Tag: Personal Injury

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Responding to Client Trauma After Personal Injury

Suffering any kind of injury is incredibly difficult. The recovery process afterward can be daunting. And you’ll surely have many, many questions about your next steps. It’s not a situation you should have to handle on your own. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with people you can count on. This includes a reputable personal injury attorney. If you’re on the fence about hiring one, you should know they are also a support system if you’re experiencing trauma. Read on below to find out some of the ways personal injury lawyers support and protect their clients.

Safe Environment for Client

A personal injury lawyer will work to keep you safe both physically and psychologically. This includes creating a safe, structured environment for you throughout the process. From the start, they will know how to form a trusting attorney-client relationship. You can count on personal injury lawyers to be patient, compassionate, and willing to go above and beyond to accommodate clients’ trauma.

There are a number of ways your attorney can adapt the environment to best suit you as well. For instance, you can meet in quiet, private settings. If you’d feel better having multiple shorter meetings instead of one long meeting, they can try to accommodate that. For many people, predictability helps. If that’s the case for you, meetings can be held at the same times and/or on the same days. You can discuss options and see what makes you feel most comfortable.

Avoiding Potential Triggers

Personal injury lawyers, especially those with a lot of experience, are familiar with the signs of trauma. And they should know how to avoid further exasperating you. Due to the many unique factors that come with these cases, they will come to you with the education needed to handle it.

Another way your attorney keeps you safe is by protecting you in potentially triggering situations. They are experts at handling the difficult conversations that can bring back traumatic memories of the accident. Interacting with those responsible for your injury is too emotional and upsetting to go through on your own. And negotiations with insurance companies can be incredibly stressful. Your attorney has the knowledge, experience, and skills to be a great negotiator. A client doesn’t necessarily have that expertise and should not be expected to.

Supporting Client Throughout Process

After a traumatic event, it’s understandable that you’d need to focus on healing instead of immediately thinking about your financial situation. But the financial stress, from medical costs to how long you may be out of work, can really take a toll. That’s why it’s so important to have a personal injury lawyer looking out for your financial well-being. They will help to make sure that you receive a sufficient amount. Without a lawyer, you may wind up receiving little to nothing.

A personal injury lawyer will also serve as a great source of support. In addition to fighting for your right to compensation, they’re also there to listen. The confidentiality agreement can help people feel more at ease to open up about their feelings and lingering trauma. Effective communication is a core value of personal injury lawyers.

While trust and communication with a lawyer can greatly help, they are also not the only people you should consult. Your lawyer should also have a number of references for psychologists, psychiatrists, specialists, counselors, and more. These resources will further aid your recovery.

Filing a Claim

When you’re injured in an accident, it’s best to gather as much evidence for your claim as possible. However, this is understandably another step that can be traumatic to handle on your own. Your attorney can work to confirm your claims and find more evidence to support them. In fact, they often have ways of collecting significant evidence that you would not have access to, such as police reports and surveillance.

Without a lawyer, even just filing the initial personal injury report can be very difficult. The expertise your personal injury lawyer has means they’ll provide you with excellent advice along the way. Their experience will be helpful for analyzing your case, determining the best steps to take, and predicting potential outcomes. This takes a lot of stress off your shoulders.

At the same time, they will still leave decisions up to you. A lawyer is there to help you, not steamroll your wishes. And they know the balance between sheltering you from triggering situations and making sure your voice is heard.

Preparing Client for the Case

If necessary, your lawyer will thoroughly prepare you for a deposition. When clients experience trauma, it can sometimes affect memory. And one of the trauma responses is to suddenly shut down. So, ahead of time, you can put your side of the story together. And you can go over it as many times as you need to remember which important details you want to include.

Lawyers know that going to trial could hurt and trigger a traumatized individual. That’s why they will go above and beyond to avoid a trial in your case. If you do end up needing to appear in court, your lawyer will make sure to extensively prepare, protect, and support you. Preparation can include role-playing and thoroughly going over the whole process as many times as necessary. Sometimes, your lawyer can give you an idea of the type of questions you will be asked so you won’t feel blindsided. Usually, knowing what to expect will help ease your nerves. They will also be aware of the behaviors that stem from trauma and can explain them to the judge and jury as needed.

To find out more, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Warren Allen. We have been providing excellent service to the Portland and Pacific Northwest area for five decades. The extensive experience and expertise of our staff will be incredibly beneficial. You can find more information about our personal injury law services on our website. You can contact us via the website as well.

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What Constitutes a Personal Injury?

Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a personal injury case. However, you could get caught in an accident and need help navigating how to handle it. That’s where our experienced team at Warren Allen LLP can help. It’s always good to be careful, but when something blindsides you, our representatives are here to get you the compensation you need.

A personal injury case begins when you experience an accident that results in you being injured or in the death of a loved one. So, what constitutes a personal injury?

Here are four facts about personal injury cases to help you get started.

1. Personal Injury Is Not the Same as Bodily Injury

The terms personal injury and bodily injury are sometimes used interchangeably, but they have two different meanings. If you have a personal injury lawsuit, that means you’re a plaintiff looking for compensation because you’re a victim of an accident or a social wrong (as in a defamation of character case). The defendant is the person you’re suing for compensation from. Their negligence caused an injury to you.

For instance, consider a situation where the manager of a store fails to fix a loose railing for the stairs and doesn’t post any signs about it to warn people against using it. While in the store, you use the railing, fall down the stairs, and break your leg. In this case, you can ask for compensation for your medical bills and lost wages while you recuperate.

If you have a bodily injury case, it’s most likely in the context of a car accident. If you sustained bodily injury in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay out compensation to you, whether you’re a pedestrian, another driver, or a passenger in another car. This compensation can be for out-of-pocket medical expenses, treatment procedures (such as x-rays, specialist doctor’s visits, and physical therapy), and transport to the hospital. Other plaintiffs have been known to receive compensation for pain and suffering, but this tends to be rare in bodily injury cases, as insurance companies typically pay out for physical injuries.

2. It’s All About Negligence

Remember the example of the stairway railing? Imagine instead that there had been a prominent sign posted stating not to use the railing or that the railing was going to be fixed soon. If you still used the railing, fell, and broke your leg, you probably wouldn’t have much of a case because the store was not being negligent.

In a personal injury case, you also need to prove that there was negligence on behalf of that company. This railing example would be known as a premises liability lawsuit and can be filed against the person or entity in control of those premises. Personal injury claims come up frequently in cases where there are defective products, professional malpractice, or abuse as a result of nursing home negligence. The most common personal injury cases tend to be car accidents, product liability, dog bites, and slip and fall accidents.

3. Compensation for a Personal Injury Claim

There are two kinds of compensation you can expect from your personal injury claim: economic and non-economic.

Economic compensation is what most of us think of when we think of compensation: money to pay for our actual losses, that is, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.

Non-economic compensation is a little different. You’re still being paid money, but it’s to compensate for the damages of pain and suffering, which may not have a monetary value. Some states have a set “cap” for these pain and suffering cases, so you cannot win more than that set amount for your case.

An example of a pain and suffering case would be a medical malpractice claim, such as if a doctor failed to diagnose or misdiagnosed your symptoms. They could have also misread or ignored laboratory results or failed to order the proper tests (or failed to order tests at all). This is negligence on their part and is a violation of the standard of care. In this case, however, it’s not enough to have suffered the malpractice. You also must show that you were injured due to their negligence or that your injury resulted in significant damages.

4. What Is the First Thing I Should Do After an Accident?

The order of operations is important, and you should make sure to have all your ducks in a row. This makes everything move a lot faster (having all of your information ready to go may also lend you a little more credibility) and will get you your compensation faster.
After an accident, make sure to gather information for the other people involved. Gather names, phone numbers, and addresses for the people who injured you and for any witnesses. Keep a careful record of your symptoms, injuries, doctors’ visits, payments you’ve made, wages you’ve lost, and other information that seems important. Take pictures of the space, of the vehicles, and of your injuries, and write everything down as well. Include medical treatments that are recommended for you by medical experts and how much those treatments cost.

Representation

Individuals can represent themselves in cases like this, but it’s not really recommended. Besides, you’re still recovering from an accident that’s probably sapping your energy and causing anxiety. It may cost some money to hire a personal injury lawyer, but having a professional in your corner who knows what they’re doing, who can investigate your claim, who knows your rights, who can speak with your insurance company, and who can argue your case in court will give you great peace of mind. You’ll feel a lot better than if you were trying to handle it yourself.

The more information you can assemble about your situation, the easier it will be for one of our personal injury lawyers to argue your case and help you with your recovery, both mentally and physically. A good personal injury lawyer will also know which questions to ask and how to further investigate and gather other evidence to help your claim, such as gathering surveillance camera footage, finding additional witnesses, and obtaining police reports.

If you’ve been in an accident, the Warren Allen team can help you get back on your feet as soon as possible. Insurance companies will try to minimize the payments you receive, but we’ll fight for your fair compensation after an accident or injury. Contact us today.

