The chances are winning a personal injury lawsuit depend heavily on the specific details of your case. While no attorney can predict the outcome of a personal injury claim, certain factors can influence the outcome.
If you are unsure whether you have sufficient grounds to pursue a personal injury settlement, an experienced attorney can review your case and honestly assess your chances.
The Factors That Influence Personal Injury Lawsuit Outcomes
Personal injury lawsuits allow you to seek financial recovery for losses you suffered due to someone else’s negligence. You could sue for a slip-and-fall accident in a retail store or file a claim against the at-fault driver in a car accident.
Before you decide to pursue a claim against the negligent parties, consider the following factors that could influence your chances of success.
The Strength of the Evidence in Personal Injury Cases
To secure fair compensation, personal injury victims must be able to provide evidence to prove their claim. Evidence can be used to establish who was responsible for the injured parties’ losses. It can also help substantiate damage claims.
Strong evidence may include:
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Statements from witnesses who observed the incident
- Accident reconstruction and expert testimony
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Medical bills and receipts
- Property repair estimates
Even a minor injury can have serious long-term consequences. Once you receive medical attention, contact a personal injury attorney to help you gather the necessary evidence to build a substantial claim.
The Role of Negligence and Liability in Determining Success
A successful personal injury claim depends on proving that the other party’s negligence caused your injuries. To prove negligence, you must establish that the other party had a duty of care to prevent harm. For example, if you tripped on a loose tile in a store, the property owner or business could be liable because they had a duty to correct or warn of the trip hazard.
Liability for a personal injury case differs depending on the type and location of your injury. Proving responsibility for a car accident differs from establishing liability in a premises liability or product defect case. In addition to the material differences between such cases, state laws often address liability differently depending on the circumstances.
Comparative Fault and Its Impact on Lawsuit Chances
In many states, comparative fault laws can significantly affect the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit. Comparative negligence considers how a victim may have contributed to their injuries.
For instance, if you were speeding and another vehicle struck you after running a red light, the other driver would carry fault for violating traffic laws. However, comparative negligence means you could also be held partially accountable because you were speeding during the accident.
Comparative fault laws typically divide fault into a percentage. Your settlement value is determined by the amount of fault you and the other party carry. The more responsibility you share, the lower your settlement will be.
In Rhode Island, for example, R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-20-4 indicate that personal injury damages are reduced based on the proportion of fault held by all parties involved.
Comparative negligence laws are complicated, so you benefit from consulting with a personal injury attorney familiar with personal injury cases in your state.
The Influence of Damages and Their Calculation in Lawsuit Outcomes
Damages you can pursue in a personal injury lawsuit differ depending on the state where the injury occurred and the circumstances surrounding the case. Typically, the more severe your injuries are, the greater the damages you could pursue.
Damages you could claim include:
- Past and future medical care
- Medication and medical devices
- Lost past and future income
- Reduced income potential and loss of business
- Property damage repair and replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Some states only allow certain compensatory damages for physical injuries. Others cap non-economic damages like emotional distress and pain and suffering. In Rhode Island, there is no limit on personal injury damages unless you are suing a state, city, or local government. In that case, R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 9-31-2 and 9-31-3 limit damages to $100,000.
You could also pursue punitive damages for particularly egregious or grossly negligent actions, but punitive damage awards are rare.
Consult a personal injury lawyer near you to learn which damages you could seek.
The Influence of Insurance Companies and Settlement Negotiations
Insurance companies are notorious for offering low initial settlements. Since they aim to protect their profits, insurance carriers benefit from paying as little as possible, even for legitimate claims. Rather than accepting an initial settlement offer, you benefit from consulting with a personal injury lawyer.
A lawyer who handles personal injury claims will recognize the insurance adjuster’s tactics and know how to counter them. They can handle negotiations and defend your legal rights while you recover from your injuries.
The Importance of Legal Representation in Personal Injury Lawsuits
After an accident, you may feel overwhelmed and frustrated, especially when you factor in doctor’s appointments, repair expenses, and calls from pushy insurance representatives. A personal injury attorney can help you weather the aftermath of an injury, so you can take the time to focus on your health.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you gain the experience, knowledge, and resources necessary to negotiate a fair settlement successfully. An attorney can help you navigate the claims process, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
Whether you suffered injuries due to a truck accident, hazardous property condition, or a defective product, the skilled attorneys at Sands Law are here to help. Our Rhode Island personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling a wide range of personal injury, workers’ compensation, and wrongful death cases.
Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. A member of our legal team will examine your case and advise whether you have grounds to pursue a claim. If we deem your case viable for success, we will work dutifully to seek a fair result on your behalf.
Recover more compensation. Save time. Worry less. Leave it to the experts at Sands Law to help you. It’s what we’re here for.