Taking Legal Action after an Accident or Injury

Do I have a case?

It can be difficult to ascertain whether you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against another person or a company. There are numerous factors that should be taken into account, including the specific cause of the incident, whether you have suffered quantifiable damages, the other party's obligation to act in a certain manner and the other party's specific conduct, actions or failure to act. These are all matters that a qualified attorney can address on your behalf. It may require not only an attorney's legal knowledge but the use of investigators and experts in accident reconstruction, medicine, economics and other relevant fields to determine liability and then build a compelling case on the victim's behalf.

There are a few key issues that a personal injury lawyer may consider in determining whether you have a case:

  • Is it possible to identify a third party (or parties) that were responsible for your injuries? Your lawyer will need to be able to find and identify the party or parties that caused your injuries. This is crucial if the third party is to be held liable.
  • Will it be possible to prove the fault of the third party or parties? Your lawyer will need to determine how personal injury legislation and case law will affect your right to hold the third party accountable for their conduct. Depending on the jurisdiction, certain individuals or companies may or may not be held accountable for specific acts or failures to act that result in injury to another person.
  • Are there any situations that would interfere with your right to recovery? For example, in some states a victim may be prohibited from seeking personal injury damages if he or she was partially at fault in causing the incident. In other states, the partial fault of the victim would only serve to decrease the financial compensation he or she would be entitled to.
  • Did you suffer quantifiable damages? Your attorney will need to determine whether it will be possible to prove that you have suffered "compensable" losses or expenses, damages that you can actually recover financial compensation for. This may include medical expenses, missed work, property damage or even emotional trauma.

Personal injury claims can take months and even years to be completed. Sometimes a settlement is reached; other times a lengthy and exhausting trial is necessary. You will have to face questions not only from the opposing party and the insurance companies, but it is likely that your friends and family will have many questions as well. Before you decide to file a personal injury case, it is always best to speak with a qualified professional.

If you would like to learn more, find a personal injury attorney near you.