We make you acquainted with the main criteria based on what a victim can determine whether he or she actually has a case.
Accidents, injuries and different types of property damage occur to all of us several times during our life. Sometimes these losses are the result of unfortunate events, while on other occasions they happen because of someone else's negligence or reckless behavior.
If somebody else is liable for the injuries and damages, victims have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. In the following we make you acquainted with the main criteria based on what a victim can determine whether he or she actually has a case. The four main issues based on what a person might be able to determine the possibility of a legal claim are the followings:
Liability refers to the basic criteria that in order to pursue a legal claim somebody else has to be responsible for your damages and injuries. For example, if another driver was driving under the influence of alcohol and ran into you, he is liable for the accident. If your airbag failed to open in case of a collision and you suffered serious injuries because of that, the airbag manufacturing company can be held responsible. If you felt in a supermarket due to a slippery floor, the owner of the shop or his employees can be held liable for negligence and inappropriate maintenance. In some cases, the liability is obvious while in other cases both parties might share it. However, liability has to be proven in order to have a valid legal claim.
Damages caused by the liability refers to the criteria that in order to have a case, the other person's negligence or recklessness must have caused you some sort of damages, injuries or property damage. For example, if you suffered physical injuries, from simple bruises or cuts to traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, you most likely have a case. It is also required to prove that the injuries resulted in financial losses. Otherwise, monetary compensation cannot be awarded. While most accidents result in physical injuries, some people are lucky enough to walk away from serious accidents unharmed. If that is the case, they cannot pursue a claim, no matter how negligent the liable party was.
The existence of a source of recovery is also essential. The liable party must have insurance or some kind of assets, or the victim must have uninsured motorist coverage in case of a motor vehicle accident. If there is no available source of recovery no matter how much compensation would a court award, there is no way of recovering it.
Another important detail victims of different accidents must consider is the statute of limitation. All personal injury claims must be filed within a certain amount of time after the accident. This period varies from a couple of months to several years depending on the state where the injury occurred and other circumstances. If plaintiffs fail to file a claim within this period, they will lose their legal rights to monetary compensation, no matter how severe the injuries were.
One important aspect that each person filing a lawsuit needs to take into consideration is preparing and gathering all the necessary information for supporting their claims. Evidence of your accident and injuries suffered represent a crucial aspect of winning a case. That's why the first thing we ask our clients to do is to collect all the relevant information related to their injuries or accidents. This includes medical bills, medical records, drugs, details about the company or the person(s) responsible for the prejudice. Medical devices or vehicles involved in an accident or injury must be prevented from being destroyed as they represent an important proof for the court.
Furthermore, to make sure that the case is properly documented, one should take photos or videotape the scene of the accident, and the unfortunate conditions resulted from it. Every piece of evidence and information should be carefully stored in a safe place. It is also very important to continue documenting every post-accident event that comes during the healing process or the victim's rehabilitation period, as they will help in settling the case fairly. During this period, we encourage the family of the plaintiff to always offer moral support to the victim in order to better overcome the tragedy and anguish that normally comes in these situations.
The above-provided information is general, and no personal injury victim should take legal action only based on it. As each case is different and involves a series of particular circumstances, plaintiffs are advised to contact an experienced attorney for an initial case evaluation and decide the course of action only after consulting with a specialist.