Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 3:43 pm
Determining whether you have a personal injury case to pursue depends on a range of contributing factors. You might have sustained an injury and want to seek the compensation you need to pay for your medical treatment and other expenses. If you think someone else is at fault for the accident, you should immediately hire a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Your lawyer can review the details associated with the incident to determine whether you have a case. Fault is critical in any personal injury matter. If you were entirely to blame for your injuries, you wouldn’t be entitled to compensation. However, if there’s evidence of another person or company’s negligence, you could use it to show they should be held liable for the injury you suffered.
Below is the information you should consider to determine whether you have a personal injury case.
Your Injuries Happened in the Accident
If you have a pre-existing medical condition that was exacerbated by the incident, you likely won’t be entitled to compensation from a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The accident must be the direct cause of your physical injury to pursue a case.
Even if your injury is minor, you might still qualify for compensation from the at-fault party. Something as simple as a sprained wrist or twisted ankle could require medical intervention. The negligent individual or company responsible for causing your injury should become liable, so you’re not forced to pay out of pocket.
You Suffered Losses
A personal injury case doesn’t exist without losses. You could suffer physical, emotional, or financial losses whether you were in a car accident or fell on someone’s dangerous property. You could receive compensation for those losses in a claim or lawsuit if someone else were at fault for the incident.
There is a range of losses accident victims can suffer, such as:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
If you suffered any of these losses from the incident, you have a personal injury case you can proceed with against the at-fault party.
Evidence Is Available to Prove Liability
You need evidence in any personal injury case. If evidence exists to show who was at fault for the accident, you could file a claim with their insurance company or pursue a lawsuit.
The evidence you need to obtain will depend on the circumstances of the accident you were in but could include:
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Police/incident reports
- Estimates for property damaged in the accident
- Video surveillance footage
- Accident scene photos
- Your medical records and other documentation of your injury
- Invoices, receipts, bank statements, and other documents showing the expenses you incurred from the incident
The Statute of Limitations Hasn’t Expired
Typically, you can file an insurance claim without the need to adhere to a strict deadline. Insurance companies might indicate on their policies that you should file “promptly” or “within a reasonable amount of time” following an injury. However, there likely isn’t a set timeframe.
If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must comply with the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. That means you have two years from the date of the incident to initiate your lawsuit if you want to pursue compensation.
You won’t be able to pursue your case if the statutory deadline passes. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t proceed with a case against the at-fault party. Your only option might be to file a claim with their insurance company. For example, if you were in a car accident someone else caused, you could file a claim with their auto insurance carrier.
You’re Not More than Fifty Percent Responsible
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. That means a jury can reduce a plaintiff’s compensation by their percentage of shared fault for an accident. As long as you’re 50 percent or less responsible for the incident, you could seek some compensation for your injuries.
However, if a jury determines you’re more than 50 percent to blame, state law prohibits you from receiving a financial award to compensate for your losses. This doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to take your case to court. It just means you will likely face more challenges trying to recover the money you need.
If you sustained an injury in an accident due to someone else’s negligent actions, do not hesitate to contact the Beaumont personal injury lawyers of Portner Bond, PLLC. Our Texas personal injury lawyers believe in fighting for accident victims to secure the maximum possible compensation they deserve. You will have a dedicated and aggressive legal team by your side to advocate for your rights.