How to Know If You Have a Strong Personal Injury Case
One of the first questions injury victims ask after they’ve been hurt by the negligence of another person is whether they have legal standing to file a personal injury claim. There are a number of factors to consider before one can determine if their case has merit or not. The very best way to know if you have a viable case or not is to seek out the advice of a legal professional. Thankfully most every personal injury law firm, especially The Advocates, offer free legal consultations to injury victims with no strings attached.
Before you speak with an attorney, however, it is helpful to know just what is needed to build a strong injury claim. Most skilled attorneys evaluate potential injury claims on the below criteria. This guide will help you understand the extent of your own damages and what type of settlement you may be entitled to in the future.
It’s no surprise that the most important aspect of any personal injury claim is that of injuries. Put simply, without injuries it’s highly doubtful any personal injury attorney will take your case. The same can be said if you only suffered relatively minor injuries, such as a scratch or minor bruises. If your injuries do no require medical treatment, either at the scene of the accident or later on at a doctor’s office, your claim likely isn’t worth pursuing in the eyes of an attorney.
However, if the accident did, in fact, cause you to suffer an injury requiring medical care, you very well might have standing to hire an attorney and file an injury claim. Even if you did not require immediate medical assistance after the accident, more minor injuries, such as whiplash or a concussion, may manifest in the subsequent days. The best thing you can do if you experience pain or discomfort following an accident is to seek out a medical evaluation as soon as possible. The longer you put off medical treatment, the more damage you do to your potential injury claim.
The Cause of the Accident
The next important details an attorney will want to know about are the circumstances which led to the accident and potentially caused your injuries. For example, if you were injured in an automotive crash, your injury claim will depend upon proving the accident directly resulted in the injuries you suffered. Injury claims can become complicated if you had a pre-existing condition before the accident, like chronic back or neck problems. The at-fault party’s insurance will almost certainly use your previous medical records against you in an attempt to dismiss your injuries on the basis that they were not caused by the accident. All too often, previously viable injury claims are dismissed on just such a basis.
Examples such as the one above are the very best reason to hire a skilled attorney to represent your best interests. Even a minor accident can present a number of legal complications which may prove to be too difficult for the average person to navigate successfully to a fair settlement. Fender-benders frequently cause serious injuries, such as fractures to the back and neck which require surgery, and insurance companies, in turn, have denied liability due to how seemingly minor the crash was based on the police report and available evidence.
Depending on the type of accident involved, liability can be tricky to nail down. If the accident is determined to be your fault then you are liable for the injuries and losses you have suffered. But if the other person or party is found to have been negligent, resulting in your injuries, then your personal injury claim has a much sturdier standing in the law’s eyes. Oftentimes, determining liability for an accident requires an in-depth investigation pertaining to the accident’s causes. A number of factors are typically considered in order to figure out exactly who, truly, is at fault.
Thankfully, when it comes to most automotive accidents, liability is determined by the police officer who arrives at the scene of the crash. Other types of personal injuries might not be as clear cut. For example, say a woman slips in a grocery store and hurts her back. In order to build the best injury claim possible, the woman must prove the grocery store violated their duty of care to keep her safe while she was visiting their store. In order to accomplish this, the woman must provide not only physical evidence supporting her liability claim, she must prove the financial cost she has suffered as a result of the grocery store’s negligence.
Physical and Financial Damages
In order to determine the damages caused by a personal injury, one must consider the types of damage recognized by the law. While some damages are easily defined, such as a wrecked vehicle, others are more difficult to quantify, like pain and suffering. Damages are typically categorized according to physical and financial damage caused to a victim.
Examples of physical damage are:
- Disability, both temporary and permanent
- Pain and suffering
- Facial or bodily scarring
- Loss of consortium (relationship loss caused by the personal injury)
- Psychological distress
Financial losses may include:
- Total medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Potential loss of income
- Household assistance (shopping, janitorial, landscaping)
Of course, in order to be fully compensated for the above damages actual evidence must be provided to a court of law. Medical bills, employment records, and witness testimony can help prove the true extent of damages caused.
One of the most important aspects involved in most any personal injury case regards the insurance policies involved. Some injury cases may involve multiple insurance policies while others may have only one or even no insurance at all. Unfortunately, in the latter instance, if there are no insurance policies to help compensate the victims then there is little legal options available.
A commercial vehicle accident case, such as one caused by a semi-truck, is a good example of an injury claim which may involve multiple insurance policies: the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, the contract company’s policy, the leasing company’s policy, etc. With so many policies involved, a personal injury case of this caliber can quickly grow complicated and difficult to manage without practiced legal experience. Even trying to understand your own health insurance can be difficult due to how opaque policies are written.
You Deserve an Advocate Attorney
If you’ve suffered a personal injury and are in need of legal assistance, you need more than just an ordinary lawyer. You want an Advocate attorney on your side. The Advocates Injury Attorneys know best how to properly value your particular case, build an air-tight injury claim, and negotiate maximum compensation for the injuries and losses you’ve suffered. With so much on the line, you need the best legal experts available to help you make the best recovery possible. You deserve an Advocate!