The process of filing a personal injury claim is complicated, long and often misunderstood. There are many types of personal injury lawsuits, including dog bite claims, medical malpractice claims, workplace injury cases, product liability cases, and more. Since one in four Americans will get into a car accident during their lifetimes, car accident personal injury claims are also common.
So how do you know when you should file a personal injury claim?
Although the laws for personal injury cases vary from state to state, there are a few factors that are important for any personal injury claim.
First, the party responsible for the injury must have been negligent in some way. For example, in a car accident case, the person who caused the accident could have acted negligently by driving under the influence of alcohol. In order to proceed with a personal injury case, the injured party must prove negligence.
Secondly, the person filing a personal injury claim must show that the negligent actions caused harm. If we go back to the car accident example, the fact that the driver was drinking led to the accident. Therefore, if the other party in the accident sustained injuries, it is reasonable to say that the driver deciding to drive while intoxicated was a negligent action that led to injury. If it cannot be shown that negligent actions led to injury, then the case cannot proceed. For example, if there was a car accident, but no one was injured, then the defendant could not prove that negligence lead to harm, since no harm occurred.
Third, the injury suffered had to lead to long-term financial and other damages. This could be medical bills, wages lost from being unable to work etc. The person filing the personal injury claim should keep track of all medical bills, insurance records etc., in order to be able to prove how the injury lead to compensatory damages.
If you’ve been involved in a situation that meets these three criteria, then you could possibly have a strong personal injury case. If you are thinking of filing a claim, remember to document anything that could possibly be relevant. In addition, remember that laws vary from state to state, so it is important to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer in your own state. Most personal injury attorneys will offer a free consultation, so you can see if your case is worth pursuing before you decide to file a claim or not.