Demonstrative evidence can be far more compelling than written evidence in your personal injury case, both when dealing with a claims adjuster and, as a NH personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman emphasizes, especially if the claim goes to trial. In particular, photographic documentation of the injuries you sustained in the accident should be established from the beginning.
Evidence of the Initial Injury
After a crash, even when a person has suffered a permanent injury, over time superficial injuries often heal and no visible evidence will be present. Without photos, it can be argued by the defense that the injuries were not as severe as you have claimed. Cuts, bruises, and swelling help demonstrate the trauma you endured. Photographs are even more important if the area of the body that was injured is not typically visible while wearing normal clothing.
Evidence of Treatment
Creating a photographic record of the treatment and healing process is important as well. For instance, an experienced NH personal injury lawyer will recommend taking pictures of a cast while on, and immediately upon removal, which depicts not only the necessity of the cast but also the resultant atrophy and other potential scarring. Additionally, as an injured plaintiff, you have a duty to mitigate your damages, and a clear record that you actively pursued treatment shows good faith on your behalf.
Creating the Photographic Record
Depending on the nature of your injuries, your treating physician may take photos as part of your medical file. A plastic surgeon, for example, will likely have photos taken; similarly, most orthopedic surgeons use screen images taken during arthroscopy. In most instances, however, the best and most easily accomplished record is one you create yourself, or with the assistance of a relative or close friend. You need not be a professional photographer to create the record that will be helpful.
Contact a NH Personal Injury Lawyer for Legal Advice
The manner in which evidence is presented in a personal injury case can be a major factor in achieving a positive result in your claim. For questions at any stage of the proceedings in your case, contact an experienced NH personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 624-7200.
It is very common for a personal injury lawyer Manchester NH to encounter clients who have suffered from what is commonly thought of as “whiplash.” This type of injury, which might also be referred to as a cervical sprain/strain or a hyperextension injury, is considered the most common type of injury to the muscles and ligaments of the neck that occurs in a crash that forces a person’s head to “whip” back and forth. This type of injury is very common in automobile crashes, but it can also occur in slip and fall events, during a physical assault, or even in a sports-related injury. “Whiplash” is sometimes thought of as a negative term for these types of injuries. Many people associate the term with a non-serious injury. Unfortunately, these injuries can be very serious and lead to additional physical problems.
A whiplash can occur in any type of accident that causes the neck and head to move violently from back to front. Even a low speed or low impact car crash can cause this to occur. The most important thing to remember, as a personal injury lawyer Manchester NH at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC will explain, is that evidence of a whiplash occurring may not happen immediately. When a crash occurs, it is natural to assume that the headache and aches you are feeling are associated with the stress of the crash or will quickly pass. Many people do not even realize right away that their head was jerked back and forth so violently during impact. However, over the next few days following a crash, signs of a whiplash can occur. These symptoms may include:
- Headache that is dull and continual
- Stiff or sore neck
- Aching in the neck that is very dull but constant
- Dizziness and/or problems with concentration
- Problems with balance or feeling of motion sickness
- Problems with your memory
If these symptoms occur, you should see a medical specialist to have your neck examined and treated. These specialists may include a neurologist, a neck and back specialist, an orthopedic, or a chiropractor. Your neck and back will be carefully examined and a determination will be made as to what is causing your symptoms. Your medical care provider may require you to immobilize your neck with a brace, take medications, or attend physical therapy for your injury. It is very important that you comply with all medical advice and treatment plans so that you can maximize the chances that you will make a full recovery. In many cases, a person who suffered from a whiplash will experience relief within a few weeks, and make a full recovery in a few months. More severe cases may require extended medical care. Your personal injury lawyer Manchester NH at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC will also recommend that you seek any additional medical care necessary when you have received a neck or back injury of this manner. Whiplash may seem like a minor injury, but it can leave you very susceptible to additional neck and back injuries and other physical problems if left untreated.
Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer in Manchester NH About Your Case Today
If you have been injured in a crash that is the result of another person’s negligent actions, you are encouraged to call the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman PLLC. One of their attorneys will gladly look over the facts of your case and provide you with the next steps in seeking medical care and compensation. Call us at (603) 624-7200 to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers about your case.
NH Injury Lawyer: Make Staying Home Safer for Elderly Relatives and Friends
In 2013, there were 44.7 million Americans age 65 and older. As the baby boomer generation ages, that number will spike upwards to 56.4 million in 2020, 82.3 million in 2040 and 98.2 million in 2060. According to a NH injury lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, most baby boomers will live longer on average than previous generations, remain independent and age gracefully, which makes “aging in place” (living at home as long as possible) an attractive option. But several studies suggest that most homes are not designed to minimize safety risks for people over age 65.
