Bagen Law Firm | December 23, 2022 | Personal Injury
While many actions or inactions aren’t classified as criminal and therefore don’t fall under the nation’s criminal laws, individuals can still be held accountable under civil laws for their conduct. When someone suffers an injury due to the behaviors of another person or party, state civil laws give them the right to pursue an injury claim and, if necessary, file a lawsuit in the appropriate civil court. They deserve to receive a financial award for the damages they have suffered.
If you are pursuing an injury claim, it’s crucial to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who can help you maximize your compensation and hold the at-fault party or their insurance company accountable for their conduct.
Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims can result from many different circumstances and accidents.
The most common ones include:
- Accidents involving vehicles such as motorcycles, cars, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians: Motor vehicle accident claims are the most frequent type of personal injury claim in the U.S. Millions of Americans suffer injuries in these types of accidents every year. Sadly, many are the result of the negligence of another driver or party. Motor vehicle accident victims often file personal injury claims to help them cover the cost of their injuries.
- Slip and fall accidents: Individuals injured due to dangerous conditions on public or private property might be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Slip and fall accidents are a frequent type of personal injury claim.
- Premises liability: Premises injury claims happen if someone suffers an injury on another party’s property. In other words, if the property’s conditions were dangerous, the property owner can owe the injured party compensation for their damages.
- Wrongful death: These cases involve the death of a person because of someone else’s negligence. When someone passes away, they often leave their family with financial, practical, and emotional losses. The law allows families to seek compensation for their losses.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice occurs when medical providers make mistakes that cause significant patient injuries. These errors result from medical treatment that fails to meet the professional standard of care for a doctor in that particular field. Medical malpractice can include failure to diagnose, medication errors, surgical errors, and more.
These are not the only accidents that can lead to personal injury claims. If you believe someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, no matter what the circumstances might be, it is always worth it to allow a personal injury attorney to evaluate your rights.
Common Injuries to File a Personal Injury Claim For
Various situations can cause personal injuries. They can also range in severity and extent. No matter the type or extent of your injury, it’s always best to review your claim with a skilled personal injury attorney. They can tell you if you have a valid claim or the right kind of injury to file a claim for. This way, you don’t leave compensation on the table that you potentially had a right to receive.
While you can’t expect much compensation for bumps, minor lacerations, or bruises, those who suffer much more than these typically can receive compensation for their injuries. If you have any of the following types of injuries, be sure to discuss them with an attorney as soon as possible:
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result from sports accidents, falls, gunshots, and motor vehicle accidents. TBI can cause bruising, bleeding, or tearing inside the brain. Every TBI is potentially serious and life-threatening. Symptoms include problems with memory, concentration, sleep, and brain and body functions. Concussions are the mildest form of TBI; more severe TBIs can cause death or lifelong disabilities.
A brain injury can cause long-term changes in movement, sensation, personality, and cognitive function. It can also result in ongoing seizures, frequent headaches, depression, or other serious mental illnesses.
Back pain is one of the worst types of pain humans experience, and it can be extremely debilitating. If they can’t return to work, some people face a lifetime of disability.
Common types of back injuries include:
- Strain: Known as a pulled back, they are a highly painful result of damage to tendons and muscles.
- Sprain: when ligaments in the back stretch or tear
- Slipped/herniated disc: Vertebra, the small bones that make up the spine, can slip out of place, pushing the sensitive inner tissue outside its bony protection.
- Ruptured disc: The sensitive tissue in between the damaged or broken open vertebrae ruptures, leaving little cushioning between the bones
- Pinched nerve: Something causes a nerve to be compressed, resulting in serious pain and impaired movements.
- Nerve damage: Trauma to the nerves that results in debilitating and excruciating pain
Motor vehicles, construction, workplace, and other accidents can lead individuals to come into contact with parts or substances they don’t normally come into contact with. Hot engine parts, extreme steam, or spraying liquids can cause severe burns. Fires can also cause death or life-threatening burns over large parts of the body. Severe burns may require skin grafting, cause long-term scarring, and have complications such as infections.
Internal bleeding and other internal injuries can occur with a blunt force that doesn’t break through the skin. Internal injuries may not appear immediately, but the potential for them is one of the main reasons someone involved in a car or other major accident should go to the emergency room immediately, even if they look fine and exhibit no symptoms.
Pain and Distress
Emotional distress and physical pain can remain long after a personal injury. Depression and anxiety are common and can seriously affect your life and sleep. Pain might limit several of your daily activities, and you may also lose the enjoyment of your life.
