Steps to Reviewing Your Case with a Personal Injury Attorney in Alexandria, VA
Personal injury can happen in a variety of ways in many different circumstances. Determining whether or not you have a case is the first step in building that case. The best way to do this is to review your case with a personal injury attorney in your area, such as Alexandria, VA.
You’ll want to choose a local attorney because each state has different statutes of limitation. Personal injury cases and situations can vary based on geographic location so be sure that your personal injury attorney knows the local laws.
To help you evaluate your injury to see if you should sue, here are the steps to review your case.
Step one: evaluate if you suffered a personal injury
Personal injuries can be physical or psychological. A personal injury can come from trauma to your body, such as a car accident that left you with broken bones. However, it also could be the anxiety that you now feel every time you get behind the wheel of a car following an accident.
The personal injury should have documentation, such as medical or psychological diagnosis. Without documentation, your claim is difficult to prove. We’ll cover more detail on that in step three, so read on.
Property damage is different from personal injury as it covers other items harmed in an accident. This damage could be your car in the case of a car accident or your smartphone that was in your pocket during a slip and fall injury. Damage to property is handled separately from personal injury, generally in small claims court or directly with an insurance company.
Step two: determine if the other party was negligent
Now that you’ve proven you did suffer a personal injury, you must also determine if the other party was negligent. This means that the other party acted carelessly in their actions and is therefore liable for your injury.
An example of this is a wet floor at the grocery store that does not have a sign indicating that it is wet. Additionally, a car accident where the other party didn’t follow the traffic laws or wasn’t paying attention would also be negligence. To prove negligence, you, the plaintiff must prove negligence by showcasing four key elements:
- Duty – In this defense you must show that the other party did not adhere to its legal duty to complete a certain action. This will take into account the circumstances and expectations for the other party’s behavior.
- Breach – Next you must show that the other party breached their duty. This can either be by their actions or by their failure to take action. Let’s go back to the grocery store wet floor example. This is an example of a time when the party did not take the expected action of putting out a wet floor sign. In a car accident, generally it’s the opposite scenario where the driver takes the wrong action and not so much the omission of action.
- Causation – Now that you’ve proven action or in action on behalf of the other party, you must show that those actions were the cause of your injury. For example, you could’ve been hit by a cart in cross traffic of the grocery store in a different aisle than the wet floor. In this case, the grocery store wouldn’t be liable, but the patron who hit you and caused you to fall. The presence of the wet floor elsewhere doesn’t automatically make the grocery store at fault for your fall.
- Damages – Finally, you must prove that the event that took place injured you. Not every slip and fall has a personal injury. Some fender bender car accidents only have damage to the vehicle.
Step three: show that there are financial damages to recover
The final step in determining your personal injury case is to prove monetary damages. This is the money you are seeking as compensation for your injury or injuries in your case.
These damages can be in the form of repayment for your medical bills. Other financial damages can be physical pain or mental suffering experienced from the injury. Additionally, you may be able to recover lost wages or impacts to your earning potential as a result of injury.
Working with aPersonal Injury Attorney in Alexandria, VA
Walking through these steps on your own can be difficult. A personal injury attorney can assist you in determining your case because they are knowledgeable about these steps and circumstances.
If you’re seeking a personal injury attorney in Alexandria, VA, or the surrounding area, Gore and Kuperman is a great choice. Our firm has 35 years of experience in evaluating and negotiating settlements for personal injuries. We’re here to help you recover from a personal injury case with the financial support you need.
For a trustworthy and experienced personal injury attorney in northern Virginia, contact 703-385-7300.
This blog post is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be used as such. Specific case facts should be discussed with an attorney.