Evaluating a Personal Injury Claim: What Lawyers Look For

March 21, 2024

personal injury huntsville al

If you’ve suffered a personal injury, you may be thinking about pursuing a claim. As the medical bills start to add up and you have to spend more and more time away from work, it’s important to consider your options for compensation. If you can prove that someone else is liable for your injuries, you may be able to recoup your losses via a settlement or court award.

Learn more about what personal injury attorneys look for when evaluating a claim, and when you’re ready to get started, call Hodges Trial Lawyers at 256-826-4129.


Type of Accident and How It Occurred

During your free consultation, the attorney will get more information about your accident and the injuries you suffered. Their goal is to understand what type of accident you were involved in, the events that led up to it, and what injuries you subsequently suffered. Different types of accidents have different legal requirements, and your attorney needs to know what they are up against before accepting a case. Furthermore, some personal injury attorneys only take specific types of cases—if your case falls outside a lawyer’s area of practice, they will likely refer you elsewhere.


Proof of Liability

Before your attorney can secure any form of compensation on your behalf, they’ll need to be able to prove who caused the accident and who is liable for your losses. In general, personal injuries occur via negligence or misconduct. Negligence refers to an individual’s failure to act in a reasonable manner to ensure others’ safety. Misconduct is deliberate. The legal requirements for proving liability are different for negligence and misconduct, and your attorney will want to verify that they can prove liability before moving forward. If there’s no clear causation in your case and no liable party, you have little chance of recovering compensation.


Strength of Supporting Evidence

All personal injury claims are built on evidence, and the more evidence you bring to your consultation, the better off you are. Consider this: you’re involved in a Huntsville, AL car accident. Even though you’re frightened and overwhelmed after the crash, you have the presence of mind to take photos, talk to eyewitnesses, and even take a quick video of the crash scene. This type of evidence is very helpful to attorneys, as it allows them to get a sense of what happened and what types of losses they have experienced.

Other important types of evidence include medical reports, police reports, medical bills, eyewitness statements, and proof of time away from work. Unfortunately, if there is little to no evidence to back up your explanation of what happened, it’s unlikely that an attorney will be able to take your case. Insurance companies don’t hand over settlements without a fight, and solid evidence goes a long way in forcing their hand.


Ability to Collect

Even if you have the strongest personal injury case possible, it all hinges on your ability to collect from the liable party. To start, it’s important to note that most personal injury claims are paid by the liable party’s insurance company instead of by them personally. Your lawyer may pull up information on their insurance policy to figure out the policy limits.

In a vehicle accident case, they’ll look at the driver’s auto insurance. A premises liability or dog bite case will rely on the homeowner’s or property owner’s insurance coverage. If the person in question does not have insurance coverage or carries the bare minimum required by state law, your lawyer may look into other options. Do they have other assets that can be used to satisfy a judgment or the income needed to cover a judgment? If the liable party has no insurance, no assets, and no real income, your claim may be lost before it’s even started.


Considering a Personal Injury Claim? Contact Hodges Trial Lawyers

No matter which type of personal injury claim you have, it’s worth talking to a Huntsville personal injury attorney about your options and next steps. Reach out to Hodges Trial Lawyers to schedule a consultation. Give us a call at 256-826-4120 or contact us online to have a team member reach out to you.

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