Did you ever wish you had a personal injury attorney in reserve? Probably not. Either you think “it could never happen to me” or you equate the profession to “ambulance chasers.”
Until you are injured because of another person/company’s negligence, like most people, you don’t consider finding a personal injury lawyer.
If you sustain a serious injury and remain hospitalized for a long time, your medical expenses will skyrocket. Health insurance will not cover everything. Your job could be in jeopardy if you continue to miss work.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to find a personal injury attorney before “it” happens to you. You will be in a better position to evaluate personal injury lawyers and make an informed decision.
How to Find a Good Personal Injury Lawyer In Mesa
Personal injury attorneys grappled for decades to rise above the stigma of “ambulance chasers.” Ambulance chasers literally followed an ambulance and talked to victims of auto accidents. Nowadays, personal injury lawyers are well-respected members of the legal community.
Start your search by contacting family members, friends, and colleagues to find out if they have used the services of a personal injury lawyer. If they recommend a certain lawyer, set up a consultation with him.
If you have used the services of an attorney, ask him for a referral to a personal injury lawyer. You might also contact your local Bar Association. Again, schedule a face-to-face meeting with the personal injury attorney.
How to Evaluate Personal Injury Attorneys in Advance
Like you need to know a good plumber if your basement floods after midnight, you need to know a good personal injury attorney in the event you need one. If you wait until after the event happens, you will likely be too emotional to make informed decisions.
Try to find an attorney you resonate with who works for a large firm. You don’t know in advance what kind of injury might cause you to need their services. Personal injury lawyers specialize in various types of injuries. For example, a car accident lawyer may not have experience working with slip and fall injuries. By choosing a large law firm, you’ll have access to lawyers that have different specialties.
What Kinds of Cases do Personal Injury Attorneys Represent?
There are several instances when you may need the services of a personal injury lawyer:
Vehicle Accidents: motorcycle, bicycle, car, truck; slips and falls, wrongful death, animal bite, medical malpractice.
Consultation with Potential Personal Injury Lawyer
Don’t expect to find out everything you’ve always wanted to know about personal injury lawyers if you consult with several before you need their services.
When you make an appointment, ensure the attorney knows it is in the nature of “meet and greets.” Then, be considerate of his time. The idea is to determine if you and your attorney of choice have a mutual connection.
Ask a few questions, thank him for his time, and leave before you become a pest.
“How many years of experience do you have in personal injury law?”
Chances are, you can expect a greater settlement when your attorney has a lot of experience under his belt. It’s a comfort to know your lawyer will fight for your best interests in court.
“What are the typical types of cases you handle?”
If the attorney doesn’t practice personal injury law exclusively, he cannot represent you for your highest good. Personal injury law is intricate and requires specialized knowledge.
Also, find out what areas of personal injury he specializes in.
“Do you generally settle out of court or prefer trying cases in court?” His answer will show his strengths and weaknesses as an attorney. Typically, you won’t get the best settlement if he prefers settling out of court with the insurance company. A strong, confident lawyer will settle your case in a court trial.
Ask your areas of responsibility for upfront payment. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. (they only get paid if you get paid).
Thank the attorney for their time and depart. You will still have unanswered questions but wait until if or when “it” happens to get down to the nitty-gritty.
If you are in an auto accident and you sustain an injury, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim. You must be able to prove the extent of your injuries and figure out who is liable for the accident. Even when you share fault for the accident, you can file a claim against the other party if they are 50% at fault or more for the accident.
The Initial Accident Report
When officials respond to the scene of the accident, they will write a preliminary accident report that establishes fault. It’s important to remember that this is only the assessment of the responding officers, and not necessarily what the final outcome will be. If you find mistakes in the accident report and you can prove you are less at fault, it’s important to address these issues with the officer that wrote the report. You might be able to get the accident report changed if you can prove the report is wrong.
The Extent of Your Injuries
By filing a personal injury claim, you are trying to make the case that you have losses. You have suffered in pain, you are struggling or unable to work, and you have property damage to be compensated for. If you walk away from the scene of an auto accident and return to work the next day, it’s going to be difficult to prove you had losses. The extent of your injuries and the financial losses you have endured are taken into consideration when coming up with an award amount should you win your case.
