If you are injured in any sort of accident, whether it be a car accident or other accidental injury, you must decide if your case is worth pursuing as a legal matter. Of course, this decision should only be made after a consultation with a personal injury attorney. After your consultation, the decision to pursue the claim will depend on the answer to one question: Is it worth it? There are three main factors that will play into the decision to pursue your claim. Those factors are: (1) The likelihood of proving liability; (2) The seriousness of the injury; and, (3) The difficulty level of the case.
Negligence and Legal Liability. In every accident and injury case, you must be able to show that some other person or entity is legally liable for the incident. In proving legal liability, you must be able to show that another person was “negligent.” Negligence means the failure to use reasonable care. For instance, if you are stopped at a red light and then suddenly rear-ended by another vehicle, you might have a strong claim that the other driver was negligent for failing to pay attention. On the other hand, if you were rear ended because the other driver’s brakes failed, then you might have more difficulty proving that the other driver was negligent in causing the auto accident. Another example would be a premises liability case. For example, if you slip and fall on water from a freshly mopped floor in a supermarket isle, then you should be able to show that store was negligent for causing your fall especially if there were no warning signs. On the other hand, if you slipped on water that was just recently spilled by a customer, then you might have a more difficulty proving that the store management was negligent. As you can see, proving negligence against the other party depends upon all the facts and circumstances surrounding any particular incident.
Injury and Damages. The amount any party stands to collect in any given case depends on the injury or damages resulting from the accident. If you are involved in a car accident, but sustained no injury, then you would not have a claim. At the same time, injuries can range from relatively minor on one end, to very severe injuries even resulting in permanent disability or wrongful death. Of course, the more serious the injury, then the more likely the claim would bring a higher award for monetary damages. Furthermore, where an accident results in a wrongful death, then the amount of recovery can be quite substantial especially if the deceased left behind a spouse and dependent children.
Case Difficulty. Not every case is easy to win. Legal cases are very challenging and require a great deal of preparation especially if a suit must be filed or if the case goes to trial. Although a rear-end car accident might be easy to win, a car wreck at an intersection might prove more difficult to win especially where the drivers each claim they had the right of way. Additionally, the lack of eye-witnesses can also add to the case’s difficulty since the case would now hinge solely on the credibility of each party’s version of the events.
So how do these factors play into the decision to pursue a case? Although a case might be clear on the issue of negligence, there may not be a very serious injury involved, such as a minor whiplash, cuts or bruises. At the same time, the case might be relatively easy to prepare for possible settlement thereby making it worth pursuing. Then again there may also be a case where proving negligence might be a challenge, but the accident resulted in very serious injuries or even a wrongful death. Although this case might have a higher difficulty factor, the potential for a higher recovery could make the case worth pursuing. Generally speaking, a person might have difficulty in finding a lawyer where the likelihood of proving negligence is small, the injuries are relative minor, and the case requires a significant amount of time and effort to establish.
Nevertheless, the decision about whether a case is worth pursuing should always be made after consulting with a lawyer. There are many personal injury lawyers in Dallas. Just because one lawyer is not interested in your case does not mean you should stop your search. You should seek the advice of several lawyers. Always give yourself the benefit of the doubt and do no get discouraged just because one personal injury lawyer does not take your case. Every personal injury law firm is different. They have different specialties and many different methods of operation. Just because your case does not sound appealing to one lawyer doesn’t mean another lawyer may not be interested.