Articles Posted in Personal Injury

A booted foot about to step onto a banana peelAny injury can be a lot to deal with, but injuries sustained at work can be particularly complicated. Legal issues aside, perhaps the biggest challenge is what to do about your lost income. Thankfully, workers’ compensation is available to most employees, but it’s important to understand how workers’ compensation relates to other options you may have. In this post and the next, we’ll cover the options available to you in order to get the compensation you need.

Understand your options

If you’ve been injured on the job, the first thing to do is to make sure you understand all of your options. In some cases, you may be able to pursue more than one claim. In other instances, you choose one option to the exclusion of all others. As a result, you need to know at the outset which options are available to you and the advantages and disadvantages related to each.  

A pile of one dollars bills.In every personal injury case, the parties are trying to work out whether or not one party should be held liable for the injuries and losses of the other party. If the other party is found to be at fault for the accident, then the question becomes how the injured party should be made whole. Because you can’t undo the damage that was done, the only viable option is to award monetary compensation to the victim. The amount of compensation that the victim is entitled to receive is referred to as “damages” in the legal context.

If you are injured in an accident and meet with a personal injury attorney, one of the first things your attorney will do is try to estimate the damages that you may be entitled to. A discussion of the components of your claim may be helpful in determining how your attorney calculates this amount.

General vs. Special DamagesThe first thing to understand is the distinction between general damages and special damages.

A judge's gavelIf you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be tempted to try to handle your claim without an attorney. In our experience, however, non-lawyers who handle their own claims typically wind up with a less favorable result. And once you settle your claim, that’s it – you can’t go back and ask for more. Hiring a personal injury attorney can make sure that you get a fair result and that all of your losses are covered.

1. A Lawyer Can Help You Evaluate Your Claim

Determining what your claim is worth is not as easy as you might think, and it can therefore be difficult to know what a fair settlement amount is.

A doctor holding a chartAccidents happen every day. Thankfully, most of them are minor, but many can result in life-changing injuries. If you’ve been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may have a legal claim against them in order to receive compensation for your injuries. However, there are first five things you need to do in order to protect your rights.

Seek Medical Treatment

Your health is your most important asset. If you didn’t see a doctor right after the accident and are in pain, go get checked out. It’s not uncommon for some injuries to manifest themselves days or even weeks after an accident. Your symptoms could signal a more serious injury, and you’ll need medical treatment in order to make a full recovery.  

Time-lapse photo of street at night showing streaks of headlights and taillightsFalling asleep behind the wheel is obviously dangerous – nodding off for just a moment can result in a catastrophic car accident. Unfortunately, simply driving while drowsy presents a bigger danger than you may think. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 795 people were killed in car accidents that involved drowsy driver in 2017 alone. In a recent study, AAA reported that approximately one third of drivers admit to driving while almost unable to keep their eyes open within the last 30 days. It is estimated that drowsy driving contributes to around 90,000 crashes per year, although precise numbers are extremely difficult to pin down.  

Why Drowsy Driving is a Problem

Even if you don’t fall asleep, driving while drowsy can affect your ability to drive safely. Studies have show that drowsiness can affect your driving in the following ways:

lawyer standing next to a gavel with the scale of justice behind himPeople who have been injured in an accident have a lot to worry about. Your primary concern should be your health, and recovery can involve a significant period of time for treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery. In addition, you may now be missing days from work or unable to work at all. You’re worried about paying your mortgage or rent and other expenses, and the bills are starting to pile up. On top of it all, you’re in pain and suffering, unable to live your life the way you did before your accident. With all of this, trying to decide how to handle your personal injury claim can be overwhelming.  

Understand the Insurance Company’s Game

First and foremost, you should realize that the insurance company is not on your side, even if it’s your insurance company. Insurance companies are for-profit corporations that are primarily concerned with making money. They protect the bottom line by paying out on claims only as much as they absolutely have to. As a result, they typically “low ball” accident victims by offering a small cash payment in exchange for a full release of any further liability. You may be surprised at how quickly the make the offer – often it is within days of your accident. They will seem very friendly and willing to work with you, but you’ll soon discover that they aren’t willing to negotiate a higher amount.

A scooter with blue wheelsAfter publishing this post, we learned about a serious accident that happened here in Georgia earlier in November.

Taylor McCullough and Daniel Cooney, two Georgia Southern University students, were seriously injured in November when they were struck by a car while riding a Lime scooter. Their injuries were so serious that they were airlifted to Savannah for treatment.

The Accident

Man with his head in his hands sitting outside of a wrecked carThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its report summarizing crash statistics for 2016. While the report demonstrates a decrease in the number of fatalities, there were over 7 million car accidents that resulted in more than 3 million injuries.

Despite how common they are, car accidents can be a major disruption to your life, especially if you sustain serious injuries. Not only do you need to repair or replace your vehicle, but you may need prolonged medical treatment and physical therapy. You may have to miss work and deal with lost income. Meanwhile, bills are piling up and insurance companies are pestering you with questions. You can get overwhelmed very quickly and feel like you don’t know what to do next.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, this post will hopefully give you some direction to help you move forward and get back to normal.

The aftermath of a 3-car accidentCar accidents can be traumatic events that result in very serious injuries such as broken bones, organ damage, whiplash, and brain injuries. Unfortunately, many people tend to overlook the psychological trauma, which can be every bit as serious as a physical injury and often harder to treat.  

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may already be experiencing some of the issues we’ll discuss below. However, it’s important to keep in mind the psychological effects of a car accident may not be immediately obvious. In any event, don’t ignore the symptoms – talk to your doctor, seek counseling, or confide in a loved one. And keep in mind that you may be entitled to compensation for damage to your mental health, just like you may be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries.  

Depression

Gavel, law book, and paper with the text "personal injury"Maybe you’ve been in an accident and you’re hurting. It’s a difficult and harried time – doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, you’re missing work, and the bills are piling up. Unfortunately, many people struggle through instead of getting the help they need. A personal injury attorney can help you through this process and give you peace of mind so that you can focus on your recovery and your future. In this post, we’re going to discuss exactly how a lawyer can help you move forward.   

Claim Evaluation

The first thing a personal injury attorney can do is help you evaluate your claim. In some cases, it’s clear that your injury is the result of someone else’s negligence, but it can be difficult to sort out in most cases, especially when you’re in pain. In fact, many people don’t realize that they they should pursue a claim until it’s too late.  An experienced personal injury attorney can clarify the factors that caused your accident and determine whether or not someone else’s carelessness was the cause. From there, your lawyer can then determine the likelihood of success if you decide to pursue the at-fault party.

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