Getting injured is never a fun experience. And no matter how your injury occurred, you’re likely going to have to recover, both physically and financially, especially if your injury leaves you unable to work for any length of time.
But what exactly is a personal injury case? And what are the best steps to take after you’ve been injured?
The legal world can be a confusing place if you’ve never lived the life of an attorney. But even without having to go to law school and pass the state Bar Exam, you should look to form a basic understanding of legal principles so that you’re informed whenever you’re involved in a personal injury case.
The fact is, personal injury cases come in many forms, from car accidents to injuries caused by an at-fault party or business entity. And knowing how to navigate the legal landscape after sustaining a personal injury is the best strategy to pursue.
In the following, we’ll explore what a personal injury case is, and how to proceed toward receiving compensation.
What Exactly is Personal Injury?
Nobody likes to get hurt. Injuries take us away from living to our fullest, healthiest potential. You have to move slower, lift less, miss work or school in some cases, and you cannot enjoy the physical activities you’re typically used to performing.
Unfortunately, though we may often be the sole cause of our injuries, sometimes another party causes us to be injured. This is when we need to decide whether or not to seek out legal help to aid in acquiring compensation for our personal injuries.
Personal injury (in legal terms) must involve proof of negligent behavior regarding the at-fault party.
A personal injury claim is a legal document filed by the party who suffered the injury, and the sufferer may be eligible for the following compensations:
- Punitive Damages
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Past and Future Wages
The amount of compensation the injured party receives is typically related to the significance of the injury sustained. In other words, if someone ran into you and you bumped your head, you could consider filing a personal injury claim, however, your compensation won’t be nearly as great as if you were in a car accident which resulted in hospitalization.
What Should I do After Suffering Personal Injury?
Seek Medical Attention. Above all, before you do anything else, it’s imperative that you receive a proper medical diagnosis. And this is not only done to ensure that you have official documentation of your injuries, but you also need to ensure that you don’t have any serious injuries that you may not notice immediately.
For example, if you break your arm you’re going to instantly notice it. The pain will be immediate and quite intense. However, if you get involved in an accident and you have a case of whiplash or lower back pain from a slipped or swollen disc, these types of injuries may not manifest for a day or so later.
Always seek prompt medical attention whenever you sustain an injury. This will be your best defense when it comes to filing for compensation later on.
Obtain Legal Representation
After a serious personal injury, it may be difficult to run around and handle your affairs. And this is why many choose to seek legal counsel when seeking compensation for personal injury.
Just to make things easier, you should obtain legal representation locally, within the area where the injury occurred. For example, if you were injured in Chicago or the surrounding area, you should look for Chicago attorneys that handle legal cases. These individuals have internal knowledge of the local legal landscape, and can potentially expedite your claim much faster than an out-of-state attorney.
Don’t Talk About Your Case
The last thing you want to do is to communicate with anyone related to the at-fault party. This is something that can easily hurt your chances of getting your claim in a timely manner, or at all.
Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for personal injury victims to lash out at those responsible for their injuries. But this will prove to be a huge mistake.
At the end of the day, your best strategy is to gather all the information that you can and hand it over to your attorney, and then sit back and concentrate on your recovery. Your attorney will handle all the communications that need to be made, and will work on your case until your claim is processed.