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What Are the Common Legal Claims in Motor Vehicle Accidents?

No one expects to be in a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, you’re at risk whenever you get into a car. All drivers have a responsibility to be as safe as they can be on the road, but in the instance that you are in a motor vehicle accident, you need to be prepared with a plan of action.

What Kind of Claims Are Commonly Made in Motor Vehicle Accidents?

Motor vehicle accidents are frightening and messy events, and seeking financial settlements from any of the parties involved can quickly become complicated. That’s why before you seek any legal action, you should consult with a trusted law firm, such as Warren Allen LLC. Determining the extent of damages to claim, as well as who should be named in any claims, is best left to the professionals. When it comes to understanding the basics of the claims, the most important things for you to know are the different kinds of damages that can have legal standing. You’re your best advocate when assessing any financial or material loss, so it’s best to be armed with the knowledge of what claims are available to you.

Property Damage Claims

In the event of a collision, insurance can help cover the costs associated with lost or damaged property. Depending on the coverage provided and the extent of the damage, your damages may exceed the amount covered by the policy.

1. Damage to Your Vehicle

After any motor vehicle accident, take your car to a mechanic or garage you trust to get an estimate of the cost of repairs. If the estimate goes beyond any insurance payments, you may be able to seek a claim to cover the remaining bill.

2. Damage to Your Possessions

If any of your possessions have been damaged due to another driver’s negligence beyond the amount that insurance will cover, you may be able to make property damage claims. You shouldn’t expect to be able to make a claim for every single item in your vehicle, but any larger or more expensive items that were damaged or lost in the incident may present a more solid case.

Personal Injury Claims

Often, the more costly expenses from motor vehicle accidents are related to personal harm or injury. This is because injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents can have a much longer-lasting financial impact, often due to medical treatment or physical recovery. Claims of this nature can cover a wide variety of expenses, so it’s worth keeping them in mind.

1. Medical Expenses

Depending on the severity of injuries suffered by you or anyone else in your vehicle, a motor vehicle accident can result in rapidly building medical bills. Sometimes these bills are covered by either your or the other driver’s insurance, but in the event of more serious injuries, the cost may go far beyond any coverage. Emergency room visits, diagnostic tests like scans or x-rays, and even ambulance rides can quickly balloon medical costs.

Even after the initial emergency room visit, you may be facing even more medical bills for future treatment. Follow up visits, prescriptions, or even surgery may end up becoming necessary, and that’s if there’s a clear path to recovery. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up suffering from a chronic condition due to the collision. Obviously, if you’re recovering from severe physical trauma, you should by no means sacrifice your health for financial reasons. If your current and future medical expenses are growing way beyond your control, you may be able to cover it through a legal claim.

2. Physical Therapy Costs

Similar to medical costs, any physical therapy that you need to receive due to a motor vehicle accident may be covered through a legal claim. This can extend to any rehabilitation to regain physical capabilities you may have lost in the course of the collision, as well as any assistive devices, such as crutches or a wheelchair.

3. Loss of Income

Beyond the straightforward expenses for medical services or physical therapy, you may also be entitled to compensation for wages lost due to a motor vehicle accident. While many insurance plans offer wage replacement funds for individuals who are unable to return to work for medical reasons, it may not be enough to cover the entirety of lost wages. If you end up unable to work for an extended period of time due to a collision, you may be able to make a claim to cover said lost wages. This can extend beyond any wages lost before going to court as well.

If it’s determined that you will be out of work for an extended period of time into the future, you may qualify for additional compensation. This is legally termed as “lost earning capacity,” referring to the income a person will lose due to their inability to return to work in the future. If you’re unable to return to work for some time, or if you’re unable to return to your job at all due to injuries sustained, you may be able to seek a claim to cover the financial loss.

What Should I Do If I’m in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be in an accident, you know how confusing and chaotic those first few minutes can be. The best way to walk away from a motor vehicle accident is to already have a concrete plan of action in mind whenever you get into a car.
The first and most important thing to do after a collision is to pull over and assess any injuries. If no one is in immediate need of your help, waste no time in calling 911. Even if you think there are no serious injuries, it’s critical you get professional aid to the scene of the collision.

After that, exchange information with the other driver and document, document, document! It’s extremely important you get a clear picture of the scene and damage in the moment, both for insurance reasons and for any potential legal claims you may end up making. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a case, reach out to a reputable legal counsel. Motor vehicle accidents are horrible ordeals, but you don’t have to face the aftermath alone.

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