If you’ve been injured in a car accident, truck accident or other personal injury matter, you may be wondering what the next steps are. As personal injury lawyers, we are trained to look for certain factors in determining how effective we can be in getting to a successful outcome with a personal injury claim. In general, there are three essential elements for any successful personal injury claim. Having these elements does not guarantee success in your case, but if any of them is missing, then it is likely that your personal injury claim will fail. Initially, a personal injury claim starts when you or a loved one are hurt in some type of an accident that wasn’t your fault. Another person was responsible and, therefore, you are thinking of filing a lawsuit to protect your rights and obtain justice. Before you do, however, you should seek the advice of an experienced personal attorney. He/she will review your case looking at the following three elements, among other things. Then, and only then, can they determine whether or not you have a good chance of success with your personal injury claim. However, in general, you want to be aware of the following three factors:
- SOMEONE HAS TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR INJURIES.
Put simply, someone else must be found liable for your injuries. How much of this responsibility is necessary to prevail will depend in large measure on the State law of the State where the accident occured. This entity can be a person, a business, or your employer. These entities had to violate the law which breaches a duty they owed to you. For example, a person runs a red light hitting your vehicle or your employer removes a guard from a machine causing injury to your hand. Even a business may owe you a duty if you slip and fall in its store. Proving this duty can be difficult in court, but skilled and experienced personal injury lawyers can help immensely.
- YOU MUST BE INJURED BY THE ENTITY OR PERSON
Often you are involved in an accident but are not hurt. Without this element, you cannot recover financial damages. There must be proven injuries and damages. Even soft tissue injuries can be compensated as long as they do not predate the accident and are causally related to the accident at hand. The following types of injuries and damages are compensable:
- Wrongful death damages
- Both physical and mental impairment
- Medical expenses
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Wage loss
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pre and post judgement interest
- Loss of consortium
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Will the entity or person who injured you be able to pay your claim? Even if you prove your case in court, uncollectibility will end the matter. Most often when the defendant has no insurance or assets, bankruptcy is filed – which may result in a discharge of the debt and net you nothing. A court’s judgement must also be enforced to be collectible. You must initially determine whether the entity or person has insurance or personal assets that are collectible. It does not make sense to file the claim if the entity is incollectable, explain the lawyers at Sawan & Sawan. There are costs to pursue the case which is your responsibility.
As you can see, an experienced personal injury attorney will discuss your case using these three common elements to provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.