Personal Injury Claim Property Damage Claim

Understanding Your Injuries and Damages

Understand the Injuries

A personal injury lawyer will help you identify and understand your injuries. Medical records will be collected and reviewed. They will help you to understand your injuries and the effects they may have on your life.

Medical Documentation

You should see the doctor as soon as possible after your accident, so they can properly document your injuries. After an accident you should see the doctor for a full evaluation and be truthful. Don’t be afraid to tell them exactly what pain you feel and where. Doctors will be looking for signs and symptoms, so be sure to tell your doctor of all your symptoms, no matter how minor.

Follow Through With You Doctors

Depending on your injuries, you may require medical treatment for weeks or even months after you leave the hospital. If the injuries are severe enough, you may need long‑term treatment. If there is a change in your condition or if it worsens, you will need to let you doctor know immediately so that they can do a follow up. You should take medication as prescribed by your doctor and do whatever rehabilitation your doctor asks of you. Your lawyer will also need to know the changes in your condition and how they are affecting your life so that they can explain it to the insurance company and ask for the fairest settlement.

Types of Injuries

A personal injury is any harm to your person; this includes physical injuries, financial cost, and emotional trauma. Personal losses can also be related to the spouse, losing the company, affection, assistance, and marital relations. Injuries can be minor, moderate, severe, or catastrophic. Minor and moderate injuries are things such as sprains, strains, fractures, bruising, or superficial cuts. These maybe painful initially but they heal quickly with little medical treatment.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the non‑bony parts of the body, such as internal organs, nerves, muscles, and connective tissues, tears, sprains, strains, and pulled muscles are all types of soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries are common but they cannot be detected with x‑rays. They can be hard to detect and determine because symptoms usually occur hours after the accident. It can even take days before soft tissue injuries will start to appear. Pain with soft tissue injuries are often caused by inflammation. The pain may prevent healing if left untreated.

Whiplash

The most common soft tissue injury is whiplash. This occurs when a person is struck from behind in an accident. Whiplash is caused when your head snaps forward and back again. This causes pain because the head is very heavy and puts a lot of pressure on the neck when it snaps forward and back again. Having whiplash can cause chronic pain, joint dysfunction, and herniated disk of the spine. Symptoms of whiplash often include neck pain, stiffness, headache, burning sensations, shoulder pain, back pain, and dizziness. Sometimes memory loss, depression, fatigue, and nervousness may also result from whiplash.

Catastrophic Injury

A catastrophic injury is one in which that is expected to permanently change a person’s life. This includes moderate to severe burns, amputations, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and brain injuries.

Brain Injuries

A brain injury can be caused by the head being struck, the head striking an object, or the brain undergoing an acceleration/deceleration movement, like whiplash. These types of injuries can usually occur without direct external trauma to the head. Without timely treatment, brain trauma often goes unrecognized.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Definition

People with mild brain injuries can recover physically but still have cognitive and psychosocial afflictions.

A person with mild traumatic brain injuries is a person who suffers a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain functions as manifested by the following:

  • Any period of loss of consciousness
  • Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after the accidents
  • Any alteration in the mental state at the time of the accident (feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused)
  • Focal neurological deficits that may or may not be transient
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensory problems (blurred vision, ringing in ears, or bad taste in mouth)
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Mood changes or mood swings
  • Feeling depressed or anxious
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping more than usual

The severity must not exceed the following:

  • Loss of consciousness of approximately 30 minutes or less
  • After 30 minutes, an initial Glasgow Coma Scale of 13-15
  • Post –traumatic amnesia not greater than 24 hours

Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • Moderate to severe brain trauma can include any of the symptoms seen by a mild brain injury. Moderate to severe brain trauma also may include symptoms of
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Profound confusion
  • Agitation, combat, or other unusual behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Weakness or numbness of the extremities
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of bladder control or bowel control
  • Persistent headache or headache that worsens
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or the ears

These symptoms may appear within the first few hours of an accident, or may take days after the accident to first appear.

Children’s Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Children often are unable to tell an adult if they are feeling any kind of discomfort after an accident. They don’t know how to explain why it hurts or where it hurts. After an accident, the child may also be confused and unable to tell an adult what is wrong.

Some symptoms that a child may have that are un noticeable if a child cannot tell you what is wrong are:

  • Headaches
  • Sensory problems
  • Confusion

Some symptoms that you may be able to detect if a child has suffered a traumatic brain injury are:

  • Change in nursing or eating habits
  • Persistent crying
  • Unusual or easy irritability
  • Change in ability to pay attention
  • Inability to be consoled
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Sad or depresses mood
  • Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities

Traumatic Brain Injury: The Silent Epidemic

A traumatic brain injury can occur without a skull fracture, a coma or loss of consciousness. Many head injuries are only treated at the emergency room, which isn’t enough time for the obvious signs of post‑concussive syndrome, may occur. Usually the short term and long term effects are not recognized when the initial treatments are given. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are nearly 1.5 million cases of TBI, some mild, some severe. About 50,000 of the people who have TBI die and about 80,000 leave the hospital with a disability. About 5.3 million people live in this country with a disability that was cause by TBI and are unaware what caused their disability. This is why TBI is called the silent epidemic. A person with a TBI may appear fine on the surface and may show no signs of an injury. A person with a TBI may make a full physical recover, but still suffer functioning problems, such as problem solving or memory capabilities. Symptoms will vary in type and severity depending on the nature of the trauma.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome usually follows a mild to moderate head injury. Symptoms may occur such as:

