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How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?
- July 26, 2016
Personal injury claims are some of the toughest cases to understand. Anytime you are hurt or suffer an injury, your first instinct is likely to find someone to blame. If you have high medical bills, you want someone to help you pay and someone to take responsibility for the damages done. But while the perfect world would allow for assistance for every injury, not all cases qualify for personal injury claims.
If you believe you may have a personal injury claim on your hands, here are few things you should consider, including information you will need to record and who you should talk to in order to strengthen your case. You should definitely speak to one of our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, when in doubt.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim can arise if you have been injured because of the fault of another person. This injury could include everything from breaking a bone, hurting your back in a slip and fall accident, or even being injured in a traffic accident. Any time that you are hurt because of the mistake made by another person, you may be able to file a personal injury case.
It is important to note that in order to qualify for a personal injury case, the action of the other individual does not need to be intentional. Whether or not the action was done on purpose or by accident, you must only show that the accident was the fault of the other individual and that your damages were caused by that accident.
Personal Injury Claim Basic Requirements
If you are still unsure if you have a personal injury claim, it is a good rule of thumb to consider if the three basic requirements are present. Through asking yourself the following three questions, you can more clearly see if you have a personal injury claim on your hands and what your next step should be.
Did the other party act carelessly?
While we addressed that the responsible party did not need to intend to cause harm, it still must show that they acted carelessly or negligently. This means that although they did not hope their careless action hurt another individual, they still made a mistake that lead to the accident occurring.
A good example of carelessness that can lead to injury is running a red light. While the responsible party may have not planned to hurt someone when they did not make a proper stop, they still made the decision to drive recklessly.
Did the act cause the injury?
To file a personal injury claim, there must be actual injury that occurred as a result of the accident. Using the same example from above, if you were hit by the driver who ran the red light and suffered a broken arm or concussion, you can claim personal injury.
On the other hand, if you were not struck by the car but feared what could have happened, there is no injury that resulted from the accident. In this case, you probably don’t qualify for a personal injury claim.
Did the injury cause you harm?
The last question to ask yourself is if the injury caused you harm. In the easiest sense to understand, this means the injury prevented you from going to work or caused you pain. Harm can also include medical bills or other damages.
The harm caused by the injury will help you to identify how much compensation you should ask for when filing your personal injury claim. This number should also consider future medical bills or lifelong changes that may need to be made because of your injury. Pain and suffering can be included in the harm that the injury may have caused.
If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, then you probably have a personal injury claim to file. If you are still unsure if you have enough evidence to provide your personal injury claim, contacting an expert attorney can help you understand how strong your case is and what other necessary information you may need to make that case even stronger. A personal injury attorney can also help you get started on the filing process and ensure you receive the full compensation amount that you are entitled to.