Injuries can happen anytime and anywhere. According to the CDC, there are over 37.9 million emergency room visits each year in the US.
Injuries resulting from the negligence of others can sometimes lead to devastating consequences for victims. If you’re facing high medical costs, lost wages at work, and pain from an accident caused by someone else, it’s important to understand your rights and the options available to you.
Feeling overwhelmed about how to get started? You’re in the right place.
In this guide, we’ll help you understand what types of situations qualify for a personal injury lawsuit and how to go about building one. That way, you can get the money that you deserve.
What Is a Personal Injury Case?
Before we learn how to build a personal injury case, it’s important to first understand exactly what it is. This type of case is a legal way for you to seek compensation when you were injured due to the wrongful or negligent actions of others.
This can be another person, or a different entity like a government agency, business, or organization. There are many different types of injuries associated with these cases. Some common ones include:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Truck or motorcycle accidents
- Product liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
Make sure to check out our guide to learn all of the types of accidents we cover. The last thing you need to understand about this case is the difference between a personal injury claim and a personal injury lawsuit.
A claim is when your law team negotiates with an insurance company so that you’re fairly compensated. It’s common to see a personal injury case start with a claim.
Then, if the claim is unsuccessful, it will become a lawsuit. This is when you file civil legal action to get the compensation you need for your injury. Typically, most personal injury cases are settled out of court.
The court process is expensive and time-consuming for everyone involved. That being said, last year personal injury filings related to product liability rose by 97%. So, it can change depending on the year.
What Are the Elements of Negligence That You Need to Prove?
For someone to be responsible for your injury, you need to prove that they were negligent. There are four elements of negligence that need to be shown for you to have a strong case.
These elements include duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Duty refers to the fact that the defendant had a responsibility to prevent injuries for the plaintiff. For example, all drivers must drive according to traffic laws.
That’s their duty. A breach of duty means that their actions neglected this duty. In our car example, it might mean that someone is speeding and aggressively merging.
Next, there’s causation. The defendant must prove that the breach of duty caused their injuries. Continuing with our example, the person driving recklessly merged into you, causing you to crash the vehicle.
Lastly, there are damages. This accident must cause damages for it to be valid. This can be in the form of physical injuries, but also emotional ones, like pain and suffering.
If you can prove these four elements, then you have a strong personal injury case on your hands. Now, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can build it to improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
Gather Evidence the Second You’re Injured
The more evidence you can gather at the scene of the accident, the better your odds are of maximizing your claim. We know that sometimes this isn’t possible.
If you’re seriously injured or unconscious, then it might be impossible to gather evidence. But, if you can make sure you take pictures or videos of the accident seen.
If you were hit by another car, then get the vehicle’s license plate number.
You should also ask for the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. If you’re seriously injured, but not unconscious, then try asking someone else to gather this evidence for you.
Always Seek Medical Treatment
If you’re seriously injured, then this advice is a bit obvious. However, it’s important even if there aren’t any obvious injuries.
There’s a good chance that certain injuries, like internal damage, whiplash, and concussions, might not show symptoms until after the accident.
This step is important for building your case because the medical records will help show a clear connection between the accident and your injury.
Meet With a Qualified Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer that’s qualified in personal injury cases is vital for building a successful case. These professionals will not only gather evidence on your behalf, but they’ll also organize your case and represent you in the settlement phase or in court.
Make sure you choose a personal injury lawyer that specializes in the type of injury you’re dealing with. Meet with them to decide if they’re a good fit. You also shouldn’t hide anything during the initial consultation.
Be as open and honest as possible and bring any evidence you might have in connection to the injury.
That way, your personal injury attorney can prepare for any possible defense that the defendant team might bring to the table.
Avoid Posting on Social Media
Never post your injuries on social media, even if you have a private account. Anything that you post can be used against your claim by the defendant team.
For example, if you post a picture of yourself at the beach, then the team might argue that this is proof your injuries aren’t that serious. So, do yourself a favor and temporarily disable your social media accounts.
Were You Injured? Contact Roberts Markland LLP
We hope this guide helped you learn more about building a personal injury case. Many people think that if you have a large amount of evidence, then your injury case is a shoo-in.
However, this isn’t always the case. If you choose an inexperienced law team, then it doesn’t matter how strong your case is. So, how to avoid this? Simple: by choosing a firm like Roberts Markland LLP.
Here, we pride ourselves on being held personally accountable for our clients. So, if you’re ready for the dedication that your injury case deserves, then get in touch with us today.