Serious Injury Attorneys

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Tulsa Serious Injury Attorneys

Serious injuries can occur in a variety of ways through no fault of the injured party, and the rehabilitation process can be lengthy. In addition to the physical and mental pain caused by the injuries, there is the added burden of figuring out how to pay all of the medical bills, related medical expenses, lost time for work, and support their family during this time. Due to the numerous elements involved in personal injury law, actions to recover damages for serious injuries are frequently quite challenging.

It does not matter what limitations a serious injury has placed on one’s life. Whether it prevents a person from work, engaging in specific activities, or simple life enjoyment, as long as there were serious injuries sustained and some damages incurred, a person has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.

What is Considered a Serious Injury?

Oklahoma statute §47-11-90 terms serious injury as “great bodily injury” and defines it as “bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”

Serious injuries are similar to typical bodily injuries; however, it is far more severe. A serious injury usually entails a significant danger of death, visible disfigurement, and/or the loss or impairment of the function of a body part, limb, or organ. It entails much more than a tiny or superficial wound.

To include severe injuries in a lawsuit, generally, they must result in long-term incapacity and/or disfigurement. Additionally, they could be permanent and necessitate one or more procedures. Often, a long rehabilitation procedure is required, and the individual may never entirely recover.

A person who experiences a significant or catastrophic injury may be unable to return to work in their chosen profession for a long time, if ever. The individual’s quality of life is typically affected as a result of the injury, as they are no longer able to accomplish things they once could. Some people may never be able to work again, while others may be forced to take a lower-paying position because they cannot handle the responsibilities of their previous career. While most people associate “serious” with physical injuries, “serious” can also refer to severe brain injuries that result in mental impairment.

Types of Serious Injuries

Serious injuries may be straightforward to diagnose, while others necessitate a doctor’s qualified medical assessment. Diagnostic testing and record of therapy progress can assist a clinician in determining whether or not an injury is a serious injury under Oklahoma law.

Typically, under the legal definition, the following classification of injuries will be deemed a serious injury:

  • Death
  • Disfigurement
  • Dismemberment
  • Fractured bones
  • Limitation or total loss of a body function or system
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Loss of an organ or permanent loss in function of an organ
  • Non-permanent injuries that affect the quality of life or daily activities like work
  • Permanent limitation on the use of an organ

Injuries can occur in a multitude of ways, and serious injuries can come in many forms depending on how they were caused. A serious injury can be a severe back injury that causes lifelong issues. It can also be a broken bone or torn ligament that requires multiple surgeries and rehabilitation to mend. Each accident and each serious injury is different and will require different attention both medically and legally.

It is important to keep diligent records of all injuries and all expenses incurred from any injuries sustained in an accident. Regardless of who is at fault for the accident and how serious a person may think their injuries are, any evidence can help support a personal injury claim for a serious injury and assist in gaining the compensation needed for recovery.

How Do Serious Injuries Occur?

Accidents or acts of aggression can result in serious injuries, which can happen at home, at work, or at leisure. They can be caused by blunt instruments striking the body or by objects penetrating the body. Head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, joint dislocations, torn ligaments, disfigurement, and paralysis are all common examples of serious injuries.

Serious injuries can happen at any time of the day, any day of the week. Auto accidents are the number one cause of serious injuries. Additional scenarios where a serious accident can occur include but are not limited to:

  • Workplace accidents like using heavy machinery, trip and fall incidents, overuse injuries, and back injuries from lifting objects can all cause serious injury to the body.
  • Motor vehicle accidents, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, or even bicycle accidents, can lead to serious injuries.
  • Exposure incidents to chemicals or poisons either in the workplace or in the general public can also cause a serious, life-threatening injury.

Additional factors can lead to the development of serious injuries. Those that have inherent workplace hazards are more likely to face serious injuries on a daily basis. Moreover, age, health impairments, failure to follow safety guidelines and instructions, vision issues, and hearing issues will also have an impact on one’s propensity to suffer a serious injury.

Who can be liable for Serious Injuries?

The party liable for a serious injury will depend on how the serious injury occurred. There are instances, more common than one may think, where multiple people can be found responsible for an accident victim’s injuries. Additionally, even if one is partly at fault for their injuries, there are still options for recompense.

When serious injuries are sustained through the fault of someone else, it is possible to recover damages for the injuries and related expenses by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Liability in a car accident: Proving fault in an accident can sometimes be easy, especially when the other party admits to their wrongdoings. However, there are instances where the parties disagree on who was at fault and require further investigation. A police report, accident pictures, eye-witness testimony, and expert witnesses (accident reconstructionists) can all help prove fault when liability is in question. The other driver, a third party, or a manufacturer can all bear liability in a car accident.

