How to know if you have a strong personal injury claim
Personal Injury - December 22, 2022
If you were injured due to someone else’s reckless actions, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. But you’ll only be successful if your claim contains the following elements: liability, damages, and collectibility.
We’ll discuss each of these elements and why they’re necessary to make a strong personal injury case. The Illinois personal injury attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help you determine if you have a claim, and we’ll work to collect maximum compensation for you if you do. One of our attorneys is standing by to consult on your case. Call now.
3 elements of strong PI claims
To collect compensation for your accident, three elements must be present: liability, damages, and collectability.
Liability is an action that is committed by a defendant or group of defendants that the law recognizes as wrong. There are a variety of forms of liability, such as failing to follow the rules of the road or selling defective products.
Liability is the first element of a personal injury case but is also often the most difficult to prove. Discovering who is at fault and liable for the accident depends on the evidence, which is why it’s important to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
A good way to tell if your case could meet the “liability” element is to ask yourself, “Would the incident have occurred had that person not done what they did?”
The next element of a solid personal injury lawsuit is damages, which are costs and other negative outcomes that result from your accident. If no damage was done, meaning there was no physical injury or property damage, you don’t have a case.
Most states recognize the following damages in personal injury cases:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Physical or vocational rehabilitation
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of companionship
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish or emotional distress
- Cognitive difficulties
Not all of these damages are present in all personal injury cases, but those that are will need to be proven with evidence before you can try and collect them.
This brings us to the next section, because even if there is both liability and damages, a personal injury case is not strong without the presence of collectability.
Collectability means that the defendant is able to pay what they owe the injured party. The defendant will receive what is called a “judgment,” or a document detailing how much they owe and why.
When a defendant does not have the money to pay the judgment, it’s only worth the paper that it’s printed on, which is nothing.
Without the presence of liability, damages, and collectability, your personal injury case will not have the building blocks for success. Consulting with an attorney begins the process of determining your claim, then putting together the best possible case.
Things you can do to help your case
You can only collect damages that you can prove with evidence, and you can only collect damages in a personal injury case for accidents that the defendant is liable for.
While your personal injury attorney will do all the heavy lifting on your case, there are some things you can do to support your case.
1. Keep a physical or digital journal.
Maintaining a journal of events from the time of your accident forward, detailing the symptoms of your injuries and the treatments you have pursued for them, is very helpful for your case.
Your attorney will help you schedule follow-up appointments to measure your injuries and the impact on your working ability. Keeping a journal of the symptoms of your injuries and the pain you have experienced will help to inform these appointments, and provide evidence for your claim.
2. Hold on to all your medical records.
You can only collect damages that you can prove, and evidence of injuries is provided through medical records.
Hold on to your emergency room bills and any doctors’ notes from your treatments. It’s a good idea to keep them all in one place, like a physical or digital folder. Request copies of any receipts of treatments and appointments to provide to your lawyer in support of your case.
3. Get witness information
If there were any witnesses present at the time of your accident or injury, collect their contact information so your attorney can contact them. Witnesses often provide information that proves invaluable in establishing the other party’s liability.
Think you have a strong case? We’ll provide strong representation.
If you have a strong personal injury case, the attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are standing by to provide you with strong representation to ensure you recover what you deserve.
The sooner you have a personal injury attorney on your claim, the sooner you can rest-assured that you will pursue the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
For your risk-free, cost-free initial case review, reach out to us to schedule a consultation or call (800) 985-1819 to discuss your options.