How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case?
If you were just in an accident or slipped on a wet floor, you could be in serious pain and concerned about how you will pay your bills. How do you know if you have a personal injury case? A lawyer’s team can explain your eligibility during a case evaluation, which many injury lawyers provide to victims for free.
In general, if someone else’s actions (or inactions) directly led to your injuries and losses, you could have a personal injury case. Read on to learn more about the reasons that you could take legal action after your injury accident.
Reason #1: You Suffered Injuries
This one seems fairly obvious. However, many people wonder if the injury they sustained qualifies them for compensation. Here’s what you should know about this issue.
You Should Have Medical Documentation
To move forward with any injury case, it is crucial to have records that document your injuries. After all, without medical evidence of an injury, the other party is likely to dispute your case or deny liability altogether.
Getting medical documentation is important for several reasons. Not only should you begin seeking treatment and protect your health if you are hurt, but having a doctor’s validation and diagnosis allows you to link your accident with the injuries you claim in a legal case.
Additionally, you should continue getting any treatments your doctor recommends. This helps demonstrate that your injuries are serious enough to warrant follow-up visits or ongoing care. The more serious your injuries and the higher your bills, the more you may be able to claim in damages if you bring a personal injury case.
Reason #2: Someone Else Was Responsible for Causing Your Injuries
In legal terms, someone else could be responsible for causing your injury if:
- They owed you a duty of care
- They breached that duty of care
Understanding “Duty of Care” in Personal Injury Cases
Duty of care is often a given in certain situations. For example, if you are a driver on the road, other drivers have a duty of care towards you—meaning they are expected to take reasonable care for your safety. In another scenario, a grocery store owner has a duty of care to ensure that patrons can shop in an environment free of safety hazards.
Breaching that duty of care means they failed to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety and you were harmed as a result.
Every situation is unique, and you may not know if a person or business actually had a duty of care towards you. You may also not be sure who, if anyone, could be responsible for your harm. The good news is that a lawyer’s team can investigate your case and explain who might be liable.
Reason #3: You Have Financial or Non-Financial Losses
To bring a personal injury case, you also need to show that your injury resulted in what is known as “damages.” In plain terms, this means that you suffered losses of some kind, whether they are financial or non-financial.
Potential damages in your case could include:
- Medical expenses: You can prove that you have medical expenses through medical bills or receipts for medical necessities. Examples include doctor visits, emergency room care, surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, and other costs.
- Lost earnings: If you had to take time off work as a result of your injury, you can show that you missed out on earning your usual paychecks.
- Reduced earning capacity: Your injury may leave you unable to go back to work in your normal capacity. If you had to take part-time hours or are expected to change careers because of the injury, this could be a form of damages.
- Pain and suffering: You can also show that you were harmed emotionally or suffered severe pain as a result of the injury.
Again, a personal injury attorney can explain the types of damages you can claim.
Reason #4: You Can Build Your Case With Evidence
If you hire a lawyer, building a convincing case will be their job. However, you should know that any personal injury case will need to be proven with evidence. This evidence should back up your claims that you were injured, prove your damages, and show the plaintiff was liable.
What does valid evidence look like? Examples include:
- Medical records
- Statements from your doctor
- Past and current wage statements
- Surveillance camera footage
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Accident reconstruction data
- Police reports or incident reports
There are many other types of evidence could be used to make your case.
If You Have Questions, Get a Free Case Review
If you are still unsure how to know if you have a personal injury case, get answers today. Our team at Phillips | Tadros, P.A. is ready to explain if you qualify to seek compensation and tell you how we can help. Contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call now at 954 642-8885.