A personal injury doesn’t just refer to auto accidents, though those types of injuries are included in the category. Injuries related to workplace accidents, nursing home abuses, and the slips, trips, and falls that take place in commercial businesses also help to comprise personal injury claims. No matter which type of incident resulted in your injuries, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and ensure your rights are respected.
Get a Medical Evaluation After Suffering a Personal Injury
There are two primary reasons to do this. First and most importantly, you have to take care of yourself and receive treatment for your injuries. If you don’t the injuries may worsen or turn into a permanent disability, which will alter your life in many ways. Even if you don’t feel injured, you should still submit to a medical evaluation. Head, neck, and back injuries can take time to manifest.
Secondly, you must be able to show that you acted to mitigate your injuries. This means that you did what you could to receive treatment and resolve your injuries or other medical conditions caused by the accident. If you don’t do this, a jury in a personal injury case may determine that you contributed to the severity of your injuries and may limit the award for damages. In some cases, juries have declined to award anything, where the plaintiff didn’t seek medical treatment.
Do Not Sign a Personal Injury Settlement Offer Without a Personal Injury Attorney’s Advice
Pretty quickly after your injury, an adjuster working for the other party’s insurance company will contact you with a settlement offer. You will be pressured to accept the offer, which is lower than you deserve and won’t take into account the need for future medical treatment, therapy, missed work, or loss of employment. Once you accept a personal injury settlement, you’ll lose your right to pursue additional compensation, which means you’ll have to pay the rest of the damages out of your own pocket.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Your next step should be to hire an attorney and this should be done as soon after you receive medical treatment as possible. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency and offer a free initial consultation, so working with an attorney won’t cost you anything out of pocket. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and educate you about the chances of a successful personal injury claim. Once hired, the attorney will try to negotiate a fair settlement for you with the insurance company. If an agreement can’t be reached, the attorney will be up to date on the facts of your case, so he can begin preparing to go to trial.
Discussing Your Case with Your Personal Injury Attorney
Only talk about the details of your case with your personal injury attorney. While your personal injury attorney is required to keep your discussions confidential, you should follow that same rule. Discussing the details of your case with others or posting about it on social media can hurt your chances. In some cases, personal injury cases have been lost solely because of information shared on websites like Twitter and Facebook.
Your personal injury attorney will discuss with you the damages you’re likely to receive, which will include compensation for days missed from work, as well as payment for medical bills and property damages. Additionally, your injury may turn into a permanent disability, which will require years of therapy and may require a change of careers. While you’re attorney cannot guarantee you a specific settlement, he or she should be able to estimate the value of your personal injury claim. This will be based on the facts of your case and on the attorney’s past experiences with similar cases. This type of experience is invaluable and it’s why you should never attempt to handle a personal injury case by yourself.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence you may benefit from speaking with a personal injury attorney. Bryan Garrett is a personal injury attorney in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Call the personal injury law firm of Bryan Garrett today for a consultation. Bryan Garrett will fight for you!
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