Important Steps To Take For The Best Possible Outcome
The essence of a personal injury case is an injury to the person. How much money to seek from the other side to fix the wrongs done to you will depend on many factors, but they all start with the extent of your injuries. If you are injured, the most important step you can take is to get evaluated to determine what’s physically wrong with you. To do this, seek professional medical advice to determine what injuries you have sustained. Then, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice on how to treat those injuries and restore your health.
This is perhaps the second most important step to protect your claim: follow your doctor’s orders.
Consider the following example: A doctor says, “If you’re not better in two days, come back and we’ll run an MRI. We want to do this because x-rays don’t always show everything.” If you continue to experience symptoms but you don’t go back to the doctor, it can pose a major problem to your claim.
The same can be true if you’re in horrible pain three weeks after an accident, yet you’re still walking on that injured leg. By not getting medical treatment, you can make the injuries worse – and give the insurance company an opportunity to undercut the value of your claim.
How is this possible? Because fault can be attributed to you for the severity of your injuries if you fail to take steps necessary to minimize your damages.
Finally, the third most important step is to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. You should consider getting in touch with a professional as soon as possible. Just as you want to seek professional medical advice, you also want to seek professional legal advice. In your consultation, you can discuss the accident and how it has impacted your life, and start making a strategy to get on the road to a full recovery. This way, you don’t miss any opportunity to be made whole. The sooner you do this, the less likely it is that something happens to prejudice your case.
Determining Whether You Have A Viable Case
Several factors determine whether or not a person has a viable case – but any one of these factors functions as a litmus test. Every case has a multitue of variables that have to be considered. These include not only the facts giving rise to the incident in which the injury occurred, but the nature of the injuries, their severity and duration, the costs and complications involved in treatment, the age, gender, and social/familial situation of the injured party, the insurance companies involved, the location/jurisdiction of the parties and the community attitudes of the people who may serve on a jury, etc. The he only way to determine whether you have a viable claim is to work with an attorney who can go over every aspect of your claim. The attorney will initially look at the two main factors involved in every case: (1) liability (was someone else at fault?; and (2) damages (are your injuries serious enough that the cost and uncertainties associated with litigation make the case worth pursuing?
On the issue of liability, traffic cases are substantially different from injuries on someone’s property. In auto crash cases, there are traffic laws that are always in play to determine who is at fault. There is often dispute, but ultimately the facts at the scene and witness testimony tend to suggest an answer as to who was at fault. In instances where there isn’t clear-cut fault on one party or the other, or where both may have been partially at fault, Indiana’s comparative fault law allows percentages of fault to be allocated between the parties. In premises liability cases, proving liability is harder. We believe that stems from the typical juror’s belief that people have a responsibility to look out for where they are walking. So, in cases where someone slips on spilled liquid in a store, verdict databases seem to suggest that jurors tend to believe that the injured party should almost always share in some fault for “not looking where they were going.” As a result, comparative fault allocation is quite often a factor in reaching a settlement short of trial in slip and fall cases.
Another factor in auto crashes is the amount of property damage to the vehicles. Though not an accurate predictor of how serious the injuries are from the crash, it is still something that jurors and insurance adjustors look to in evaluating how serious they believe the injuries really were. If high speeds were involved, there is likely to be more property damage. The higher speeds, the more serious the forces were that led to injury. People tend to associate that with more serious injury – whether it is true or not. Therefore, the kind of impact affects whether the insurance company or jury believes you are seriously injured. (We’ve had clients seriously injured in low-impact cases and clients that fortunately were not as seriously injured – but their crash was “more impressive” to the insurance company). If you think you have been seriously injured in a lower-impact crash, we may need to consider employing experts who examine the crash, and/or experts who examine your injuries to provide convincing opinions to provide to the unconvinced.
When it comes to damages, another factor that is not necessarily determinative of anything but seems to play a significant role in a case’s outcome is the extent of medical expenses incurred. Therefore, because medical expenses are a recoverable item of damages, we always want to look at those as a potential item of recovery. (There are times when we might elect to waive those, but that is for tactical reasons discussed elsewhere). Jurors and insurance companies often associate higher medical expenses with more serious injuries. This is a factor that must be considered in evaluating a settlement proposal and in preparing for trial.
The fact is, medical expenses are a poor indicator of how serious an injury is. An important item we look at is how disruptive the injury has been to your life. Is it something that’s going to require significant medical treatment? Has it really been a disruption to your health and daily life? If so, how? Related to that is the matter of the permanence of the injury. Will the injury be something you have to contend with forever, or will you completely recover from it? Are there going to be ongoing problems that you are going to need assistance with?
The more disruptive an injury is to your health and life, the more crucial it is that you get experienced legal representation – so that you can seek the compensation you need and deserve.
The insurance company will need to be convinced of the seriousness of your injury. On their own, most of my clients cannot persuade the insurance company. That’s why my clients hire me. I used to work as an attorney for an insurance company, so I know exactly what to look for when it comes to your case.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Personal Injury Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.
For more information on Personal Injury Law In Indiana, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (812) 359-8007 today.
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