Premises liability: The owner or occupier of a property is held liable for certain accidents and injuries that occur on the property. A prime example of an owner’s responsibility is when a person is injured at a supermarket when hazards have not been properly secured or marked. When a serious injury is sustained at a store where the owner owes a duty to the shopper, they will be held liable for the victim’s injuries.

Product liability: In product liability, regardless of the defendant’s intent, a defendant is responsible if the plaintiff establishes that the product is defective and caused them serious injuries. It makes no difference whether the manufacturer or supplier exercised caution and great care; if the product has a defect that causes serious injury, he or she will be held liable.

Establishing Negligence in a Serious Injury Case

Negligence is defined as the failure to conduct oneself with the level of caution that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. When there is a duty to act (for example, a duty to assist accident victims of one’s previous actions or drive with proper caution and obedience to the rules of the road), then there is a duty of care that must be given to those around us. If one fails that duty, they are deemed to be negligent.

Ensuring success in a personal injury case involves proving four elements of negligence. The following are the elements of negligence that must be present in order to succeed in a personal injury lawsuit.

  • The defendant must have had a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  • The defendant must have violated the plaintiff’s duty of care through a breach.
  • The plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach.
  • There were some injuries or damages sustained from the defendant’s breach (economic or noneconomic loss).

Every serious injury case is unique and must be examined carefully. Personal injury lawyers have the experience necessary to investigate these claims and find the evidence needed to prove the elements of negligence. In order to bring a successful case, each aspect must be met.

Other than injury, proving that the defendant owes the plaintiff a duty of care is usually the easiest factor to establish. If a relationship has been developed, there is almost certainly an obligation due (drivers to other drivers, employer to employee, caretakers to the elderly, nanny to a child etc.).

Courts frequently utilize the Hand Formula to evaluate whether a defendant has breached a duty. The person who bears the expense of precautions will be held accountable if the cost of safeguards is less than the risk of injury multiplied by the severity of any resulting injury.

To demonstrate injury, one of two things must occur: (1) bodily harm or (2) harm to one’s property. Economic loss alone will not suffice to meet the burden of proof for the harm element.

Finally, demonstrating that losses have occurred. This usually occurs in conjunction with an injury. If you can show the injury, you’ll almost certainly have to pay damages to make the plaintiff whole again—whether it’s for serious injury or property restoration or replacement.

Damages for a Serious Injury Claim

A serious injury victim might seek financial compensation for their damages by hiring a personal injury lawyer. Legal difficulties in serious injury situations can be quite complicated. A serious injury lawyer will also need to figure out how much money one has lost due to the serious injuries sustained in an accident. This will assist the attorney in seeking damages to compensate the plaintiff for their losses. Serious injuries can affect each person differently and also vary in severity and cost. Some costs can be quite substantial and last throughout a person’s entire life.

In any situation, an experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney will need to determine a wide range of expenses to gain compensation in a lawsuit. For serious injury cases, damages can include items like:

  • Future medical costs
  • Lost companionship
  • Lost future earning potential
  • Lost income and lost wages (current and future)
  • Medical bills and related medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation costs

Depending on the facts of the case, a serious injury victim may be qualified to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages exceed normal compensation in personal injury cases and are awarded to punish the wrongdoer. Punitive damages may be available if the at-fault party was grossly negligent or behaved maliciously in causing the serious injuries.

What if the Serious Injury Occurred While at Work?

When an employee is seriously injured at work, they are unable to sue their employer for compensation. The workers’ compensation system is designed to compensate loss benefits, medical bills and expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other benefits to people who have sustained a serious workplace injury. Workers’ compensation serves two purposes: it ensures that employees receive benefits in the event of a serious injury, and it protects employers from being sued if a worker is injured while on the job.

Even though one cannot bring a lawsuit against their employer for serious injuries sustained at work, there are other alternatives to gain compensation for the injuries sustained. The most common practices available for injured workers are:

  • Social Security Disability:
  • Workers’ Compensation Benefits: Employees who are seriously injured as a result of an accident that occurs during the course of their employment are entitled to medical care and monetary compensation under workers’ compensation benefits. For a serious injury, workers’ compensation is the only option, which means you cannot sue your employer any under the circumstances.

A worker may be eligible for both workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability benefits if he or she gets injured on the job. To get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) compensation for a work-related serious injury, one must show that their symptoms preclude them from returning to any job they have held in the previous 15 years. Employees may also need to demonstrate that they are unable to perform additional activities or employment, depending on their age, education, and work experience. It is easier to qualify for SSDI or SSI if an employee is 50 or older.

Serious Injury Statistics

Most serious injuries do occur through negligence, which means they are deemed unintentional serious injuries, and the CDC has reported on accidental and unintentional injuries each year:

  • Most recent findings reported that there were 24.8 million physician visits in the United States for unintentional injuries.
  • There were 97.9 million emergency room visits for unintentional injuries, as well.
  • Unintentional or accidental injuries were the 4th leading cause of death in the United States in the latest reported year and were responsible for 200,955 fatalities .
  • Accidental slip and falls accounted for 42,114 deaths.
  • Chemical and accidental poisoning deaths reached 87,404 in a recent CDC report.

