Do you have a personal injury claim you want to pursue in court? Mullen & Mullen Law Firm helps you understand the ins and outs in this post.
You may have one if you suffer an injury or a person you love loses their life as a result of someone else’s negligent or careless actions.
To win a personal injury claim and get financial compensation for your injuries and medical bills, you must establish 3 things:
- A third party is responsible for your injuries
- You either suffered a personal injury or you have resulting financial damages
- The defendant you’re accusing caused your personal injury
Let’s take a look at each of these elements in slightly greater depth:
- Proving a Third Party is Responsible for Your Injuries
How you do this varies widely, depending on the type of personal injury claim you pursue. For example, if you are working and get harmed by defective machinery, the manufacturer is the third party.
Other common types of third parties include:
- Prescription drug manufacturers
- Negligent motorists
- Doctors, nurses, or other hospital staff members
It’s also possible you could be at least partially responsible for your injury. For example, you can be found 25% responsible for your injuries, and the third party 75% responsible.
In that case, you get 75% of the financial compensation you would normally get.
- Showing You Experienced a Personal Injury or Incurred Financial Damages
To win your case, you must show you experienced either a physical or emotional personal injury and suffered from that injury. It’s not always easy to prove personal injuries, especially if they are emotional or take weeks or months from the original event to develop.
Some of the most common, and provable personal injury cases include:
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Product liability (think prescription drugs, defective toys, dangerous chemicals/hazardous materials, unsafe equipment, and vehicle defects)
- Dog bites
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, and boating accidents
- The Defendant in Fact Caused Your Personal Injury
This can be easy or hard to prove, depending on the circumstances of your situation. If you’re trying to prove fault in a slip-and-fall claim, you must show:
- The property owner could have prevented the accident
- They failed to maintain reasonably safe conditions
- The property owner should have known about the dangerous condition because a “reasonable” person would know the same
- Either the property owner or employee knew of the condition but chose not to fix it
- Either an employee or property owner caused the dangerous condition but did nothing to fix it
The Golden Rule of Personal Injury Claims: Never Talk to Insurance Company’s On Your Own!
One thing’s certain: if the other party’s insurance company is involved, don’t talk to them without speaking to a lawyer first.
Remember, it’s their goal to maximize their profit. And when they talk to you first, they know you don’t know the law. So more often than not, they’re going to try to get you to settle for much less than you deserve.
If they call, don’t even speak with them. Talk to a personal injury attorney first.
The bottom line: unless you’re a legal professional, you really can’t know for certain whether you have a valid personal injury claim. But, most law firms offer free consultations for these claims, so it’s easy to find out.