Although bruising, headaches, sore muscles and even fractures may heal, and you may feel better, there's a good chance you will suffer symptoms and limitations from the injuries in the future and, if you settle with an insurance company, before you know the real extent of your injuries, you'll be stuck with the small amount they paid you. Sometimes "a bird in the hand, isn't worth two in the bush". Over the years, Ive seen many people accept a quick settlement, only to regret it later. Any area that is injured is never truly the same as it was. What appears as only a strain or sprain may later result in nerve impingement, affecting your ability to use your neck, back, arms or legs. A fracture that heals may result in arthritis, a concussion may later cause memory loss or other deficits, and a cut may result in an ugly scar. Any doctor will tell you that for any injury, there's always the possibility of some type of permanent effect.
This is why any injury, no matter how small initially should be fully evaluated, examined, tested and appropriately treated, to avoid an unwanted symptoms or limitations later. Insurance companies complain that people receive too much treatment for even minor injures. But its your body, and you have the right to have it repaired as close to normal as possible. You didn't ask to be injured and suffer the possible consequences. Many people, who aren't properly evaluated and treated, who took the small settlement and thought they'd "tough it out", wake up years later, with severe or debilitating neck, shoulder or back back pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or other ramifications of their prior injuries, unable to work or live their lives normally.
Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, you may be entitled to various types of damages, for:
(a) pain and suffering (for the time, hours and days you suffer, from the time of the injury
and into the future, possibly for life)
(b) lost wages (both past and future, if you wont be able to earn as much as you did
before the injury)
(c) past and future medical expenses
(d) vocational training ( to help you train and qualify for a new type of job)
(e) nursing care (past and future, either in a facility or at home)
(f) assistance around your home and/or business
(g) specialized vehicles
(h) loss of enjoyment of life (due your inability to participate in the activities you did prior
to the injuries, such as working out, skiing, bowling, playing sports or musical
(i) loss of a spouses services (affection, companionship, sex, etc...)
*For motor vehicle and work related injuries, you may be entitled to receive lost wages, paid medical treatment and even assistance with housework and daily activities, while you're being evaluated and treated.
A good, experienced attorney will not recommend you settle your case, until he/she is sure that your injuries have been properly evaluated and treated and that any future complications are known, so that the true value of your case can be obtained. Generally, you have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injuries, so there's no need to hastily accept a settlement offer. However, you should consult with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you're injured, so that any required notices, before the two years, are properly sent and filed.
If you or a loved one have been injured in any way, contact me for a free consultation, to see if you have a claim worth pursuing. A consultation will prevent you from accepting an inadequate offer, or not pursuing a claim that you should.
All the Best!
Randy C. Redden