How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case?
If you have suffered a severe injury, you could have a viable claim for monetary damages. The reality is, however, that not every injury will result in a personal injury case. If the injury occurred due to your own actions or from unavoidable natural causes, you might not have a claim at all.
If your injuries occurred due to the negligence of another person, you could have grounds to bring a civil suit. You are entitled to bring a claim against the party or parties responsible for your injury, but success is never guaranteed. If you have questions about whether or not your injury claim is strong enough to pursue, seek out a consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer right away.
Is another party liable for your injuries?
Whether or not another person is responsible for your damages in a personal injury case depends on their degree of culpability. If you are unable to establish that the defendant in your claim was negligent, the court will not award you compensation. Negligence is a complex legal topic best explained by a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
Determining if the other party in an injury claim is negligent starts with determining if they owed you a duty of care. A defendant will only be responsible for your damages if they owed you this duty. The duty of care varies depending on the circumstances. For example, drivers owe each other a duty to operate their vehicles safely. Property owners owe some visitors a duty to address dangerous hazards on the premises.
Once it is clear that the defendant owed you a duty, the next step is to demonstrate that the duty was breached. A strong personal injury claim will involve a clear breach of a duty of care. This could include any careless, intentional, or willful act of the defendant that resulted in your injury. In a vehicle accident, negligence could involve the violation of the rules of the road.
Did you suffer compensable damages?
A negligent defendant is not enough to guarantee a successful personal injury claim. You must also establish that the defendant was responsible for your measurable damages. Compensable damages include any physical, emotional, or monetary losses stemming from an accident. Some common types of compensation in a personal injury claim are:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Personal property damage
- Loss of consortium
Finally, it is vital to connect these losses to the actions of the defendant. This step is known as causation. A defendant is only responsible for the damages caused by their breach of a duty of care. This means while you could hold them responsible for the injuries they cause, they are under no obligation to cover the cost of other injuries unrelated to their breach.
The value of a claim
It is natural to wonder about the value of your personal injury claim. While liability might be clear, the potential value of your case will also depend on the degree of your injuries.
It is impossible to determine the exact value of your claim. Whether or not your claim is strong enough to prevail will depend on the facts as well as how your attorney applies those facts to the law at trial. While exact estimates of the strength of your case are impossible, a personal injury lawyer could give you a careful estimate after reviewing your claim.
Let Ellis Injury Law help
If you have questions about the strength of your personal injury claim, it is worth noting that no one can give you an exact answer. That said, the experienced attorneys with Ellis Injury Law could use their experience to investigate your claim. After carefully reviewing your injuries and the facts of your case, we could provide an estimate of the value of your claim. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with Ellis Injury Law as soon as possible.