Personal injury lawsuits hinge on whether or not someone was injured through the negligence or deliberate actions of another party. While every tragedy hurts the victims and their families, not every tragedy is a crime or wrongful act. Many personal injury attorneys offer free reviews of potential cases, but this is not universal. Let’s go over the questions you need to ask in order to know if you have a valid case on your hands.
Were You Or Someone Else In Your Family Injured?
A claimant needs to have some sort of verifiable injury in order to have a personal injury case. You can pursue a personal injury case if a family member was hurt in a car crash, suffered horribly due to medical malpractice or a facility’s neglect, or a child was bit by a dog. You can pursue a personal injury case when someone dies whether due to a drunken driving accident, an undiagnosed medical condition or after being assaulted.
Emotional distress in and of itself rarely rises to the level of a personal injury claim. Slander and libel are a separate legal matter than personal injury. However, emotional distress may be a factor in a personal injury case. For example, a family can sue for not just lost wages and medical bills for a deceased loved one but counseling for the loss as well. And personal injury cases can be combined with property damage claims, such as when you’re suing the same person for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and the damage to your vehicle.
Did Someone Do Something Wrong?
In order to have a personal injury case, someone else had to have done something wrong to cause your injury. The issue may be that they didn’t do what they were supposed to do, such as nursing homes sued for bed sores and untreated illnesses that progressed to life-threatening conditions. Failure to do the right thing may be the basis for a personal injury case. The neighbor across the street didn’t take adequate measures to control their pet, and it got out and bit your child. A dangerous item wasn’t secured and fell, injuring someone. These are personal injury cases caused by negligence.
You may be able to file a personal injury case if you were injured during medical treatment. This requires demonstrating that the medical professional breached their standard of care and failed to do their job correctly. A personal injury lawyer can do the research if you don’t know if your situation reaches this legal threshold. Giving the wrong medication or too much of a medication is a common type of personal injury case. Someone pushing their limits when told to take it easy and landing back in the hospital does not have a personal injury case.
Are Your Injuries a Direct Result of the Other Person’s Actions?
Car accidents are a common source of personal injury cases. In these cases, a personal injury attorney determines if the other person is responsible for both the accident and your injuries. When the injury is due to a potentially defective product, the personal injury lawyer brings in experts to see if the product malfunctioned or was used incorrectly. These cases are stronger when it can be shown that the manufacturer knew that the problem existed.
Personal injury cases tied to medical malpractice are unfortunately common. However, not all injuries and deaths are due to medical malpractice. If you schedule surgery knowing there is a 20% chance of death, your family can’t sue if you are one of those who don’t survive. Not every birth defect is due to anything that anyone else could have controlled. A patient who ignores medical advice or refuses to take medication cannot sue when their medical condition gets worse.
What If You Don’t Have All the Answers?
Sometimes you don’t have all of the information necessary to assign blame or answer the questions listed above. Perhaps you are still reeling from the experience and seeking advice on what to do next. The best way to determine if you have a legitimate personal injury case is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.