Injuries or death caused by a serious accident changes everything. You or someone you love might be considering the possibility of financial recovery. Generally, this is achieved by initiating a personal injury lawsuit to recover financial and physical losses.
Keep in mind that not all cases are exactly the same; however, this article is a great resource for answering questions from a general perspective. Plus, we will review the 3 elements that help you analyze whether you have a personal injury claim or not.
What Is A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit can be filed by a) the injured person or in some circumstances, b) family members. The goal is to hold negligent parties responsible in an effort to recuperate money for your medical expenses and other losses. Examples of personal injury cases include slip and fall lawsuits, wrongful death claims, and product liability allegations.
How to Tell if You Have a Valid Personal Injury Lawsuit
In California, there are 3 elements to every personal injury lawsuit. To determine if you have a claim, you should start by asking yourself 3 basic questions:
- Were you injured in any way?
- Were these injuries negligently caused by another individual or entity?
- Do you incur a material loss as a result of the injuries?
If the response to all three questions is “yes,” you may be able to bring legal action for your injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Even if you answered “no” to any questions, it does not mean that you don’t have a lawsuit; it just means you might not have a personal injury lawsuit.
1. Were You Personally Injured in Any Way?
A personal injury is any injury to your physical, mental, and emotional body. Common situations that involving an injury include:
- a broken leg after a slip and fall accident in a store,
- falling through a railing on public property that resulted in nerve damage,
- anxiety or sleeping disorders caused by a traumatizing car accident,
- loss of an unborn child due to medical malpractice, or
- severe burns as a result of a product malfunction
The main idea is that you were injured in a way that you weren’t expecting and could not have been easily prevented or foreseen on your behalf, as you have a right to enjoy reasonable accommodations.
2. Were These Injuries Negligently Caused by another Individual or Entity?
The next element of a personal injury claim is that it was caused by someone else; businesses and the government are included. A basic tenet of this arrangement is pretty clear. The person or place responsible for injuries will become responsible (or “liable”) for your injuries because they were negligent.
3. Did You Incur Material Loss as a Result of the Injuries?
The final element of a personal injury claim can be remedied through damages. Damage is a legal term for money awarded to you as compensation for your injuries and other losses. If you can prove that another person or entity acted negligently, the court may award you:
- Medical costs you sustained in treating your injuries;
- Pain and suffering triggered by your injuries;
- Income-loss caused by not being able to while you recovered from your injuries;
- Reduction in your total earning capacity;
- Disability modifications to your vehicle and house;
- Poor quality of life; and
- Loss of relationships and/or assistance
Some of these damages are financial, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are tough to calculate. You might want to consult with a skilled personal injury lawyer to determine reasonable estimates.
Recovering Personal Injury Damages
In a civil suit, the ability to recover damages is only as strong as the person’s financial resources. For example, a slip and fall lawsuit incurred at an uninsured location might be more difficult to recuperate than someone who is insured or is financially able.
Submitting a Personal Injury Claim: What’s Next?
If you responded to “yes” to each of the concerns shown above, you might have a valid personal injury lawsuit or claim. Because submitting a suit can have major legal and financial effects and requires a comprehensive understanding of the laws and legal system, it is best to seek advice from a skilled injury lawyer before thinking about doing so.