Injuries can happen at just about any moment, and in just a few seconds these single events can forever change the course of your life. In the aftermath of a personal injury, you might face an uphill battle when it comes to the mountains of medical bills, lost time at work, and the difficulties involved with adjusting to life with a long-term or permanent disability. During this stressful time in your life, you might not know where to turn for help. Hiring an Oklahoma City car accident lawyer is an important first step towards setting your life back on track.
Being injured in an accident through no fault of your own is surely not something anyone asks for, and those responsible should be held liable. An attorney can help you navigate an often confusing and frustrating system. They can review the details of your accident and answer that most crucial of all questions: do you have a case?
Legislators have put laws in place to protect everyone’s best interests. Injuries due to another person’s negligence, failure to act, or irresponsible actions can be life-changing events, often resulting in a multitude of damages. Personal injury law has been designed to create a system for compensation due to loss of property, loss of income, physical injury, and/or mental and physical pain and suffering.
Personal injury laws cover a wide range of accident types, all of which share the common feature of being injuries that resulted through no fault of the victim’s actions. Here are the most common causes of injuries that could result in personal injury lawsuits:
Perhaps the most common cause of personal injury, motor vehicle accidents result in billions of dollars in medical bills every year across the country. Due to the speed, weight, and number of people often involved in motor vehicle accidents, (even with protective gear such as seatbelts and airbags now standard in passenger vehicles) injuries can be very serious. Accidents involving cars, motorcycles, trucks, and even recreational vehicles such as ATVs, boats, and airplanes can all result in any of the injuries listed below. If you or someone you love has sustained any of these injuries due to a vehicle accident, it might be in your best interest to consult a car accident lawyer in Oklahoma City:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Medical professionals are the ones we go to to help heal from disease and injury, which is why it is unfortunate that medical malpractice and negligence are so common. Complications from surgery, improper administration of medication, delayed treatment of illness, and simply ignoring the needs of a patient can all result in serious injury. Medical professionals need to be held responsible for their negligence and dangerous practices.
Being hurt on a job site is another common injury. Special training and equipment must be provided to ensure the safety of employees. Usually, employers who neglect to supply these crucial elements do so to cut costs of running the business. The prioritization of the bottom line over employee safety can result in the following injuries occurring at work:
- Muscle injuries
- Falls from great heights
- Spinal/neck injuries
- Falling objects and debris
- Crush injuries
- Eye damage
- Loss of limbs and extremities
- Many others
While there are many natural hazards that can lead to slip and fall injuries, such as the presence of water, ice, or other liquids, property owners have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their patrons by marking hazardous areas and cleaning off slick surfaces as quickly as possible. Slip and fall injuries can cause concussions, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, skull fractures, and shattered hips. Any one of these injuries can lead to complications, permanent disabilities, and even death.
In Oklahoma, animal bites (dog bites in particular) are extremely common. Animal owners have a responsibility to control their pets and ensure the safety of others. Bacteria from a dog’s mouth, or bites from teeth can lead to infections, permanent disfigurement, and even death, especially among small children.
Swimming pools, parks, and other recreational areas need to have safety personnel, well-marked safety guidelines and warnings, as well as working safety equipment whenever possible. Businesses such as shopping malls, grocery stores, and other areas with public access must adhere to rules and regulations that promote a safe environment. This includes keeping spills, hazardous chemicals, and dangerous equipment off limits. Nursing homes, restaurants, and even private residences are responsible for ensuring a safe environment for visitors and residents alike.
Personal injury law provides fair, albeit complex, processes for receiving compensation. The settlement process usually involves investigation, review of documents, and negotiations with the insurance company or the person or corporation at fault for the injury.
Typically, an attorney will handle the negotiation process, using information gathered from police reports, medical bills, hospital records, paystubs, and any other sources to give their clients more leverage in their case. Mileage recorded to and from doctor’s appointments, proof of payment for physical therapy appointments, medication, and any medical equipment (such as braces or wheelchairs) are all important details that should be presented during settlement negotiations.
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. However, if necessary, your attorney can take the case to a jury trial in which a judge will hear arguments and decide whether the case merits compensation.
How to Establish Damages After an Accident
An attorney can work with you to determine damages, which are expenses related to the injury claim. Emergency medical services, hospitalization, physical therapy, and loss of income as well as loss of future income are all considered economic losses. A lot also depends on current type and amount of insurance coverage carried by the liable party.
Non-economic losses include more abstract damages such as pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder, and adjusting to a new life with a long-term or permanent disability. Though it is nearly impossible to calculate a monetary value for non-economic damages, these are still important considerations and will further support your claim for compensation. Keep a journal of your recovery, including all receipts for payment of bills, invoices, and even your daily thoughts on your situation.
If you need the help of a personal injury lawyer in Oklahoma City, Parrish DeVaughn is the place to start your search for legal representation. If the information above sounds familiar to your current situation, there’s a good chance you might have a case. The legal process can be very frustrating as well as stressful, which is why a personal injury lawyer can help take a lot of the stress out of situations that can be fraught with complexity. Contact us today for a free consultation and to find out if you have a case.