Your Percentage of Fault
When you are less than 50% at fault for an accident, you can file a personal injury claim for damages. The lower your percentage of fault is, the more money you can expect from your claim. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 and you are 10% at fault, you receive a $9,000 award. If you are 40% at fault, your award will go down to $6,000. It is important to establish fault and argue down your percentage of fault if possible. Your personal injury attorney will be able to assess your case carefully to determine what fault you should share with the other party.
Proving Your Injuries
Proving your injuries goes beyond an emergency room visit and heading back home. You must follow through with all of your medical care in order to show a clear picture of what is going on with your injuries. If you are referred to specialists, you have to make these appointments and do all that you can to heal. If you skip appointments, it will look like you aren’t really as injured as you claim to be. During the course of your treatment, take pictures if that makes sense and document how you are feeling every day in a personal journal. Your progress and compliance with all therapeutic interventions must be easy for your medical providers to report.
Losses That You Can Measure
If you are out of work because of your injuries, it is simple to calculate your lost wages. Car damage and medical bills are easy to prove, as well as any damage to property that was in your vehicle. These are your pecuniary damages, and only a part of your overall compensation. You also have non-pecuniary losses, which are those losses that are more difficult to assign value to. These include things like pain, suffering, or loss of enjoyment. This is where the extent of your injuries and your ability to recover fully becomes important. If your treatment team determines that you are at a medical end to treatment, and you still can’t return to work, your award should become much higher.
Settling Your Personal Injury Case
When you work with a personal injury lawyer, you may come to a place where you are ready to settle your case. Your attorney will have a good idea of what your case is worth and what you are likely to receive if you take the case to trial. The defendant and their attorney will also understand this, and they are going to want to cut their losses. Trials take time and money, and an insurance company would rather settle the case out of court. If you are comfortable with a settlement offer and you can live with the final amount, you may consider a settlement offer and take it.
You have the right to file a personal injury claim, even when you are partially at fault. It’s important to point out any problems with the accident report that will reduce your percentage of fault. When you are injured and you are suffering, a personal injury claim makes it possible to recover and get the financial compensation you need during this time.
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted many areas of our lives, it has also effected the way we and our work as well.
Policies regarding shutdowns non-essential work, social distancing and remote work, have impacted both employers and workers around the world. Some industries, which have been heavily affected by the outbreak and where the risk of exposure is much higher, are now working even more. And it’s only natural that workers in these industries have concerns about their health and the risks they are exposed to at work.
Covid-19 & Workers’ Compensation in Arizona
During these uncertain times, the ICA (Industrial Commission of Arizona has noted that workers who contract the Covid-19 may be able to establish that they contracted the illness at their place of work and thus qualify for a work injury compensation.
With this possibility, employers will be further motivated to minimize the presence of employees at the workplace who display symptoms of Covid-19 or that have been diagnosed with the illness.
Response to workers’ compensation claim is possible. If an employer wants to challenge the claim’s validity, he can do that through the employer report of injury and needs to provide the insurance carrier the necessary information and document which will support the challenge.
Who’s eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
In time of this crisis, when the cause for concern is a quick-spreading virus, the workers that contract the virus are having a very hard time to establish how they contracted the virus and with that uncertainty, they might not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
But in cases of public safety workers, it’s presumable that they contract the Coronavirus, or any other serious disease while doing their job and responding to a situation like this epidemic. So naturally, it’s highly likely that their illness is related to their employment. And as such, they are entitled to the workers’ compensation benefits.
But what happens to those workers that aren’t in the public safety profession? Well, at the moment, there’s no presumption for compensability. This is mainly because it would be very hard and difficult to prove the connection between their work and their illness. So they might need to explore other possibilities for compensation.
If you fall into a category of employment which is not related to public safety, and you need legal counsel on what type of compensation benefits you’re eligible for, contact us today and let us help you.
Auto insurance is not just a legal formality and requirement. It’s also a very important aspect in protecting your financial stability and health.
