If you find yourself in the following scenario, you may want to think twice before you decide to not contact a personal injury lawyer for that “minor injury”:
- You are injured in what you believe is a minor motor vehicle accident or slip and fall scenario;
- You feel pain, but think you can live with it by taking over-the-counter pain medication and believe it will disappear in a few days;
- An insurance adjuster contacts you and you are offered a settlement (i.e., money) soon after the accident; and
- You don’t want to miss work and feel that going to a doctor would be too time consuming and that speaking with a lawyer would be too costly.
Here’s why it is worthwhile to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss the specific facts of your case:
- The lawyer will ask you a series of questions to arrive at a preliminary determination of whether you have a claim worth pursuing based on assessing the liability of the other side, the extent of your injuries, and how your injuries may affect you in the future;
- If the facts warrant, the lawyer will investigate potential damages which may, for example, include retaining experts to opine on the full extent of your injuries and pecuniary losses, whether they be for treatment givers (e.g., physiotherapy), housekeeping or other out-of-pocket expenses. For instance, an occupational therapist may be retained to give an opinion on present and future care needs; and
- The lawyer will discuss whether the insurance adjuster’s settlement amount is reasonable, or if it is deficient.
Although not all cases will result in a claim worth pursuing, there are instances where a “minor injury” is actually more significant than originally thought because the seriousness of the injury may not immediately become obvious. For example, what you think is a shoulder ache may turn out to be a tear in your rotator cuff. If the appropriate investigations are not undertaken, more serious injuries may not be discovered. Don’t forget, once you sign a Release, you may never again make a new claim pertaining to the injuries sustained in the original incident.
I have over 30 years of experience in representing injured parties in personal injury cases. There have been situations where I have recommended the injured party seek further medical attention, resulting in a diagnosis of an injury being more serious than initially thought.
If you are approached by the defendant’s insurance adjuster with an offer to settle, keep calm and don’t automatically accept that his or her assessment of your damages adequately compensates you for the injuries you have sustained. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer such as myself to help you assess your situation. I provide an initial free consultation to discuss the facts of your personal injury case. I can be reached at 647.348.5422.