Can I Make a Personal Injury Claim if My Injuries Are Not Serious?

5 mins READ
Get a free consultation Call us About us

Can I Make a Personal Injury Claim if My Injuries Are Not Serious?

Handling the aftermath of an accident can be challenging, particularly when your injuries appear minor. Many people mistakenly believe that only severe injuries warrant a personal injury claim. However, soft tissue injuries can still lead to considerable pain, interfere with your daily routine, and affect your work performance. At Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, we are committed to helping you comprehend your rights and the possibilities available for filing a claim after an accident for both catastrophic and minor injuries.

Definition of Terms

What Qualifies as a ‘Not Serious’ Injury?

In the context of personal injury claims, ‘not serious’ injuries often refer to conditions that may not appear catastrophic but still cause discomfort and disruption. Examples include soft tissue injuries like whiplash, minor burns, sprains, and strains. Despite their classification as minor, these injuries can lead to substantial pain and suffering. It’s important to note that even these less severe injuries can have long-term impact on your health and well-being. Many of these injuries can require on-going physical therapy which not only has a financial impact but also requires time out of your daily life.

What is a personal injury claim?

A personal injury claim is a legal process through which an injured party seeks compensation for damages caused by another party’s negligence. This compensation can include coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated costs. Filing a claim helps you recover financial losses, compensation for your pain, suffering, and inconvenience, and holds the responsible party accountable for their actions.

Eligibility for Claiming Compensation

Can I still receive compensation for minor injuries?

Yes, you can. To file a personal injury claim for minor injuries, you must demonstrate that the injury resulted from someone else’s negligence and evidence how the injury has impacted your life. This includes medical records for treating your injuries resulting from the accident as well as showing how the injury has affected your ability to perform daily activities and work-related tasks. Even if the injury does not require extensive medical treatment, you are entitled to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and inconvenience caused by the accident.

Examples of minor injuries that qualify:

  • Whiplash from a car accident
  • Minor burns from a defective product
  • Puncture wounds or rabies shots from a dog bite
  • Sprains and strains from a slip and fall
  • Soft tissue injuries from a bike accident
  • Cuts and bruises from a pedestrian accident

The Claims Process

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Seek medical advice: Consult a healthcare professional to document your injuries. Proper medical documentation is crucial for supporting your claim. It’s also important to get medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident.
  2. Report the incident: Notify the appropriate parties about the accident. This includes animal control for a dog bite, the property owner or manager for a slip and fall, and the appropriate police department for an auto accident.
  3. Gather evidence: Collect medical reports, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation such as a car accident report. Photographs of the injury and the accident scene can serve as evidence.
  4. Contact a lawyer: Seek legal advice to evaluate your claim’s potential. A accident lawyer can navigate the legal process and advocate for you to obtain fair compensation.

Documentation needed:

  • Medical reports detailing your injuries
  • Witness statements
  • Incident reports and photographs
  • Receipts for medical treatments and related expenses
  • Evidence of lost wages due to time off work

Legal Considerations

How long do I have to file a claim for a minor injury?

The statute of limitations varies by state. In Virginia, you typically have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim. It’s important to act promptly to ensure that your claim is filed within this timeframe.

Role of negligence:

Proving negligence is vital in a personal injury claim. Even for minor injuries, you need to show that the other party’s actions directly led to your injuries. This requires demonstrating that the other party had a duty of care, failed to fulfill that duty, and consequently caused your injuries. Understanding the cause of the injury and how it occurred can be crucial in proving negligence.

Pure contributory negligence rule:

Virginia follows the pure contributory rule, which means that if you are found to be even slightly at fault for the accident, you may be barred from receiving any compensation. This makes it even more important to clearly establish the other party’s negligence and to have an experienced accident attorney on your side.

Possible Compensation

Types of damages:

  • Medical expenses (including the entire bill, not just out-of-pocket costs)
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Other related expenses

How is compensation calculated?

Compensation is influenced by factors such as the severity of the injury, recovery time, and the impact on your quality of life. For instance, if an injury prevents you from performing your job or daily activities, this will be taken into account when calculating damages. Additionally, pain and suffering are considered, which can be more subjective but equally important.

When to Hire a Lawyer

Advice on legal assistance:

Although minor injury claims might appear straightforward, consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help ensure you receive fair compensation. A lawyer can help navigate proving negligence and accurately calculating damages. Consider visiting our personal injury services page for more information.

Self-representation vs. professional help:

Handling your claim independently might save legal fees, but it also carries the risk of underestimating your claim’s value. Insurance companies will do everything in their power to minimize the amount they pay for your injury claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your injury claim can provide you with the option to file a lawsuit should the insurance company not offer sufficient compensation for your injuries and other damages. Professional legal assistance will also maximize your compensation and provide peace of mind. A good accident attorney can typically recover 3.5 times more than those handling their injury claim themselves.

Real Life Example

Client was making a purchase at a gas station and tripped over a “buckled rug”. The client suffered a sprained shoulder and hip strain that required months of physical therapy and lost time from work. The injuries also prevented our client from doing things she enjoyed such as exercising and playing basketball with her son. While the injuries may seem minor, their impact disrupted our client’s life for six months. At first, the gas station’s insurance company offered our client an amount that didn’t even cover half of her medical bills, but with representation we were able to get her compensation that covered her medical bills, lost time from work, and for her pain, suffering, and inconvenience.

Our firm had another client that had a slip and fall incident at a local grocery store.  Several grapes were on the floor in the produce section that our client did not see. When he stepped on one, he slipped and fell, injuring his hip, lower back, and tail bone. While thankfully he didn’t break any bones during the fall, he did require initial medical treatment including x-rays followed by several follow up appointments with his PCP and required physical therapy. The insurance company for the grocery store at first denied negligence but after our team obtained a witness testimony from another shopper that saw the fall and the grapes on the floor, accepted liability and paid our client proper compensation for his medical bills and pain and suffering.

Minor injuries can still warrant a personal injury claim if they result from another party’s negligence and impact your life. Understanding the claims process, the legal considerations, and the potential compensation is crucial.

If you’ve sustained an injury, even if considered minor, from the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. Reach out to our experienced personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation. You pay nothing until we recover money on your behalf so you have nothing to lose.  Visit us at Huffman & Huffman to the conversation started today!



Related Posts

  • businesswoman handshake to seal a deal judge
    Personal Injury
    4 mins READ

    How Do Personal Injury Law Firm Contingency Fee Contracts Work?

    Contingency fee contracts are a common arrangement in personal injury cases, allowing clients to pursue justice without upfront costs. These agreements enable clients to hire an attorney without paying fees unless they win their case, ensuring that legal representation is available to those who may not have the financial resources to pay out of pocket....
    Read More  
  • business woman in car listening carefully to someone
    Personal Injury
    3 mins READ

    How Distracted Driving Affects Personal Injury Cases

    Distracted driving is a major cause of catastrophic injuries on roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of lives are lost annually due to driver distractions. Distracted driving is a pervasive problem that affects drivers of all ages, and includes any activity that diverts attention from driving, increasing the likelihood of accidents....
    Read More  
  • business-asian-people-and-lawyers-businessman-and-2023-11-27-05-34-55-utc
    Personal Injury
    4 mins READ

    How Free Consultations Work and Their Value in Personal Injury Cases

    Have you recently experienced an accident due to someone else’s carelessness and are considering legal action or seeking guidance on your rights? Or have you suffered injuries though no fault of your own and are exploring your legal options? Consider booking a free legal consultation with a personal injury law firm. Read more to understand...
    Read More