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Personal injury cases often revolve around an accident that occurred that caused you harm by someone else. There are many factors that may be involved, but if you were injured and it was because of someone else’s actions, you may have a personal injury claim.
This article will help to explain whether you may have a personal injury case. A personal injury case attorney may be your next step.
DO I HAVE A PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
Most personal injury claims are filed based on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence must be proven in order to be successful in your claim. It is you, the plaintiff, who has the burden of showing that all the elements of negligence are met.
WHAT IS NEGLIGENCE?
Negligence occurs when someone fails to conduct themselves in a manner that is the standard level of care, and the plaintiff is harmed as a result. This standard of care may vary based on the situation both parties are in and the surrounding circumstances. There must have been a duty owed to you, the plaintiff. The defendant must have breached this duty, and because of that breach, you were harmed.
Examples of Negligence
Negligence can occur as a result of not following traffic laws such as speed limits or driving under the influence. You may even have a case for negligence for slip and falls as a result of a wet, freshly mopped floor with no caution sign. There are many accidents that could be the basis of a negligence claim. It is important to contact a personal injury case attorney to determine whether you have a claim.
INDICATIONS OF NEEDING A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
Was the Accident the Fault of Someone Else?
If you were injured or harmed as a result of someone else’s actions, they may be liable to you in damages. Liability means they are responsible for what happened, and they will have to compensate you financially. Personal injury accident claims allow victims to seek financial compensation to attempt to correct the damage that was caused.
Even if you were partially responsible for your injuries, if the main cause of your injuries were due to the actions of someone else or occurred on someone’s property, then you may need a personal injury lawyer. The laws vary by state, but most states will still allow you to recover damages even if you were partially at fault. If you were equally at fault or more at fault than the other party, then it is unlikely that you will have a case.
Do You Have Damages?
Damages can take the form of personal injury or property damage. In order to have a claim for personal injury, you must have actually been injured in some way. The fear of injury or anticipation of injury that does not occur will not be enough. The accident caused by the other party must have actually caused you harm that a medical professional can diagnose.
Some accidents, such as car accidents, may cause minor injuries that turn into major complications later on. A personal injury claim will factor in both present and future damages. A Zinda Law Group personal injury lawyer may be able to help you calculate your damages and may help you seek the maximum recovery possible.
TYPES OF DAMAGES
An injury can cause you to suffer harm or damages in several ways. Physical injuries are the most common, but mental distress and missing wages due to the inability to work can sometimes be recoverable as well. Sometimes an accident not only costs money in hospital bills and rehabilitation, but it may cost your quality of life as well. There are two main types of damages that may be recoverable: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are financial compensation you can recover due to monetary losses. These costs can be proven by bills or receipts. They may include hospital bills, prescription medications, rehabilitation costs, lost wages as a result of missing work due to your injuries, property damage to your car or belongings, and any other out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the injury.
Economic damages can also help cover the costs of losing a loved one in the event of wrongful death. This could include burial costs, medical expenses leading up to the death, loss of future earnings of the loved one—if these wages were relied upon—and legal costs in managing their estate.
Non-economic damages may include compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish in dealing with the stress of the accident, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium or companionship if a loved one was lost, or any other emotional distress caused by the accident. This may be proven by showing evidence of seeing a therapist to address your mental concerns. Some long-term effects after an accident may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which could be recoverable as well.
DID THE ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT OCCUR RECENTLY?
Most states have a time limit for filing personal injury claims. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is anywhere from two to four years in most states. Contact a personal injury attorney to find out the statute of limitations in your state.
It is important to file a claim following an accident as soon as possible. Waiting to file your claim may cause your case to be dismissed. If you delay filing your claim past the statute of limitations in your state, you will no longer be able to seek damages. This could lead you to have to pay out of pocket for your injuries.
RESERVING YOUR CLAIM FOR COURT
Preserve your claim by avoiding some common mistakes. These mistakes could lead your claim amount to be reduced or even dismissed entirely. It is important to be mindful of your actions while your claim is still pending. Even giving the impression that you are not injured could harm your case. Consider the following tips:
Do Not Speak About Your Accident to Others
It is important not to make any mistakes that could harm your chances of recovery. If you have been injured in a car accident, for example, avoid posting about the accident to social media and talking about the accident with others. Even statements such as “I’m okay” could harm your case with insurance claim adjusters in the future as they may try to diminish your injuries.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
Avoid postponing medical care. Seek medical treatment immediately following any car accident, slip and fall, workplace injury, or any other incident that may be the basis for a personal injury claim. Making sure to document your injuries early on is the best way to have a record in case your injuries become worse.
Follow all of your doctor’s advice when it comes to your recovery. Do not attempt to go back to work or engage in any physical activity if your doctor has not cleared you to do so. Be sure to complete any physical therapy assigned or take any medications as prescribed.
Do Not Give Insurance Adjuster’s a Recorded Statement
In a personal injury case, a claims adjuster will sometimes be assigned to your case. This may be especially true in car accidents where an insurance adjuster will be responsible for assessing the percentage of fault each driver had in the car accident. If you believe you need a personal injury lawyer, contact one immediately and have your lawyer speak to insurance adjusters on your behalf. Giving an insurance adjuster a statement will bind you to that statement and could harm your ability to recover all possible damages.
In most cases, a claims adjuster is not on your side. Their job is to pay out as little as possible. They will attempt to diminish their liability and pay out less for your settlement claim. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side is the only way you can be sure that your best interests are considered.
DO I NEED A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER?
A personal injury lawyer may be beneficial to you if you believe you have been harmed as a result of someone else’s actions. A lawyer will be able to advocate for you and can help you gather evidence for your case, speak with others on your behalf, and conduct an investigation of your case.
ZINDA LAW GROUP MAY HELP YOU SEEK DAMAGES
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury lawyers are experienced and have handled many cases involving negligent actors. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to help recover the best possible outcome for your case.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.