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The line between a minor injury and a serious one may seem somewhat nebulous to those who are not familiar with legalese. What you might consider a serious injury may not be what it is in actual legal terms. Today we are going to discuss the differences so that you know what you can pursue someone for.
The legal definition of a serious injury versus a minor injury
First off, it’s important to understand the criteria that are used to determine whether an injury was a serious one or not. These include a fracture, dismemberment, disfigurement, permanent loss or limitation of body function, organ, system, or member, loss of a fetus, a non-permanent injury that keeps you incapacitated from your normal obligations for longer than 90 days within 180 days of the inciting incident. In order to determine whether what you have would be regarded as a serious injury, you may first be required to go to a doctor to have an evaluation of your injuries conducted. Some injuries may be more obvious than others and, as a result, not require that you need to do this; for instance, if you have one less limb than you did before the accident, it would take a pretty dishonest person to claim that they don’t think your injury was serious, wouldn’t it? However, not everything is going to be something you can easily verify without that doctor evaluation, such as internal damage or an injury that proves to limit to your ability to conduct your normal business. In the event that your injury is not immediately apparent, or the effects of your injury are not, your doctor can run diagnostics on you and give their expert opinion on whether your injury is in fact a serious one.
A very common mistake people make when determining a serious injury, or even if they sustained an injury at all, is that some injuries do not immediately become apparent, either in their presence or their severity. Whiplash, for instance, is often a kind of injury that people do not realize they are suffering from for quite a while, only later showing up in the form of persistent neck pain that should be treated immediately. Whiplash can result in immobility and/or chronic pain, and in that case, it is likely that your doctor will regard the injury as a serious one. Another concern that you need to be mindful of is that you did not sustain a concussion, which is especially common in car accidents, falls, and recreational sports like football and soccer, the latter particularly due to how forceful they often are. A concussion is not necessarily going to be a severe situation, but it can still prove to be especially dangerous, so do not play around if you feel that there exists the possibility that you are suffering from one. There are specific symptoms that occur when you sustain a concussion that you should watch out for, including, but not limited to, dizziness, vision problems, confusion, ringing in your ears, nausea, poor concentration, headaches, vomiting, and other symptoms. Make sure to check this with your doctor, who will be able to identify whether you have actually sustained such an injury. If your doctor does not determine that you have a serious injury, this is not necessarily the end of the road for you. You are still entitled to seek a second opinion from another doctor, who may determine that in fact, what you have does constitute a serious injury.
One of the most unfortunate things when it comes to getting an insurance agent to give a serious injury the attention it requires. After all, insurance agencies do have a vested interest in paying out as little money to the people they cover as possible. In some cases, insurance agents may be pressured to cheat people out of their payout, either by twisting their policies or trying to convince people to accept a lower payout than they are actually owed. This can be a difficult situation to surmount on your own; after all, insurance agencies have a lot of time, money, and power, whereas you may decide that you just do not want to have to deal with fighting them over this and accept a relative pittance instead. However, having a good lawyer backing you up in this kind of situation makes a world of difference, as a lawyer who specializes in dealing with combative insurance agencies knows exactly the kinds of tactics they like to employ as well as ways to get around them. A lawyer may seem like it is not worth the cost, but when you see what a difference having one can make for your insurance payout, it will become apparent how costly it can be to not have someone representing your interests in this situation other than you. One such person that can help get you what you need is to work with Attorney Terry Bryant. Terry has the experience and the know-how to get you the result that works the best for you.
You may also like: How talking to an insurer can damage your personal injury lawsuit
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