Evaluating a Personal Injury Claim
If you are thinking of filing a personal injury claim, you might be wondering if you have a legitimate claim that is worth pursuing legal action. This can be a tricky question to answer as there are many factors that affect personal injury law. It is very important to evaluate your situation seriously because if the compensation you stand to receive from filing your claim isn’t enough to cover attorney’s fees and compensate you fairly, it might not be worth it. Evaluating a personal injury case is not always cut and dry. In this article, I will share the ways an attorney will evaluate your case and explain the factors which can affect the strength of a personal injury case.
There are many ways an accident can affect you. Many victims are left with countless damages. Damages are the monetary value assigned to your case or your financial losses as a result of the accident and your injuries. Your damages might include:
- Loss of income and potential earnings
- Medical bills, including medications, appointments, ambulance, and hospital bills
- The cost of services used to accommodate your immobility (such as ramps or vehicle hand controls)
- The costs to repair or replace damaged property
Copies of your medical bills, previous pay stubs, and other documentation will help to establish your damages. If you did not suffer measurable financial losses from an accident, it will be more difficult to prove your injury claim is legitimate. Always keep track of receipts and documents after an accident. Keeping this evidence is vital to proving your financial losses.
Some damages are quantitative and can be understood differently from financial losses. These damages are often known as pain and suffering or loss of companionship. Here are a few examples of qualitative damages:
If a victim loses the use of their right arm, their life might change dramatically. Qualitative damages will account for the loss of all the activities that person is missing for the rest of their life. For example, if they mowed the lawn every week prior to the accident, they will now need to pay a lawn service to mow it for them.
If a victim suffers major damages from an accident and is unable to bear children, that person will experience the loss of a life they wanted for themselves. Their pain and suffering would be understood as non-economic damages.
If a victim develops severe PTSD and depression after an accident, their quality of life will be significantly decreased. The suffering someone experiences from this kind of emotional distress cannot be easily quantified and will therefore be understood as a non-economic damage.
When an attorney evaluates your non-economic damages, a number of factors will be considered:
- How long you may be expected to experience emotional distress
- How your injuries might impact your relationships and lifestyle
- The extent of your physical and emotional limitations after an accident
- The type and severity of your injuries and expected long-term outlook for recovery
These damages are much harder to calculate and prove than economic damages, which is why you will need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.
What issues might weaken my claim?
A few legal issues might weaken your claim in the eyes of the court. Georgia law applies the rule of Modified Comparative Negligence which means that if you are even partially at fault for an accident, your compensation could be diminished. Different attorneys will handle Modified Comparative Negligence differently and it is definitely a good idea to get a second opinion to learn more about the strength of your case.
How will an attorney evaluate my claim?
There are many challenges that will face you and your attorney in a personal injury case. In order to be successful in your claim you will need to:
- Prove that the negligent actions of the other party caused you harm
- Show the negligence of the other party
- Provide details about the damages which resulted from your injuries
- File a claim that is timely and meets the procedural requirements of the state of Georgia
As you can imagine, personal injury lawyers are careful to examine a case before filing a lawsuit. An attorney’s investigations might involve reviewing medical records and accident reports, interviewing the victim of the accident, applying the legal standards of Georgia, and possibly consulting with experts.
If you think you might have a personal injury case, you will face many challenges to receive fair compensation. You will need a trusted personal injury attorney in your corner to fight for your economic and non-economic damages. Call (678) 819-5200 for a free consultation with a personal attorney who cares.