Following an accident of any kind, the most important step that you can take is to look after your own health. For example, if you were in a car crash and you feel dizzy or pain, it is advised to stay in the car until 911 is called and emergency help arrives. Regardless, however, of the type of accident, the first thing you should do is to talk to a medical professional—even if you don't feel pain. In some situations, symptoms may be masked or may not surface for hours or even days. Beyond the need to take care of yourself, delaying medical treatment could cause future complications for your case.
One of the most commonly asked questions after being injured is how a victim should know whether or not they have a personal injury case. In most situations, there are four separate elements which will need to be met for a personal injury case to be pursued. First, it must be proven that the defendant had some sort of duty of care toward the plaintiff; for example, in regards to car accidents, all drivers on the road have a duty to drive safely. Second, it must be shown that the defendant somehow breached that duty; an example of this would be a physician who had a duty of care to his or her patient and caused injury by failing to adhere to the accepted standard of care. Third, it must be proven that the plaintiff indeed suffered an injury, no matter whether the injury is physical, emotional, or financial in nature. Fourth, there must be a proven link between the defendant's breach of duty and the plaintiff's injury—in essence, tying all of the elements together.
Not necessarily. While there are situations where a settlement cannot be reached out of the courtroom, most personal injury cases can reach a successful resolution without the need to go to trial. That being said, not all cases can reach an acceptable settlement; for this reason, it is important that you work with a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer who is not banking on a settlement. You need a trial attorney who is willing to go to trial if that's what it takes to demand justice on your behalf.
In many personal injury cases, the plaintiff will hear from an insurance company who is offering to meet them in person with a check to quickly settle the case. This can be tempting—especially in cases where recent medical bills have left you in a tough spot financially. This, however, may not be the best decision to make. Remember, adjustors work for the insurance companies; it is their job to minimize how much the insurance company has to pay. So if they can offer you a lowball settlement and avoid a lawsuit, that's exactly what they're going to do. You don't need to feel pressured into accepting this offer. Take the time to talk about your case with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to understand your rights. Then, you will know what you're facing and be more prepared to pursue a case with the intentions of recovering full compensation.
Not without consulting with an attorney! Recorded statements are there for one purpose and one purpose only—to be used against you. They are there to help the insurance company prove their point and minimize their payments. It may seem like a completely innocent statement, but even that can be completely misconstrued. For example, after a car accident, you may be shaken up and apologize, or comment that you didn't even see the other driver. Although this is innocent enough, it could be later taken as an admission of guilt. Therefore, you should not give a recorded statement without the representation of your injury lawyer.
There is no simple way to answer this question over the Internet; the value of a case will depend entirely on the different factors of the case. Some of the factors which will affect how much your case is worth include: the severity of the injury you suffered; how long treatment will last; how expensive your medical bills are; and whether or not there was any property damage. All of these will come together to determine who much the court decides that your case is worth. That being said, there is no simple formula to deciding the value of a case, and it is in your best interests to consult with an attorney to evaluate your case specifically.
Many personal injury cases rest on the crux of negligence—which is, essentially, a term that refers to the failure of a defendant to act with reasonable care. This failure to act as a reasonably prudent person is often the basis of the entire claim; therefore, most personal injury cases arise from sheer carelessness, not intentional actions to harm another. According to Jay M. Feinman of the Rutgers University School of Law, negligence can be boiled down to one core concept: that people should act reasonably by thinking ahead to the potential harm they could cause.