5 Signs You Have a Strong Personal Injury Claim
It’s not always immediately apparent that an accident victim has grounds for a personal injury claim. Even if your case does have merit, there may be weaknesses in your claim that could be exploited by the opposing party to reduce your financial recovery.
Most personal injury claims are filed on the basis of negligence. You may have a strong negligence claim if all of the following are true:
1. The Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care
If your friend is a physician and you ask her in passing about some symptoms you’ve been experiencing, you can’t file a medical malpractice lawsuit if her assessment turns out to be incorrect. This is because the duty of care would not have been established. In order to prevail in a negligence claim, it must be shown that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care.
2. The Defendant Breached the Duty of Care
Were you in a car accident involving someone who was drunk, drowsy, or distracted? Did you slip on a spill that grocery store employees failed to mop up? These scenarios could be considered a breach of the duty of care, which is a failure to exercise a level of care that a person of ordinary prudence would exercise under the same circumstances.
3. You Incurred Damages as a Direct Result of the Breach
The primary purpose of a personal injury claim is to recover compensation for damages. Claimants may be able to recover compensatory damages, which include economic and non-economic losses, as well as punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant and to deter similar misconduct in the future. If you did not suffer damages—i.e. an injury or loss—you would not have grounds for a personal injury claim.
4. The Incident Occurred Within the Past Four Years
In Florida, the standard statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is four years. While there are a few exceptions to this deadline, it is generally required that a plaintiff takes legal action within four years of being injured.
5. You Haven’t Made Any Mistakes That Would Harm Your Case
Some of the more common mistakes that could hurt your chances of building a strong personal injury claim include:
- Posting about your car accident, your injuries, or your case online;
- Postponing medical care;
- Ignoring your doctor’s orders; and
- Giving the insurance adjuster a recorded statement.
Discuss Your Case with a Stuart Personal Injury Lawyer
At Donaldson & Weston, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that serious injuries can take. We are dedicated to providing the aggressive and compassionate representation that accident victims and their families deserve.
We accept personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, so no attorneys’ fees will be due unless we win your case through a settlement or trial verdict. Call 561-299-3999 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney in West Palm Beach.