Several possible ways exist for someone to be the victim of a personal injury or incur trouble at no fault of their own, unfortunately. A personal injury generally refers to any bodily harm, illness, or property damage a person experiences resulting from someone else’s negligence. Some examples of incidents that may constitute a personal injury case include falling or getting injured in a public business or being the patient of a negligent physician or medical professional. Other incidents include motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers who operate their cars while distracted, drive over the speed limit, or get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For personal injury insight and information regarding what constitutes a personal injury case, consult experienced legal professionals.
Personal injury lawsuits most commonly involve plaintiffs who suffered harm and damages in a motor vehicle accident. According to statistical data, an estimated five to six million automobile accidents occur each year. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s common for approximately 10 million or more car accidents to go unreported to the authorities each year. In most vehicular incidents—an estimated 90 percent of them—the at-fault drivers demonstrated negligence, faced distractions, made errors, or experienced impairment or fatigue.
You should seek a personal injury claim after a car crash caused by someone else because motorists who make the irresponsible, illegal decision to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcoholic beverages or drugs should take responsibility for their dangerous actions. The law should hold drivers who drive too fast or become preoccupied with phone calls, text messages, food and drink, the radio, makeup, or other distractions while they’re behind the wheel accountable as well.
Not all automobile collisions are the result of another motorist’s negligence. Another reason personal injury victims should put up good legal fights is, in some cases, car accidents may result from dangerous road conditions or mechanical defects in cars. In cases of injuries and damages caused by driving or riding on hazardous roads, victims have the right to sue the town or city that’s responsible for making sure all parkways, streets, roads, highways, and interstates are safe. Likewise, when car accidents occur because of vehicular defects, a person should hire a personal injury attorney and initiate a lawsuit against their vehicle’s manufacturer.
Unfortunately, car accidents are common causes for severe injuries such as sprained, fractured, or broken bones; shoulder injuries, head and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries. Motor vehicle incidents often cause discomfort, spinal cord damage, herniated discs, and back pain. Statistical data from the NSCISC—National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center—reveals that car accidents are the leading cause of spinal injuries.
Depending on the circumstances, car accidents can even cause or contribute to scoliosis—a spinal medical condition commonly occurring in adolescents. The most common scoliosis form, idiopathic scoliosis, typically occurs in people going through puberty. In severe vehicular collisions, a healthy, straight spine could curve or bend and require extensive scoliosis treatment and physical therapy.
Such injuries can also occur following a slip, trip, or fall in a store or public business or after an act of medical malpractice at the hands of a physician or medical professional.
Suppose you sustained injuries to your person or damages to your property because of someone else’s negligent acts. In such a case, you may be able to initiate a personal injury case to receive fair compensation. Listed below are six actions to take if you’re the victim of a personal injury.
Determine if you have injuries and need emergency medical assistance.
When an incident occurs, check yourself and others with you for injuries, but be aware that signs of bodily harm, whether internal or external, may not be obvious. If you determine that you require emergency medical attention, or you’d rather be safe than sorry, get to the hospital sooner rather than later. If you’re not in a position to call an emergency services number, ask someone else to do so for you. In case you’re seriously hurt, wait for emergency medical staff and personnel, and try not to move.
Try your best to move to a safer area.
Following an accident, it’s best if you can move from the scene so you’re not creating hazardous conditions for others or interfering with the clean-up of the area. For instance, if you’re in a grocery store and slip and fall on food or liquid spills, move from the site if you can and allow the staff to clean the floor and mark the scene with a wet floor sign. Likewise, if you’re in a motor vehicle incident, try your best to safely pull your car over to the side to keep it from obstructing others and making the road more dangerous for other drivers. If your motor vehicle is in an unsafe condition, leave it in its place, and try your best to get yourself to safety. If you’re able to move, try walking to the side of the road or the sidewalk.
Document the scene and any damages.
Be as detailed as possible when making notes about your experience, bodily injuries, medical expenses, and any vehicular damage if your personal injury case involving a motor vehicle. Take photographs of your injuries, as well as any damages to your car or damages sustained by the driver’s automobile.
Gather as much information relevant to the situation as you can.
If you’re in a car accident, note the model, type, and color of the other driver’s vehicle, and obtain their license plate number as well. Whether you’re in a car accident or you fall in the store, gathering potential witnesses and having the names of any people relevant to the situation can be beneficial.
Seek counsel from a legal professional
The chances are that if you’re the victim of an automobile accident, an insurance adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company is likely to call you and ask for a statement. In this case, getting their contact information and their name is a good idea, but avoid speaking to them about the motor vehicle incident, making verbal agreements, or agreeing to sign papers.
Hire a personal injury lawyer from a reputable law firm and consult them about your options when pursuing a personal injury case or insurance claim. Some insurance companies may try to take advantage of accident victims who don’t have legal representation and give them less compensation than they deserve.
Skilled personal injury lawyers who have years of experience work on behalf of personal injury victims and provide them with expert legal advice that enables them to get fair compensation for any damaged property, bodily injuries, and medical expenses.
Get the treatment you need and take it one day at a time.
Following a personal injury incident, you may be so severely injured that you require medical treatment, as well as short-term or long-term rehabilitation services. Rather than putting your energy and focus into legal proceedings, you should concentrate on regaining your strength and returning to how your lifestyle was before the personal injury occurred. A skilled attorney who has your best interest in mind will make the best negotiations for you while you focus on recuperating and improving your physical, mental, and emotional health.