On behalf of Sayer Regan & Thayer of Sayer Regan & Thayer, LLP posted on THursday, September 29, 2022.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, whether a slip and fall on a business property or a dog bite from the neighbor’s pet, your first thought may be: I want to file a personal injury claim and get compensation. But, not so fast. Not every personal injury qualifies for a claim or case. Receiving compensation for your injuries may involve justice, but you also can’t ignore the fact that it involves dollars and cents too.
When the money you would stand to receive from such a claim is not enough to fairly compensate you, not to mention pay your legal fees, it could be difficult to find a lawyer who is willing to take on your case. There’s a lot that goes into determining a personal injury claim and that can only be done by a qualified personal injury lawyer.
That’s why your first step should be to get in touch with a personal injury attorney for a free consultation to determine if you indeed have a case. There are many types of personal injury cases, many of which focus on auto accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians. But other cases can involve premises liability, defective products, swimming pool accidents, and slips and falls.
Filing a personal injury claim is a complex and time-consuming process, with the outcome depending largely on the facts of your case. Here’s how your lawyer will assess your case and determine if it’s worth proceeding further.
3 Requirements for Filing a Personal Injury Claim
In general, there are three top things you must prove in order to receive monetary compensation for a personal injury claim.
(1.) The responsible party was negligent or careless. Let’s say a truck driver ignored a stop sign and crashed into your car, causing injury and property damage. This is considered negligence under the law.
(2.) The negligence is what caused the personal injury. Continuing with the truck driver example, if you (the innocent victim) broke a leg and suffered severe headaches as a direct result of the accident, the other driver’s negligence is considered to be the cause of the injury.
(3.) The injury resulted in harm, also known as compensatory damages. If your broken leg and headaches led to extensive medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, the injury has resulted in compensatory damages for which you may be compensated.
Your personal injury lawyer will extensively research your case to make sure you meet the above criteria. He or she will then interview you (the accident victim), read your medical records and accident reports, and consult with experts as needed.
Calculating Monetary Value
Part of determining if you have a case involves calculating economic losses. The financial losses you suffered due to an accident could include:
• Medical expenses (hospital and ambulance bills, medications, appointments, rehab, etc.)
• Lost income and earnings potential
• Cost to repair or replace damaged property
• Cost to make your home or vehicle accessible (ramps, vehicle hand controls, other accommodations)
• Cost of replacement services if you can no longer perform tasks such as clean your house or mow the lawn
In order to determine the damages, your personal injury lawyer will obtain copies of your medical bills, pay check stubs, and other documents that detail your financial losses. If you cannot supply this documentation, it will be much more difficult, or even impossible, to prove your claim and receive compensation.
This is why, after your accident, you should keep careful track of all receipts, check stubs, photos, bills and medical statements, and keep them organized in a binder. Take this binder to your lawyer during your initial consultation and any consultation thereafter.
Calculating Non-Monetary Damages
Getting compensation for your personal injury goes beyond the immediate economic effects. You can also in many cases be compensated for non-economic damages, i.e., pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment (this just means you can no longer engage in activities that used to bring you joy such as playing for your hometown softball league or skiing).
As you can imagine, these damages are more difficult to calculate than cut-and-dried monetary damages. Your lawyer will take into account many factors when calculating non-economic damages, such as:
• Severity of injuries and long-term recovery outlook
• Type and length of medical treatment or rehab
• Length of time you can be expected to experience pain and emotional distress
• Extent of physical limitations after the accident
• The way in which your injuries have affected your relationships and lifestyle
The answers to these questions will help your personal injury attorney come up with a range of monetary values in regards to non-economic damages.
Again, the only way to know for certain if you have a personal injury case is to speak to a personal injury attorney. Another big benefit of this is that they can help you deal with the insurance companies so you get fair compensation. Going head to head with insurance companies can result in you receiving much less than what you truly deserve.
Contact Sayer Regan & Thayer for Personal Injury Law in Newport
Our personal injury attorneys know what’s fair when it comes to your injury and your case, and won’t settle for anything less. We will help you get compensation so you can pay your medical and rehab bills, cover lost wages, and make sure you’re reimbursed for pain and suffering. Whether it just takes some negotiation or goes all the way to trial, we’ve got your back and won’t stop till we get you the results you deserve. Please contact us for your free initial consultation today.
These materials have been prepared by SRT for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.