Sustaining a back injury is a difficult thing to endure. There are several types of back injuries that personal injury lawyers encounter on a regular basis, such as whiplash, herniated discs, spinal cord injuries, and spondylolisthesis. No matter what type of back injury a person suffers, they are almost always serious and painful. They are also the type of injuries that tend to cause permanent disability or lingering discomfort and thus often have a lasting impact on a person’s life.
When back injuries are caused by negligence, victims are entitled to compensation for their harm. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way for an accident victim to ensure that they receive everything they deserve. Below are some other important things to keep in mind.
1. Carefully Document Everything
A claim is only as valuable as the evidence backing it up. If an allegation can’t be proven, it isn’t worth much in a court of law. This is why you should carefully document everything you can about the accident. It is a good idea following an auto accident to contact police and ask for a police report. You should also carefully document all of the medical care you receive, any expenses related to the accident, and record any work that you have missed as a result of the personal injury.
2. Get Medical Care From a Back Injury Specialist
It is essential in any back injury case to have detailed and thorough medical records in support of the claim. Personal injury victims need to present clear evidence that an injury was caused by the accident and not by something else. A doctor who is a back injury specialist will be able to explain with greater precision how the accident caused the injury and what the extent of damage is. The defendant is also likely to have their own medical expert testify that your injury is not as bad as you claim. It is important to have the support of someone qualified to refute this.
3. Appreciate the Full Value of Your Claim
When a personal injury plaintiff wins a judgment in a Georgia court, they are entitled to both “special” and “general” damages. Special damages compensate victims for both past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages and other quantifiable financial loss. General damages compensate for the non-economic loss, like pain and suffering. Personal injury victims should carefully consider all their potential damages and consult with an attorney if they aren’t sure what their case is worth.
Too often victims take the first offer that is made to them because they think that is all they deserve or will be able to get. It is almost always a good idea to negotiate because insurance companies will almost always initially offer less than a claim is worth.
5. Avoid Social Media
One of the worst things about a back injury is how much it can impact a person’s daily life. This loss of enjoyment is a type of pain and suffering that is compensable. If a plaintiff can no longer do certain activities, for instance, they may be entitled to compensation on that basis. Savvy defense lawyers will often closely watch a plaintiffs’ social media profiles to try to find evidence that a plaintiff is exaggerating how bad their injury is. This is not always fair, because while a person may look like they are having fun and being active on social media, they may be suffering in private. The best practice is to avoid allowing a defense lawyer the opportunity to take any of your photos out of context by simply abstaining from all social media while your case is pending.
6. File Your Claim in Time
All civil claims must be made within a certain time period or else they will be completely barred. Under the Georgia Statute of Limitations for tort claims, personal injury lawsuits for back injuries must generally be made within two years of the date of the accident. It is important to begin pursuing compensation well in advance of this.
7. Get Your Settlement in Writing
Personal injury settlement agreements should always be in writing. If a settlement isn’t in writing, it may not be enforceable. Although Georgia does recognize oral agreements as valid, they can be difficult to prove.
For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC
If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, by calling (404) 389-1035 today.