The Steps to Supporting a Personal Injury Case
After a serious personal injury, you may find yourself as a Plaintiff in a lawsuit to obtain the compensation you need. Much of this is handled by your personal injury lawyer, who must gather the evidence to support your case, file your claim, and then present it in court.
But how does your lawyer do this? Just what goes into presenting a successful personal injury case?
Regardless of whether the injury is from an auto accident or a mishap in a public park, a personal injury suit is often referred to as a “tort” claim. For a successful personal injury case, your lawyer must be able to prove liability and damages. Proving liability means evidence must be gathered (and sometimes an expert opinion) that you were harmed due to the fault of another person. To prove damages, your lawyer must be able to show the negative impact the injury has had on you both financially and otherwise.
This usually involves gathering evidence from both witnesses and documents. The witnesses may include investigating police officers, eyewitnesses to the collision, doctors, health care providers, co-workers, accountants, actuaries and other professionals. All of this helps establish the nature of your injury, its severity, and its impact on you.
When the claim is started, the value of the damages will not likely be quantified. Your personal injury lawyer will seek to quantify your damages over the course of your recovery. Damage are both economic and non-pecuniary – the latter is often referred to as “pain and suffering.” Punitive damages are rare but may be available in the appropriate case.
The amount of damages may be reduced for the degree of fault you bear for the injury. For example, if the Court decides that your own actions caused 20% of the situation resulting in your injury, you will only be awarded 80% of the damages. Your lawyer’s job is to prove that you suffered measurable harm due to your personal injury and that little, if any, responsibility for this harm lies with you.
If there is a key to a successful personal injury case, it is preparation. From the initial investigation to the securing of expert opinion evidence, your personal injury lawyer knows what is required to assist you in obtaining compensation.