Three Factors to Consider if You Think You Might Have a Personal Injury Claim
- You must have personal injury-- not just property damage. Personal injury is defined as injury to a person’s body, mind or emotions. In order to have a viable personal injury claim, you must have suffered serious physical injury and/or emotional distress. While it’s certainly financially devastating to have your vehicle totaled or otherwise suffer the loss of valued personal property, personal injury suits are meant to help those who have suffered debilitating personal injuries that prevent them from going to work for an extended period of time or cause disfigurement, disability or death.
- You must be able to show negligence. Accidents happen and sometimes it’s difficult to determine fault. This is where having a skilled attorney on your side is really useful. If you were badly injured in an accident but can’t prove that the other driver was at least 50% negligent (for, example, texting while driving, driving under the influence or driving in a reckless manner,) it will be difficult to prevail in a personal injury suit. But keep in mind, that in Indiana, you can still receive compensation even if the accident was partially your fault.
- You must have recoverable damages. In order to have a viable personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that you were in fact seriously injured. Serious injuries are proven through medical bills. Recovering medical costs is only part of what you are entitled to recover as a victim of someone else’s negligence. You can also recover money for lost wages, pain and suffering. These are called compensatory damages. In cases of extreme negligence, punitive damages may also enter the equation. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages at the court’s discretion as punishment when the defendant’s behavior is considered to have been especially harmful.
Zach Miller is a private practice attorney in Brownstown, Indiana who serves southwestern and central Indiana communities including Indianapolis, Seymour, Bloomington, Columbus and Jeffersonville. Zach specializes in personal injury law, but also serves clients inother areas, including criminal law, family law, probate law, business litigation, real estate law and general legal counsel. Keep up with the latest news from Zach by subscribing to his newsletter.
Zach prides himself on creating personal relationships with his clients and delivering one-on-one service. He lives and works in the community he serves.