Common Questions to Help You Determine if You Have a Case
“Do I have a case?” is a common question that consumers ask our RI personal injury lawyers and MA personal injury lawyers. Below is a brief overview addressing this question. Of course, the process of determining whether you have a RI or MA personal injury case starts with contacting our firm for free. We are available to discuss your case confidentially and at no cost to you.
There are many factors and possibilities to consider. To start with, within personal injury law, there are many different types of legal claims. We need to understand exactly what happened to you that caused your injury. Then, we can apply the facts of your case to the relevant legal principles.
Our RI personal injury attorneys and MA personal injury attorneys handle all types of personal injury cases from the more common car accident to the more complex product liability and medical malpractice cases. For simplicity here, let’s take a common example and suppose you were involved in an auto accident where another driver rear-ended you. You were taken from the accident scene to the hospital. At the hospital, you were diagnosed with a fractured leg. Our personal injury lawyers would claim that the driver who struck you was “negligent.” To prevail on a negligence claim, we must establish that the other driver: (1) owed you a legal duty and (2) breached that duty, (3) causing you (4) damages.
As to (1), the law provides that all drivers owe other drivers certain duties to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Therefore, we would be able to establish that the driver who rear-ended you owed you a duty of care.
To evaluate whether you would prevail on element (2), we would need to understand the specific facts of the accident to determine who a jury would likely determine to be at fault. This might entail not only listening to your story about the accident, but also conducting our own investigation. In addition, a jury is entitled to apportion fault between more than one party. In our example, there is a legal presumption that a driver who rear ends another driver has acted negligently that is advantageous to the injured party’s claim.
As to (3) and (4), the at-fault driver is only responsible for the damages that he caused you. In some cases, the issue of “causation,” meaning whether the at-fault driver caused you injury can be complex and hotly disputed. In our example, the driver would be legally responsible for the property damage that he caused your vehicle in the accident and also for injuries he caused you in the accident, such as the fractured leg (assuming that you did not already have a broken leg before the accident).
In this example, if you establish these four (4) elements, then a jury may consider awarding you money damages as discussed in another section, “What is my case worth?”