The road to recovery for a Norfolk personal injury victim can be weeks, months, or even years. In some cases, a full recovery simply is not possible. If you were injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you are entitled to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault party. However, accepting a settlement offer before you have reached maximum medical improvement could mean that you will not obtain enough compensation to cover the full extent of your losses. An experienced Norfolk personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help ensure that you are not pressured into accepting a lowball settlement before you have healed as much as medically possible and the true value of your claim has been established. Call us today to schedule a free case review.
What is Maximum Medical Improvement?
A personal injury is any injury resulting from another person’s negligent actions. In other words, someone either failed to take reasonable precautions to ensure your safety or acted in a reckless manner. After experiencing a personal injury, it is crucial to seek medical attention right away, no matter how mild you think your injury may be. A physician will diagnose your injuries and, after continued treatment and care, decide when you have attained maximum medical improvement.
As a personal injury term, maximum medical improvement means that any medical problems you are still experiencing from this point on will probably be permanent. The National Institute of Health states that any form of unintentional injury has the potential to impact a victim’s health and well-being for years, and some injuries come with a greater risk of permanent medical impairment, such as:
- Soft tissue injuries, including tendon sprains, muscle tears, bruising, and strains
- Complex fractures can take several years before the bones properly fuse together and are fully healed
- Brain and head injuries can lead to long-term or permanent cognitive, mental, and physical impairments
- Injuries to the spinal cord can result in full or partial paralysis
Settling A Personal Injury Claim Too Quickly
Insurance companies are well aware that in the days immediately following an accident, victims are overwhelmed, traumatized, and easily manipulated into accepting a settlement offer just to move on with their lives. Most are also under serious financial constraints due to a growing pile of hospital bills combined with lost wages from being unable to work. Despite all this, accepting a settlement before you achieve maximum medical improvement can jeopardize your rights and can leave you covering accident-related expenses for many years to come.
Due to this, Virginia law gives accident victims two years to bring a personal injury claim. This allows your doctors and other medical specialists enough time to determine:
- The full severity and degree of your injuries
- Any testing or treatments you might need in the future
- The likelihood of any permanent disabilities
- How all of these things might affect your ability to work and earn a living
Bear in mind that once you accept a settlement offer, your claim is resolved and you will not be entitled to any additional compensation.
All We Do Is Injury Law
If you have been the victim of a personal injury accident in Norfolk, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for reliable legal advice. We can make sure you do not accept a settlement offer that is less than you deserve. As was the case for this golfer for whom we ultimately recovered $442,000 in a premises liability lawsuit. Schedule your free consultation today so we can discuss your case.