Hiring an attorney can be a daunting task. How do you choose one? How do you know what type of lawyer to hire? What’s it like to work with an attorney and how do you know what’s expected of you? These are all questions you’re likely to have while browsing the website of an attorney, but don’t worry—we’re here to help.
Every firm’s site is filled with the same, boastful claims and pages and pages of legal speak that aren’t immediately useful. What’s useful? Answers. Real answers. Every two weeks roughly, we’ll be posting a common question a client new to the legal world might have, and we’ll provide real, honest answers to that question.
This week we’re discussing a question that many injured accident victims may hesitate to ask: Are my injuries severe enough to file a lawsuit?
When people talk about a personal injury case like a medical malpractice or car accident lawsuit, we’re often confronted with images of what media shows us. We’ll commonly see extremes—a person who almost dies and is in a complete body cast, for example, or someone who’s barely injured and is trying to cheat their way into free money with the help of a neck brace. Cases involving these types of injuries do happen, of course, but for the most part, most lawsuit injuries fall somewhere in the middle.
Instead of thinking about the severity of your injuries in relation to another person’s injuries, it’s easier to think about them in relation to how much impact those injuries will have on your financial and living situation. If you’re in a car accident, for instance, and have to spend some time in the hospital, will the cost of your hospital bills be covered by your insurance premiums? Will you have to take more time off work than your sick leave allows for? Both situations can have a significant impact on you and your family’s life.
A judge or jury has to consider the seriousness of your injuries, but they also have to look at your overall financial situation and the setback of the accident or incident. People are different, and so are the ways in which people recover from trauma. One person may recover from a bad fall much quicker than another person. Any court decision has to be made considering every factor at hand—not just one.
When you are injured and feel you might have a lawsuit on your hands, ask yourself how those injuries are likely to affect you. Think about the present financial and emotional consequences, the future financial consequences, and especially any circumstances which may affect your loved ones. These questions may be difficult to answer, but approach them as you would approach any of life’s most difficult tasks—one step at a time.
A good way to begin thinking about the consequences of your injuries might be to ask your doctor how long the recovery process may take and how long it might be before you can work again. Ask your employer about getting the time off you need or if it’s possible to get an extended amount of time off due to extenuating circumstances. When you know how long the recovery process may take, you can begin to look at the consequences with your end goal—complete recovery—in mind.
After you have an idea of how long your recovery will take and how your injuries will likely affect you and your family, you can begin to ask yourself if your injuries are severe enough to consider filing a lawsuit. There are other factors to consider, of course, such as the cause of the accident or incident and deciding if negligence and/or blame could be proven in court. To begin answering those questions, it’s always best to find a local personal injury lawyer to consult with.
Louisville, KY personal injury lawyer Tad Thomas and his team of expert associates are compassionate and more than happy to help you with any questions you may have—whether they’re regarding your injuries, financial situation, or any of the specifics of your potential case. Thomas Law Offices even offers zero-obligation case evaluations at no cost to you. Contact our Louisville office for more information.