If someone else’s negligence causes you to be injured in an accident, you may think you need to have dramatic injuries before you can seek compensation for them in a personal injury claim, but this is a common misconception. Even if your injuries are relatively minor, you will face medical expenses and may experience lost earnings – not to mention the physical and emotional pain and suffering that can plague you. If you’ve suffered minor injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, discuss your concerns with an experienced Austin personal injury attorney today.
What’s In This Guide
- A Note about Claims for Minor Injuries
- Common Personal Injury Claims
- The Insurance Company Handling Your Claim
- Common Insurance Tactics
A Note about Claims for Minor Injuries
If you suffer losses that the law addresses, which are called legal damages, you can seek compensation for those losses – there is no minimum involved. These categories of loss (that may or may not apply to your claim) fall into several groups that include property damage (such as to your vehicle in a traffic accident).
Your personal injury claim can address your related medical expenses in their entirety, and while your injuries may be minor, it’s important to understand that even seemingly innocuous injuries can prove more serious down the line. That ache in your ankle, for example, can end up being a hairline fracture that causes you to experience lasting pain and weakness in your joint. In other words, it’s important to rule out serious injuries, and this can take some time. The bottom line is that improved prognosis is closely associated with early diagnosis, so seeking medical attention early on – even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured – is in your best interest. Common medical costs include:
- Emergency care
- Surgical care and aftercare
- Hospital stays
- Treatment and care from doctors and other medical professionals
- Medical testing, procedures, and treatments
- Pain management
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Prescription medication
- Home health care
- Adaptive physical devices
Addressing all related medical expenses is critical to claims for minor injuries.
Decrease in Wages
Even if your injuries are minor, you could experience lost hours on the job and the lost wages that often accompany them. While lost earnings are likely to play a less central role in claims for minor injuries, they shouldn’t be ignored or discounted.
Pain and Suffering
If your injuries are minor, your physical and emotional pain and suffering is also expected to be less intense, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t real and that it doesn’t negatively affect your life. Because pain and suffering is difficult to assign a value to, Texas courts often use a multiplier method for those cases in which pain and suffering plays a role. As such, your overall injuries will be assigned a number from one to five that identifies how serious they are (with five being the most serious). From here, your economic damages – those damages that a value can readily be assigned to, such as your medical bills and lost earnings – will be multiplied by this multiplier and added to your total losses. For minor injuries, the multiplier used is naturally lower, but obtaining this just compensation can bolster your ability to fully recover from the losses you’ve experienced.
Common Personal Injury Claims
Every personal injury claim is unique, but they often fall into the following basic categories:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bike accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls accidents, dog bites, and other kinds of premises liability claims
- Accidents that lead to catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death claims, which – because they are also based on negligence – are very similar to personal injury claims.
The Insurance Company Handling Your Claim
The insurance company handling your claim recognizes that you may be hesitant to bring it in the first place because your injuries are relatively minor. In fact, it counts on people who have minor injuries to give the entire personal injury process a pass, which is a great way for these for-profit enterprises to keep their bottom lines healthy. Although your injuries are minor, they remain injuries that you’ve had to endure because of a policyholder’s negligence, and it’s your right to seek the compensation to which you are entitled.
Common Insurance Tactics
When claims for minor injuries come their way, insurance companies have several tactics they like to employ to help them keep their settlement amounts as low as possible, including:
- Denying claims outright (and from the outset) – in the hope that claimants will give up and walk away
- Overly complicating and prolonging the claims process in an attempt to frustrate claimants
- Denying the severity of claimants’ injuries
- Denying policyholders’ fault
- Making early lowball settlement offers
With an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner, you will ably counter any antics on the part of the insurance company – in pursuit of just compensation that covers your complete damages.
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Is It Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
When it comes to claims for minor injuries, claimants are often concerned about the cost of hiring a personal injury attorney. The fact of the matter is that you greatly increase your ability to recover fully on your losses when you have a practiced personal injury lawyer on your side. Most reputable personal injury attorneys in Austin work on what is called a contingency basis, and this means that the pay they receive is contingent (or based upon) their ability to obtain compensation for their claimants’ losses. If your claim ultimately leads to a settlement or court award, your attorney will receive a prearranged percentage of that amount. As such, it certainly can be well worth the effort and expense of hiring an experienced personal injury attorney.
An Experienced Austin Personal Injury Attorney Is Standing by to Help You
The formidable Austin personal injury attorneys at The Patel Firm have reserves of experience helping clients like you achieve advantageous claim outcomes, and we’re here for you too. To learn more about what we can do to help, please don’t delay contacting or calling us at 361-400-2036 today.