So, you’ve been hit in your car by another driver. Or, you’ve slipped on some spilled pasta sauce at a grocery store. Maybe you’ve tripped on a sidewalk and fell. You are injured because of an accident of some kind. What do you need to successfully pursue that case?
In any case involving personal injuries, you need a few things to be present to win.
First, you need liability. That means, the accident or crash or fall was caused by someone other than yourself. For example, if you are rear ended and you could have done nothing to prevent it. Or, t-boned because someone drove through a red light. Or, you tripped on a sidewalk that was not properly maintained. You need to prove that someone else (or something, i.e. the City, etc.) cause the accident. In some cases, as long as you can prove that it was at least partially their fault you can recover.
Second, you need actual damages. You have to have been injured. Minor injuries can sometimes be worth pursuing, but in most cases, you need some medical treatment. When you are pursuing a case like this, you are entitled to emotional and physical distress and pain and suffering. The jury will be asked to determine that amount. If you did not treat, it’s harder for them to do that.
Third, you need money to collect from. In a personal injury lawsuit, you are asking for money. You can’t ask the Court to turn back time and undo the pain and suffering caused. However, you can ask for the next best thing, compensation to bring your quality of life up from where it went after the injuries.
In most cases, at least one of these factors will impact the case dramatically. This is where a good lawyer comes in. You are entitled to the best advice possible and these factors will help navigate you through your injury case.