Injuries that occur in public places, such as restaurants, grocery stores, or shopping malls, are usually considered ‘accidents’. Slips, trips, falls, and other types of incidents are generally anything but an accident, but instead are the result of negligence on the behalf of the owner or operator of the store or facility.
Oftentimes, as soon as an injury is discovered or reported, businesses or organizations will be quick to apologize and are often eager to have you sign forms and incident statements releasing them from any liability. Under the circumstances, many people feel foolish and embarrassed, and are too quick to write the incident off as being the result of their own absentmindedness or clumsiness.
If you suffer a personal injury in a local business or organization, regardless of how small your injuries may appear, don’t sign anything and don’t accept any blame for causing the injury. Give yourself time to get the medical care you need, to assess exactly what happened, and what the potential long-term damages stemming from the incident might be.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
In the aftermath of an injury, if you don’t sign any type of form releasing the business or property owner from liability for your injury, they’ll likely refer the incident to their insurance company and you’ll find yourself dealing with an insurance claims adjuster. This person will ask you a number of questions related to how your injuries were caused and the circumstances surrounding them. Their job is to evaluate your claim, and determine if the insurance company will accept the claim, and if so, how much they will pay.
It’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney before making any statements to the insurance company. The main goal of the insurance company is to save themselves money, so if they can find a way to deny or dispute your claim, they will. Common ways insurance companies dispute claims include:
- Disputing or downplaying the extent of your injuries;
- Shifting blame for the causes of your injuries;
- Minimizing the amount of damages you’ve incurred; and
- Failing to include pain and suffering into the claim amount.
Insurance companies typically undervalue claims, and will try to get you to settle as quickly as possible, and for a much lower amount than your claim is actually worth.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
The best way to ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation that you’ll need to recover completely from your injuries and to compensate you for any lost wages or pain and suffering is by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney and filing a personal injury claim. By filing a claim against the business or organization responsible for your injuries, you’ll receive far more in damages than what an insurance company would lead you to believe your claim is worth. Claims for damages in personal injury cases often include:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses;
- Payment for medical treatments and rehabilitation you may need in the future;
- Reimbursement for lost wages, and potential future loss of income;
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress caused by your injuries;
- Loss of quality of life stemming from ongoing conditions; and
- Punitive damages, which is financial compensation meant to punish offending parties for willful and wanton disregard for public safety.
Contact a Portland Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury, before signing anything or speaking with the insurance company, contact an experienced Portland personal injury attorney immediately. At the Johnston Law Firm, we have the experience you need in handling personal injury cases, and will get you the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Call our Portland personal injury attorney today for a FREE consultation of your case.