What Factors Determine The Viability Of A Personal Injury Claim?
Usually, you need to have all of the big three factors in order for you to be successful in any type of injury claim. First, you have to have suffered damages, harm and losses, such as injuries suffered as a result of the accident, fall, medical negligence, or crime committed against you in a public establishment.
The second factor needed is liability; the person that we represent is usually not the person who caused the injury, and someone else is, such as the car that rear-ended you or the unmaintained pothole you fell through in the sidewalk.
The third factor is insurance; there has to be some way that we can recover and receive compensation for our client’s harms and losses.
What Are the Harms and Benefits of Keeping A Journal of Events After Sustaining An Injury?
That’s a very good question, but in all my 26 years of practice, I’ve never had a client bring me a journal of anything because the reality is, with our busy adult lives with our children and families, we just simply don’t have the time or the desire to sit down every day and write about our aches and pains. Typically, we don’t ask for diaries; we only ask that you be religious about your medical appointments and to participate and cooperate with the doctors who are trying to help you get better, because they will be the witnesses at trial who will testify about your physical condition, and it’s very important that we get good medical documentation to prove your injuries.
Instead of a diary, we ask that you provide a lot of photographic and video evidence of everything you’re going through, whether it’s having to spend a few days in the hospital, being unable to go to the bathroom without help, or needing a spouse to help you get dressed because you just can’t do it on your own due to your injuries. We try to make a lot of visual examples of what people have to suffer through once they’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence.
How Soon Should Someone Seek Medical Treatment In Case of An Injury?
We always strongly urge our clients to seek medical treatment immediately, although, typically they already have by the time they come to see us. Most clients are not very excited about making a legal claim; they would rather put everything behind them, but unfortunately, sometimes they don’t feel better and their situation gets progressively worse. We always ask clients if they’ve seen a doctor and if they haven’t for whatever reason we ask that they immediately seek medical care.
In Florida, under the new no-fault law, which covers medical payments for treatment of injuries from auto accidents, you must see a doctor within a first 14 days of the accident, or the carrier for your vehicle insurance may deny coverage. That means it’s very important to have a doctor evaluate your injuries immediately after an accident and to have them assist with any follow-ups or referrals that you may need if necessary.
What if Medical Bills Exceed Insurance Coverage?
It depends on the type of case. Medical bills are considered economic damages; monetary losses for someone else’s negligence. We try and collect those if it’s a premises case or a negligent security case or a slip and fall case and things of that nature, the medical bills are collected as part of the entire settlement. If you have an automobile case, the medical bills are paid by your own insurance carrier in Florida under no-fault law, and we usually try to resolve unpaid medical bills out of the settlement. We’ve been very successful with reducing amounts with medical providers so that clients keep as much as possible from any potential settlement.
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