Life works in unprecedented ways, and unfortunately, frightening accidents happen. You may find yourself being involved in a personal injury accident, be it a car accident, dog attack, slip and fall, or even a construction accident. Being in the moment can be confusing and downright terrifying, especially if you’ve experienced the incident on your own or with a loved one.
The mere thought of the event will leave you in a state of emotional distraught, leaving your body in a shock. You may also have injuries present, and being stuck at the moment will render you incapable of assessing the extent of the damage. You may find yourself unable to physically maneuver or simply slip into a state of unconsciousness, promoting you to seek immediate emergency medical attention.
You’ll soon end up in an emergency room, with doctors trying to fix you to save your life. A personal injury is never easy to deal with, but remember that you deserve justice for what happened. To help you learn more about how to protect your best interests in the aftermath of an accident, here is an extensive guide for you.
Here, we discuss the types of personal injury cases that can happen to you, and what you need to do following the accident, especially when it comes to claims and compensations. Let’s start.
The Types of Personal Injury Cases
1 – A motor vehicle accident
Millions of people around the world are injured in motor vehicle accidents, and some die due to extensive injuries. Florida is no exception, as it also home to multiple and fatal car accidents. According to a statement made by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FLHSMV) in 2019, around 10,000 traffic crashes happened within the state, resulting in over 63,000 injuries and 838 deaths. This involves various transportation methods, including trucks, cars, motorcycles, and even bike riders.
If you find yourself injured in a motor vehicle accident, understand that you are entitled to monetary compensation for financial loss and personal injury. Such accidents can be debilitating, often resulting in various mental health conditions and loss of motor functions.
2 – A medical malpractice incident
While hospitals are the first place you need to go following a personal injury accident, incidents also happen under the care of healthcare professionals. You can fall victim to the negligence of doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and the entire hospitals, most of which cause serious and life-altering conditions. Here are the different types of malpractice:
- Improper treatment
- Medication or prescription mistakes
- Surgical errors
- Birth errors (Injuries due to misdelivery of a child)
- Failure to diagnose health conditions
While you can indeed seek compensation and claims against medical malpractice, doing so can be extremely complex. You will need the careful attention and expertise of an attorney, so never hesitate to do so. Medical malpractice cases need aggression and planning, especially when it comes to evaluating the malpractice.
3 – A wrongful death case
Wrongful death occurs due to negligence and carelessness. In other words, a wrongful death means a victim may have died due to someone else’s actions. Such personal injury cases can be pursued if you have lost a loved one due to car crashes, airplane accidents, nursing home neglect, and various other incidents, so long as they happened in the hands of another.
A wrongful death allows you to recover extensive damages that are unique, so make sure to seek the help of an attorney to seek justice for your loved one.
4 – A workplace accident
This is another unique personal injury case, as it only encompasses the workplace. If you have been injured or someone has been killed while working for an employer, a personal injury case may not be pursued. To ensure that you get the proper compensation you deserve, however, it’s best to seek the help of an attorney. You may end up receiving compensation for medical treatment, including your financial loss.
5 – A products liability incident
Given this age of consumerism, people are always at risk of purchasing dangerous and defective products. Such items can cause serious injury in public places, at work, and even in the comfort of your own home. These products often come with misguided operation manuals and lack of warnings, which can be found in the following products:
- Prescription drugs
- Children’s products
- Mobile devices
- Vehicle parts
- Computer equipment
- Other materials made with toxic chemicals
The responsibility of such personal injuries lies in the businesses and other entities responsible for selling, manufacturing, designing, and even marketing the defective products. If you find yourself or a loved one injured by any unsafe products, it’s best to seek the help of an experienced lawyer right away. They’ll help you evaluate the harmful product, reach the responsible parties, and ensure that you receive proper compensation and benefits from your loss.
What should I do after going through a personal injury accident?
Sustaining an injury after being involved in an accident is never easy. It comes with a lot of unwanted consequences, such as needing medical attention and even psychological help, particularly shocking accidents.
Accidents come with unprecedented damages to your physical and psychological help; sustaining an injury after an accident caused by another person’s wrongdoings or negligence also warrants legal aid. With all these in mind, it’s crucial to know what steps you need to take after sustaining a personal injury due to an accident.
Step 1 – Seek immediate medical attention
It’s important to always seek medical attention after sustaining a personal injury for various reasons. The primary reason is to avoid any underlying condition from worsening. Although you may feel fine after being involved in an accident, some injuries don’t readily show symptoms but can affect you in the long run if left untreated.
Some conditions, such as brain injuries and soft tissue damage, may not immediately be apparent but can worsen over time. Brain traumas are especially debilitating if left untreated, even if most assume that mild concussions do not warrant much concern. A thorough examination from a doctor can reveal whether or not any underlying injuries may not be readily apparent. The diagnosis will determine if there are any necessary treatments that you will need to undergo.
