4 Tips for Taking Legal Action if a Car Accident Aggravated a Pre-Existing Back Injury
The injury might not be new, but a crash can exacerbate a pre-existing back problem. In addition to more pain, a person might need surgery. These issues could lead to more bills and time off work. With the help of an experienced attorney, the victim may still be able to seek a financial recovery.
Tip #1: Seek Medical Assistance ImmediatelyAfter any vehicle crash, seeking professional medical care should be your first priority. The adrenaline and shock of the collision can mask injury symptoms. What may seem like a minor injury could be debilitating in the coming days * especially if you have a pre-existing back injury. A health care professional can conduct an exam, X-rays and tests to identify your injuries and determine if there are any additional underlying problems from the crash.
Furthermore, having medical documentation immediately following a car crash can be strong evidence for your case, should you file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. A physician*s records will show the injuries you sustained as well as the added physical damage to your pre-existing back condition. As you undergo therapy, surgery and/or other care for your related injuries, the medical documentation will show your progress toward healing and help determine whether a full recovery will be possible.
Tip #2: Hire Legal Representation by an Experienced AttorneyWhen someone causes a car crash that injures another person, the victim may file a personal injury lawsuit to hold him or her accountable. By filing suit, the injured person can also seek compensation for crash-related medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Hiring an attorney is the first step toward seeking a financial recovery through a lawsuit. He or she will gather evidence to demonstrate how the at-fault party is responsible for the victim*s injuries and losses. The lawyer can also show how the crash aggravated the victim*s pre-existing back injury and led to more problems.
In addition, insurance companies are notorious for attempting to undercut payment to those who have been injured. However, they are substantially more likely to compensate fairly when the victim has hired legal representation. Even if an adjuster initially makes a low offer, an experienced car accident attorney can work to prove the victim deserves more and negotiate a higher payment.
For example, Ostroff Injury Law obtained a $400,000 verdict on behalf of a woman whose pre-existing neck and back injuries were aggravated in a car crash and required surgery. The defendant*s insurer initially offered her $1,000. Attorney Richard Godshall took the case to trial and proved that the crash severely aggravated her preexisting condition. Although the defendant carried only $100,000 of insurance coverage, the insurer paid four times that amount.
Of course, every case differs and will have unique results. However, injured individuals increase their likelihood of obtaining maximum compensation when they hire an attorney with previous success in cases like theirs.
Tip #3: Avoid Signing Anything Without a Lawyer*s GuidanceInsurance company adjusters use a variety of tactics to get victims to commit to a low payment for their injuries. They have been known to visit injured people in the hospital and ask them to sign paperwork, during a time when the patient*s focus is clouded with pain, treatment, therapy, and medication. Once those papers are signed, there is no turning back from accepting the insurance company*s offer * no matter how low it is. Instead, an attorney can direct these meetings and conversations away from the victim and handle negotiations to help ensure the result is fair.
Tip #4: Act ImmediatelyThe three tips above are most effective when the injured person acts immediately after a car crash. Evidence and witnesses are more difficult to gather as time goes on. Each state limits the time people have to file a claim for their injuries caused by someone else*s negligence. Taking action right away can help protect your rights and better your ability to obtain the compensation you deserve.