the wrong way.
Read on to learn what you should avoid doing if you want to win your personal injury case.
Injury Lawsuits 101: 6 Mistakes to Avoid
It can be jarring to think that you could lose a suit you’re depending on, but it happens more often than you’d like to think.
Any personal injury lawyer can tell you a story about where a client didn’t get what they deserved because of a simple mistake.
We can’t guarantee that you’ll win every suit you file. But we do know if you follow these tips, your chances for winning will improve.
1. Forgetting to Preserve Evidence
In personal injury lawsuits, the evidence is everything. The jury’s verdict will depend on it, and so will your settlement. The more evidence you have, the better your chances of winning will be.
Photos can help preserve important parts of your case. Take pictures of an accident scene, snap a few photos of your injuries, and keep a journal of any and all medical symptoms you’re experiencing.
If there were any witnesses to the accident or injury, you’ll want their names and contact information for your case. If there was a police report filed, do your best to get your hands on it as soon as possible.
Don’t worry about having to personally contact witnesses. Your attorney can handle getting important information from them.
2. Neglecting Medical Care
You claim that the injury has turned your life upside. Your family has been affected, your job performance has suffered, and you’re starting to experience severe anxiety and depression.
But despite all these serious claims, you haven’t seen a doctor for treatment.
Going to the doctor once after an accident won’t prove much to anyone. It doesn’t show that the injury has had a significant impact on your life, and it won’t be enough to sway the judge and jury.
If you want to get a comprehensive injury settlement, you’re going to need doctors and other healthcare professionals to document your injury and needed treatments.
Documentation from medical professionals can be excellent evidence in your case. It shows how your life was impacted, and it can give people on both sides an accurate image of how medical costs have impacted your finances.
3. Waiting Too Long to File
A personal injury lawsuit may not be a criminal investigation, but there’s still a statute of limitations on how long you can wait to file.
Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to file. The statute of limitations is only one reason why it’s best to file as soon as you can.
Once you file your case, you’re allowed to formally start gathering evidence. It’ll make it much easier to obtain police records and get official documentation from doctors.
Not waiting to file can also help with optics.
The quicker you file, the quicker the people involved in the case know that you’re serious about getting a fair settlement and moving through the court. It also shows the judge that you’re serious about your case.
4. Under-Estimating the Extent of Your Claim
You’re filing a personal injury lawsuit, so naturally, you focus on your medical bills and think only about recouping the medical side of the loss.
You may be filing a personal injury lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean that all of your injuries and damages are all physical.
Did you lose the ability to control or perform certain body functions? That can be extra damage that can be claimed in your lawsuit.
Are you feeling more depressed or anxious after your injury? Are your family members having a difficult time coping with everything? You may able to sue for emotional damages, too.
This is why it’s important to get proper legal representation when you’re filing a personal injury suit. You could be missing out on something important.
5. Taking the First Offer
Filing a personal injury suit can be a physically and emotionally exhausting ordeal. You can learn more about how long it can take for these cases to settle, but in some cases, people can fight for months or years on a single case.
When you hear that there’s an offer on the table you may feel compelled to jump on it but doing that could do more harm than good.
Personal injury lawsuits may not get resolved in one go and, in some cases, shouldn’t be.
Some people may put a very low offer on the table to begin with. There could be other evidence you can use that can make your case even stronger.
Remember, it’s okay to walk away from an offer if you don’t think it’s fair enough. You can go back a second or even third time to get something you think is fair.
6. Posting Too Much on Social Media
Social media has made it easy to see what friends and loved ones are doing. On the flip side, it has also made it easier for law enforcement and lawyers to keep tabs on people.
You claim that you’re in horrible pain, but then a lawyer sees you posting pictures of yourself out at a party smiling. You may have been posing for a photo and you may have left the party in pain, but that won’t matter to the judge.
Be careful about what you’re posting on social media and ask your friends to use their discretion too.
Get Legal Help Today
Filing a lawsuit can help you get the personal injury compensation you need to get your life back on track. But you’ll need a good lawyer to help your case.
If you have any questions about how to find legal representation, we’re here to help. Contact us today so we can give you the personal injury help you need.
And remember, our blog is full of useful legal information. Browse our posts and expand your knowledge on the legal system.
