Posted in Personal injury
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is serious business and should not be approached lightly. If you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to understand that no two lawsuits are ever exactly alike. As a result, it is important to connect with an experienced attorney to learn about your rights, options, and potential for success before committing to a plan of action.
As an experienced personal injury lawyer can confirm, there are many realities to consider when contemplating whether it is “worth it” to file a personal injury lawsuit under any given (and unique) set of circumstances. Some of the most pressing of these realities include:
Proving Fault and Causation
In order to make a personal injury claim in court, you’ll need to prove that the person or entity that caused the damage was negligent, reckless, or intentionally caused you (or your loved one) harm. Laws vary by state, but typically under personal injury law, the party making a claim must prove fault and damages. For civil lawsuits, the claimant must be able to prove in court by a preponderance of the evidence that the negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions of the defendant caused – or significantly contributed to the cause(s) of – your harm.
Providing Evidence Necessary To Prove Your Claim
Once you have established that you were the victim of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing and that sustained injury as a result, you will need to collect documentation to prove it. Ideally, you should keep all documentation relevant to your injury in one place to be provided to your attorney when necessary. Examples of documentation that can be used in a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Police reports documenting an accident
- Incident report prepared by a store, restaurant, or other business where an accident occurred
- Witness statements providing details of when, where, and how your injury occurred
- Photographs from the scene of the accident and any other evidence that might help document your injury
- All medical records associated with the injury from emergency services, hospital visits, physicians and any other entity that provided you with care related to the incident
- Documentation of time missed at work along with records of your income before the injury
- Testimony from a doctor or medical expert regarding the cause of your injury to help establish that the injury was actually caused by the incident of record
Both economic and non-economic damages may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. Economic damages include challenges such as lost wages and medical bills, while non-economic damages include intangible consequences like pain and suffering. Both may be taken into consideration when awarding damages in a lawsuit.