Before picking an auto insurance company, you need to know what type of insurance is there, what coverage they offer and what will happen to your premium if you get into a car accident. And in case you were in an auto accident, it’s important to know what to say and not to say to your auto insurance company. These things can have a big effect on your insurance claim.
What auto insurance coverage do you need?
There are a number of auto insurance forms and not all of them are mandatory. Some are even voluntary. For example, auto insurance in Arizona includes:
- A minimum of $15,000 per person OR a $30,000 per accident in bodily injury
- A minimum of $10,000 in property damage coverage
This sounds pretty generous and reasonable. Except when you find yourself in an accident where the damages are much higher. This can impact your financial health, because you will have to pay for the extra costs out of your own pocket. So that’s why we highly recommend that you maintain higher level of protection with your auto insurance so that you are sure that you have sufficient coverage. These voluntary coverages include:
UIM or Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage – If you’re in a car accident and the person responsible flees the scene, or is underinsured or uninsured, you will be left without any recourse unless you have an UIM.
Comprehensive coverage – This type of coverage is great if you want to protect yourself against damages from vandalism or car theft, basically from things that are out of your control.
In order to make sure that both you and your loved ones are insured, locate your auto insurance policy, look it over and if necessary, increase your coverage.
Speaking with an insurance agency after the accident
When you get into an accident, you need to contact your auto insurance company in order to report it. The other driver’s insurance company might also contact you. Communicating with both insurance companies is crucial, because one misstatement can make your insurance claim invalid and will dramatically reduce the amount of coverage you can receive. That’s why it’s important that you limit your communication with the auto insurance companies in very specific ways:
Communicate only about facts – You need to understand that the goal of every auto insurance company is to settle the case for as little as possible. That’s the job of the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjuster are representing the insurance company, so no matter how pleasant they sound, keep in mind that they are not representing your best interest. So when you communicate with an insurance adjuster, speak only about facts, without providing ANY opinion, evaluation or to admit anything.
Admitting fault – Often will insurance companies claim that you were the person at fault. If they try do to that, just say nothing. You can’t really know whether you were the one at fault or not, without being fully aware of all the aspects of the accident. For example, you don’t know if the other driver was under any influence, distracted, violating some other law etc. These are all important things required to determine who is at fault.
Calls with insurance companies – When you’re on the phone with an insurance adjuster, keep in mind that the entire phone conversation is being recorded and noted down. This information can be useful in further minimizing your insurance claim. So make sure that you pay extra attention to what you tell the adjuster. Choose your words carefully.
Hiring a lawyer – Since the insurance claim can be a bit complex and complicated, the safest bet would be to hire an attorney who will advocate on your behalf. And if you sustained some type of injury due to the accident, we recommend using a personal injury lawyer as the best option. Lawyers are well-versed in these cases, they know the procedure in and out and will be able to navigate more efficiently in order to get you the highest claim possible.
If you were in an auto accident and you need help filing an insurance claim with your auto insurance company, contact us today and let us help you out!
When someone gets injured due to someone else’s negligence, they assume that they are entitled to receive compensations for the medical bills. And they are right. However, that’s not the only damage available to you.
Sometimes, injuries will prevent you from working so naturally, you can pursue that your lost income be compensated as well. You will be able to get more information from your personal injury lawyer. He/she will provide more details on how to determine lost wages and what is the reasonable amount you should expect in a fair settlement. But before you speak to a personal injury lawyer, here are some tips on how you can calculate the approximate lost wages.
The calculation process starts with you collecting documents that will serve as proof to your claim and support the claim that your injuries are preventing you from working. The most common documents include:
- Tax returns
- Paycheck stubs or paycheck forms
- Settlement sheet for three years prior and every pay period since the accident (if you’re a trucking owner or operator)
- Business records or documents (even CPA letters) if you’re a business owner
- Other documents depending on your unique circumstanced
In order to document that you need to take time off from work, you need to ask your doctor to issue a statement that will describe in detail, how much time you have to take off from work until you are fully recovered from your injuries. This is important as it will act as medical support to justify your absence from work. Your personal injury lawyer can help you secure this information through various reports or depositions.
