Do Injuries Need to Be Severe for a Personal Injury Case?
Often when someone is involved in an accident, one of the determining factors in whether or not to hire a personal injury lawyer is the actual severity of the injuries sustained. If the injuries are minor, back strain or bruises, those injured in an accident might think that they don't have a case. The truth of the matter is that the degree of severity of the accident and its resulting injuries is not the only factor when determining whether or not you have a case.Physical Pain and Suffering
Physical pain and suffering refers to actual wounds and injuries sustained to the body. This can be lacerations and broken bones or muscle strains and bruises. An important thing to remember is that physical pain and suffering can start immediately concurrently with the accident, or it can show up later. Muscle soreness and sprains are an example of some types of injuries that might have a later onset. Another example is any injury that one would suffer with for months, if not years.Mental Pain and Suffering
Mental pain and suffering covers a lot of ground, too. This can be minor effects, such as anxiety and shock from the accident itself, or it can be more severe. Some of the more severe side effects from an accident could be post-traumatic stress disorder or depression such that the person involved in the accident cannot even get out of bed. An important consideration is the fact that mental pain and suffering can be completely separate from physical pain and suffering. Someone can experience mental anguish and trauma without being injured at all.Determining Severity
Determining the severity of physical or mental injuries is not easy, and there is no hard and fast rule. Instead, judges and juries tend to look at the evidence of the affect these injuries have on the individual's life. You could have relatively simple injuries that affect your life significantly. In that type of case, you may have more of an expectation for significant damages. Other factors also contribute, and your attorney can help you to sort that information out as it relates directly to your case.
Even if you aren't sure that you were hurt badly enough to retain legal counsel, it is still a good idea to talk with a personal injury lawyer who has experience with these types of cases. You might be surprised at how your life can change because of one simple wreck or incident.