Do I have a legal claim after my car accident?

Posted on January 5, 2021

In a matter of moments, a car accident can upend your life. The aftermath of one of these crashes can leave you with extraordinarily damages that are physical, emotional, and financial in nature. You might struggle to live your daily life following one of these crashes, and the physical and emotional pain and suffering may be nearly unbearable. Financially, your car accident probably left you with medical expenses and rehabilitation costs that are too extensive to realistically pay off, and your lost income has probably left you in an even more dire predicament.

All of these can be extraordinarily stressful, overwhelming, and downright scary. But if you’ve found your way to this blog, then you might be wondering whether you can successfully pursue a personal injury lawsuit to find accountability for the accident while also recovering compensation for damages suffered. That’s a difficult question to answer in generalities given that every case is unique, but there are some aspects of your situation that you can look at to better determine if legal action is justified.

Analyzing your case

There are a lot of factors that can come into play in a personal injury case. To determine if you have a viable case and, if so, just how strong it is, you might want to look at each of these characteristics:

  • Who caused the accident? This might sound like a very basic question, but the answer might be more complicated than you think. In order to win a personal injury case you have to prove negligence and causation. This means that you have to show that the driver who caused your harm breached the duty of care by acting in a way that was dangerous. You also want to be aware of comparative fault, which could reduce your award if you are deemed to have been partially at fault for the accident.
  • What is the evidence? Again, it sounds like a no-brainer, but as the plaintiff the burden is on you to prove your case. That means that you have to put in the legwork to build your case. You might want to gather witness accounts, police reports, expert testimony, and medical records all to show not only negligence, but also the extent of your damages. Even something as involved as an accident reconstruction may be necessary to appropriately build your case. But if you struggle to gather this evidence, then your case might not be as strong as you think. Fortunately, an attorney can help you address this issue.
  • What’s the harm? You can’t win a personal injury lawsuit without showing that another individual’s negligence caused you compensable harm. So you have to really ask yourself how you’ve been physically, emotionally, and financially harmed and be prepared with calculations of just how extensive those damages are. When it comes to determining expected losses, like anticipated medical costs and lost earnings capacity, you might need an expert on your side to testify on your behalf.
  • When did the accident occur? Personal injury claims are subject to statutes of limitation, which means that you have to bring your claim within a certain period of time. It’s therefore best to reach out to an attorney about your situation as quickly as possible.

Don’t be afraid of the legal process

The legal process intimidates far too many people who are injured in car accidents, but you don’t have to be afraid of the process. Instead, you can obtain valuable insight into your case, its likelihood of success, its value, and how best to proceed with your claim if legal action is in fact warranted by speaking with an experienced attorney. Hopefully then you can increase your chances of success and move towards the brighter future that awaits you.