When Is an Injury Serious Enough to File a Personal Injury Claim?
An accident resulting in injuries is always a stressful situation. However, not all injuries are the same. Injuries vary from person to person and from accident to accident based on their severity. Generally, injuries are broken down into two categories: minor and serious. Declaring an injury to be “minor” or “serious” is a rather subjective matter, but it can affect the outcome of your case.
When a person is injured as a result of someone else’s negligent conduct, they might wonder if their injury is serious enough to warrant legal action. Deciding whether or not you should pursue a personal injury claim is no easy task.
Our attorneys at G. Aldrich Law can help you determine if you have a right to file a claim for compensation when you are not quite sure how serious your injury is. It is our job to help you navigate the personal injury claims process so you can get your life back on track. Our law firm is based in Lakeport and Woodland Hills, California, but we serve clients in surrounding Northern and Southern California counties, including Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Colusa Cunty, and Lake County.
Minor vs. Serious Injuries After an Accident
One of the primary differences between minor and serious injuries is the impact of the injury on your life. A victim with a serious injury usually suffers a temporary or permanent disability and/or diminished quality of life. Common examples of serious injuries after an accident include traumatic brain injuries, amputation, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, broken bones, internal bleeding, and others.
While minor injuries may be painful, they do not usually cause temporary or permanent disability nor do they have a long-term impact on the victim’s life. Common examples of minor injuries include shallow cuts, scrapes, bruises, mild burns, as well as sprains and strains. Often, insurance companies will downplay the seriousness of the claimant’s injuries to get them to settle for less than they deserve. For this reason, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention immediately after the accident to document the extent of your injuries and wait until you reach maximum medical improvement before accepting the insurer’s settlement offer.
Is It Worth It to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Individuals who have suffered injuries, regardless of their severity, may not always understand if they have a right to file a personal injury claim. Generally, it is a good idea to file a claim for compensation no matter how minor you think your injuries are. Some of the things to consider when determining whether or not it is worth filing a personal injury claim include:
How significant are your medical costs? If your injury requires hospitalization, medical tests, ongoing treatment, or other costs related to diagnosis and treatment, you may need to consider filing a claim for compensation, especially if you have insurance coverage that would cover your losses up to policy limits. On the other hand, if your injury is minor and only requires one visit to your doctor and no significant medical costs, filing a claim may not be worth the time and effort. However, it is always best to consult with an attorney as everyone’s situation is unique.
Has the injury affected your income and/or earning capacity? If you had to miss work because of your injury, which resulted in lost income, you might want to consider filing a personal injury claim to get compensated for the loss of income. In addition, if your injury has impacted your earning capacity, seeking compensation could help you stay afloat in times when you are unable to provide for your family.
Has the injury caused pain and suffering? If your injury has negatively impacted your life or caused any degree of pain and suffering, you need to file a claim to get compensated for the mental discomfort, emotional distress, and any other effects.
If you have questions about whether it is worth filing a personal injury claim in your case, you need to get a personalized consultation from an attorney. Our attorneys at G. Aldrich Law can evaluate the details of your case and help you understand your legal options so that you know if it is worth pursuing a claim. Do not wait too long to seek legal counsel after getting injured as there is a limited amount of time to pursue your claim, known as the “statute of limitations.”
According to the official website of the California Judicial Branch, the injured individual has two years to file a lawsuit from the date of the injury. However, if the injury cannot be discovered immediately, the clock starts ticking from the date the injury is discovered.
Compassionate Legal Guidance
At G. Aldrich Law, we understand the impact that even a seemingly minor injury can have on a victim’s life. Our attorneys are committed to providing compassionate and results-driven representation to every injured victim we represent. If you would like to know if your injury is serious enough to file a personal injury claim, reach out to our office to schedule a time with our attorneys.