Personal injuries often occur as a result of accidents. By definition, accidents happen unexpectedly. Even minor accidents can turn a life upside down. Accidents can result in injuries that are disruptive to your life. You could be unable to work and face significant medical expenses due to an accident caused by someone else. You may be dealing with the other party’s insurance company on your own and wondering how to hire a personal injury attorney. It is a common question that many injury victims face. We will try to discuss various accident scenarios when hiring an attorney may be wise.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 24.5 million people each year seek care in hospital emergency rooms throughout the country as the result of accidental injuries and 39.5 million make doctor office visits. Injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to broken bones, muscle or tendon tears, severe lacerations and burns. Some injuries can be life-threatening, such as head and spinal cord injuries and damage to internal organs. Unintentional injuries are the number three cause of death in the United States
Many injuries caused by accidents are preventable but occur because someone acted carelessly, recklessly or with complete disregard for the safety of others.
Many accidents are minor and do not result in injury. For these, you may choose to deal on your own with the insurance company without legal representation. You may be able to recover the costs of repairing any damage to your vehicle. If, however, you were seriously injured or the other party’s insurance company is disputing your claim, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney. Many accident victims are reluctant to seek legal assistance after an accident, but you should understand your legal options so that you can make well-informed decisions.
Insurance companies deal with accident claims every day. Insurance representatives are skilled and knowledgeable negotiators while many accident victims are unfamiliar with the claims process. A lawyer who has experience handling injury cases will accurately assess the value of your damages to prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you. Having a trusted legal advocate on your side can help ensure your rights are protected. You should not have to pay medical bills for injuries caused by another driver’s carelessness. Failing to seek legal guidance after a serious accident may cost you time and money. The sooner you have an experienced attorney investigating your case, the sooner you can focus on your physical recovery.
In the days after an accident, an insurance company representative may contact you, looking to settle your claim quickly. When dealing with another party’s insurance company, it is important to keep in mind that the insurance adjuster has incentive to offer the lowest settlement possible. The adjuster may seek to minimize your injuries, shift the blame for the accident or deny coverage. They may offer a settlement that is worth far less than the value of your damages. If you accept the offer, you will likely be precluded from taking legal action later. In fact, any statements you make to an insurance company, the other party, or the other party’s attorney could, and likely would, be used against you to avoid liability for the accident or damages caused by it. Before you make any statements or sign any documents, you should speak to a personal injury attorney.
We have already discussed the common causes of unintentional injuries. Now we will discuss the common types of unintentional injuries. The value of your damages will be heavily dependent on the type of injuries caused by the accident.
Brain injuries are often a byproduct of motor vehicle accidents, especially motorcycle accidents, but they can also occur in slip-and-fall accidents and any other accident where the head is exposed. Brain injuries can vary in severity and recovery time, while others, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can result in life changing disabilities. Even comparatively minor head and brain injuries can lead to significant medical expenses. If you have suffered a head injury due to an accident caused by someone else, it is important to find a legal professional with a record of success in cases involving brain injuries. Many people and their families experience years of pain, suffering, and mounting medical bills as a result of these accidents. Contact an attorney today if you or a loved one sustained a head or brain injury in an accident caused by another.
Dog bites can cause severe physical and emotional injuries, especially to children. In many states, dog owners may be held accountable for injuries and other damages related to dog bites, regardless of the dog’s history or propensity toward violence. There are exceptions to owner liability, however, such as when someone trespasses onto another’s property or provokes a dog. Dogs are not the only animals pet owners can be held liable. If you have been harmed by a domestic or exotic animal owned by someone else, contact an attorney to recover damages for the attack.
Broken bones are a common result of many types of accidents. People who slip and fall may break a hip. People who are involved in even a minor car accident could break their ribs due to the sudden pressure of a seatbelt. Though full recovery from a broken or fractured bone is possible, the recovery process is often painful, prolonged and financially crippling due to medical expenses and lost wages. If after the bone heals, there can be lingering discomfort or deformity were not anticipated, causing hardship long after the accident.
Paralysis is the loss of voluntary muscle function in one or more parts of the body as a result of damage to the nervous system. Paralysis can occur as a result of a traffic crash caused by a crushed or damaged spine or a head injury. It can cause a loss of muscle function and sensation in the affected area. Paralysis can be partial or full. While feeling and function can return in some instances, the effects are often permanent. Due to the high costs of paralysis treatment, rehabilitation and long-term care, it is important for injury victims and their families to understand their legal options if the injury was the result of another person’s negligence.
Burns are some of the most painful types of injury. Even first degree burns can cause medical complications that impact a person’s life. Burns can be caused by extreme temperatures (thermal), dangerous substances (chemical), strong exposure to ultraviolet or X-rays (radiation), or from electrical current. Common personal injury cases that involve burns are defective products, motor vehicle accidents, and workplace accidents, especially construction sites.
Damage to the spinal cord can have serious consequences that are among the most difficult and expensive to treat. The physical, financial and emotional impact of these injuries can be tremendous. A complete spinal injury occurs when the spinal cord is severed, causing paralysis to areas of the body below the injury site. An incomplete spinal injury occurs when the spinal cord is damaged, but there is still some sensation or motor function below the injury site.
Internal organ damage can result from accidents involving traumatic impact, such as a motor vehicle accident, as well as from medical malpractice due to surgical errors, incorrectly prescribed drugs, or defective medical devices. Organ damage and internal bleeding are often overlooked in the immediate aftermath of an accident because many symptoms cannot be seen. Internal organ damage often requires surgery. It could result in the loss of the damaged organ or a portion of it.
Paraplegia is a frequent side-effect of spinal cord injuries, resulting in the loss of muscle function and feeling below the waist. In addition to chronic disability, those who suffer paraplegia due to an accident also face a lifetime of expensive medical treatment, rehabilitation costs, specially adapted housing and equipment.
If you or someone you know have been injured in an accident, contact a personal injury attorney to represent you against the other party and their insurance company. If the insurance company disputes the amount you are owed, a lawyer will be ready to fight for the compensation you deserve in court.