A personal injury case occurs when a person suffers harm or injury due to the negligence or intentional actions of another party. Personal injury cases are a type of civil lawsuit where the injured person, known as the plaintiff, seeks compensation (damages) from the party responsible for their injuries, known as the defendant. But no two cases are exactly alike; if you find yourself injured, you may be wondering: Do I have a valid personal injury case?
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. The accident lawyer can review your situation and let you know whether you have a valid personal injury case.
Do I Have a Valid Personal Injury Case?
Determining whether you have a valid personal injury case involves assessing several key factors (a personal injury lawyer is best qualified to determine whether you have a valid case).
1. Establishing Liability
Duty of Care: Determine if the person or party you believe is responsible for your injury owed you a duty of care. For example, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely.
Breach of Duty: Establish if the duty of care was breached. This means proving that the responsible party failed to act reasonably or violated the standard of care. For example, a drunk driver running a red light.
Causation: Show a direct link between the breach of duty and your injuries. You must demonstrate that the breach directly caused your injuries or damages. For example, the driver crashing into you led to your broken arm and soft tissue injuries.
Damages: Show that you suffered injuries, financial losses such as medical bills and lost wages, and/or emotional suffering. These are damages that could be recovered in a personal injury settlement.
2. Time Limitations
Research the statute of limitations in your state. This is the time limit within which you must file a lawsuit after the injury occurred or was discovered. Missing this deadline typically bars the plaintiff from seeking compensation.
In Washington State, negligence claims typically have a three-year statute of limitations but we recommend contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
3. Insurance Coverage
Check insurance coverage. If the responsible party is insured, their insurance policy may cover your damages. This includes car insurance, homeowners insurance, or business liability insurance. Without insurance coverage, it can be a real challenge to recover a personal injury settlement but you should always speak to a personal injury attorney about your options.
4. Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Free consultation: Many personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations. Take advantage of these consultations to discuss the specifics of your case and whether a personal injury claim is viable.
Legal expertise: Personal injury attorneys can assess the details of your situation, apply the law, and provide guidance on the viability of your claim.
Contingency fees: Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means they only get paid if you win your case, making legal representation more accessible.
If you have medical records, accident reports, photographs, witness statements, and other documentation that shows you were injured as a result of an accident or the negligent actions of another, that is an important part of building a solid case.
6. Evaluate Comparative Fault
Consider if your actions contributed to the accident. Washington State operates under comparative negligence rules, which means that your compensation could be reduced if you are partially at fault. But even if you are partially at fault for the accident, it is still worth talking to an injury lawyer to discuss a potential claim!
7. Assess the Viability
Consider the strength of your case. If liability is clear, damages are well-documented, and there’s evidence proving the other party’s negligence, you likely have a valid personal injury case.
8. Get a Second Opinion If Necessary
If one lawyer is unsure about the viability of your case, consider seeking a second opinion. Different lawyers might have different perspectives on the same set of facts.
Remember, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney to assess the specifics of your situation. They can provide legal advice tailored to your case, helping you understand the strength of your claim and your chances of obtaining compensation.
Contact a personal injury lawyer today!
An accident lawyer can help you recover a full and fair settlement for the injuries you sustained in an accident caused by the negligence of another with no up-front costs to you. We know the sneaky strategies used by insurance companies to get injured people to agree to settlements far below what they are worth. Our clients typically end up with a settlement or jury award that is five to ten times larger than they could have negotiated on their own. We have been representing injured people injured in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. Contact the experienced and hard-working personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Mount Vernon, WA today for a FREE consultation!