Whether you’ve been in a car accident, have fallen on someone’s property, or have been injured by a defective product, you have the right to take legal action against the negligent party that caused your losses. While there is a path to follow when filing a personal injury claim, there are a number of factors that have the potential to affect the payout you receive. In order to ensure you receive the maximum amount of financial compensation for your losses, you need to understand those factors and how to build a strong claim.
In most cases, you may be eligible for economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages cover literal financial losses like medical bills and lost wages. Noneconomic damages are based on losses like pain and suffering. At Shrager & Sachs, LLC, our attorneys are well-versed in personal injury law and we’re prepared to guide you through the process. In general, we’ll typically start by evaluating your situation and collecting the evidence your claim needs.
The Need for Strong Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim
Evidence of negligence for a personal injury claim varies. An experienced attorney will know what evidence will support your claim best. In most cases, your lawyer will help you collect the following:
- Personal Statements. It’s important to remain consistent throughout your case. Throughout the claims process, you will tell a number of different people, including the responding police officer, your doctor, your insurance company, and your lawyer, what happened. The consistency in which you tell your side of the story will strengthen your credibility as your own witness.
- Witness Statements. In the event witnesses were present when you were injured, their testimony could provide support that the opposing party was negligent.
- Police Report. A standard police report will contain information including the date, time, and location of the accident. It will also include contact information for anyone involved. The police officer who files the report will note any potentially broken laws and their assumption of what happened based on the evidence at the scene.
- Photographs or Videos. Photographic or video evidence is particularly useful in situations like slip and falls or car accidents. The photos or videos can show proof of damage and injuries and potentially the accident itself.
- Medical Records. After an accident, it’s important for the victim to seek medical attention. Even if the injuries are minor, having an official record is crucial to properly value a claim.
When the evidence above is compiled properly and paired with any applicable state or federal laws, you will be able to prove negligence on behalf of the opposing party. Proving negligence involves establishing an owed duty of care, proving that duty was breached, showing how that breach caused the accident, and connecting the accident to the injuries and losses.
Understanding the Severity of Your Injuries and Losses
How severe your injuries and other economic losses have a significant impact on the value of your personal injury claim. To determine those amounts, you first need to add up expenses like medical bills, therapy costs, out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, and any lost income. Adding up those damages is generally easy, as you will have the bills and receipts to do so.
In general, the more severe your injuries are, the more your claim has the potential to be worth. If, for example, you were involved in a motorcycle accident because a driver ran a stop sign and threw you from your bike, it’s likely your injuries will be severe—even with the proper gear. A single ambulance trip can cost thousands of dollars, and the cost only goes up once you actually enter the emergency department. If you need to be admitted or are looking at potential surgeries, it’s not uncommon to wrack up tens or hundreds of thousands in medical bills.
Your lawyer will add up all your economic losses to determine where to start with valuing your claim. After calculable numbers have been taken into consideration, you’ll want to look at the noneconomic damages.
The Weight of Emotional Trauma
The pain a person experiences from an accident generally goes beyond physical injuries. Emotional trauma can have a serious impact on a person’s life and has the potential to result in conditions like anxiety and depression.
Proving psychological trauma is more challenging that economic damages because there aren’t actual monetary figures to go off of. Instead, it’s likely you’ll need input from a reputable mental health professional to explain what you’ve suffered and how it has impacted your life and the lives of your family members.
Maximize Your Payout With Shrager & Sachs, LLC
With there being so many factors that affect the payout of a personal injury claim, it’s crucial to have a reliable attorney by your side. In the event you’ve been injured in our around Philadelphia, an injury lawyer from Shrager & Sachs can evaluate your situation, determine if there are grounds for legal action, and help you pursue a claim to seek the compensation you need to move forward.
When you seek legal representation from us, we’ll pool our knowledge, skills, and resources to properly value your claim and fight to ensure you do not receive less than what you’re owed. The sooner you get in touch with us after an accident, the better your chances are of receiving full and fair compensation. Contact us today for more information.