In theory, anyone can sue anyone for anything. It is common to sue for personal injuries after fights, car accidents, injuries at work and medical mistakes. However, many potential cases are not worth it, and others are better handled through other channels. This is especially true of personal injury cases. Here are a few tips on how to know if you have a valid personal injury case.
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
A personal injury case hinges on another party’s actions or negligence leading to your injury and damages. Ask yourself the same questions any court will. Did you suffer a serious personal injury? Can you prove their negligence or injurious actions? Do you have recoverable damages?
The first question is to prove you suffered a real, serious injury. In order to file a negligence suit, you have to have sustained a physical injury. This can be proven by medical records from the doctor’s appointment or the Emergency Room assessment you had after the accident. You cannot simply say you’re in pain, so pay me.
The next question is a request for proof. Medical records can provide this proof. So can a police report to show that they assaulted you or were at fault in a car accident. The third question is essential if the court is to award you anything. Recoverable damages include reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property. If the answer to any of these questions is no, you probably don’t have a valid case.
Consult with a Legal Professional
A good way to determine if you have a valid case is to work with a New York lawyer who’s familiar with personal injury cases. Consult with someone who has a solid track record of winning personal injury cases. They can tell you if you are correct about that person having the legal duty to provide a safe environment or proper care.
In some cases, they may direct you to file suit against a different, responsible party. They’ll also be able to tell you if you personally have too much responsibility for the injury to win in court. Conversely, a personal injury attorney can tell you whether you’re eligible for punitive damages because the other side acted out of malice or gross negligence.
Gather Your Evidence
If you’re in pain or have otherwise suffered due to someone’s actions or failure to act properly, it is essential to have a doctor assess your situation. Keep detailed notes of your pain, suffering and all medical treatment you’re given. And follow all medical advice. If you skip medical assessments or physical therapy, the other side can argue you aren’t that badly hurt.
Gather information from eyewitnesses. You don’t have to interview them yourself. Instead, identify non-biased witnesses who can confirm what happened. Pictures of your condition after the incident or the site of the accident are evidence as well.
Maintain records regarding your out of pocket expenses related to the injury. It can include medical bills, medication you bought over the counter, a rental car while yours was in the shop, and even things like childcare if you weren’t well enough to take care of them yourself.
Personal injuries stem from a variety of causes, however, not every injury can result in a valid personal injury case. Whatever you do, make sure that you speak with an expert first. They will be better able to judge whether you actually have a case and what type of compensation you can expect.