Bodily injury claims are legal actions taken by individuals who have suffered physical harm as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. These claims seek compensation for the damages incurred, such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Understanding the steps involved in claiming bodily injury is essential to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation.

One crucial aspect of claiming bodily injury is documenting your injuries and seeking prompt medical attention. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you should also get medical treatment as soon as possible. Not only does this ensure your well-being, but it also creates a record of your injuries, which can be used as evidence in your claim.

Another essential step in claiming bodily injury is securing representation from a qualified personal injury attorney. Once you have a lawyer on board, they will handle every step of the process. Your legal team knows how to claim your injuries and losses, seeking the compensation you deserve from liable parties.


Types of Injuries in Bodily Injury Claims

When you are involved in an accident, it’s essential to understand the different types of injuries that can occur and their potential impact on your bodily injury claim. These injuries can vary in severity and may have long-term consequences, affecting your physical well-being and financial stability. Here are some of the common types of injuries in bodily injury claims:

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are among the most common types of injuries in accidents. These injuries affect muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can result in pain, swelling, and limited mobility. Whiplash, for example, is a soft tissue injury commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents. While soft tissue injuries may not always be apparent immediately after an accident, they can cause significant discomfort and may require ongoing medical treatment.

Broken Bones and Fractures:

Accidents can also result in broken bones and fractures. These injuries can range from minor fractures to more severe breaks that require surgery and ongoing medical care. Broken bones can cause excruciating pain, limit your mobility, and may even lead to long-term disabilities. In a bodily injury claim, your attorney can help ensure that you receive adequate compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and any necessary rehabilitation.

Head and Brain Injuries

Head injuries can have severe consequences, impacting your cognitive abilities, motor skills, and overall quality of life. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a specific type of head injury that can occur due to a strong impact or jolt to the head. TBIs can range from mild concussions to more severe brain damage. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and the long-term effects can be devastating. An attorney can help you seek fair compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and other head or brain injury damages.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) can result in partial or total paralysis, depending on the severity and location of the injury. These injuries can profoundly impact your ability to move, function independently, and enjoy a fulfilling life. The cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and adaptive equipment required to manage a spinal cord injury can be exorbitant. An attorney can advocate for your rights and help you secure the compensation you deserve to cover the expenses associated with such a life-altering injury.

Internal Injuries

In some accidents, internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, but they can be life-threatening if left untreated. Internal injuries can affect vital organs such as the lungs, liver, spleen, or kidneys. These injuries often require immediate medical attention and may necessitate surgery to repair the damage. An attorney can help ensure that you receive appropriate compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and any future medical needs resulting from internal injuries.

Bodily injury claims involve various types of injuries that can significantly impact your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney is crucial in navigating through the claims process and ensuring that your rights and needs are advocated for. An attorney can provide guidance needed to help you recover fair compensation for your injuries, allowing you to focus on your recovery and rebuilding your life after an accident.

Gathering Evidence for Your Claim

Collecting evidence immediately after the accident is crucial in supporting your bodily injury claim. The more evidence you can gather, the stronger your case will be. Some important types of evidence to gather include:

  • Photos: Take photographs of the accident scene (if possible), including any visible injuries, property damage, and the surrounding environment. These photos can visually represent the accident’s impact and help establish fault.
  • Witness Statements: Obtain statements from any witnesses who saw the accident or have information about the circumstances leading to your injuries. Their testimonies can provide valuable support to your claim.
  • Police Reports: If law enforcement was called to the accident scene, ensure you obtain a copy of the police report. This official document details the accident and can serve as crucial evidence in your claim.

Calculating Your Damages

To determine the value of your bodily injury claim, you need to understand the different types of damages you may be entitled to. These include:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of medical treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, and any assistive devices necessary for your recovery. Be sure to keep records of all medical bills and invoices related to your treatment.
  • Lost Income: If your injury has caused you to miss work or has affected your ability to earn an income, you can claim for lost income. This includes past and future earnings that can reasonably be attributed to your injuries.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain endured as a result of the accident and subsequent injuries. While more challenging to quantify, pain and suffering damages seek to provide compensation for the impact the accident has had on your quality of life.

