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Initiating a Personal Injury Claim The First Step Toward Recovery

by on May 4, 2012 » Add the first comment.

Danger lurks in the workplace. A bit of frayed carpet, an irregular stair step, a loose handrail—each threatens to injure the hapless worker hustling to his work station. Maybe you yourself have been just such a victim.

Or maybe you sustained your injury after work, while you were commuting home in your car, and now you suffer neck and head pain as a result of an auto accident. If so, then you have suffered personal injury. You should therefore consider filing a personal injury claim.

A claim of personal injury refers to a variety o f tort lawsuit, or a lawsuit that addresses civil wrongs, alleging that the plaintiff’s injury has been caused by one type of negligence or another. “Personal injury” refers to an injury of the body, mind or emotions. Medical and dental accidents also fall under personal injury, and usually lead to medical negligence claims.

Personal injuries from industrial diseases include, but are not limited to, the following ailments: silicosis, asthma, asbestosis, vibration white finger, occupational stress, occupational deafness, contact dermatitis, and repetitive-strain injury cases.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim: Five Steps for Success

If you find yourself the victim of a person injury, these five steps can help you to establish a successful personal injury claim (Make sure to follow them carefully):

  1. Upon suffering the injury, file a police report. Attach this report to your personal injury claim. Visit a medical professional for treatment and submit the medical records along with the personal injury claim.
  2. Get contact information from eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses will corroborate your story, and this corroboration will increase your claim’s chance of success.
  3. File the personal injury claim in a timely manner. The longer you wait, the worse your chances for success will be. The law usually imposes a time limit within which the claim must be filed.
  4. Seek the counsel of an attorney trained in personal injury law.

Avoid discussing the cause of the accident with anyone at the scene of the personal-injury accident. Also, your memory will be freshest immediately after the accident, so take care to note important details and key admissions in a journal, including:

  •  Date of accident
  •  Time of day
  •  Day of week
  •  Purpose of the trip
  •  Lighting and weather conditions
  •  Police district involved
  •  Name and badge number of attending officer
  •  Location of the accident and attendant details
  •  Description of injuries sustained, including movement of the body at the moment of impact, pain at the moment of impact, parts of the body injured, types of injuries sustained

If you are admitted to an emergency room for your injuries, keep in mind that insurance companies give special credence to emergency-room reports, because these reports contain descriptions made before any consideration has been given to litigation. You must therefore be very careful what you admit in the emergency room. Make sure that medical providers record all details in an accurate and thorough manner. Mistakes are frequently made in the emergency room by busy doctors and nurses, and you do not want a mistake in your hospital report to jeopardize your personal injury claim.

Catastrophic Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice: Two Common Personal Injuries

A catastrophic personal injury leaves the victim disabled for the rest of her natural life. Catastrophic personal injuries can include brain damage, spinal cord damage, massive trauma to internal organs, burns, paralysis and loss of limbs. These types of injuries are especially pernicious as they can saddle the victim and the victim’s family with a lifetime of medical bills, which, coupled with the prospect of lost wages, can financially and emotionally incapacitate a victim of catastrophic personal injury.

Medical malpractice litigation addresses injuries suffered as the result of careless medical malpractice, injuries which oftentimes cause permanent and painful injuries. Though a medical malpractice lawsuit is one of the hardest personal injury cases to win, it is often worth pursuing if any catastrophic injury or death was due to negligence on the part of a medical provider. Most malpractice cases will be tried before a jury before compensation can be received. In order to win a medical malpractice case, an attorney has to establish that there was a breach in the standard of care or an increased risk of harm to the patient.

Are You A Victim of Personal Injury? Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury lawsuits result in different types of settlements. Oftentimes personal injury lawsuits will result in structured settlements, or a financial or insurance arrangement that a claimant accepts to resolve a personal injury claim. Many times structured settlements include the option for periodic payments. Structured settlements have been endorsed by the American Association of People with Disabilities and the National Organization on Disability. They ensure that the victim of a catastrophic personal injury will not make unwise financial decision upon receiving a settlement, and will, rather, enjoy a lifetime of support for the catastrophically disabled plaintiff.

Regardless of the type of settlement you expect to win, the services of a personal injury lawyer are indispensible. A personal injury lawyer will ensure that you receive compensation appropriate to the injuries suffered. Your injuries might be of such a serious nature that the potential amount of compensation you can expect, or complex legal rules might complicate your claim. Your insurance company may even refuse to settle the case with you in good faith. An attorney trained in personal injury can protect you from such possible developments, and can ensure that you receive adequate compensation for the injuries and damages suffered from person injury.

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