Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
By Chris Dixon
When accidental injuries are the 3rd Leading Cause of Death in the United States, and when you factor in car accidents (60,000 injuries, 5,000 deaths), fatalities on construction sites, medical malpractice, and even dog bites, there are hundreds of thousands of people every year that might have a personal injury case on their hands.
If you or a loved one think you have a personal injury case, the first thing you should do after getting medical treatment is to call a local personal injury attorney. PI lawyers work on behalf of their clients and help them through the entire process, often resulting in large settlements that can support you and your family during dire times and, hopefully, will prevent that type of accident from happening to someone else.
3 Requirements for a Personal Injury Claim
Filing a claim is one thing, but knowing if you have a valid one is another. Below, we’ve gathered the three basic requirements most personal injury, vehicle, medical malpractice, and workers compensation claims.
- Negligence: In most cases, victims of personal injury need to have that injury caused by carelessness, or a negligent party. Examples include a driver running a red light, a store owner not repairing a dangerous railing, icy sidewalks, and so on. The responsible party likely knows that there is a risk and was negligent by ignoring safety protocol.
- Cause: That being said, that negligent party must have caused or been responsible for you or a family member’s injury. If there is a sharp piece of metal in a slippery stairwell over here and you get hurt over there, you probably won’t be able to make a valid claim.
- Damages: The injuries that you sustain need to result in harm done to you. (These are what we call “compensatory damages”). Harm may be physical, like a broken leg, psychological, or even loss of consortium if a spouse dies in a wrongful death accident. Pain and suffering, lost wages at work or loss of career opportunities, and medical bills are all compensatory damages.
If the negligent party caused compensatory damages, you may have a personal injury claim.
That’s the quick answer for “Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?” However, there is a lot more to it. You may be in a coma or suffered serious injuries and have to spend months in a hospital. You may be out of work and depressed after a preventable accident. You may have just lost a family member. It’s understandable that you may not be thinking clearly after an accident, which is why it’s important to contact a local personal injury lawyer who can help you determine if your injury claim is worth pursuing or not.
How Do I Open a Personal Injury Case?
The first step is to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. Most injury attorneys work on contingency, which means you don’t pay for legal fees at all until you win the claim. This allows injury victims and their families who may be struggling financially (lost wages, medical expenses, etc.). We’ll talk more about hiring a personal injury lawyer later on in this FAQ, how the process works, and what you should expect. If you’re in the St. Louis or Southern Illinois area, the Dixon Injury Firm offers free consultations and case reviews.
How Do I Win a Personal Injury Case?
We discuss this more in-depth later on, but to be brief there are three basic things that you the plaintiff need to prove.
- That the defendant had a legal duty to not let the injury happen. A good example would be, it was the defendant’s legal duty to stop at a red light and they did not.
- The defendant breached their legal duty, or was negligent either on purpose or not.
- You also need to prove that the defendant’s breach of legal duty was the cause of your injury that led to damages (injury-related or monetary).
At the Dixon Injury Firm, we specialize in a number of areas. This includes Car Accidents, Workers Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Dog Bites, and Other Claims. Let us know how we can help.