How Will an Attorney Determine Whether to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are literally thousands of motor vehicle accidents every day across the United States. Some lead to personal injury lawsuits or settlements, where injured parties can recover significant compensation. Others, however, do not. How do you know if you have a meaningful prospect to recover monetary damages for your injuries and losses?
There is no simple answer to that question, but there are specific things that experienced personal injury attorneys look for when evaluating a potential motor vehicle accident injury claim. The two most important considerations are what lawyers refer to as liability and damages.
What Is Liability in a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?
For a basic understanding of whether or not you have a potentially viable claim, you need to understand the legal basis for most personal injury lawsuits. As a practical matter, virtually all personal injury lawsuits are based on the legal principle of negligence. To prove negligence, you must show three things:
- that the party from whom compensation is sought did not act as a reasonable person would;
- that the failure to act accordingly caused an accident; and
- that, as a consequence of the accident, you suffered actual losses.
The idea of liability, or fault, stems from the first two elements listed above. When evaluating your potential claim, your attorney will want to know what evidence supports an argument that the defendant failed to act reasonably, as well as the strength of the evidence that establishes a causal link between that failure and the accident. When making that assessment, your attorney is likely to look at whether the carelessness of other parties (including you) contributed to the accident and injury.
Understanding Damages in a Car Accident Case
There’s no benefit to establishing liability in a personal injury case unless you can also show actual damages. That means that your attorney must be able to show that you incurred real losses. If you suffered personal injury or property damage, but it was covered by insurance, you can’t recover again for that loss. You may, however, be able to recover for pain and suffering above and beyond the mere costs of medical care.
In any personal injury claim, there are two types of damages that attorneys consider:
- Economic damages — Losses that typically have a clear and quantifiable value, such as lost income or wages, and medical expenses
- Non-economic damages — Losses that typically don’t have an easily calculated value, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship or consortium
If your attorney determines that there’s sufficient evidence to prove that the defendant acted unreasonably and caused the accident, and that you suffered actual loss, then it’s likely that you have a claim.
Contact the Proven Car Accident Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we understand the impact a car accident can have on every aspect of your life. We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has lost a loved one in an accident To set up an appointment with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.