Mishaps are fairly commonplace and may or may not result in injury. Of course, not all injuries lead to legal actions – some are due to genetics, age, unavoidable accident (where no one is liable). However, there are times when a person or a company is legally responsible for the accident that resulted in the injury.
If you sustain an injury or harm due to another person’s negligence or intentional acts, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against them. In such a situation, you can formalize the case through a civil court proceeding or resolve it out of court.
Do you have a legal claim?
You can make a legal claim through an insurance action or personal injury lawsuit, to recover compensation for damages when another party is legally liable for the accident, or creating a situation that resulted to the injury. An injury claim is designed to allow victims to get compensation for the injury – including damages in the form of medical expenses and lost wages, as well as pain & suffering and emotional distress where applicable.
Pro Tip: If you are unsure about whether you have a legal claim or not, you may want to consult with a Portland personal injury attorney regarding your options. These attorneys are knowledgeable and will help you determine the best cause of action.
To establish whether you are eligible to file a personal injury claim, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Did you suffer a personal injury?
You must have sustained a personal injury to be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury includes any suffering to your emotions, mind, or body. Ideally, it’s any psychological or physical suffering. If a machine cut your finger or you broke your hand after slipping and falling at your workplace, you have sustained a personal injury. If you experience depression, insomnia or severe anxiety following a severe accident, you have suffered a personal injury.
Is someone else responsible for your personal injury?
To have a personal injury case, your injury has to be as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional acts. This could be your employer, a company or a government agency. Typically, if someone acts in a careless way and causes harm to another, the irresponsible person is legally liable for the injury and any other damage. This is lawfully termed as negligence.
To win a personal injury claim, you’ll have to prove that the defendant acted negligently by establishing these four distinct legal components of a negligence claim: duty, breach, damages, and causations. These four elements help to prove that the defendant’s actions or inaction resulted in the personal injury.
Can money damages remedy your personal injury?
You must have sustained recoverable damages – or an injury that can be compensated by money damages. If you can prove that the defendant was negligent, the court may award you, or the insurer may accept to pay you for the following damages that resulted due to the injuries:
- Medical expenses
- Emotional suffering, physical pain, and mental anguish
- Reduced earning capacity
- Loss of wages
- Disability accommodations for your home and vehicle
- Loss of support and companionship
- Diminished quality of life