Many people who have been injured because of vehicular accidents, slips and falls or dog bites want compensation. Unfortunately, a successful claim for personal injury damages is never guaranteed. You may go after the wrong person.The insurance company may deny your claim because of lack of evidence. If the case goes to trial, the judge or jury may question whether you were really injured. A lot depends on the circumstances of your case, the skill of your lawyer and what you can prove. There are four things you need to do to have a solid case, as experienced attorneys like those at Hupy and Abraham will tell you.
Personal injury cases hinge on proving that someone was negligent in their duty. You therefore need to first establish that duty. For example, a dog owner has a duty to secure his dog and warn individuals if the dog is dangerous. A store has a responsibility to place a wet floor sign in a conspicuous location if there is a spill. A driver is required to pay attention to the road and what is happening around him. The circumstances vary but you must establish that the defendant had a duty towards you.
Establishing a breach of responsibility
You then have to show that the person or entity you’re pursuing neglected their duty. Maybe the dog owner allowed their dog to roam free even though they knew he was aggressive. The driver may have been speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A spill may have been left on a supermarket’s floor for hours without a sign being placed even though staff knew about it.
Proving that you were injured
This is important. You must be able to show that you were hurt. It is not enough to complain about injuries; you must have a medical report. It is important that you see a doctor immediately after the incident. Even if you don’t think your injuries are particularly serious, you need to get medical attention if you plan to seek damages or think you may want to seek damages later. Get a report from your doctor, copies of any x-rays or other test results and prescriptions for medication. If you will require long-term care or therapy, you also need to have this documented.
Proving a direct connection between the incident and your injuries
You need to prove that the accident, slip and fall or bite was responsible for your injuries and you didn’t get them elsewhere. Photos at the scene, eyewitness reports, police reports, and video camera footage can all be used to prove this. This is also where your medical reports will be critical. Your doctor may have to testify that your injuries were the kind typically caused by the incident you were involved in. An expert witness may also have to confirm this. If you have an injury like whiplash, which has no visible signs, it may be difficult to prove your case.
It is important to have a strong lawyer on your side who has experience in these types of cases. The statute of limitation for personal injury cases varies by state so it is important to start your case as soon as possible. You will need time to get all the documentation together and prepare for your case. If you and your attorney can prove the four elements above, you will have a solid case.