Personal injury (sometimes known as a bodily injury) is an incident that causes physical or mental harm as the result of someone’s negligence. Personal injuries can occur in any one of the followings ways:
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Dog bites
- Work-related incidents
- Premise liability incidents
- Fall down incidents
- Wrongful death
If I suffered a personal injury, what remedies are available to me?
A plaintiff (a person bringing a claim for personal injuries) is entitled to recover economic and noneconomic damages for his or her injuries.
Economic damages include monetary compensation for medical bills; lost wages including overtime; out-of-pocket damages for child care, house cleaning, etc.; and property damage.
Noneconomic damages include monetary damages for pain and suffering; a loss of life’s enjoyment or ability; permanent physical disability; mental anguish; scarring; disfigurement; and anxiety.
Do I have a valid personal injury claim?
In order to pursue a personal injury case, you must be able to prove that you were injured (physically or mentally) by the negligence of someone else. In most cases, it is also necessary for you to prove that the other party is more at fault for the incident than you. This is known as “comparative negligence.” Under the doctrine of “comparative negligence” each party is held accountable for his or her own percentage of fault.
Do I need a lawyer?
If you have been injured by the negligence of another you should consult an attorney. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, therefore, you have nothing to lose. It is always better to consult an attorney before you speak with the insurance company. Never, consent to an oral, written or recorded statement, and never accept an offer from an insurance company without consulting an attorney first.
Please note, most personal injury cases are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means that you must file a complaint formally beginning your lawsuit within two years of the date of your accident. If you fail to do so, you will be prohibited from obtaining a recovery. The sooner you begin working with an attorney, the sooner you can make a recovery.
Tips Regarding Your Medical Treatment
When you have suffered a personal injury, it is important that you seek immediate medical treatment. Tell the doctor everything that is bothering you, even if you think it is minor. Minor discomfort can sometimes develop into a major injury if left untreated.
Keep all medical appointments unless you absolutely have to cancel. Failure to keep appointments can be used against you in your case.
Be sure to tell your doctor and medical personnel accurately about your symptoms and injuries. Let them know what causes your good days, your bad days, your difficulties and your pain.
Do not tell the doctor you are better if, in fact, you are not. Be honest with your doctor. And at the same time, do not try and be a “hero.” If you are experiencing pain make sure you let the doctor know.
If you relapse after a period of recovery, be sure to visit the doctor and let him or her know about your relapses.
Be accurate with your therapist about the locations of your pain and disability.
Keep your doctor and therapist informed about how your injury affects:
a. Your work
b. Your leisure activities
c. Your emotional well-being
d. Your relationship with your spouse and family
If you had a previous injury to the same area of your body, be sure to tell the doctor about the previous injury, including:
a. The nature of the injury
b. How the injury occurred
c. When you obtained recovery
d. The extent of recovery
e. How this present injury differs from the first injury
Please do exactly what your doctor and/or therapist tell you to do. Your failure to follow their advice will be used against you in your case.
Do your absolute best to recover as quickly as possible as the law requires you to mitigate damages.
Can I handle the property damage claim myself?
In most cases, yes. Just follow these steps:
- If you have property damage, get at least one repair estimate from a legitimate body shop.
- If you have collision coverage, immediately contact your agent and/or insurance carrier. Also, please find out whether you have medical payment coverage under your auto policy and let your attorney know as soon as possible.
- If you do not have auto insurance, call the insurance company of the other vehicle and request that they inspect your vehicle for damages immediately. Do not discuss anything with the other insurance company as to how the accident occurred and/or your injuries. Also, do not give oral, written or recorded statement to the insurance company.
- Get the name and telephone number of the insurance adjuster who inspects your vehicle and maintain contact until you are paid for the damage to your vehicle. You are entitled to the “fair market value” of your vehicle.
- Never dump, wreck or dispose of your vehicle in any way before it is examined by an adjuster from the other insurance company.
- If your vehicle is in storage, get it out as soon as possible because storage charges are running.
7. DO NOT DISCUSS YOUR MEDICAL INJURIES WITH ANYONE. REFER ALL MEDICAL AND ACCIDENT RELATED QUESTIONS FROM INSURANCE ADJUSTERS TO YOUR LAWYER.