In addition to all these documents stated above, you should also ask your employer to give you copies of your most recent checks or pay stubs. This will show how much did you earn before you got injured. And as the final document, you need to ask your employer to write you a statement that will confirm the information about your employment.
Calculating your lost wages
Calculating your lost wages, mainly depends on how you’re paid. It will be different if you’re paid by the hour, you receive a salary or you’re paid by some other basis.
When you’re paid by the hour, you will multiple your hourly wage with the total number of hours you missed because of your injuries.
So for example, if you’re paid $20 per hour and you work 8 hours a day and you missed 22 days of work, your lost wages will be:
20 x (8 x 22) = $3,520
In other cases, where you’re paid on a salary basis, the calculation is a bit different. Your annual salary gets divided by 2,080 (the number of working hours in a year). Then you will take that number and multiply it with the number of working hours in a day (so 8) and with the number of days you didn’t work because of your injury (let’s keep it 22 as before). If we assume that your annual salary is $50,000 the calculation will look like this:
$50,000 / 2,080 = 24.04
24.04 x (8 x 22) = $4,231 in lost wages
Of course, lost wages aren’t the only income that you can recover. If you receive other forms of income such as regular overtime, commissions, bonuses etc. these can be recovered too. Your personal injury lawyer will ask you about those as well and he/she will provide more information.
Lost income of Self-employed people
Let’s assume that you’re a self-employed person, maybe a web designer working from home. Even through you’re technically not employed by anyone, you can still claim your lost income. What’s different in this scenario is that your lost income consists of your earning AND profit that you would make if you weren’t injured. In this case, you have to gather documents and records that will prove the earning that you expected from the day you were in an accident until the date of judgement or settlement. Useful documents are: 1099 forms, invoices you issue to your clients / customers, records from your bookkeeper or accountant, receipt, communication between you and your clients/customers and so on.
Other income losses
Aside from your past income that you lose because of your injury, you might also be entitled to claim certain future income losses and your lost earning capacity. This will require your personal injury lawyer to work with an economist or vocational expert to establish your lost opportunities in the labor market.
Even through determining lost wages might seem like a pretty straightforward process, it can be rather difficult and complicated in some cases. That’s why you should work with a personal injury who is well informed about this and who can really help you. You can of course do some calculations on your own, but it’s best to let the attorney do the real math and negotiate on your behalf.
In the past two posts, we have discussed what to do when insurance companies deny your claim and what tips and tricks insurance companies use in order to deny your claim.
This week we will be focusing on the potential reasons WHY insurance companies deny your insurance claim. So let’s get started.
Being in an accident is stressful enough. But learning that the insurance company has denied your insurance claim is very disconcerting.
There are several reasons why they refuse your insurance claim. Some of them can be valid, while others not so much but hey still use them in order to pay you as less as possible. So if you’re dealing with an insurance claim and it gets denied, it’s good do consult with a personal injury lawyer because they know the system and are more aware what tactics insurance providers use in order to either minimize your claim or just deny it.
Cause of the accident
Many insurance companies have denied insurance claims to their policyholders simply because the accident you were in could have been avoided OR because your behavior caused the accident. Furthermore, claims have also been denied if your conduct was in conflict with your insurance policy. This practically renders your policy ineffective. And if the vehicle was operated by someone who is NOT included on the insurance policy or didn’t have a driver license when operating the vehicle…well that’s another potential reasons insurance claims get denied.
These are the most common reasons and mostly logical and valid. But what about if the insurance provider is using not valid reasons and starts acting in bad faith?
Insurance claim denied over previous injuries / surgeries
It’s a common practice that insurance companies ask their prospective policyholders to sign so called ‘medical authorization forms’. The important thing to point out about these forms is that you shouldn’t (under ANY circumstance) sign them until you’ve spoken to a personal injury lawyer. You must ask yourself ‘What’s the big deal about those forms?’. Well, when you sign those forms, you’re basically giving the insurance company permission to dig through your medical history and to look for previous injuries or surgeries.