Calculating the value of your claim can be complex and requires a thorough assessment of all the damages you have suffered. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help you accurately calculate and document all relevant damages in your claim.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

When claiming bodily injury, you will likely have to deal with insurance companies, either your own or the responsible party’s. Here are the steps to follow when interacting with insurance companies:

  • Report the Accident: Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate details of the incident and your injuries.
  • Do Not Admit Fault: Do not admit fault or apologize, as this can be used against you in the claims process.
  • Provide Accurate Information: When speaking to insurance adjusters, provide only factual and accurate information. Do not speculate or guess.
  • Document Conversations: Keep a record of all communication with insurance adjusters, including the date, time, and content of each conversation.
  • Do Not Accept Early Settlement Offers: Insurance companies may attempt to offer a quick settlement that may not fully compensate you for your injuries. Consult with a personal injury lawyer before accepting any offer.

Negotiating with insurance companies can be challenging, as their primary goal is to minimize payouts. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side can significantly enhance your chances of obtaining a fair settlement.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is highly beneficial when claiming bodily injury. A lawyer experienced in personal injury law can provide invaluable assistance throughout the claims process. Here are some reasons why hiring a lawyer is beneficial:

Lawyers shaking hands with clients in embezzlement case involving business partners. Legal representation concept.
  • Legal Experience: Personal injury lawyers have extensive knowledge of the legal system and can navigate complex legal procedures on your behalf.
  • Case Evaluation: A lawyer can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and provide an accurate evaluation of the potential value of your claim.
  • Negotiation Skills: Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can advocate for your best interests and help you secure a fair settlement.
  • Court Representation: If negotiations fail, a lawyer can file an injury lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court, ensuring your rights are protected.

When choosing a personal injury lawyer, consider their experience, track record of successful cases, and reputation in the legal community. A lawyer specializing in personal injury law and with a history of achieving favorable outcomes for their clients is an excellent choice.

Filing a Lawsuit

While most bodily injury claims are settled without going to court, there may be instances where filing a lawsuit becomes necessary. Here are some factors to consider when deciding to file a lawsuit:

Disputed Liability: If the other party disputes fault for the accident, filing a lawsuit may be the best way to establish liability and hold them accountable.

Unfair Settlement Offer: If the insurance company offers an unfair settlement that does not adequately compensate you for your injuries, filing a lawsuit can provide an opportunity for a fair resolution.

When filing a lawsuit, be prepared for a longer and more complex process. Your lawyer will guide you through each step and ensure your case is presented effectively in court.

Common Challenges in Bodily Injury Claims

Claiming bodily injury can present various challenges, especially with insurance companies. Some common tactics used by insurance companies to deny or reduce claims include:

  • Disputing Liability: Insurance companies may attempt to shift blame for the accident onto the injured party, arguing that they were partially or entirely at fault.
  • Downplaying Injuries: Insurance adjusters may argue that the injuries sustained were not as severe as claimed or that they were pre-existing conditions.
  • Offering Low Settlements: Insurance companies may offer settlements far below the claim’s actual value, hoping injured parties will accept due to financial pressures or lack of legal representation.

To overcome these challenges and protect your rights, hire a personal injury lawyer to be on your side. They can anticipate these tactics and employ effective strategies to counter them, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

The Bodily Injury Claim Statute of Limitations

When it comes to claiming bodily injury from an accident, you must be aware of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations refers to the period within which a lawsuit can be filed after an accident. Each state has its specific statute of limitations for bodily injury claims, making it imperative to understand the time constraints in your jurisdiction.

Here are some key points to consider regarding the bodily injury statute of limitations:

  • Time Limit: The statute of limitations sets a time limit for filing a lawsuit for bodily injury. This time limit typically starts from the date of the accident or from the date the injury was discovered or should have been reasonably discovered. Be sure to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss the deadline for filing your claim.
  • Varying Timeframes: The statute of limitations for bodily injury claims can vary from state to state. For example, some states may have a statute of limitations of two years, while others may have a longer or shorter timeframe. You will want to familiarize yourself with the statute of limitations in your specific jurisdiction to avoid missing the deadline for filing a claim.
  • Exceptions: In certain circumstances, exceptions to the statute of limitations may apply. These exceptions can extend the time limit for filing a lawsuit. For example, if the injured party was a minor at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations may be tolled or extended until they reach the age of majority. Additionally, if the injured party was mentally incapacitated at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they regain mental capacity.

Need to Claim Bodily Injury After an Accident? Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Steven A. Bagen
Personal Injury Attorney, Steven A. Bagen, Esq.

Claiming bodily injury from an accident requires a thorough understanding of the process, gathering compelling evidence, accurately calculating damages, dealing with insurance companies, and hiring a personal injury lawyer. By following these steps and overcoming common challenges, you can navigate the claims process successfully and receive the compensation you deserve.