According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), “falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls.”

The Association for Safe International Road Travel has found that “approximately 1.35 million people die in road crashes each year [and] an additional 20-50 million suffer non-fatal injuries, often resulting in long-term disabilities.”

Findings from the Insurance Information Institute stated that there are roughly 80,000+ motorcycle injuries each year, most of which result in some form of serious bodily injury.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.8 million workplace injuries were reported in the latest reporting year and over 25% of these injuries caused workers to miss a substantial amount of time at work and face lasting effects from the injuries.

Hiring an Oklahoma Serious Injury Attorney

Choosing the correct personal injury law firm can mean the difference between receiving the fair compensation and damages an injury victim deserves or walking away with nothing and a mountain of debt.

An experienced Tulsa personal injury lawyer will be able to help with all aspects of an insurance claim and dealing with insurance companies and insurance adjusters, as well as filing a personal injury lawsuit. If the injured party does not get the compensation they wanted through filing a claim with the insurance companies, then seeking more extensive legal measures will likely be necessary. No one should face the legal system on their own, especially after sustaining serious injuries.

A Tulsa serious injury attorney will be able to collect any evidence necessary to bring a lawsuit against the culpable party or parties. Additionally, if liability is a question, a personal injury lawyer will be able to prove liability and bring a claim for negligence.

Contact the Tulsa Serious Injury Attorneys at Grave McLain Law Firm

Graves McLain Tulsa Personal Injury attorneys in Oklahoma can be reached at 1-800-390-6600, through email, or by requesting a free consultation online. An expert attorney will analyze your situation in a free case evaluation. Trust our team; we are here to assist you.

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    My orthopedic doctor recommended Graves McLain, PLLC, to me following the need for revision hip surgery due to a hip from Stryker that was putting poison into my system. The doctor took care of the hip, and Graves McLain, PLLC, took care of the legal case. They were very thorough, professional, courteous, and always ready to answer the questions I had throughout the length of the case. In a word, the entire office is fantastic. I’m sure they were tired of my inquiries on the case’s progress, but they did not show it. They were always willing to respond and were very positive. If I ever have a claim in the future, they will be the first group to whom I reach out.

    Robert S.
    Submitted April 1st, 2022
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    I have been working with chad McLain for two years. He has helped me get my case resolved in a professional, compassionate, and very smooth way. I wasn’t just a number in this lawsuit which included many others. This firm has made me feel like I was the only one. Amy Cox has also been amazing. She was always so very kind each time I contacted her with questions. Her character shines through, and I’m so thankful she was there for me. I would definitely suggest that anyone who might need a lawyer for a medical lawsuit to choose Graves McLain law firm.

    Kim C.
    Submitted March 31st, 2022
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    Alyssia H.
    Submitted March 7th, 2022
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    Submitted March 1st, 2022
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    I had 10/10 experience with Rachel and the team from Grave’s McLain. I had been feeling overwhelmed with medical bills from a car accident that wasn’t my fault, and the long list of things that had to be done that I had to figure out how to do myself. They put my mind at ease and handled everything perfectly. I’ll definitely use them again if the time comes!

    Graci W.
    Submitted January 10th, 2022
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    Larry N.
    Submitted January 4th, 2022
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    I am extremely pleased with how my case was handled at Graves McLain. I hired Chad after fighting with the insurance company for over a year. Feeling defeated and overwhelmed with medical bills, once my case was handled by my attorney, I felt at ease. Chad and his team were very responsive and kind. They answered all my questions and even helped me figure out lost wages based on a commission rate of pay. He was able to get maximum compensation and now I can get back to my life! I would 100% recommend Graves McLain time and time again.

    Aubrey P.
    Submitted January 3rd, 2022
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    My case just settled and I want to thank Rachel Gussman, Janet, Sonia, Emily, Amy, and Margo. This process was definitely a team effort. When I was involved in a car accident last year, I turned to my friend Rachel for guidance. I was thoroughly impressed with their skills, office staff professionalism and friendliness, communication, and of course, the end results. I highly recommend Graves McLain.

    Kimberly M.
    OKSubmitted December 22nd, 2021
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    My experience with Graves McLain was first and foremost a top notch experience from beginning to end. Their expertise and professionalism was impressive and thorough. I was completely satisfied with their efforts. In two years I had not one but two accidents . They handled both so that I didn’t become a victim again by the insurance company. I’m satisfied and happy with their handling of both suits. I would highly recommend them if you find yourself a victim of an accident.

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    Ken T.
    Submitted December 14th, 2021
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    Submitted December 14th, 2021

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