If by any chance, you had injuries and surgeries for those injuries before, the insurance company could use that as a possible (but not really valid) reason for the accident and thus deny your insurance claim. Another example is that insurance providers may use previous injuries as an argument to diminish your injuries from the accident i.e. to present as less severe than they really are.
Another reasons why insurance companies require you to sign the medical authorization forms is so that they could see if you have any pre-existing conditions. Let’s say that you have pre-existing back injury and that you suffered new injuries in the accident. Since your back injury is a pre-existing condition, the insurance company can argue that the accident was cause because of your back problems and deny your claim.
Time of accident and time of seeking treatment
When you’re in a car accident it’s important that you seek medical treatment immediately. Waiting to seek treatment, may be another reason why your insurance provider refuses your claim. The lapse of time between the accident and treatment, can give ‘ground’ to the insurance provider to argue that your injuries are actually caused another even, not the accident.
Insurance companies go so far that they even state in their insurance contracts a specific time frame in which you need to seek treatment for your accident-related injuries. Of course, there are cases when it’s good to wait before seeking treatment and you can learn more about that from your personal injury lawyer.
Right after the accident, while on the scene, make sure that you don’t deny any injuries until you have been thoroughly checked out by a medical professional. Denying injuries at the scene of the accident may also be another reason why they deny your claim. So if you get into an accident seek medical evaluation at once.
What do to if your insurance claim is denied?
We must be clear on one thing. Insurance companies make profit from taking higher premiums from their policyholders than what they pay in claims. So their interest in denying insurance claims is quite significant.
In the event that your claim gets denied, you will need help from an experienced personal injury lawyer. Furthermore, policyholders that have a lawyer are taken more seriously.
It’s important to know more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit after someone you love dies because of another’s careless or reckless behavior. These are the 10 most common questions and answers from those who lost someone and are considering filing and wrongful death lawsuit.
What is a wrongful death claim?
Personal injury and wrongful death are very closely related. They both allow someone to demand compensation when someone else is negligent or omit results in another person’s injury.
When it comes to personal injury law, the law allows the injured victim to ask for compensation for his or her losses. The compensation is demanded by the responsible party. However, with wrongful death lawsuits, the victim who would normally file a personal injury claim is no longer alive. So accordingly, the wrongful death law, allows someone else to step into the deceased victim’s place, in order to seek compensation.
Am I eligible to file a wrongful death claim?
The answer to these questions depends on the specific law of the state. In most cases, in order to file a claim, you must be a personal representative to the deceased. This is usually the spouse, children or parent.
Do I have a wrongful death claim?
This all depends. Since the facts for each case are not identical, it’s hard to draw a line of what case is a wrongful death claim and what isn’t. That’s why it’s important to speak to a lawyer because he/she can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a wrongful death claim or not.
How can I file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Filing a wrongful death claim usually begins by determining if you’re eligible for a claim. In the event that you are eligible, you should start working with a wrongful death lawyer. There’s only a limited time in which you can file a wrongful death lawsuit set by the state’s statute of limitations. And because a skilled wrongful death lawyer should know the process inside and out, he will help you finalize and submit the claim within a given time frame.
How can I prove wrongful death?
- The plaintiff generally has to prove the following:
- That the defendant wed a duty of care to the deceased
- That the defendant breached the same duty of care
- That the death occurred as a result of breaching the duty of care
- Resulted damages.
What’s the time frame on filing a wrongful death claim?
As mentioned before, every state has its own definition of wrongful death law, and by such, every state determines the time frame within which you have to file a wrongful death claim. Like in many other states, Arizona Wrongful Death law has a statute of limitations of two years. This means that you have two years (from the moment the deceased has died) to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
For how much can I sue for in a wrongful death suit?
As a plaintiff, you can seek compensatory damages. These can include non-economic and economic damages. These damages have the goal to compensate the party for losses and are usually comprised of:
- Medical bills prior to the death of the deceased
- Lost wages during hospitalization
- Potential future wages
- Compensation for the deceased pain and suffering before death occurred
- Expenses that covered the funeral and burial
- Loss of companionship for the loved ones.
