3 Possible Complications With Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases are common, but that doesn't mean they are always easy to win. There are many problems that can arise with personal injury cases. While a minor issue may simply reduce your settlement, a major issue could result in you getting nothing. If you would like to know more, check out these three possible complications with personal injury cases.
1. Difficulties Proving Fault
To prove your case, you'll need to prove the other person had a duty of care, they breached that duty of care, and you were injured as a result of the breach. However, in many cases, both parties are partially responsible.
For example, if you were distracted while driving and someone hit you, the insurance company may argue the accident could have been avoided with defensive if you were paying attention. Therefore, they will put some of the blame on you.
If you live in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, or DC, your jurisdiction follows contributory negligence. Unfortunately, this means that if you are found to have any responsibility, you get nothing. Other states, however, are more lenient, thanks to comparative negligence.
With comparative negligence, as long as you are not mostly at fault (for some states, the limit is 50 percent responsibility, but others cap it at 51 percent), you still get a settlement, but it is reduced to reflect your amount of responsibility.
2. Your Injuries Are Hard to Measure
There are many types of injuries, including hard and soft injuries. Hard injuries include broken bones and skull fractures. Soft injuries include whiplash and other soft tissue damage. Hard injuries are easy to measure and prove because you quickly spot hard injuries on X-rays and other imaging tests.
Soft injuries are not as easy to detect. In many cases, the courts and insurance agencies can't rely on visual tests and proof. They have to rely on the word of you and your doctor. Therefore, it can be harder to prove the extent of your soft tissue injuries.
Similarly, while many injuries appear immediately, some take time. Pain and suffering is a catch-all term for any long-term emotional or physical pain and negative changes. They can range from paralysis to loss of enjoyment of life. Pain and suffering is notoriously difficult to prove because much of it is emotional pain, and it relates to future damages.
3. Pushy Insurance Companies
After an injury, the other person's insurance company will likely contact you immediately. They often use pushy scare tactics such as saying, "if you don't accept this amount right now, you won't get anything." However, they don't care about your wellbeing or financial situation; they represent the business, and the business only cares about their bottom line.
Most likely, you are in an emotional state after an injury, especially if you suddenly have expensive medical bills to pay. Sadly, for this reason, some people mistakenly believe the empty threat and accept a fast settlement that is not fair. Once you've accepted a settlement, there is no going back to sue for more money.
As a result, many people don't get the money they actually need to pay for ongoing medical expenses and pain and suffering. Even if you don't think you have many injuries, accepting a settlement fast is not a great idea because you may not know the full extent of your injuries yet.
Ideally, your personal injury case is cut and dried, but that is rarely the case, especially when insurance agencies are involved. Insurance companies may try to trick you into accepting less money than you deserve, but with a skilled attorney, you have someone to fight for you. If you would like to know more, contact a personal injury attorney at a firm like Siben & Siben LLP in your area today.