What is a serious personal injury case?
Serious personal injury cases involve a serious bodily injury
A serious personal injury generally causes:
- significant disfigurement;
- a fracture;
- loss of a fetus;
- permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system;
- permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
significant limitation of use of a body function or system;
- or a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature
- which prevents the injured person from substantially doing all of the material acts
- which make up that person's usual and customary daily activities
- for not less than 90 days during the 180 days
- immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.”
The above comes from a case called Hyacinthe v. United States, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108192 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 19, 2009). There are more serious personal injuries besides those listed above. If you're hurt, I'm happy to tell you whether your injury type is something I can help with. Like any other type of injury, serious personal injuries can be caused by negligence or recklessness.
What's the difference between negligence and recklessness?
Negligence" is the failure to use reasonable care. “Recklessness” is something worse. A reckless person knew it was highly probable that their conduct would cause harm and they knowingly disregarded this risk. “Recklessness” is more than just failing to use reasonable care. For example, it's negligent to run a red light, but, it's reckless to run a red light while drunk or high on drugs.
What are examples of serious personal injuries?
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Infection after an accident
- Internal injuries (organ damage)
- Knee injuries
- Loss of a limb
- Neck injuries
- Senses: accident-related loss of smell or taste
- Silent injuries
- Wrongful Death
How are serious personal injury cases different than other personal injuries?
Serious personal injury cases are more complicated, more intricate and more valuable than minor personal injury cases.
How are serious personal injuries different than minor personal injuries?
- Serious personal injuries might require surgeries, rehabilitation, and significant treatment
- Serious personal injuries can make things you did before the accident (such as working) very difficult or impossible to do
- Serious personal injuries can cause lasting physical and/or psychological pain and
- Their degree is not always immediately known
- Serious personal injuries cases can take time to resolve
- Minor injuries don't require surgeries or significant treatment
- Minor injuries cause pain and suffering that's not long-lasting
- The degree of minor injuries is generally immediately known
- Minor personal injuries resolve quicker than serious personal injury cases
This is why you should always seek the attention of a medical care provider after any accident, to find out whether your injuries are serious or minor.
What accidents cause serious personal injury?
Causes of serious personal injuries
You may still have a serious personal injury case even if it's not listed as one of the below serious personal injury examples.
- Auto Accidents (caused by drugged drivers)
- Auto Accidents (hit and run)
- Bicycle Accidents
- Big Truck Accidents - Tractor-Trailers
- Bus Accidents
- Auto Accidents
- Drunk or drugged drivers
- Dog Bites / Animal Attacks
- Hit and run accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Rideshare accidents, like Uber and Lyft
- Slip and falls
Is it worth hiring a personal injury attorney?
If you have a very small case that doesn't have much value, you may not need an attorney. But, a serious case may have serious value so you definitely need an attorney to fight your case. The insurance company has specially-trained adjusters who look out for the insurance company. The adjuster may seem fair, nice, and understanding. You may even think your case is going well, but come to learn that the insurance won't pay you a dime or offer much less than what your case is worth. Remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you. Now more than ever, you need someone to work for you.
When should I hire an attorney for my injury case?
If you have a good case, it's always best to hire a good attorney as soon as possible after the incident or accident. That way, you will have the protection of your own attorney, looking out for you and you alone. Hiring a good attorney early on means you have an advocate working from the start to try and maximize the value of your case. If you hire the right attorney, right away, you can benefit from your attorney's advice, guidance and protection, every step of the way. You may hesitate to hire an attorney because you have this question:
How much does an attorney charge for a personal injury case?
How can I settle my personal injury case without an attorney?
Can I change my personal injury attorney if I don't like their work?
And, the first attorney will get paid out of the second attorney's fee. This can make it hard to find a new attorney if you're not happy with your first attorney. A new attorney may have to work even harder to try and salvage a mismanaged case, only to have to pay the first attorney out of the fee that the second attorney may earn on your serious personal injury case.
I'm Renée Yvonne Gardner, the attorney at Gardner Law. I speak Spanish - hablo español. I am experienced with personal injury, wrongful death accident, and small claims court assistance (consumer protection matters).