If you are debating whether or not to pursue a personal injury claim in California, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself. There are many reasons that you might not be sure of what to do next. You might not be sure that another person is legally liable for your injuries. You might think that the claim is not worth enough money to pursue.
You might fear damaging relationships with friends or relatives who were involved in the accident. You might even be afraid of losing your job. For many, the fear is that they cannot afford the services of a professional personal injury attorney.
This last concern is easily resolved when you realize that the personal injury attorneys at The Sargent Firm charge a contingency fee, so we don’t get paid unless we help you receive the compensation you deserve. The other concerns can be addressed through a free personal injury claim consultation or by asking yourself the following questions.
Have You Suffered an Injury?
Naturally, if there is no injury, there is no personal injury claim. So, this is the first question to ask after any kind of accident, when considering whether or not to pursue a claim.
Was Your Injury Serious?
Perhaps you can answer the first question with a ‘yes,’ but you still aren’t sure if it’s worth pursuing a personal injury claim. So, ask yourself if the injury was serious. Did you need medical treatment? Will you need further medical treatment? Was your injury no more than a mild scrape or bruise? Or was it catastrophic and life altering? Maybe it was somewhere in the middle. To determine whether or not your injury is serious enough to pursue a personal injury claim, take into account the extent of your medical care and whether or not you’re going to face lost wages from time off work as you recover. If your injury requires ongoing or expensive medical treatment and/or time off work, it is probably serious enough to pursue a claim.
What Caused Your Injury?
Causation refers to the established link between an event and an injury. It is easier to prove in some cases than in others. For example, in a premises liability claim, it may be easy to establish that the property owner’s negligence in not clearing up a cluttered walkway is what caused you to trip and fall and sustain injuries. On the other hand, if you spilled a drink yourself and slipped in the puddle, then you may not be able to establish a causation link between the defendant’s negligence and your accident and injury.
Who Is At Fault for Your Injury?
This question also touches on causation, as described above. If you are responsible for your own injury, then you likely do not have a personal injury claim against another party. However, if you can establish causation between the negligence of the other party and the accident that caused your injuries, then you can identify who is at fault for the accident.
There is also the question of comparative negligence. If you are partially responsible for your own injuries, but someone else holds the majority of comparative liability, then you can still seek compensation. You just won’t get as much as you would if the other party was fully responsible. To illustrate, imagine that you are in an auto accident in which you were speeding, and someone else ran a red light. The person who ran the red light might be found to be 80% at fault, and you might be found to be 20% at fault (as a general example). In such a case, you could be compensated for only 80% of your damages. Thus, this question should assist you in establishing whether or not it is worthwhile to pursue a personal injury claim.
Still Not Sure? Seek a Free Consultation
If you have answered all of these questions and you are still not sure whether or not you have a personal injury claim, then the best thing that you can do is to seek out a free consultation from the personal injury attorneys at The Sargent Firm. We’ll be happy to help you to evaluate your legal rights and the liability involved in your claim if you have one. Because the initial consultation is free, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Please contact us today.