Monday, April 19, 2010

What makes a good personal injury Case?

A strong personal injury case requires proof of both liability and damages. Having one without the other, no matter how dramatic the facts may be, will not bring a successful result.


There is liability when another person or business entity acted, in violation of the law, in such a way to cause your injuries. An example of such wrongful conduct is running a red light. There must be some evidence that the defendant was at fault, such as witnesses, photographs, or other documents.

It is also important that the plaintiff was not at fault in causing the incident. Other issues to consider include whether the plaintiff may have assumed a risk (were there signs or other warnings the plaintiff should have seen?) or waived liability (did the plaintiff sign any documents that would prevent defendant’s liability?)


Damages are the injuries you sustained in the incident. They can be physical, emotional and/or financial. It is necessary to prove these damages through individuals with knowledge of your injuries or losses. You can prove damages through medical records and the testimony of doctors who treated you. Not only do you have to prove that you have these damages, you have to prove they were caused by the incident. That is, a doctor has to be willing and able to document that your injuries are directly related to the incident.

The kinds of personal injury damages recognized in California include medical expenses, lost wages or loss of earning capacity, physical pain, mental suffering, disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of consortium, and loss of household services.


Collectability is when the defendant can pay a judgment. A judgment is what a plaintiff is awarded when he or she wins a personal injury case. It says that someone owes you money. However, a judgment has no value if the defendant does not have enough money to pay the judgment or does not have insurance to cover the judgment. Therefore, In addition to identifying the defendant or defendants who are responsible for your injuries, it is essential that those defendants have liability insurance or is a large enough business entity that they can provide financial compensation for your damages.


The time limits (or statutes of limitation) will vary by the kind of case. In California, a plaintiff usually has two years to file a legal claim for personal injuries. However, the time limits are different in certain cases (for example, if the plaintiff is a minor or the case is against a governmental entity). If you wait too long to bring a legal claim, you will forever lose that right.