  • Headaches
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Paralysis, dizziness
  • Tinnitus

Seizures

  • Speech, hearing, vision, tactile and olfactory dysfunction
  • Memory deficits
  • Concentration problems
  • Slowed thinking
  • Problems with perception, sequencing, judgment, and communication
  • Impaired reading and writing skills
  • Emotional and behavioral dysfunction
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of empathy
  • Depression

Speech, hearing, vision, tactile and olfactory dysfunction

  • Memory deficits
  • Concentration problems
  • Slowed thinking
  • Problems with perception, sequencing, judgment, and communication
  • Impaired reading and writing skills
  • Emotional and behavioral dysfunction
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of empathy
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Lack of motivation
  • Emotional volatility

Sufferers often have problems with organizing thoughts, keeping track of things, selection the right word in speaking, functioning in a job, getting along with others, retaining and learning new information, and getting from place to place. People with post concussion syndrome may also have double vision, hypersensitivity to light and sound, confusion and fear in crowed places, and overall feeling of confusion and agitation.

Cognitive Therapy – Treatment for Mild Brain Injury

Cognitive therapy is treatment for mild brain injuries. It is a brain rehabilitation that involves restoration of functions and learning how to do things differently when functions cannot be restored. Doing arithmetic, solving logical puzzles, concentration skills, and reading are all things that may occur to help during rehabilitation.

Compensation

Even with insurance coverage on your auto and health insurance helping pay you medical bills, you may still have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. In a personal injury claim, medical expenses are part of the financial compensation. Personal injury claims help pay for medical expenses, prescriptions, medical devices, and cost of transportation to and from the doctor. A personal injury lawyer will help you receive compensation for the medical bills that you have acquired and help determine if money is needed for any future medical bills. It is the job of a personal injury lawyer to prove how your injuries affect your life and your family. Personal injury lawyers help you to obtain compensation for the injuries you suffer. The goal is to help you return to your life the way it was before the accident, although that is not always possible

Loss of Income and Earning Capacity

If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, you may be able to claim the lost income. If injuries impact future earning, you may also be able to receive compensation for income that you would have otherwise earned.

Pain and Suffering Damages

Personal injury victims are entitled to receive compensation for any pain and suffering that occurred as a result of the accident. Pain and suffering are the legal terms used to describe the physical and emotional stress caused by the accident.

Permanent Disability

A permanent disability is any loss of ability that will prevent the victim either physically or mentally from performing his or her normal work. . A permanent disability is life changing. Not only does the person now have disability, they now face a higher risk of medical complications. When a person has a permanent disability, they may need medical help, such as home health nurse, extensive inpatient medical care and need to be put in assisted living facility. The degree of permanent disability is one way of determining the amount of damages a person injury victim receives.

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death law extends legal rights and protections to the beneficiaries and dependents of victims who have died as the result of another party’s negligence, intentional actions, or strict liability. A wrongful death can be pursued by the estate of the deceased. The executor of the estate is the official representative of the estate and the person who has the authority to act on behalf of the estate. In other words, the victim’s survivors are entitled to compensation as a result of negligent conduct of another. Federal laws may apply if the wrongful death were work related.

Common Defenses Used by Insurance Companies

The insurance company is represented by an adjuster who has no duty to advocate or fight for you. Adjusters work to minimize the amount of money that you will be paid. They will try to prove that your injuries were not caused by the other party. One common defense is that you suffered similar injuries before the accident even occurred. An insurance adjuster may attack the victim’s character and their medical history.

Overcoming Common Defenses

If you have had previous injuries, a personal injury lawyer will help to prove that because of the accident the condition worsened. It takes testimony of doctors to prove medical facts and personal injury lawyers will work closely with the doctors to get the necessary medical proof they need to support your claim.

Common Medical Test

After an accident, you may have to undergo some medical test to diagnose and treat the injuries you sustained from the accident. This will help the medical providers to give you the best treatment possible. Some test may be:

  • X – rays – radiation test used to uncover bone injuries
  • CT scan – multiple x‑rays taken on one area to provide a better view , mostly used for internal injuries or multiple fractures
  • MRI – magnetic radiation used to look at soft tissues in your body
  • PET scan – a patient is injected with a harmless substance that creates a 3‑D picture of the metabolic activity and the structures of the body
  • Ultra Sound – high frequency sound waves used to bounce of internal structures to produce a picture, used to see internal organs, connective tissue, bones, blood vessels, and eyes
  • Nerve conduction study – electrical test that is used to find problems with your nerves
  • EMG – shows muscle activity by measuring electrical current
  • Endoscopy – a tube used to look into natural openings of the body, such as the throat, stomach, or colon