Nearly everyone nearing retirement age will tell you they would prefer to live independently at home as long as possible, according to a recent survey by AARP. Many will get their wish, thanks to better health and longer life spans. And with the number of Americans aged 65-plus projected to double by 2050, there will be a growing number of older people living at home over the next three decades.
There are many benefits to living at home as we age, but there are safety risks as well, including falls, fires or accidental poisoning. If you care for an older relative or friend or are elderly yourself, you should know how to make a house as safe as possible for those living out their golden years at home.
One of the very first things that your Manchester personal injury lawyer will tell you about your case is to avoid giving a statement to the insurance adjuster without legal representation present. Insurance companies have learned that oral or written statements that are obtained without legal counsel are great tools for them to use to reduce the value of a claim or dismiss it all together.
It Is Really Just a Trick to Get an Early Settlement?
Insurance adjusters often want to close cases quickly. By moving fast, they can avoid paying out extensive medical bills and financial losses that the injury victim incurred. This protects their bottom line, regardless of whether it hurts the injured party. It is not unusual, as your Manchester personal injury lawyer will explain, for adjusters to start trying to schedule an interview with the injured party the day after the crash occurred. Some have even arrived in the hospital, trying to get statements from people who are under the influence of medication or still not fully cognizant from the crash. By getting a statement from you about your injuries, not just the facts of the case, so soon following the crash, the insurance company may be able to avoid having to pay for all of the medical treatment – in some cases this may prevent the injured party from receiving all the necessary medical care they need to recover from the injury.
The Interview Process
It has become more common for the initial interview to take place over the phone. The adjuster will state that they are recording the conversation and you must acknowledge this fact. Then, almost on que, the adjuster will begin asking a series of questions that you may find confusing. These statements can provide the adjuster with ample “evidence” they need to close the case quickly. The telephone interview has also become very popular with the insurance company because it does not require a review and signed statement. You simply “tell” the adjuster that everything you said was true and the recording is accepted as evidence. There is no proof of what has been recorded.
Why It Matters So Much to Wait to Give a Statement
One of the main reasons it is so important to wait to provide the insurance company with a statement is because you do not know the extent of your injuries immediately after they occur. What seems like a headache from the stress of the crash may actually be brain trauma. An upset stomach may not be your nerves, but something more serious. It is necessary to work with your doctor for several days, maybe even weeks, to determine the extent of your injuries so that you can receive the right type of care to make a recovery. Providing a statement to the insurer before a full evaluation has been made by your treating physician only provides benefits to the insurer, never to the injured party.
Speak to a Manchester Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Case Today
If you have been injured in any type of accident that was the result of the negligence of another person or business, you should speak to an attorney at the Law Offices of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. One of our experienced attorneys will review your case and explain your rights as an injury victim. Call (603) 624-7200 to schedule a free consultation about your case with a Manchester personal injury lawyer.
Even though the two parties are attempting to reach an agreement, the manner in which an insurer approaches a personal injury claim is far different than the way your personal injury lawyer in Manchester NH works.
It’s Not Always about the Money
Yes, insurance is a business, and insurers pay a great deal of attention to the bottom line, but there are circumstances under which a settlement will prove elusive. For example, many insurance companies will defend almost every case, even relatively small ones, so as to avoid acquiring a reputation as a company that is reticent to go to trial. Additionally, an experienced personal injury lawyer in Manchester NH often sees insurers spend more to fight a case than it would pay to settle where liability is at issue.
The Adjuster’s Preference to Close a File
Claims adjusters typically have a heavy case load, and they are under pressure to keep the pipeline moving by closing a certain number of cases on an ongoing basis. However, this does not mean an adjuster will overpay on a case merely to avoid litigation.
The Value of a Settlement Must Be Justified
Although many adjuster’s use the line, “I need authority,” as a delaying tactic, the reality is that every settlement will ultimately be reviewed by someone higher in authority. While every adjuster must manage his or her case files, no one is going to risk losing their job to close a case or avoid going to court.
Your Counsel’s Job
It is your lawyer’s task to gather evidence, present the facts in a logical and succinct manner and to demonstrate to the adjuster the true value of your case. Providing that sort of thorough presentation not only allows the adjuster grounds to approve a fair settlement, it also demonstrates your lawyer is ready to litigate the case if a fair settlement offer is not made.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Manchester NH for Legal Advice
An understanding of the stages a personal injury claim evolves through as well as the nature of the specific insurer are factors in achieving a positive result. For any questions in your case, call the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, a personal injury lawyer in Manchester NH, at (603) 624-7200.