Is My Personal Injury Case Worth Pursuing?
Personal injury lawsuits can help you right a wrong and recover damages when you’re injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.Prior to filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to know what you’re getting into by consulting with an Ohio personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether your personal injury case is worth pursuing and advise you regarding the positives as well as the negatives of filing a lawsuit.
If you are seriously injured and face long-term repercussions as a result of a car accident, slip and fall, or other type of accident, you should strongly consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. First, you must establish liability in your personal injury case. You must be able to identify someone other than yourself who is responsible for your injury. In some cases, more than one party may be responsible.
Next, you must be able to prove that the injury has led you to incur compensatory damages. Compensatory damages could take the form of pain and suffering, lost wages, or lost/damaged property. However, just because you have incurred damages doesn’t mean that your personal injury case is necessarily worth pursuing. If the economic damages or pain and suffering caused by the injury are relatively insignificant, filing a personal injury lawsuit probably isn’t worth the time and effort. If you’ve experienced major economic losses and severe pain and suffering because of a personal injury, then filing a lawsuit is probably worthwhile.
Determining What Your Personal Injury Case Is Worth
The party that is found legally responsible for an accident is required to pay monetary damages to the personal injury victim. Some compensatory damages are easy to quantify, such as reimbursement for property damage or medical bills. However, it’s harder to put a dollar figure on pain and suffering or the inability to enjoy hobbies because of physical limitations associated with a personal injury. Types of compensatory damages that are commonly awarded in personal injury cases include the following:
- Income loss: This includes income you’ve already lost as well as income you would have been able to make in the future.
- Medical treatment: Reimbursement for the cost of medical care associated with the accident.
- Property loss: Reimbursement for repairs or compensation for the fair market value of vehicles, clothing, and other items damaged in the accident.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and serious discomfort you suffer during an accident and its aftermath as well as ongoing pain attributed to the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment: Loss of enjoyment occurs when injuries caused by the accident prevent you from enjoying hobbies and other recreational activities.
- Emotional distress: The psychological impact of an injury, such as fear, anxiety, and loss of sleep.
- Loss of consortium: The impact that injuries have on a plaintiff’s spouse, such as the loss of companionship. Sometimes, the plaintiff’s parents or children are also entitled to compensation via filial loss of consortium.
The amount of damages you recover in a personal injury case may be limited if you negligently contributed to the cause of the accident. According to the rule of comparative negligence, the percentage of liability determines the percentage of the resulting damages that the defendant must pay. A damages award can also be reduced if the plaintiff doesn’t take reasonable steps to avoid further loss or minimize the consequences of the injury.
If the defendant’s conduct is outrageously careless, a plaintiff may also be awarded what are known as punitive damages. Although punitive damages are awarded to the plaintiff, they are meant to punish defendants for their conduct.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Ohio
For more information about whether your personal injury case is worth pursuing, contact the Ohio personal injury attorneys at Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman to schedule a free consultation.