Every day people are involved in accidents that result in injuries. Personal injuries can vary widely and may include whiplash, neck injuries, back injuries, broken bones, internal organ damage, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to speak to a Kansas City personal injury attorney as soon as possible, who can help you get the compensation you deserve. They can handle all the paperwork and negotiations with the insurance company, allowing you to focus on your healing and recovery from your injuries.
Types of Compensation Available to Victims of Personal Injury
If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to know that you may be eligible for compensation. There are various types of compensation available to victims of personal injury in Kansas City, including:
If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, and you were rendered unable to work, for either a period or permanently, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your lost wages. This is money you would have earned if it had not been for the accident. To be eligible for this type of compensation, you must have missed more than three days of work to qualify.
Recovering from personal injuries after an accident can oftentimes be a long road with many years of appointments and surgeries, depending on the severity of your injuries. Whether you sustained a traumatic brain injury or a broken arm, you are entitled to compensation to recover the costs incurred for medical treatments and related expenses from the at-fault party that caused your injury. Compensation for medical expenses includes payments for hospital bills, medical treatments and therapies, and prescription medications. If you had to pay out-of-pocket expenses to travel to and from medical appointments, that is also included in your compensation. You may also be able to recover the cost of hiring a home health care worker if you need help taking care of yourself.
If you were in an accident that left you seriously injured, beyond your physical injuries, you may be suffering emotionally from the trauma of the accident. In a personal injury case, the victim is often eligible for compensation related to their emotional distress. This type of damage is designed to help you recover from the psychological effects of the injury. Emotional distress can be extremely debilitating, sometimes just as debilitating as physical injuries, and can keep you from returning to work or living a normal life.
If your family member was killed in an accident that was not their fault, you may be eligible for wrongful death compensation. This type of compensation can help families cope with their loved one’s loss and cover the costs (funeral expenses, medical bills of the deceased, loss of support, loss of companionship) associated with their loved one’s death.
When someone has injured another person in such a way that is remarkably reckless, egregious, or malicious, an injured party may be able to pursue punitive damages against the at-fault party. Punitive damages are designed to punish the person or company responsible for the injury they caused and send a message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. These damages are in addition to the other types of compensation you may receive.
How to Secure Fair Compensation for Your Injuries
Being injured in an accident can be one of the most devastating experiences in a person’s life. The experience can be exacerbated if you don’t get the amount of compensation you deserve. Many factors influence how much money you may receive for your injuries. Your recovery can be influenced by a few things that you may not even be aware of.
Five Tips for Getting the Highest Amount of Compensation
- Talk to an attorney before speaking to the insurance adjuster. Having an attorney review the circumstances of your case and the losses you’ve suffered will give you an idea of how much compensation you deserve. Your attorney will consider all the types of damages that could be pursued and will value your claim. An attorney can also handle the negotiations with the insurance company for you. Insurance companies are known for trying to pressure victims into accepting less for their injuries. Having an attorney on your side will ensure this doesn't happen, as they will not accept anything less than what you deserve.
- Provide thorough medical documentation. After an accident, you need to prove that you were injured by the accident to receive compensation. When you seek medical treatment, you need to make sure your doctors are documenting everything you tell them about the nature of your injuries and when they started. Tell your doctor about every detail, no matter how small you think it is or how embarrassing, about how your body parts, body systems, daily movements, and quality of life have been impacted by the injuries sustained in the accident.
- Follow all treatment plans prescribed. It is essential that you follow your doctor’s course of treatments to show a good faith effort in improving, whether that be physical therapy, chiropractic care, medications, injections, or anything else. Go to every session, so the insurance company cannot blame you for any lack of improvement in your condition. Furthermore, it is important to keep accurate records of doctor appointments and receipts for out-of-pocket medical expenses, including any special equipment you purchased such as canes, braces, etc. These records can be included in future compensation calculations.
- Stay off social media. In today’s modern world, with technology everywhere, people’s lives are not very private anymore. It is advisable to refrain from using social media, including being tagged by friends in social media, until after your case has settled. Insurance companies will use whatever tools and tactics they can to try to lessen the amount of money they have to pay on a claim. Insurance companies can use social media against you in court. They will take photos of you having fun to try to prove that you are not as injured as you say you are.
- Don’t settle too quickly. When the insurance company offers you an amount to settle your claim, you may be eager to take that initial offer, especially if bills are piling up. However, settling too early can greatly reduce the amount of money you receive. Sometimes personal injury claims can take a few years to resolve. Sometimes, determining the full extent of your injuries takes time, which impacts how quickly you should settle. You may end up needing surgery later in your recovery. After you settle, you can’t go back to the insurance company and ask for more money if your injuries become more severe. Be prepared to be patient, and trust the counsel of your attorney as to when the right time to settle is or if you should go to court.