After you’ve suffered injuries through no fault of your own, you may wonder whether you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim. Generally speaking, a good personal injury case requires fault and damages. Without both, you do not have a viable personal injury claim under the law.
Factors in a Strong Personal Injury Claim
A strong and successful personal injury claim usually requires three factors. First, you must have incurred some sort of loss that you can be financially compensated for. Compensable losses can include medical bills, lost wages, lost ability to work, lost enjoyment or quality of life, and pain and suffering. Typically, personal losses such as pain and suffering follow financial losses like medical bills and lost wages. If you haven’t suffered some sort of concrete, documented financial loss due to your injuries, you likely do not have a strong personal injury claim.
Next, you must have some party that you can hold legally accountable for your injuries and losses. In most personal injury claims, you must show that someone committed negligence — that is, they breached a legal duty of care owed to you — or committed recklessness — conscious disregard of a substantial risk of causing injury — and that party’s actions or omissions were directly and proximately responsible for your injuries and losses. If the law does not recognize a theory of liability for your injuries, you cannot hold someone responsible to compensate you.
Finally, a strong personal injury claim will have as a practical factor the ability to recover compensation. If a liable party simply has limited or no financial resources to pay you compensation, you will be limited in your ability to pursue full compensation in a personal injury claim.
Having Strong Evidence and Witnesses
Having effective physical and documentary evidence and witnesses is critical to proving your personal injury claim. The process of collecting evidence for a personal injury case often begins by taking photographs of the scene of your injury. If you retain a personal injury lawyer straight away after being injured, they can also ensure that critical evidence is preserved, such as surveillance video or documents.
In many personal injury cases, it can also prove critical to have eyewitnesses to avoid a case where the parties simply have conflicting versions of what happened. Third parties can provide an outside, objective account of how your injuries occurred.
Keeping a Diary/Journal Can Prove Useful
Maintaining a diary or journal after being injured in an accident can be incredibly helpful to your personal injury case, especially as it can strengthen your claim to compensation for pain and suffering or lost quality of life if you’ve documented the effects that your injuries have had on your life. Keeping a journal can also later help refresh memories that fade over time.
You Only Have a Limited Period to Pursue a Personal Injury Case
Under Florida’s statute of limitations, you typically only have four years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for your injuries. The statute of limitations can be extended under certain specific circumstances, such as for minor children or if the underlying facts of your claim have been concealed from you. If you fail to file a lawsuit before the limitations period on your personal injury claim expires, the court will have grounds to permanently dismiss your claim and you will lose your right to seek compensation.
Read more: How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured in Plantation, Pompano Beach, Pembroke Pines, Weston, and throughout Florida. Call 954-525-2345 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Plantation, and Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.