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Personal Injury Law: 3 Common Questions

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Nobody wants to imagine being hurt in an accident. Yet knowing more about your legal rights and responsibilities can prove highly beneficial in the event that you or someone you know does suffer an accidental injury down the line. If you would like to protect yourself by learning more about the ins and outs of personal injury law, read on. This article will answer three common questions about pursuing a legal case.

How do I know if I have a legitimate case?

To build a successful personal injury case, there are two key criteria that must be met. First, negligence must be established on the part of the defendant. This is done by first establishing what is known as duty of care--i.e. the responsibility one person owes to another to avoid causing them harm. For instance, any driver on the road has a responsibility not to operate their vehicle in a reckless or inattentive manner.

Once a particular duty of care has been established, there must be convincing evidence that the defendant was in breach of that duty. In other words, they did not uphold their implicit responsibility, and this negligence resulted in the injury of another. Yet negligence alone isn't always enough to make a personal injury case worth while.

The second key criteria is the extent of the particular injury. This is established in conjunction with one or more consultations with medical professionals. Their testimony as to the extent of your injuries is a key part of being able to build a strong case. If the injury sustained is deemed medically insignificant, or simply too minor, it may not be financially advisable to try and pursue a legal case. 

What materials should I bring to my initial consultation?

When meeting with an attorney to discuss the particulars of your case, it is important to arrive armed with as much relevant information as possible. This may include such documents as:

  • accident reports
  • medical reports
  • medical bills
  • insurance information received from the individual at fault (i.e. in a car accident)

In addition to these four items, it is also highly advisable to provide a copy of your medical insurance policies. Likewise, if you were involved in an automobile accident, bring a copy of your own auto insurance policy. People are often surprised to learn that their insurance policy will grant them certain rewards above and beyond what the defendant's insurance may cover.

What will my role be during the actual case?

Should your case go to court, it is important to recognize that you will be expected to play an active role. Think about it this way: a personal injury case is not simply a set of facts. More importantly, it is the personal narrative that shapes those facts. Your appearance, demeanor, and attitude will all play a large factor in how a jury ultimately decides your case. To find out more about personal injuries, speak with a business like The Gil Law Firm.