Personal injuries are shockingly common in the US nowadays. Need proof? There are almost 40 million physician office visits every year as a result of unintentional injuries!
It’s natural to want justice in the aftermath of these incidents. After all, you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, racked up expensive medical bills, and suffered myriad negative knock-on effects thereafter. The good news is that our legal system makes it possible to hold guilty parties accountable.
But the bad news is that not all PI cases are made equal! To have a viable personal injury case, it’s imperative that your predicament fulfills certain criteria.
Were you injured on the job and want to know if you’re entitled to compensation? Well, you’re in the right place! Keep reading to discover how to tell if you have a legitimate case.
You Experienced an Injury
The very first box to tick in this investigation is whether you were actually injured. It sounds basic, but this is central to your case! Likewise, it’s amazing how many people pursue PI cases despite the fact they never came to any physical harm.
Imagine being a delivery driver for a company and suffering a near-miss with another truck at the warehouse. You might be scared, shook up, and anxious about returning to work. But that, in and of itself, wouldn’t be sufficient to have a personal injury case.
Now picture a situation where that truck hit and broke your leg. To make matters worse, your employer didn’t provide any personal protective equipment (such as a high-vis jacket). The fact you had an injury means you’d have a possible case to take to a personal injury lawyer.
The Injury Involves Negligence
In simple terms, negligence is when someone doesn’t act in line with the standard of care that’s expected of them. It’s the pharmacist who signs the wrong prescription, the carer who administers the wrong medication, or the doctor who misdiagnoses the condition. Outside the medical world, negligence might involve a driver who fails to stop at a red light, or a factory manager who doesn’t allocate their employees the requisite PPE.
This is a crucial definition when it comes to PI law. Why? Because another basic requirement is that someone’s negligence caused the injuries in question.
Think back to the example in our previous point. That delivery driver’s case isn’t just strong because of their workplace injury. It’s solid because their injuries are likely to have occurred due to the employer’s negligence (i.e. they weren’t given a high-vis jacket).
Keep that in mind as you reflect on your predicament. Was the accident (and the injuries that followed) a direct outcome of negligence? If so, then your personal injury lawsuit is more likely to be viable.
Those Injuries Led to Damages
Another core factor that comes into play here is the matter of money. Or, to be more precise, compensatory damages. In other words, did the injuries you experienced due to negligence lead to things like:
- Longstanding physical pain,
- Emotional suffering,
- Expensive medical bills, and
- The inability to work (and the ensuing loss of wages)?
If you answered “yes” to any or all of the above, then you’re one step closer to having a watertight personal injury case. After all, you haven’t just had to suffer through physical trauma. You’ve suffered ongoing financial and mental distress ever since it happened; to top it all off, none of it was your fault!
Take your case to court and it’s these compensatory damages for which you could/should be remunerated. However, the extent of that compensation often hinges on one thing: evidence. Read the next section to find out more.
You Have Evidence
Anyone can say they’ve suffered physical harm because of negligence and were put in a challenging financial situation as a result. Yet those injury claims would never constitute a solid PI case in the absence of hard evidence! To put it another way, you need proof that what you’re saying is true.
Furthermore, the more evidence you have to substantiate your claims, the better.
Think back to the poor delivery driver who was hit by a truck at work. The collision broke their leg, which required extensive treatment at the hospital, and forced them out of work for months while it recovered.
In this situation, they’d have medical records from the doctor/surgeon that detailed the extent of the injury. They might also have records from a physiotherapist. Maybe they took photos at the scene as well, kept a written record of their recovery, and even acquired CCTV footage of the event itself.
All of this evidence would stack up and bolster their case. They’d be able to prove their statements and challenge any refutations from the insurance company in the process.
You Speak to a PI Attorney
Want to know the most effective way to tell if you have a personal injury case? Consult a personal injury attorney. Trust us, no matter how many helpful resources on personal injury claims you read, there’s no replacement for talking face to face with a trained PI lawyer.
Tell them your story and they’ll let you immediately whether or not you have a viable case. Better still, they’ll explain your chances of winning! Then, depending on how you feel about the attorney in question, you can hire them to take it on and fight in your corner.
Time to Pursue Your Personal Injury Case
Vast numbers of innocent Americans are impacted by personal injuries every year. Are you one of them? Well, you’re sure to want justice; to hold the guilty party accountable, and receive the damages to which you’re entitled.
Before you can embark on legal proceedings, though, it’s imperative to assess the strength of your personal injury case. With any luck, the insights in this article will help you do exactly that. Want to learn more about the process of filing a PI claim?
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