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3 key questions to ask after suffering an injury

You're hurt, lying in your bed at the hospital, able to think of nothing more than your mounting bills with every day that you stay at the medical center. You're not sure what they're going to mean for your family, your children and your future.

You're also missing work, and you don't know what type of hit your career is going to take. Are you going to get back to work eventually? Will they still have a job for you? Is there a chance that the injuries are so bad that you won't work again?

This can be a time of confusion and frustration, and it's important to know about all of your legal options. To that end, here are three important questions to ask:

1. How long do you have?

If you're still in the hospital, you likely haven't waited too long to sue someone else, if you believe that person was responsible for the injuries. However, it's still important to know if there's a statute of limitations on your case and how long you have. Don't put it all off. If you wait, you could find out later that, while you had a valid case, there's no longer anything you can do.

2. Did that person really cause the injury?

Before suing someone, be sure you know if the injury was his or her fault. You have to be able to connect the dots between the action that caused the injury, the medical care that you got, and the bills you had to pay.

Remember, though, the person didn't have to have any intent to injure you. The whole thing could have been a mistake, a case of negligence accidentally leading to injury. Many are. Even in a case with no intent, the negligent person may be held responsible if he or she should have reasonably taken other actions to keep you from harm.

3. What type of compensation can you seek, and what is the potential value?

The answer here is wildly different from one case to the next, and it will depend on a host of factors. Obviously, a good place to start is with the wages you're losing while sitting in that hospital bed and the bills you're going to get once you get out. However, you may also need to consider things like rehabilitation, medications, pain and suffering, lost future wages, and much more. Be sure you at least consider all of your options and understand the potential behind your case.

As you wait for doctors to discharge you, don't let your situation become depressing and overwhelming. Channel your energy into asking the right questions and gathering information so that you fully understand your legal options.

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