When individuals suffer injuries in an accident that results from another person's negligence, they may file a personal injury claim or lawsuit and pursue monetary damages. The likelihood that an accident victim will win their personal injury lawsuit depends on their ability to prove the legal elements of their claim, as well as their deposition and trial testimony.
One of the best ways to increase your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit is to retain skilled legal counsel to represent you in your case as quickly as possible. Generally speaking, the sooner you have a personal injury lawyer representing you, the higher your chances of winning your case and obtaining a favorable monetary award, either through settlement or litigation.
Once you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in your case, that attorney can enter an appearance on your behalf and start advocating for your legal interests. Throughout your case, your lawyer will negotiate with insurance company representatives and pursue favorable settlement compensation on your behalf. Likewise, your attorney can file a lawsuit and litigate your case in the court system if the insurance company will not compensate you fairly.
At every stage of the legal proceedings, your attorney will be your advocate and aggressively fight for your legal rights and interests, helping you maximize the total monetary damages you recover.
What is the Basis for a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims have a basis in negligence. Consequently, for an accident victim to be eligible to pursue monetary compensation, they must successfully show that another individual or entity behaved unreasonably under the circumstances.
In most cases, this means that the at-fault party must have done something that a hypothetical “reasonable person” should not have done under the same circumstances. Alternatively, the at-fault party might have failed to undertake some action that a hypothetical reasonable person should have taken in the same factual scenario.
Some of the most common types of accidents that result from the negligence of others and lead to a personal injury claim or lawsuit include:
- Malfunctions and explosions that result from product defects
- Medical malpractice and negligence when a healthcare provider makes a mistake or omission
- Construction accidents that third parties cause on a job site
- Truck and car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle, bicycle, and scooter accidents
- Premises accidents, such as slip and falls and accidents that result from inadequate or negligent security on the premises
If you suffered injuries in one of these incidents, you may be eligible to recover various monetary damages if you can satisfy the legal elements of your claim. A skilled personal injury lawyer in your area can help you satisfy your legal burden of proof by retaining the necessary experts and introducing favorable testimony at trial.
Common Injuries that Accident Victims May Suffer
When individuals behave negligently, they may cause accidents and serious and debilitating injuries to others. Every accident scenario is different, as are the injuries victims ultimately suffer. Generally speaking, the more severe an accident and the more forceful it is, the more significant the injuries an accident victim sustains.
The type of accident that occurs and other accident-specific circumstances may affect the types of injuries that an accident victim ultimately suffers.
Some of the most common injuries that an accident victim may sustain include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Full or partial paralysis injuries
- Eye injuries
- Broken bones
- Rib fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Open lacerations that require stitches
If you suffered any of these injuries in an accident that resulted from another person’s negligence, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you file a claim or lawsuit for monetary damages. The sooner you retain an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you in your case, the higher your chances of winning the claim or lawsuit and recovering favorable monetary damages.
What do I Need to Prove to Win my Personal Injury Case?
An individual's chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit depend primarily on their ability to successfully prove the required legal elements of their case. First, an injured accident victim must establish that the at-fault party owed them a legal duty of care.
For example, in the context of a slip and fall accident, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of customers and other visitors. Property owners also have a duty to promptly warn about or correct dangerous conditions on the premises within a reasonable amount of time.
In addition to successfully proving the duty element, an accident victim must successfully demonstrate that the at-fault party somehow violated their legal duty of care. Again, in the context of a premises accident, the property owner might have failed to timely warn about or correct a defective staircase on their premises that ultimately resulted in the accident.
In addition, the accident victim has to show that the incident occurred as a direct and foreseeable result of the at-fault party's negligent actions or inactions. Finally, the accident victim must demonstrate that as a direct result of the incident, they suffered at least one physical injury.
The right personal injury attorney can help you satisfy these legal elements, safeguarding your right to recover favorable monetary compensation and damages for your injuries.
Your Ability to Satisfy the Required Legal Burden of Proof
One factor that influences an accident victim's ability to win their personal injury case is their ability to successfully prove the required legal elements of their claim. Proving these legal elements is sometimes an uphill battle, but your personal injury attorney can retain one or more legal experts to help you satisfy the burden of proof in your case.
First, your attorney might retain an accident reconstructionist who can determine how the accident occurred – and who ultimately caused the accident. An accident reconstructionist may reach this determination by speaking with witnesses, reviewing investigation documents (including police reports), and visiting the incident scene.