Breaks and fractures in bones can happen in nearly any accident. However, they may not always be easily detectable right after the accident. Pain, immobility, and other problems may alert the victim later. Depending on the location and severity of a fracture, the injured person might require months of immobilization in a case, surgery, and physical therapy.
Types of fractures in personal injuries include:
Facial injuries are difficult to deal with. Not only are the brain and major sensory organs located in that area, but facial injuries with scarring can also be extremely devastating. An accident can easily damage the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.
Facial injuries can include:
- Bone fractures: Facial bones may break and sometimes can’t heal normally, causing disfigurement and requiring surgery.
- Lacerations: Deep cuts to the face may need stitches or surgery and can leave permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Eye injuries: Blunt force or debris can injure eyes, potentially causing blindness.
- Soft tissue injuries: Injuries to cartilage, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues can lead to impaired facial function and deformity.
- Tooth loss: May require dental work and prosthetics.
Any jarring motion to the body can cause injuries to the neck’s muscles, tendons, cartilage, and other soft tissues. For example, neck injuries are common in motor vehicle accidents and slip and falls. A condition called whiplash results from a fast forward and backward movement of the neck, which can take months to heal or lead to chronic pain in some rare cases.
What Should You Do if You Suffer Injuries in an Accident?
The two most important things you can do if you suffer an injury in an accident are to seek medical care and contact an experienced personal injury attorney. However, your medical care should always come first. If you don’t go to the hospital immediately after the incident, be sure to seek care elsewhere or from your own physician within a day or two. Even if you feel fine and aren’t experiencing any symptoms, you can still have an injury that needs treatment and deserve compensation, such as a back injury or an internal injury.
If you wait a week or more to see a doctor and then receive a diagnosis, it is harder for an attorney to link your injuries to that particular accident. The at-fault party’s insurance company will likely argue that something happened between the accident involving their insured and you going to the doctor that caused your injuries. The sooner you can see a doctor after a personal injury and receive a diagnosis, the better.
In addition, be sure to closely follow your treatment plan and any instructions your medical providers give you. If you fail to do so, it can devalue your claim. Dedicating yourself to your treatment demonstrates your commitment to your physical recovery.
Once you have prioritized your medical care, and are medically stable, reach out to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better your chance of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries. In addition, your attorney can ensure that you are taking the proper steps and not doing anything that might harm your claim such as giving a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster or signing a release for them to receive your past medical records that they might not be entitled to receive.
Who is Liable for Your Personal Injury?
Liability for a personal injury depends on the specific circumstances of the situation and the laws in that state. In general, if the actions or inactions of one person or party lead to the accident and injuries, they are the ones liable for your injuries.
Some examples include:
- Motor vehicle accident: Driver negligence is the most common cause of vehicle accidents, and drivers are often liable parties. However, it may not always be the fault of another driver their employer, the car’s manufacturer, or even a government entity can also be liable.
- A slip and fall: The property owner or caretaker responsible for ensuring safe conditions on the property should be liable. Businesses can also be liable for example, if an employee walked by a spill in the grocery store and ignored it instead of cleaning it up.
In some cases, multiple parties may be at fault for your accident, and they should all be accountable to maximize your claim. Your lawyer will know how to handle these types of situations as well.
Holding the correct party accountable for their actions is imperative to receiving compensation for your damages. If you hold the wrong party liable, you may not receive any compensation for your injuries. Further, identifying when there are multiple liable parties can help maximize the insurance coverage available to you.
Having a well-versed personal injury lawyer on your side to investigate your accident, determine how it happened, and who is responsible is invaluable to your claim. If you cannot prove someone else’s liability, you will not successfully obtain the compensation you deserve.
What if You Have a Pre-Existing Condition?
While insurance adjusters love it when they learn an accident victim may have a previous injury or pre-existing condition, it doesn’t mean their insured still isn’t liable for the claimant’s injuries. However, they often use this as an excuse to deny or devalue your claim. Even if you have such an injury or condition, state laws still allow you to receive compensation for your injuries. This is one more reason why having a personal injury attorney on your side can help maximize your injury claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you recently suffered any kind of personal injury, reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. Keep in mind that your right to file a claim will eventually expire, depending on the laws in your state. You do not want to risk losing your rights to full compensation for your injuries and losses. Seek the right legal assistance as soon as possible, so you can focus on your physical recovery with peace of mind.