When you are injured in an accident and you want to file a lawsuit to claim damages, your lawyer will consider different aspects before accepting the case. The two most important factors considered are whether there is somebody responsible for your injuries, and whether your injuries are serious enough to qualify for a claim.
Your lawyer will first see whether anybody can be held liable for the accident. This means whether the other party was negligent or careless in causing the accident. Secondly, your lawyer will also consider whether such negligence was the direct cause of the accident and your resultant injuries. In certain cases, the liability is clear, for instance, when the other driver is drunk and has caused the accident by his rash driving. However, liability may be challenging when the victim is partially responsible for the accident. In certain states, if the victim is even partially at fault, the case is dismissed.
This does not seem right but that is the case in some states. The other driver can destroy your vehicle and put you in the hospital but if just happened to be speeding by about 2 mph perhaps (which is not really speeding) you can be the hook for all your losses. If this drives you up a wall (pun intended) you could consider moving to another state.
The Severity of the Injuries
The other main consideration is the damages you have suffered. Your lawyer will calculate economic, as well as non-economic damages. Economic damages include your medical costs for treating your injuries, present and future loss of income, and damages to your vehicle. Your lawyer will go through your medical records, determine the severity of your injuries, and evaluate whether these injuries are going to have a permanent effect on your life.
Non-economic damages are considered, especially when you have suffered serious injuries. While evaluating these damages your lawyer will consider:
- The pain and emotional distress, you have suffered due to your injuries
- Whether you injuries are preventing you from pursuing your hobbies and recreational activities
- Whether your injuries are having an impact on your intimate relationship with your spouse
After considering all these factors, your lawyer will make a rough evaluation of what your case is worth, and whether it is worth pursuing.