How Much is my Texas Personal Injury Case Worth
The value of your personal injury case depends on:
- The facts of your case
- The quality of your evidence and
- The experience and dedication of your personal injury lawyer.
FACTS: The facts of your case will answer the two all-important questions of a personal injury case: who was at fault, and what are your damages? Before you can expect to successfully pursue a personal injury claim, there must be another party who is responsible for your injury, and you must have damages (losses) for which you can be compensated.
EVIDENCE: Of course, just having the facts on your side isn’t enough. You and your personal injury lawyer have to prove them in a court of law—or at least convince the insurance company’s attorney that you will be able to do so. That means that your case is very reliant on the availability of detailed police reports, your attorney’s ability to craft strong discovery documents and take depositions, and the availability of witnesses and physical evidence.
YOUR PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER: The quality and commitment of your attorney is critical to a successful personal injury claim. That’s because the facts and evidence only have an impact when they’re used appropriately by your attorney. Your lawyer will have to gather evidence, interview witnesses, negotiate with the insurance company, calculate your damages, and much more. A lawyer who knows the workings of personal injury litigation and how the insurance companies will act and react is in a much stronger position to represent you effectively. Your lawyer has to prove that another party was responsible for your injury, and prove your damages—or has to convince the insurance company’s attorney that if your case went to trial, he would prove those things. Without that ability and willingness, even favorable facts and evidence don’t translate to fair compensation for your injury.
To find out more about these factors, you can request a free case audit by calling us now at (512) 343-2572or you can request our free booklet for people injured in a car accident in Texas.
Your Ability to Recover is Dependent on Your Personal Injury Lawyer Meeting the Burden of Proof
In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff—that is, the party initiating the cause of action and asking for compensation—has “the burden of proof.” That means that it’s your responsibility to “prove” the facts of your case, the necessary elements of a personal injury claim, and your damages. The burden of proof is somewhat lower in a civil case (like a personal injury case) than it is in a criminal case. Generally, you’ll have to prove your claim “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Meeting the burden of proof is the bottom line requirement in a personal injury case—if your attorney can’t prove that another party is responsible for your injury, your case ends there. That’s one reason it’s so critical that you find the right personal injury lawyer—one you can trust to know the standard and build a strong case.
To learn more about the burden of proof you can request a free case audit by calling us now at (512) 343-2572or you can request our free booklet for people injured in a car accident in Texas.
Proving Liability in a Personal Injury Case
In most cases, proving that someone else is responsible for your injury means proving three elements:
- Duty: The first element necessary to establishing liability is that the other party had a duty, or a responsibility, to do something—or to refrain from doing something. Although there are certain circumstances and relationships that may impose higher duties, the most common duty is to “act as a reasonably prudent person would act under the circumstances.”
- Breach of Duty: Once your attorney has established that a duty existed, the next requirement is to prove that the duty was breached. Breach of duty simply means that the other party didn’t do his duty; he didn’t act as a “reasonably prudent person” would under those circumstances.
- Proximate Cause: Even after your attorney has established that the other party was negligent (breached a duty), the claim hasn’t been established. It’s not enough that the other person or company did something wrong—it’s also necessary to prove that the “something wrong” caused your accident or injury. However, “proximate cause” has a very specific legal meaning. The fact that you can demonstrate that your injuries were “because of” something the defendant did isn’t necessarily sufficient.
Liability is Not Enough to Win Your Personal Injury Case
Once your attorney proves that the other party is liable for your injury—that is, that he had a duty, breached the duty, and that breach caused your injury—you will still have to prove damages. Once liability is established, the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive is entirely dependent upon the damages your attorney can prove. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know exactly what kind of documentation is required to prove your damages and maximize your recovery. The calculation of your damages will take into account, among other things:
- Your medical bills
- The value of any property damaged, lost or destroyed
- Pain and suffering
- Lost work time and limitation on future employment
- Rehabilitation time and expenses
None of these factors stands in isolation, though. Each one must be tied directly to the injury you received as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Your medical records must clearly document the connection. Any delay between the injury and seeking the advice of a qualified personal injury lawyer may mean a decline in the value of your case. To maximize your recovery, a personal injury lawyer needs to begin gathering evidence early in the process, and to advise you on how to keep the records you’ll need to prove your damages. Talk to us today to find out what you need to do to protect your personal injury claim.
To learn more about the burden of proof you can request a free, no-obligation case audit by calling us now at (512) 343-2572or you can request our free booklet for people injured in a car accident in Texas.
Additional factors like the insurance coverage available, the particular insurance company involved, and your location may have an impact on the value of your case. We will be able to tell you how those factors impact your particular case.