A common question many people have after they’ve been injured is whether they have a personal injury claim and if so, how strong a case do they have. Recognizing the strengths and weakness of a personal injury case is a skill attorneys are trained for and may prove vexing for anyone who hasn’t survived the gauntlet of law school. The majority of personal injury cases rely on three important factors: damages, liability, and assets.
First and foremost, a person must have suffered some sort of actual loss, whether it is a physical injury or property damage, to make a personal injury claim. Such a loss can be anything from a damaged vehicle, broken bones, medical malpractice, a dog bite, defective drugs, or even the death of a loved one. Lost wages due to missed work can be claimed as a part of the damages suffered, and one can also potentially claim future losses in a case if adequate proof is provided.
The strength of a personal injury case varies greatly depending on the actual cause of the claimed loss. Knowing what to claim as a loss is one of the most vital aspects of any personal injury case.
Determining liability is another important step in a strong personal injury case. Liability simply means establishing who is at fault for the injury or loss. For example, if a police officer cites a driver for reckless driving at the scene of an accident then that driver might be found liable for the accident and any attendant losses.
It should be noted that liability laws are not uniform and differ from state to state. Laws such as these can be a confusing labyrinth to the untrained eye and expert counsel may be required.
Insurance Coverage and Assets
Lastly, a defendant must be in possession of assets, such as insurance coverage or personal wealth, in order for a claim to result in compensation. It’s difficult to make a claim for assets that don’t exist or against someone who is uninsured. Skilled lawyers are trained to determine the extent of a defendant’s assets and insurance coverage. This can be done by performing an asset search, petitioning for insurance coverage, or even running background checks.
Above all, insurance companies are focused on maintaining their profits and will do whatever possible to avoid paying large settlements. Some states even have laws that insurance companies use to their advantage, such as Colorado, which allows these companies to refuse requests for insurance coverage until a lawsuit is filed. These laws are also not uniform and may apply in one state but not another. Learning the laws of the relevant state are a necessity if one hopes to receive fair compensation for any losses.
Calculating the true value of a personal injury case often requires the keen eye of a legal expert. If you believe you have a viable personal injury claim you might want to seek out a case evaluation from an experienced attorney such as the Utah personal injury attorney; many lawyers will even examine your claim free of charge. It may just be the wisest thing you do for case.
Thanks to authors at Utah Advocates for their insight into Personal Injury Law.