You can find out whether or not you have a viable personal injury claim by talking to a personal injury lawyer. In general and in addition to other elements, there are a few main things a claimant must prove in order to recover in a personal injury case: that you suffered damages, that the defendant was negligent, and that the defendant’s negligence caused your damages. Even if you have a valid claim, though, your personal injury attorney will have to investigate whether or not you would be able to collect on your claim. If the other party does not have insurance and does not have other assets that could be used to compensate you, then it may be that you have a valid claim but will be unable to collect compensation for it.
A number of factors figure into the monetary value of your personal injury claim. For instance, the value of your case is impacted by the nature and extent of your personal injuries; the amount of your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other financial losses; pain and suffering; and present and future disability. Even when those factors are considered, there are significant variations in the value of a personal injury claim based on the amount of insurance involved or the assets of the defendant, any partial fault on the part of the injured person, the victim’s willingness/ability to invest a long period of time in litigating the claim versus the need for a relatively quick settlement, and more. Assessing the value of your personal injury case isn’t an exact science, and your personal injury attorney won’t be able to give you a definite value up front. However, a personal injury lawyer can weigh the various factors to give you an overall picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
First and foremost, get medical attention. At the same time, if you’re able, you may want to create a record that could help protect your claim. File a police report, either at the scene or as soon as possible afterward. Try to get names and contact information from any witnesses. If you’re able, write down exactly what happened as soon as possible after the event. Accident scene photographs often provide valuable evidence that can’t be duplicated after the fact. And, of course, you can talk to a personal injury lawyer to get advice about how to proceed, what kind of records you should be keeping, and how to handle any phone calls you should receive from the other party’s insurance company.
Compensatory damages are damages meant to compensate. They pay you back for your actual losses. In Minnesota, compensatory damages may cover actual economic losses, like medical bills and lost income, as well as for things like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. The purpose of compensatory damages is to put you as nearly as possible back in the position you would have been in had the defendant’s negligence not occurred. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to punish the defendant and to discourage others from engaging in the kind of negligence involved in your case. Some states have eliminated or “capped” punitive damage awards. Where they are allowed, which is usually in rare cases, an award of punitive damages typically requires a showing of something more than mere negligence.
No! Insurance companies are mainly concerned with their own interests rather than your best interest. The business of an insurance company is to take in as many premiums as possible while paying out as few claims as possible. Their representatives may be trained to minimize or outright deny your claim, and they typically employ a variety of tactics to accomplish that – sometimes even pretending to be on your side and want to help you get your claim resolved quickly. A personal injury lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and should know how to work with – and against – insurance companies.
If you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, immediately after your injury would probably be the ideal time to speak with an attorney. If it’s past that point and you haven’t already contacted a personal injury attorney, the second-best time may be now. Simply fill out our free case evaluation form or call us toll-free at 612-874-6109, and we’ll help you arrange a free consultation. Minnesota, like every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims – these are time periods that can forever bar you from bringing a personal injury claim. Even if you’re well within the limitations period, though, timely legal advice can be critical. If you’ve browsed our web site, you know that there’s a lot to think about, such as maintaining records, who you can and cannot talk to, and the necessity of following your doctor’s advice to the letter, just to name a few key issues. Getting advice and guidance from a personal injury lawyer as early as possible may help you avoid mistakes that could later harm your personal injury case.