What to Consider When Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you’ve suffered some kind of harm or damage and you believe it’s the fault of another person or entity, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits are specific types of legal actions that are pursued in civil, rather than criminal court. The person who suffered the injury is known as the plaintiff and the individual or entity that they hold responsible is known as the defendant. You as the plaintiff would present a jury with evidence that shows both that you suffered an injury or some type of harm and that the defendant should have to compensate you for that harm because it was their negligence or recklessness that caused it.

Though some people dismiss the idea of filing a personal injury lawsuit because they think doing so will cost them money, the truth is that in most cases, personal injury attorneys do not charge their clients a fee. Rather, they take their cases on a contingency basis, which means that they only get paid if they win, and their payment is a percentage of the compensation that the personal injury claim yields rather than from a fee.

If you are thinking about pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, your best first step is to make an appointment with a personal injury attorney to see whether they believe you should move forward. There are plenty of situations where a personal injury lawsuit can be filed, but not all of them are appropriate, winnable, or worth the time. By the same token, there are some situations where choosing against filing a lawsuit will work against you. Here are some things for you to consider:

  • Did the other person/entity owe you a “duty of care?” In the case of a doctor or other professional, that is a question of whether there is an established relationship between you, and they failed in upholding what was expected of them. In the case of a car accident or a slip and fall accident, the question is whether the other party acted irresponsibly or in a way that could be anticipated to result in harm.
  • Can you prove that you suffered injuries? What were they? If your injury resulted in a copay of only $100 for an X-ray and the cost of a sling, it may make more sense for you to simply call the other person and ask them to compensate you. Did you lose wages? Is your ability to work and earn a living forever compromised? That’s a different story.

There are many factors that will need to be assessed in order to determine whether you should move forward and file a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to quickly assess your situation and provide you with the guidance you need.