Signs You Have A Strong Personal Injury Case
Many people in Tennessee suffer injuries caused by the negligence of someone else. Whether in a car, bicycle, or pedestrian accident, victims may have injuries that result in monetary costs such as medical bills and lost wages when they cannot work. Some victims may settle with insurance companies, while others decide it may be in their best interest to file a lawsuit. According to the National Safety Council, nearly 2.5 million people in the United States sought medical attention for injuries suffered in vehicle accidents between January and June of 2021. What are the signs you have a strong personal injury case? Those who are interested in learning more may want to reach out to Labrum Law at (615) 338-9500.
Comparative Fault Rule in Tennessee
The 50% rule applies in Tennessee personal injury cases. Our state uses the modified comparative negligence method when the injured party may share fault for an accident that results in injury or losses. This means:
- An injury victim may recover compensation for damages and injuries if they are less than 50% at fault in the accident (49% or less)
- Based on the percentage of fault, the victim may be compensated a monetary amount deemed appropriate
- The facts of the case determine the percentage of fault which is assigned by a judge or jury
When an injured person is found by a judge or jury to be 50% or more at fault for a car accident, that person will not be eligible for compensation for damages or injuries they suffered. Some of the things used to determine fault include police reports, witness statements, and evidence from the scene of the accident.
Damages and Financial Losses
One of the signs you have a strong personal injury case is the financial loss or damages incurred in the accident. For example, a person who suffers a serious traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, amputation injury, or multiple broken bones would have a claim that is potentially more valuable than someone who suffered minor injuries. Property damage is also a factor in the value of a personal injury claim, as well as lost income when the victim is unable to work for a prolonged period of time or permanently.
Damages are also necessary for a strong personal injury case. When there are no damages, a lawsuit is not necessary even when another person or party was liable. Personal injury damages recognized by most states include:
- Medical costs
- Lost income or loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering (physical pain, mental anguish)
- Physical disability
- Wrongful death damages
- Loss of consortium
- Court costs
- In some cases, attorney fees
Those with questions regarding the strength of their personal injury case may want to consider visiting with Labrum Law to learn more.
Factors That Strengthen a Personal Injury Case
There are certain things an injury victim can do help them build a solid personal injury case. These include:
- Seeking medical attention right away after being injured
- Getting copies of medical records
- The ability to prove the victim's injuries contributed to financial loss
- Filing a personal injury claim before the expiration of the statute of limitations
- Collecting solid evidence that proves the negligent party caused damage and injury to the victim
- Consider working with a skilled personal injury lawyer
- Being transparent about all aspects of the case with your attorney
- Having no or little liability for the injuries suffered
- Avoiding things that could harm the case such as sharing details with friends, co-workers, or on social media platforms
It is important for victims who have suffered injury in an accident caused by someone else to collect as much proof as possible concerning financial loss, injuries, and evidence of liability. Photos of the accident scene, medical records, police reports, letters from an employer regarding work status, and other evidence is extremely helpful in building a strong personal injury case.
When Does a Personal Injury Case Have Merit?
Many people who are injured in accidents caused by negligence are not sure whether their case has merit. This is one reason to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can determine the strength of the case. When the negligent party and their insurance company begin discussing a settlement, in most cases it is clear the injured party's claim has merit. Victims should consider offers of a settlement very carefully and on the advice of their attorney before deciding whether to accept it or proceed forward with a lawsuit. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), injured victims can accept a settlement at any point in a lawsuit. Many personal injury claims settle prior to a lawsuit, however the plaintiff can accept a settlement even when the case has gone to the judge or jury to decide.
Consider the Insurance Policies
Most people who are negligent and contribute to accidents that result in injuries to others are not wealthy, which means insurance policies are generally the primary source of compensation. When a defendant cannot collect compensation from the insurance company or the negligent party, a personal injury claim is worthless. When an injury attorney examines all aspects of a victim's case, one area closely scrutinized is insurance policies. These may include:
- Liability insurance
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Med Pay
Coverage limits on insurance policies generally determine the amount of compensation an injured victim may recover either in a settlement or lawsuit verdict.
Consider Scheduling a Consultation with Labrum Law
Many of those who are injured in a car crash or other accident caused by negligence are not sure whether they should accept a settlement offer or file a personal injury lawsuit. In addition to the above, what are the signs you have a strong personal injury case? Those in need of more information or who have questions may want to consider visiting with Labrum Law at (615) 338-9500.