Is My Injury Serious Enough to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Just going about daily activities, you can be injured unexpectedly and often not because of something you did. For instance, you could be walking down the aisle of a supermarket searching for products when you suddenly slip and fall because of a wet spot on the floor. In another scenario, you could back out of your driveway to go to work, you get on the highway, another car strikes yours, and you end up being thrown back and forth in your seat.
In either case, you may initially brush it off because you don’t have any visible injuries or feel anything except minor irritation. Hours or days later, however, your physical condition may worsen. As time goes by, the injuries linger and perhaps worsen. At what point should you file a claim or lawsuit against the person or entity who brought about your suffering?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence in or around Altamonte Springs, Florida, contact me at the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius, P.A., for understanding legal guidance.
I am a personal injury attorney with more than 25 years of experience who has helped many others with injury claims obtain the just compensation they deserve. I serve clients throughout Central Florida, including Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia, and throughout the counties of Polk and Lake.
Possible Injuries Following an Accident
Depending on the type of accident you’re involved in, injuries cover a wide spectrum. If you’re in a slip-and-fall incident and tumble backward, you can suffer head, neck, and back injuries, including a possible concussion and head trauma.
In a rear-end car accident, head, neck, and spine injuries are similarly possible. If you’re hit from the side -- that is, struck in the door -- your injuries could worsen. Fractures, muscle and tissue damage, and more can result. The extent of your injuries really depends on the specifics of the accident and how vulnerable you are when the accident occurs. The point is to hold the responsible party accountable for what you’re suffering.
Recovering for Injuries You Suffer
The law is specific about what you can recover for injuries you suffer in an accident. You must prove that another party or entity was responsible for your injuries because of their negligence.
Take the example of slipping and falling on a wet floor in a supermarket. The owner/operator of the store is responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent accidents.
Say a bottle of olive oil fell and made the floor slippery. If the bottle fell immediately before the accident, the owner/operator probably had no way of knowing about it, so it would not be reasonable to expect an immediate clean-up. But if it fell an hour prior to the accident, then negligence might well apply.
What Can You Recover Compensation For?
In a personal injury claim, you can recover for damages or losses. Damages obviously refer to your injuries or anything that happened to your personal property. Losses can be wages lost because of an inability to work or the consequences of your injuries.
Recoverable damages include but are not limited to:
Anticipated medical expenses
Lost wages or lost earning power
Cost of hiring others to do household and other tasks you once performed
Pain and suffering, and emotional distress
Loss of consortium (companionship)
Is It Worth It to Pursue a Personal Injury Claim?
Even if your injuries are covered by your health care insurance, you definitely should consider a personal injury claim, either through the other party’s liability insurance or through a personal injury lawsuit.
Look at the list above. There are often many damages that need to be compensated for. And after all, it’s important to hold the other party accountable. It was their negligence that resulted in your injuries, losses, and suffering.
Filing a Claim
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, you have a two-year statute of limitations to do so. The clock starts ticking from the date of the accident or sometimes from the date of discovering you were injured.
As for an insurance claim, the sooner is usually the better. Insurance companies are prone to challenge any claim that isn’t reported promptly, and you could end up in an endless back-and-forth to prove the validity of your injuries.
The Role of Skilled Advocacy
If you or a loved one is injured because of someone else’s negligence, you should seek experienced legal help immediately. Even if it’s just an insurance claim, the company’s claims adjuster will try to pin the blame, wholly or partially, on you. As for a personal injury lawsuit, you obviously will need an attorney’s help, but overall, take the facts to your attorney to determine the best path to take – and do so immediately after the accident.
If you are in Central Florida, contact me at the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius, P.A., for legal assistance. Your first consultation is free, and you won’t owe anything until we win.