When you end up getting hurt by a careless driver, you might wonder if you have a good case. The merits of a personal injury case rest on several factors, and the more factors that apply to you the higher your potential compensation might be. Since most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, your chances for representation depends on the value and merits of your particular case. Read on for a summary of main factors your attorney is looking for when they decide whether or not to take your case.
What Harm Was Done?
If your accident was minor and you suffered only minor injuries, you might not have a case worth pursuing. The insurance company will pay for you to get medical attention and for your wrecked car. If your accident was more serious, you might need to take further action. For example, in a more serious accident, you might be in the hospital for some time and need surgery and physical therapy to recover. This type of situation usually calls for missed work (lost wages) and a disruption of your life (pain and suffering). As the dollar figure for your injuries climbs, so does your compensation from all the related damages.
Facts About Your Case
Your attorney will need information about the accident in addition to your medical treatment up to now to properly evaluate your case. Certain key elements will catch the eye of the attorney—elements that determine the value of your case and the chances of getting paid compensation. For example, the attorney may ask the following questions.
1. Is the other driver completely responsible for the accident or did you have a part in causing it? If it can be shown that your actions contributed to the accident, your compensation will be reduced. This is known as liability.
2. Did the other driver break traffic or other laws? Any time the other driver ended up being cited for a moving violation or, worse, being arrested, your case gains credence. For example, the other driver's actions may have been so egregious and careless that they were cited for reckless driving. Additionally, if the other driver was found to be driving under the influence (DUI), you may be eligible for the award of punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.
3. Is eye-witness testimony available? Was the accident caught on camera?
4. Have you missed a significant amount of time from your job? Has your career, in general, been negatively affected by the accident?
The only way to find out the worthiness of your case is to speak to an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible.