If you have been injured due to an accident or have suffered an injury due to the actions or negligence or another, you should immediately contact a lawyer to discuss a possible claim. Before meeting with a lawyer, gather documents and other information regarding the incident and bring it with you. You may have different types of information depending on the type of the incident, or your lawyer may ask you to bring additional information not listed here.
GENERAL INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION MAY INCLUDE:
- Name and address of the responsible party
- Name of any insurance company and claim number(s)
- Identity of the ambulance company
- The name of the hospital where you were taken and any medical providers
- The date of the incident that caused your injury
- Names and addresses of the doctors
- Names, numbers, and addresses of any witnesses
- Dates you were unable to work due to your injuries
- A copy of your accident or police report
- Copies of any written statements or photographs
- Applicable insurance policies
- Copies or a list of health insurance documents, including your policy or coverage information
- Any disability insurance information
- Veterans insurance policy
- Copies of any correspondence and emails with your insurance company
- Medical bills and records
- Receipts and documentation to support any lost wages
- Any summons or traffic tickets related to the accident
- Any information you may have about the other driver in the accident, pedestrians or witnesses, including name, address, phone number, make/model/color of car, license plate number, insurance company, location at the time of the accident, and/or description of what they saw
- Date, time, and location of the accident
Personal Injury Lawsuits
In order to prevail on a personal injury claim, the injured party, also known as the plaintiff, must prove that the defendant (responsible party) is responsible for the injuries. Typically, this is done by showing the defendant’s negligence or fault. The fault must be shown and established based on the facts of the incident. The elements of negligence include:
- DUTY OF CARE: A reasonable person is held to a legally recognized duty of care depending on the type of incident. For example, in an auto accident, the duty may be the “rules of the road.” Generally, a person must prevent reasonable harm to another by their actions or inactions.
- BREACH OF DUTY: A defendant breaches this duty by failing to meet the standard of care. Based on the circumstances, this could mean a failure to warn, failure to obey the rules of the road, the failure to act in a safe manner, or by behaving in an unsafe way that caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- CAUSATION: Causation is often difficult to prove. The defendant must have been the direct cause of the injuries. Another way to state this element is to say that the plaintiff’s injuries would not have occurred if it hadn’t been for the defendant’s behavior (action or inaction).
- DAMAGES: In order to recover during a trial, the plaintiff must prove that due to the defendant’s breach, he or she suffered harm, damage, and/or incurred a loss.
Damages In A Personal Injury Case
If each element is established in the plaintiff’s case, the court may award damages for losses. Most damages awarded are compensatory in nature. The standard is simple: if proven, the Plaintiff is entitled to “fair, just, and reasonable” damages. The court will consider many factors when determining the amount of compensatory damages. The factors may vary depending on the specific facts of your case but typically include pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, future medical treatment, loss of function, the loss of activities or the quality of life, scarring and disfigurement, disability, and the loss of life itself.Close