I tripped over an extension cord in a parking garage to a temporary pay counter that was not taped down etc. I fell directly on my knee cap and my 2 year old son whom i was holding in my arms bounced the back of his head on the concrete. we had to go to the emergency room, he was examined and diagnosed with "blunt force trauma to the head" and I was x-rayed and later diagnosed with damage to the tissue below my knee cap and received a bit of therapy. Beyond my medical expense the parking garage is asking me to outline "my damages above and beyond" my medical bills.I havent hired an attny and would prefer to just deal with these guys myself but I'm not sure what to tell them. I lost several days of work attending to my knee and my son, for about a week my baby was waking up almost every night with nightmares which continue now every once in a while (its been a few months). It's totally given me anxiety over my sons health, prohibited my ability to walk up and down my stairs in my house without pain etc etc... how do I quantify this stuff? what should i say re "pain and suffering? please help
Hi and welcome to JA
I'm sorry for the accident. I don't want you to think that I'm just trying to get business for a fellow lawyer, but your injuries and those of your son sound fairly serious. Your lawyer (if he/she is a good personal injury lawyer) will in the long run get you more money than if you handle it yourself since the adjuster wants to pay you as little as possible. If they HAVE paid your bills, the demand for more must be made by a personal injury specialist who has assessed the following:
1. Cost of past care. Even though they were paid, the case of someone who has bills of 10K has a case that has a more serious aura than a case of $1K in bills.
2. Cost of and need for future care.
3. Permanency of the injury, if any, AS ESTABLISHED IN A WRITTENREPORT FROM A MEDICAL SPECIALIST.
4. Reduction in life expectancy.
5. Reduction in work life expectancy.
6 The age and kind of work the injured person does.
7. Past and future work disability and lost wages.
8. Past and future pain and suffering.
9. Specific issues that apply to an injured child.
10. Fire any lawyer who gives you a value without taking these steps.
If you do want to get a second opinion and even change lawyers (one can do so at any time)............
You have to consult with an attorney in your state. This is not because I am a NY attorney, but as you can see from the language on the site here, it says that no attorney-client privilege exists and that you should contact a lawyer in your state forrepresentation. In other words, even if I were a lawyer in your state , the same rule applies.
To find an attorney, go online to Martindale.com. This is a nationwidedirectory we lawyers use ourselves to find highly qualified legal specialistsin various fields of law. These lawyers are NOT in Martindale because they paidto be included. They are there because they are rated as QUALIFIED by otherlawyers in their field of expertise and geographic area as it applies to yourkind of case. The process is this: other lawyers are asked to fill outquestionnaires giving their opinion of the quality of the work of the law firmthat ultimately appears in Martindale.The site is organized geographically and by legal specialty. Consult withtwo or three and select the one you are most comfortable with. The Martindale listing will have the names of current or past clients. Feel free to contact thoseclients as references for the firm.
So you really don't think I should try to deal with them directly. YOu feel a lawyer, whom I have not found yet, would be able to do more for me financially. My total medical bills were only about $1200. That said, I'm a single mom and the stress and worry that my son could have some long term damage is very concerning to me. Additionally I danced professionally for 5 1/2 years as a ballerina and teach ballet as a side job which i haven't been able to do much of. even with my physical therapy which was only a couple of sessions, and with the excursuses I was given to do on my own. I have no way of knowing at this point if there could be residual affects. I just didn't want to deal with the drama of hiring a lawyer, giving them 40% of whatever the company would offer me etc. as mentioned I'm a single mom and need every penny possible.
Everything you've said here makes me even more convinced you need a lawyer....concern about your son; your time and loss taking care of yourself and him; you have no way of knowing residual effects.etc. A lawyer will send you and your son to medical specialists to evaluate and write reports. An adjuster will pay you minimal amounts without those and the threat of litigation that a lawyer brings to the picture. Remember, the lawyer gets the percentage at the end of the case from the settlement. You don't have to pay the legal fee up front. That said, some lawyers want clients to pay, not legal fees, but filing fees, and other disbursements as the case goes on. In your case, explain your situation and only hire someone who will absorb those expenses until the end of the case.
Please, please, please don't handle this on your own. If you do it's like Daniel in the lion's den. I'm always here to help as an extra ear after you hire an attorney.
Let me know. I'm always here for you.rich
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