Personal injuries in Portland happen unexpectedly. You could be walking along city streets, shopping at your favorite stores, or simply driving home from work when, suddenly, the reckless and negligent actions of others put you at risk.
In the immediate aftermath, you may be tempted to downplay what happened and the extent of harm suffered. Unfortunately, this could leave you paying large amounts out-of-pocket. Our Portland personal injury lawyer explains why it is important to get medical care immediately, regardless of the seeming severity of your injuries, and how it impacts your rights in a claim.
Take Personal Injuries Seriously
According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), over 12,000 people in our area are injured due to car accidents each year. Thousands more suffer serious personal injuries in Portland due to bike or pedestrian accidents, slips and falls, or other common types of mishaps.
Accidents happen unexpectedly and few people automatically know how to handle the situation. It is common for victims to be in shock for several hours afterward, which could cause them to downplay the situation and the degree of harm they suffered.
Personal injuries typically happen due to negligence on the part of others, meaning they either took reckless actions that put you at risk or failed to take reasonable precautions. Take the situation seriously and follow these precautions to protect yourself:
- Report the accident immediately to the police, the property owner, or other authorities;
- Get names and contact information for everyone involved;
- Make sure an accident report is filed and provides details about how, when, and why it happened;
- Seek medical attention right away, regardless of the seeming severity of your injuries.
Serious Personal Injuries Often Have Subtle Symptoms
If you are involved in any type of accident, be aware of the proper procedures to follow in terms of getting medical care. The City of Portland advises calling 9-1-1 only in the event of a life-threatening emergency. Otherwise, seek care at your local hospital emergency room or in a freestanding urgent care clinic.
The important thing is to have an experienced medical professional assess your condition rather than make a diagnosis on your own. While the fact you suffered a broken bone or severe cuts may be immediately obvious, there are many potentially serious injuries that have symptoms that are subtle at first. This includes:
- Back and neck injuries: Pain anywhere in the back or neck may indicate damage to discs or vertebrae. This could end up resulting in long-term disabilities.
- Internal injuries: Bumps and blows to the abdomen can cause internal bleeding and damage to body organs. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms appear, it may be too late to help the victim.
- Head injuries: Any time a head injury is suspected, seek medical care right away. These injuries can be life-threatening and often leave victims suffering permanent physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments.
- Spinal injuries: Movement on the part of spinal injury victims increases the risk of additional damage and permanent paralysis.
Medical Records Play An Important Role In Your Portland Personal Injury Claim
Under the Oregon Revised Statutes, you have the right to hold others responsible when you suffer personal injuries due to their negligence. They can be held liable for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs you incur. Medical records play a vital role in filing a Portland personal injury claim.
When dealing with insurers or filing a personal injury lawsuit through the civil court, you will need to prove you suffered actual harm as a result of the other party’s behavior. Medical records provide the following:
- A firm diagnosis of your condition;
- An explanation of how it impacts your ability to work or engage in other activities;
- Any current and future medical care you are likely to require;
- Your prognosis for recovery and whether you are likely to suffer permanent impairments.
For Trusted Legal Guidance In Filing A Claim, Contact Our Portland Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injuries in Portland have the potential to impact your health and finances for years into the future. Avoid downplaying the situation and get the medical care you need. Unfortunately, not doing so could jeopardize your rights in filing a claim.
At Johnston Law Firm, we provide the trusted legal guidance you need during this difficult time and help you get the maximum compensation you are entitled to. To request a consultation with our Portland personal injury lawyer, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our office online today.