Personal Injury in Alaska
Personal injury is defined by law as an injury or suffering sustained by a person due to the negligence of another.
What this means to you is, if you have been hurt because of what someone else has done―in an auto accident, on another person's property, in their home, that person may be held liable for their actions and for your injury, pain, suffering, loss of wages, property damage, medical bills―any loss you suffer due to another person's negligence. You may be subject to personal injury even in your own home if someone's negligence causes you injury.
If you have been injured, one of the best things you can do is consult an experienced personal injury attorney. These attorneys generally do not require "up front" money, but will wait to be paid at the end of the case, once it has settled. That way, you don't have to worry about paying an attorney on top of everything else―a wrecked car, loss wages, an injury, hospital stays and medical bills.
Many times immediately following an accident, people will feel that they are not injured, and will report of officer on the scene or to the other party that they are fine. This is, in most cases, due to the shock and surprise of the accident. Because of the jolt you the system, we do not immediately feel the pain of an injury and are not aware that one has occurred. It may be hours or even a day or two before the symptoms: pain, stiffness, burning, reduced range of motion, etc., begin to appear.
If you are subject to the impact caused by a motor vehicle accident, understand that your body has been subjected to an intense sudden force, even in low speed or low impact collisions. The body, when an impact occurs, is suddenly forced either side-to-side or forward and backward, which causes trauma to the delicate skeletal support tissues.
Sudden impact trauma generally causes what are known as "soft tissue injury"; clinically referred to as a sprain or strain to the muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments and sometimes the joints of the body. Soft tissue injuries cannot be detected immediately; none of the current medical imaging equipment can "see" this type of soft tissue injury. Plus, the injuries can be exacerbated by the resultant swelling of the injury site.
Some symptoms typical in soft tissue injuries are swelling, stiffness, muscle tension, a slight burning or tingling sensation, numbness, pain, and "catching" or loss of range of motion in your neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, hands, upper or lower back. In the case of the neck region, also known as the cervical region, you may experience numb, cold, swollen, tingling or painful hands, wrists, forearm, elbows, biceps region and shoulders. If you have a mid-to-lower back injury, also known as the lumbar or sacral region of the spine, you may experience the above symptoms in your feet, ankles, lower legs, knees, hips, and pelvic region.
If you do experience any of the above symptoms, the best course of action for you is to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Taking immediate action to detect and begin treatment on a soft tissue injury is of vital importance. Early detection and treatment can help keep a soft tissue injury confined and will help lessen the severity of symptoms. Even if you feel you have not suffered an injury, a professional opinion is always advised.
In some cases, it's hard to know at first who was ultimately responsible for an injury. For instance, if you are injured in a multi-car collision, you might not know exactly which driver was negligent, if anyone was. In some cases, negligence cannot be determined, and in others, it is all too apparent.
You may also wonder what you will be able to recover if you have been the victim of another person's negligence. You may worry about you car, whether it will impact your insurance rates, how you are going to manage while you are out of work and how you will pay the hospital and medical bills. Finding a good attorney will help ease your mind so that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries. There are many sources of recompense to pursue, and that is something your attorney will be able to do for you.
Yes, you certainly can, but will you know if you are getting a fair settlement? Most non-attorneys do not know all of the details involved in the "chain of responsibility" involved in personal injury cases, not do they know how to determine all of the responsible parties to the action. In a simple automobile accident, you may be eligible to collect damages for your vehicle, as well as for your time off work, injuries, medical bills, any damaged or destroyed equipment inside your car (electronics, etc.), and your medical bills.
As private citizens, we do not have the resources or the training to handle a motor vehicle collision case, especially if there has been an injury. Many injuries, even those that at first appear slight, have a long-term effect on our lives, and, in some cases, may cause us to be unable to continue in our work, thus impacting our families for a many years to come. A trained personal injury attorney knows how to address all of this. By representing yourself, you may get your immediate medical bills covered and get your car repaired, but may inadvertently sign away your rights to any future consideration die to another persons' negligence.
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