Following an accident, you might wonder whether you have a case that's worth taking to a personal injury attorney. There are several ways to figure this out so here is what you need to know.
Don't Give Up Early
Even if you're fully convinced that you don't have a case, the smart move is to treat the situation like it is active. That means you should make every effort to collect paperwork from anyone involved, including doctors, EMT service providers, police officers, and firefighters. The same goes for any incident reports you might get from a business where an accident happened.
For a personal injury lawyer, the argument is simple. Circumstances following accidents can change rapidly. What might have seemed like a bad bruise, for example, could be masking nerve damage or broken bones. You might learn several months down the road that you suffered worse injuries than you initially believed.
You should at least stay attentive to your situation like it's an active injury case. Make copies of every report you receive, and keep the originals in a safe place.
One of the big things that will dictate whether a case is worthwhile is if there are compensable injuries. Generally, you can require compensation for an injury that costs you a significant amount. That doesn't mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, but it does mean you can pursue a claim over an abrasion that required more than a band-aid.
You'll want to keep close tabs on any medical bills you receive so you can use these as evidence of the extent of your injuries. Notably, it doesn't take much in the way of medical bills to get to a reasonably-sized claim.
Some person or organization has to be the identifiable defendant. This doesn't have to be the individual most directly responsible for causing the injuries. For example, a store is likely to be the defendant in a case involving an employee who left a spill unattended in the time leading up to a slip-and-fall accident. Even if you're not sure who would be the defendant, you can at least discuss the issue with a personal injury attorney to determine how to proceed.
Not all those who cause injuries are entirely liable for what happened. For example, someone who was running before they hit a wet patch on a store's floor probably bears some liability for their injuries. In the majority of states and cases, the defendant has to bear the most liability for a claim to be viable. For more information, contact a personal injury attorney.