How to Determine If You Have a Viable Personal Injury Case

By Cecelia Thomas and Kisshia Simmons, Esq.

Suffering a personal injury resulting from a serious accident is devastating for an individual.  Not only are the emotional repercussions substantial, but the financial consequences can be even worse.  After such a serious injury, many people want to know if they can receive financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.  Before filing a lawsuit, it is important to know if that claim will be viable.

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is a civil lawsuit brought by an injured person against the person or entity responsible for their injuries in an effort to recover money for their injuries and other losses.  It’s important to understand that even if you were hurt very badly in an accident, you may not have a valid personal injury lawsuit.

How to determine whether you have a viable personal injury lawsuit?

In order to determine if you have a viable personal injury lawsuit, you have to ask yourself three basic questions:

Did you suffer a personal injury?

To bring a personal injury lawsuit or claim, you must have suffered a personal injury. A personal injury is an injury to your body, mind, or emotions.  In other words, a personal injury can be either physical or psychological. If you broke your leg or sustained a concussion after slipping and falling in a grocery store, you have suffered a personal injury. If you experience severe anxiety, insomnia, or depression after a traumatic car accident, you have suffered a personal injury.

Were your injuries caused by the negligence of another person or entity?

In order to have a viable personal injury lawsuit or claim, your personal injury or injuries must have been caused by the negligence of another person or entity (such as a business or government agency).  The law defines negligence as the failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances.  Generally speaking, when a person or entity acts in a careless manner and causes injury to someone else, the careless person or entity will usually be legally responsible under the principle of negligence.

Do you have recoverable damages?

You must have suffered personal or financial harms that can be remedied by money damages. Damages is the legal term for a sum of money awarded to an injured person to compensate for his or her injuries and other losses.

If you answered “yes” to each of the questions discussed above, you may have a valid personal injury lawsuit.  Personal injury cases can be very complicated and time consuming so it is important to get legal counsel.  Please contact us if you have any questions with your case.

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