Seeking punitive images is not an uncommon practice. The aim of all these compensations is to compensate the party for all possible losses.
Is there an average in wrongful death settlements?
There are not two identical wrongful death lawsuits. And since every case has a unique set of factors and parameters, calculating the average amount of a wrongful death claim is impossible. But if you hire a skilled and experienced wrongful death lawyer, upon looking at the file and all the facts, he/she should be able to give you a rough estimate on how of the damages are you eligible for.
How high are the wrongful death attorney’s fees?
Every lawyer has his/her own set of rules and fees. However, with a wrongful death attorney, you can discuss to have your case on a contingency basis. This way, the lawyer only gets paid if they recover money for your lawsuit, either through a settlement or via jury verdict.
Do I need a wrongful death attorney?
Wrongful death lawsuits can be very complicated. At Schenk Podolsky recommend that you hire a skilled lawyer, who already did a number of wrongful death lawsuits and knows the system and the process inside and out.
For additional questions about wrongful death lawsuits or personal injury claims, make sure to contact us.
In Part 1 we briefly discussed what are your rights and what should you do in case your injury at work wasn’t taken seriously enough. Today, we will be digging further to see what other benefits are you entitled to if you suffer an injury at work.
Covering your medical bills
If you suffered an injury at work so severe, that it requires you to undergo surgery and the company’s / employer’s compensation isn’t enough to cover the medical bills, it’s your legal right to have the employer take care of the bills for you.
You shouldn’t be accountable if you got injured at work because of less than favorable work conditions. Said conditions allowed the accident to happen, so you should be reimbursed for any medical bills.
An injury at work will certainly leave a toll. That is why, you should be properly compensated, and not just in the amount that is sufficient enough to cover the necessary treatments. The monetary compensation should also cover the toll the accident has taken on you.
Sometimes, injuries at work might cause you to permanently stop doing that specific job. In those situations, the compensation should handsomely cover your disability. These compensations could be weekly, monthly or a one-time sum. It all depends on the court’s ruling and how good was the deal of your legal time was able to negotiate.
Special treatments after injury at work
Depending on the severity of your injury, it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to work as fast and as efficiently as before when you return to work that is. If that occurs, the employer is obligated to accommodate your needs and make things easier for you. This can be in the form of a separate parking spot just for you, installing a ramp that will help you move in a wheelchair or other things that will make your job easier.
Post-injury incentives and legal issues
Some employers use this tactic in order to avoid getting a claim from their employment or to avoid going to court. These ‘persuasion tactics’, both illegal and immoral are quite often used, where your employer offers you incentives in the form of money or benefits. And unfortunately, most victims that suffer an injury at work fall for them.
To be clear, the only monetary compensation you should be getting is through your insurance, and there should be nothing stopping you to claim your legal rights. Agreeing to side deals is NOT a good idea and we strongly recommend that you first speak to your lawyer before agreeing to anything.
Settling for less than you deserve or nothing at all, is NOT in your best interest. However, that happens very often. Most employees that got injured at work don’t know what to agree to and what not to agree to. They just don’t know how the system works. That’s why it’s important to have a skilled personal injury lawyer by your side, who knows the system inside and out and can counsel you in the decision-making process.
If the court’s ruling is not applicable, turn it down and file for an appeal. If the insurance company is offering you a bad deal, turn it down and negotiate a better one that you feel good about.
Fully understand that you deserve to be properly compensated for what you’ve been through, all the physical and emotional difficulties and that you SHOULDN’T settle for less.
Employees should do their best to make the workspace safe in order to avoid accidents. Regrettably, no matter how hard they try, an accident will happen from time to time. And if an employee gets injured at work, he/she deserves proper compensation.
On the other hand, employees should also take all the necessary precautions in the workplace to avoid accidents. No matter what, the accident will happen an in those situations you should be fully aware of your rights and compensated for your injury.
It’s unfortunate if you suffer an injury, and even more so when it happens in the workplace where you’re trying to make a living.
