Personal injury cases occur when an individual suffers harm or injury because of another party’s negligence or deliberate actions. Effectively navigating these cases requires a foundation of evidence to substantiate liability, damages, and causation. With that, you can determine whether you have a solid personal injury case. If you would like to learn more about such cases, consider scheduling a consultation with Steelman Gaunt Crowley by calling (573) 341-8336.
What Injuries Are Hard to Prove?
Proving the existence and severity of specific injuries can present challenges in personal injury cases. Consider the following examples:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Injuries to muscles, tendons, or ligaments, such as whiplash, often elude detection through imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs. To prove the validity of such claims, these cases need documentation and compelling testimonies from medical professionals about how the symptoms impact your daily life.
Mental and emotional injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression, often lack tangible proof. Gathering valid evidence from mental health professionals, medical records, and witness statements that unequivocally support your claim is vital to substantiating psychological harm.
Pre-Existing Injuries or Conditions
If you had pre-existing injuries or medical conditions further aggravated by the accident, the responsible party may argue that his or her actions did not cause your injuries. For that reason, you will need to differentiate between pre-existing conditions and the new injuries suffered as a direct consequence of the incident.
What Is the Most Common Personal Injury Claim?
Motor vehicle accidents are the most prevalent personal injury claim. Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents frequently lead to severe injuries and extensive property damage. Within these cases, typical claims involve reimbursement for:
- Medical expenses.
- Lost wages.
- Compensation for pain and suffering.
- Property repair or replacement costs.
To get a better understanding of your legal rights and ensure you have someone to advocate on your behalf, see Questions To Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer. If you have suffered a personal injury, consider contacting the legal team at Steelman Gaunt Crowley.
What Are the Limitations of a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury cases are subject to a few limitations, such as:
Statute of Limitations
Each jurisdiction establishes a specific time limit to file a personal injury claim. In Missouri, that time frame is five years from the date of the incident. Failure to adhere to this timeline can result in the forfeiture of your right to seek compensation.
In certain jurisdictions, if the injured party is found partially responsible for the accident, his or her compensation may be proportionally reduced. Missouri is a comparative negligence state, meaning the plaintiff can seek damages. However, the damages could be reduced if the plaintiff shared some responsibility for the accident.
Immunity and Limited Liability
Certain entities, such as government agencies or charitable organizations, may possess immunity or limited liability protection. With that, pursuing a personal injury claim against them becomes more challenging.
How Do You Prove Causation in a Personal Injury Case?
Proving causation is a pivotal element within any personal injury case. To show a direct link between the defendant’s actions and your injuries, your attorney will need to:
Establish Duty of Care
Demonstrate that an individual had a legal obligation to act in a responsible and reasonable manner through a professional relationship (doctor-patient) or a general duty (adherence to traffic laws).
Prove Breach of Duty
You will also have to substantiate that the defendant breached this duty by engaging in wrongful conduct or acting in a reckless or negligent manner.
Your legal team must make a clear connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and your injuries. Once again, this will require compelling evidence that undeniably attributes your harm to the defendant.
What You Need to Build a Personal Injury Case
To strengthen your personal injury case and establish liability, you will need to gather and present evidence, which may include:
Medical records documenting your injuries, treatments, and their extent are essential. These records can come from hospitals, doctors, specialists, therapists, or other health care professionals who have examined or treated you. These records establish the link between the accident and your injuries. Along with that, they demonstrate the severity and impact of your injuries on your daily life.
Photographs and Videos
Visual evidence, such as photos and videos, can influence these cases. You may want to take pictures of the accident scene, property damage, visible injuries, and any relevant factors contributing to the incident. Also, visual evidence can document the progression of your injuries and their impact on your physical appearance and abilities.
Statements from individuals who witnessed the accident or its aftermath may provide valuable insight and support your version of events. These eyewitness testimonies can corroborate your claim by verifying the negligence or misconduct of the responsible party, and they can provide additional perspectives on the accident.
Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, engineers, or industry experts, offer opinions based on their specialized knowledge and experience. Their testimony can explain complex matters, establish causation, and provide insight into your injuries’ long-term effects and financial implications.
You will want to get a copy of the police report if law enforcement officials were called to the accident scene. That report will contain vital information, including the officer’s observations, statements from witnesses and involved parties, and any issued citations. These details establish the facts of the incident and help determine who is at fault.
It is important to record all financial losses incurred because of the accident. These records may include medical bills, invoices, receipts, and documentation of lost wages or decreased earning ability. Keeping these documents will provide solid evidence of the economic impact caused by your injuries.
Journal or Diary Entries
Finally, you will want to keep track of your injuries, pain levels, medical treatments, emotional distress, and how these impact your daily life by keeping a diary. This documentation will help paint a clear picture of the physical, emotional, and psychological toll the accident has taken on you.
Consult with a Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer Today
A personal injury case can be complicated. You will want to seek guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you build a strong case that fits your specific situation. With the right strategy and a solid foundation, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries and other damages. If you would like to learn more about a potential personal injury lawsuit, consider scheduling a consultation with Steelman Gaunt Crowley by calling (573) 341-8336.