If you believe that someone else was at fault for your injuries, you may have a personal injury case. To prove you have an injury case, you need to establish four things.
The Other Party Had a Duty of Care
The at-fault party must have owed you a duty of care. The duty of care depends on the situation. For example, drivers owe other road users a duty to drive safely. Property owners owe visitors a duty to keep their property free from hazards.
The Other Party Breached That Duty
The other party must have breached the duty they owed you. Examples of negligent actions that can constitute a breach include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to fix a broken handrail
- Misdiagnosing a condition
The Breach Caused Your Accident and/or Injuries
The other party's actions must have caused the accident and your injuries. For example, a driver ran a red light and T-boned your car. You suffered a traumatic brain injury.
You Suffered Damages
You have damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, due to the accident.
Determining whether you have a personal injury case is hard, and you may assume you don't have a case when you do. Our team will help you prove these four things.
Factors That Can Help You Determine If You Have a Case
Several factors could help you figure out your next steps and build your case.
The At-Fault Party Was Negligent
This is the biggest factor in your case.
When someone else fails to act as a reasonable person would, this is called negligence. For example, if you slip and fall in a puddle at your local grocery store because someone didn't clean up a leak, the store may be considered negligent. Another scenario might include failing to provide adequate lighting in a parking lot.
You Need Medical Attention
If your back, neck, head, or other body part hurts for more than a few days after you are in an accident, you may have suffered a serious injury. Personal injury cases don't always include broken bones from impact with another person; sometimes, prolonged pain is enough to warrant damages when another party was responsible for it.
Getting medical attention and being honest about your condition and its persistence can help improve your chances of building a strong case for your time off work, hospital bills, and other expenses that stem from being involved in an accident.
Factors That Can Help Your Case
Establishing fault can be difficult; the following can help you build your case.
If you received any injuries because of someone else's negligence, there might be witnesses who saw what happened. Make sure you get their contact information so that they can corroborate your story. A personal injury attorney can help determine whether or not a witness is credible and valuable as evidence for your case.
Expert witnesses—people who have special knowledge about what happened and could describe it under oath—can also be very helpful. Your attorney can help you determine whether your case may benefit from an expert witness.
The At-Fault Party Admitting Liability
If someone admits liability (either verbally or in writing), you have strong evidence supporting your claim. For example, if a police officer arrives on the scene and determines who was at fault for causing your crash, you will likely be able to pursue compensation from that person or entity.
Proof of Injuries or Damage from the Accident
The most obvious sign of injury is damage to your body or property. If your injuries happened from a fall, for example, and you have medical records showing that you sustained injuries or scars, you're likely eligible for damages. If there isn't any evidence of damage that resulted from your accident (for example, if you only suffered emotional distress but no physical harm), that will make your case significantly more difficult.
Common Personal Injury Cases
A personal injury case can include any type of accident caused by negligence. Common types of injury cases include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including cars, trucks, bicycles, pedestrians, buses, rideshare vehicles, motorcycles, and scooters
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Premises liability cases
- Product liability cases
- Dangerous drug and device cases
- Birth injuries and medical malpractice
What You Can Recover in a Personal Injury Case
Your recoverable damages depend on your accident and injuries. However, common damages we recover include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Miscellaneous expenses related to your accident
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
We Can Answer Your Legal Questions
If you're unable to tell if you have a personal injury case or have further questions about your situation, don't worry. Our team at Dolman Law Group can help you understand your specific situation and know what steps to take. Contact us today for a free consultation. During your consultation, our team will tell you whether you have an injury case.