Here are 5 Steps to Take First to Take the Pressure off Yourself
A car accident is a stressful and traumatic event that can leave you reeling. As little as we want to think about the possibility of being involved in an accident, though, it can be a good idea to give it some consideration just in case it does happen. Do you know what to do if you’re involved in a traffic accident? Even if you’re a good driver, the statistical probability is that this will happen to you at some point in your life. It’s in your best interests to be ready.
The most important thing, throughout all steps of this process, is to remain calm. Easier said than done, yes, especially if either you or your vehicle have sustained serious damage. But by keeping calm and letting your more rational side prevail, you can ensure that the decisions you make are well informed and intelligent ones. This isn’t a time in your life when you want to get carried away with deciding things based on emotion.
It’s easier to remain logical with a sequence of steps to follow in front of you, so we offer five first steps anyone who has been involved in a car accident should take.
Step One: Stay at the Scene
Always, always, always stay at the scene of an accident after it occurs! If you neglect to do so, you may be identified as a hit and run driver, and you could face criminal charges for that. This is especially true in a situation where someone was injured or killed. However, no matter what’s going on, you need to stay put and wait for the authorities to come check things out.
While you wait, check on all the drivers and passengers involved. Make sure everyone is all right. If someone is injured, call 911—of course, injured parties may leave the scene, but should be prepared to give a statement to police later at the hospital if one is requested.
If there is significant property damage or physical injury, you need to contact the police and bring them to the scene to file a police report. You should write down the names and badge numbers of the responding officers so that you can say later who you spoke to, should it be necessary.
Be cordial and cooperative, both to the officers and to the other driver, but do not offer apologies for your part in the accident. Many people are shaken up after a collision and feel a basic human need to start apologizing—especially if someone in the other car is hurt—but that can be used against you later. When you’ve calmed down a bit, you may realize that this wasn’t really your fault at all, and you don’t want to be on record admitting that it was.
Step Two: Tell Your Insurance Company
As soon as possible, you want to contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. It may even be a good idea to do this from the scene of the accident. Your insurance company will be able to let you know what you can expect during the claims process. The claims adjuster will instruct you on where and how to get the damage to your car examined. They’ll then let you know how much of that damage the insurance company considers itself liable for, so you can make an informed decision as to whether to fix your car or buy a new one. If you disagree with the repair value given, you can ask for a full report that explains how it was arrived at.
Step Three: Visit Your Doctor
If you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort after an accident—even if you think it’s probably minor—take care of yourself. See a doctor and get yourself checked out. Symptoms and pains that seem minor might actually be indicative of something more serious, and if that’s the case, you want to make sure it’s noticed and remedied before it becomes severe.
If you are diagnosed with any sort of injury or physical ailment that’s attributed to the accident, get documentation from your doctor. Let your insurance company know about that, too.
You should also keep a record of how that injury impacts your daily life. Are you experiencing pain and suffering? Are you being kept from your previous lifestyle? Write it down. Document it.
Step Four: Auto Repairs
It’s best to have your auto repairs done at an approved shop, one recommended to you by your auto insurance company. Why? It’s a little bit comparable to the concept of choosing an in-network physician. You want a shop that your insurance company is familiar with, and you want them to work well together and trust each other’s diagnostics. Your insurance company is much more likely to agree to cover the work that was done if you take your car to a shop of which they approve.
Step Five: Consult a Car Accident Attorney
You must decide whether you want to consult with a car accident attorney and, if you do, whether or not you want to press charges against the other party in your accident. An attorney can also help you and the other driver work out insurance disagreements, even if neither of you is actively pressing charges.
You should certainly work with an attorney if you are suffering damages from the fallout of the incident. Damages might include:
- Long term pain lasting more than a few days
- A hospitalization
- Surgery, therapy, orthopedics, or chiropractic work
- Significant associated expenses
If someone else is at fault for your accident, a good car accident attorney will help you receive compensation for the physical and mental trouble you have gone through. You might receive financial compensation for medical bills, time you’ve had to take away from work, or a reward judged commensurate to your loss of enjoyment or pain and suffering.
It’s easy to get carried away by stress and worry after a car accident, but don’t fret. Focus instead on these five steps and just look ahead to what needs to be done next. Before you know it, you’ll be leaving the stress of your accident in your rearview.