There are two key factors that separate personal injury cases from run-of-the-mill accidents. These two factors are liability and loss. When trying to determine whether or not your recent accident could result in a successful personal injury claim, you will need to begin by determining whether or not both of these factors are present in your case.
The ability to establish legal liability is essential to the success of any personal injury lawsuit. This is because without the presence of liability, there will be no one from which you can legally collect compensation.
There is a difference between blaming someone for your accident and establishing their legal liability. While a person may be to blame, this does not mean that their actions meet the standard of legal liability. In order for a person or company to be held liable, they must have acted in a negligent, incompetent, or careless manner. This behavior must also be the direct cause of your accident.
Imagine for a moment that you were injured in a car accident. The other driver struck you from behind while you were waiting to safely turn through the intersection. According to insurance standards, the other driver will be to blame for the accident because they did not have control of their vehicle. This is demonstrated by the fact that they struck you from behind. However, the decision regarding their legal liability will depend upon what they were doing in the moments leading up to the crash.
If the other driver was texting and was unable to stop by the time their eyes returned to the road, the driver can be held liable because the decision to text while driving is a negligent action that the driver knew could result in an accident. However, if the other driver suffered a seizure while behind the wheel and was physically unable to stop their vehicle due to this medical condition, they will still be to blame for the accident, but they will not be held legally liable under personal injury laws because they did not act in a negligent way.
The presence of financial loss is another key factor that must be present in all successful personal injury lawsuits. This is because without the presence of loss, there will be no compensation to seek as a result of your case.
There are two different types of financial loss that you can suffer as the result of an accident. These losses are known as real damages and punitive damages.
Real damages include all financial losses that can be assigned a specific dollar amount, such as medical bills and lost wages. Punitive damages include all financial losses that have a subjective value, such as pain and suffering.
In order to file a personal injury lawsuit in connection with your recent accident, you must have suffered real damages. This is because while punitive damages can be sought in a personal injury case, punitive damages can only be awarded in the event that real damages are also awarded. For more information, speak with experts like Josh D. Tucker, P.C.