In addition, your attorney may retain a medical expert, such as a treating healthcare provider, in your case. A medical expert may also testify at a discovery deposition or civil jury trial to support your case. Specifically, the expert can causally relate your claimed injuries to the incident. The medical expert may also assert that one or more of your accident-related injuries is permanent and will cause lifelong problems.
While most injuries recover at some point, permanent injuries are unlikely to recover fully. Consequently, these injuries may require ongoing medical treatment for the accident victim or cause the accident victim to experience ongoing pain and suffering.
The Disputed Issues in Your Personal Injury Case
Another factor that may influence an accident victim's ability to win their personal injury case is the issues in dispute. In some cases where liability is obvious, the at-fault party's insurance company may stipulate liability – or fault – for the accident.
In that situation, the only remaining issue in dispute is usually monetary compensation and damages. The trier of fact, usually the jury, will then have to determine the amount of monetary compensation to award the accident victim at trial.
In other personal injury cases, both fault and damages are in dispute. In that situation, the accident victim has a higher legal burden to satisfy, and it may be more difficult for them to prove the necessary elements of their case to recover favorable monetary compensation and damages for all of their accident-related losses.
The Availability of Witness Testimony
Another factor that may influence an accident victim's ability to win their case is the availability of both factual and expert witnesses at trial. During a personal injury jury trial, the accident victim can take the witness stand and discuss the circumstances surrounding their accident, the way the accident happened, the injuries they suffered, the medical treatment they underwent, and the overall effects of the accident on their life and well-being.
A personal injury attorney may also call additional fact witnesses to the stand, such as family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others who know the accident victim well. These individuals may testify about how, in their observation, the accident victim's life changed following their accident. This type of testimony can be very helpful to an accident victim’s case and may convince the jury to award the accident victim additional monetary compensation.
The availability of expert witness testimony, including the testimony of medical experts, may also become important when proving the nature and severity of an accident victim's injuries.
The more believable and convincing an expert’s testimony at trial, the more likely the accident victim will win their personal injury case and recover favorable monetary damages that favorably compensate them for their accident-related losses.
Your Deposition and Trial Testimony
If your attorney files a personal injury lawsuit, the defense attorney handling your case will probably conduct depositions. The defense attorney will ask questions about the accident and your injuries during this deposition. Following the deposition, they will likely submit a report to their insurance company adjuster about how the deposition went – and how you testified.
If your testimony strongly supports your claims, the insurance company may increase their most recent settlement offer in your case. If that does not happen, your attorney can take your case to a civil jury trial, and you may testify on the witness stand during that proceeding.
If your testimony is favorable at trial and you testify convincingly on the witness stand, you significantly increase your chances of winning the case and recovering favorable monetary damages.
What Monetary Damages Can You Recover if You Win Your Personal Injury Case?
A winning settlement or litigation verdict will compensate you fairly and reasonably for your accident-related injuries and other losses. The total monetary award that an accident victim receives in a personal injury claim or lawsuit will usually depend on the nature and extent of their injuries, the scope of their medical treatment, the cost of their treatment, and other accident-specific factors.
Some of the most common types of monetary damages that accident victims may recover include compensation for past and future medical expenses and lost income, loss of earning capacity, mental distress, inconvenience, past and future pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, loss of the ability to use a body part (such as with a permanent paralysis injury), long-term care costs, and permanent disability or disfigurement.
Remember, however, that under the Collateral Source Rule in New York, an accident victim may not receive monetary compensation for items that other sources – including disability or health insurance – cover.
This should never keep you from pursuing compensation through a personal injury claim. Your attorney can determine how much you should receive, given all of your circumstances and applicable state laws.
Call a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney about Your Case Today
There is no way to advise your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit without a legal professional directly evaluating your circumstances and injuries. However, one thing is for certain - your chances of winning compensation increase with the right legal representation.
Injury victims with experienced lawyers regularly take home more than those who attempt to handle the process alone.
Having an experienced personal injury law firm in Bronx involved in your case can set you on the road to recovering the full and fair monetary damages you deserve for your accident-related losses.
In addition to filing a claim or lawsuit for you, your attorney can negotiate with insurance company adjusters and represent you during all legal proceedings, including your deposition, jury trial, or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding. Your attorney can answer all of your questions along the way and help you make both intelligent and informed decisions that may lead to a favorable monetary award in your case.