Seeking immediate medical attention even without any apparent conditions can also help in legal cases. Some jurisdictions require you to get medical help within a certain period. Failure to do so will make you unable to make a personal injury claim.
Step 2 – Enlist the help of a lawyer
Once you’ve received medical attention and have undergone a thorough examination from a doctor, you will need some help regarding legal matters. Seeking the help of an attorney after an accident and injury are important to determine whether or not you can get a valid personal injury claim. Some personal injury attorneys don’t charge any fees for initial consultations and may work for you on a contingency basis. This means that they will only seek payment if your injury claim is approved.
Step 3 – Get involved in the investigation
After you enlist the help of a lawyer, they will make an investigation on your accident. Your attorney will attempt to prove that the injuries you sustain are directly caused by someone else’s actions or negligence. This means that the other party is liable for your injuries and you may be entitled to due compensation.
To prove that your injuries are indeed serious and decide on who was really at fault, your lawyer may work with a team of experts, such as doctors and accident reconstruction specialists. You will need to be involved in this investigation to provide a more complete picture of the accident that you were involved with. To get involved, you will have to contact your lawyer regularly. Your lawyer will tell you what you will need to do to help your case, and you must follow the instructions given to you.
You might feel that actively involving yourself in the investigation regarding your case, but your participation is important and may determine the outcome of your case. Your lawyer will work to get you the maximum amount of compensation, ultimately working for your benefit. Helping your lawyer is the most important thing you can do, so it’s crucial to work with them as needed.
4 – Identify the type of compensations you should be receiving
This item will be discussed more thoroughly in the following sections, but remember that this item is important. You will need to discuss this with your lawyer, especially since you need to gather every single piece of evidence to gain full compensation. Your compensation will depend on the nature of your injuries, but prepare to receive compensation for the following items:
- Doctor visits, which includes check-ups and therapy sessions
- Prescriptions, such as pain medication and other necessary drugs
- Medical equipment, such as CT scans, x-rays, and other diagnostic examinations
- At-home care, such as the need for nurses
- Funeral expenses, if a loved one has passed
- Lost wages, should you be rendered unfit to work
- Pain and suffering, which pertains to all the emotional trauma you are suffering from
Are there any factors that affect a personal injury case?
As with all legal cases, certain factors will come into play. These factors can affect the outcome and duration of the case, so it’s integral that you are aware of what affects your case in detail. Here is a quick rundown of all the factors:
- Your injury: Where did it come from and how did it happen? You must hold a detailed account of the extent of your injuries, as this will affect your compensation. By providing accurate evidence, you ensure that you receive a full and fair claim. That said, never settle quickly for short money.
- The insurance company: How well will the company cooperate regarding your case? Although insurance companies are designed to help protect their policyholders, insurers can make negotiations difficult. When it comes to hefty damages like personal injury cases, expect the insurance company to investigate liabilities thoroughly, which also includes the extent of your injuries and the damages, and will come up with possible defense strategies. Unfortunately, this will take time. Bear in mind that some insurers delay or deny valid claims, making the situation even more difficult.
- The actual case: How complex is your personal injury case? An accident may be straightforward, such as motor vehicle accidents. If it involved a two-vehicle collision, however, investigations need to be conducted. Liability will be unclear, so full cooperation among all parties involved will be crucial. If one fails to cooperate, expect a case to be difficult and therefore, take longer. If you are involved in a car accident and the other party refused to take responsibility, expect your personal injury case to take a while.
How do I properly file an insurance claim following a personal injury accident?
As previously discussed, you must file an insurance claim as soon as you’re able. This ensures that you receive proper compensation for the damages and injuries you may have suffered, which may include the following items:
- Property damage: Compensation for car damages following an accident or house fire incidents due to a defective product
- Medical expenses: Medications, surgeries, therapies, and other medical costs you may have incurred due to the incident
- Lost wages: Income you may have lost due to your inability to work as an aftermath of the incident
- Pain and suffering: The emotional trauma you are currently experiencing due to any type of injury or the loss of your loved one
As you make your claim, remember to stick to the facts. Do not make any statements that pertain to your opinions, such as how you speculate the accident may have happened. Signing anything or speaking without your lawyer must also be avoided, as the insurance company will likely arrange a settlement to avoid you from receiving full compensation.
Enlist the Services of a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
Going through an accident can be difficult, especially since it comes with trauma and shock. The experience can be debilitating, regardless if it has happened to you or a loved one. You must understand what to do after an accident, and what type of compensation you can receive as a form of justice. Whatever your next course of action may be, however, it’s best to seek the help of a professional lawyer.
For the best personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach and surrounding areas, Shiner Law Group is the place to go. We are a law firm composed of licensed attorneys, committed to helping injured individuals get the justice they deserve. Book a consultation with us today.