Many employers have precautions and safety measures set to protect their employees and even despite those, accidents tend to happen. This is inevitable and employees should be familiar with the benefits and compensations they are entitled to when they get injured at work.
Report the accident to protect your rights
The easiest way to protect your rights is to report the injury at work as soon as possible. We recommend reporting to your manager or employer immediately, on the same day or within a few days after the injury at work has occurred. This works in your favor.
In some cases, the injury is just too severe so you won’t be able to report it yourself. In that case, you must have someone to do it for you. A good option would be one of your colleagues or a member of your family. In most states, employers are obligated to cover an employee’s insurance if he/she suffers an injury at work. Make sure that this is taken care of and that you get coverage.
File a claim if needed
If your injury at work report wasn’t taken seriously, and you didn’t hear back from your employer or Human Resource department, the next step would be to file a claim in your industrial/compensational court. We at Schenk Podolsky always emphasize that workers are entitled to their benefits if they get injured at work. In case that your employer hasn’t compensated you enough, hire a lawyer to represent you.
Learn about your rights
Most workers are completely unaware of their rights or what are they entitled to in case they suffer an injury at work. Be aware that employee’s benefits include reimbursement for medical bills and even belongings that were damaged in the accident. Furthermore, you can also be entitled to monetary compensation, disability payments, accessibility tools (in case you’re handicapped) and coverage for rehabilitation. And in most severe situations, where death has occurred, the employee’s family is entitled to have the burial costs covered.
Some of these rights differ depending on where you live, but they all include sufficient compensation or coverage for your insurance. Seeking medical treatment and consulting with a doctor is #1 on your priority list after you suffer an injury at work. As long as your doctor advises you to be on sick leave, you legally qualify for paid sick leave. Furthermore, you are allowed to return back to work once the doctor signs an approval and releases you back to work.
Accidents at work that result in permanent injury and thus prevent you from working anymore, have a substantial disability compensation. And your employer is legally obligated to pay it. In the event that you don’t feel the insurance company paid you enough for medical treatment, you have the right to appeal to these decisions.
Relevant Evidence for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases
When it comes to various types of cases, there will almost always be the evidence needed to prove the information being offered. If a person has all they need, they should be able to present a pretty clear and seamless case. However, it’s important to know the evidence needed for each type of case to be prepared, and that’s where many people falter. Personal injury cases are quite popular and have an entire list of evidence that will be relevant across most of these types of cases.
If at all possible, always involve the police, so there’s an official report corroborating your story. You’ll want to have an official copy of the police report since this is a strong piece of evidence giving details on the incident, who was involved, times, and other minor details.
Physical evidence will play a heavy role in personal injury cases. For example, say a business had a hole in their floor with no warning sign. Someone didn’t see the hole in time and tripped, hurting themselves. Getting the police involved to preserve the physical evidence is an option or a photo following the incident within a couple of days, at most is also a great example of physical evidence. Anything involved in the accident that could be used as physical evidence should be preserved. In other words, if you have clothes that serve as evidence, don’t wash and fold them, preserve them, and so on with any other physical evidence.
Get all the photos and videos that you can. Many times, these can be compared to security cameras or other photos taken around or at the time of the incident. Word alone doesn’t hold much weight in a personal injury case; however, photographs and physical evidence do. Prints of photos are best. Not photos you can show someone on your phone. Taking the photos with your phone is perfectly fine; however, you’ll want to have tangible copies of those photos and a hard copy stored somewhere just in case.
Record of Injury
Whether it’s hospital bills, doctor notes, photographs of the injury, etc. all of these are pertinent to a personal injury case and lend proof to the injury caused. Since the injury itself is a large part of the case, being able to see the injury or have a document from a medical professional will only solidify the case further.
Returning to the Scene
If need be, return to the scene of an incident as soon as possible and gather any evidence needed. This could be items left behind, photos of the damage caused, photos of the problem that caused the incident, etc. If this is a severe case, you’ll want to check with local law enforcement to ensure there’s no issue with you visiting the scene.
If you ever have any questions about what evidence you’ll need to gather for your personal injury case, it’s best to talk to an attorney. They’ll be able to help you with your specific circumstances.