Understanding Your Injuries and Damages
Understanding Your Injuries
In personal injury law, the wrongdoer (sometimes known as a tortfeasor) is responsible for all of the injuries caused by his or her negligence, or by any other unlawful conduct. If you are injured as a direct result of that conduct, you are entitled to be fully compensated for all the injuries that you suffered. In the law, the goal is to make the injured party whole. That is, the purpose of monetary compensation is to try to restore you and your family to the position that you were in before your bicycle or motorcycle accident or any other type of accident.
Once it is clear that the wrongdoer is at fault for your injuries, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you fully identify and understand your injuries. Your law firm will obtain and review your medical records and talk with you, your family and even your physicians to fully understand your injuries and how they have affected your life. Using prior experience with similar cases, your lawyer will then be able to predict the range of dollar amounts a jury could award.
In recent years, insurance companies, their lobbyists and greedy corporations have put forth a great deal of propaganda that casts personal injury victims and their lawyers in an unfavorable light. They do this purposely to bias potential jurors against personal injury victims and in favor of the people and insurance companies they sue. Often, the media exacerbates this problem by highlighting bizarre or rare multi-million-dollar cases. This creates the mistaken perception that most people pursuing personal injury claims receive unjust windfalls, or do not entirely deserve the compensation they receive. Nothing is further from the truth. In reality, most people injured by careless wrongdoers are hardworking Americans who just happened to be victims of another person’s carelessness.
Proving Your Injuries Can Prove Your Claim
Sometimes, understanding your injuries can actually help prove your case. Take the case of a nine-year-old boy who was hit by a car while running back across the street from an ice cream truck. The driver of the car claimed that she was not at fault and that the boy had simply run into the side of the car. Even the investigating police officer took the driver’s word and decided the little boy was at fault. There were no other witnesses.
However, thanks to the experienced personal injury lawyer the boy’s family consulted, that was not the end of the investigation. The lawyer investigated and researched the particular type of leg fracture the boy had. To make a long story short, the lawyer was able to prove, using medical and scientific evidence and testimony that the only way the injury could have occurred was if the car had hit the boy, as opposed to the boy running into the car. By fully understanding the injuries in the case, the lawyer was able to turn a claim denied by the insurance company into a substantial recovery to provide for the boy’s future.
Follow Through With Your Doctors
The full extent of your injuries may not be obvious immediately after an accident. Some people may feel that they did not sustain a serious injury, only to discover weeks or months later that what they initially thought was a minor injury has worsened and may require significant medical treatment. Because of this possibility, one of the things you should do after an accident is seeing a doctor for a full evaluation. Depending on the type of injury, it may be best to consult with a specialist. Be certain to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms, no matter how minor they may seem. You should see this doctor as soon as possible after your accident, so the doctor can properly document the full extent of your injuries. This documentation is important because it creates a clear record of your injuries and treatment, which is important in a legal claim.
Immediately after the accident, it may be difficult even for the most experienced doctor to tell you how long you will require medical treatment. Depending on your injuries, you may need follow-up care for the first few weeks or months after you leave the hospital. For some extremely serious injuries, you may need long-term or even lifelong care. Because it is often difficult to predict your needs early in a case, it is important for you to be vigilant about your health. If you notice a change in your symptoms, you should be certain to tell your doctor about it. You should also, of course, actively participate in your own recovery by following your doctor’s orders, taking your medications and undergoing whatever rehabilitation or treatment your doctor recommends.
Your law firm will also need to know about changes in your condition and how they affect your life, so he or she can explain the full extent of your injuries and damages to the insurance company and ask for the fairest settlement of your claim. To help your lawyer, you should keep a written record of your medical treatment and how your life has been affected by your injuries. This will also help you refresh your memory later, in case your claim goes to trial months or years after the accident.
When your treatment is completed or your doctor feels you have reached maximum medical improvement, your law firm may request additional medical records, to better understand how the injuries will affect you in the future.