How to know if you have an Auto Accident Lawsuit?
How Do You Know if You Have an Auto Accident Lawsuit?
To have a reasonable chance of a viable case in an auto accident, certain minimum conditions must exist. By viable, it should be one in which…
- There are sufficient damages to justify the time and effort of litigating the case
- There is a reasonable likelihood that another party (person, company, municipality, county government, or state government, for instance) will be considered negligent and legally liable
- The negligent party or its insurance carrier is financially able to pay the damages for a claim or court judgment in your favor
Now, to look at these points more closely…
Many factors affect the amount that you may be awarded in a judgment or that the other party may agree to offer in a settlement. But…
- If your bodily and property damages were minimal
- If your out-of-pocket medical expenses were small
- If you have no verifiable permanent emotional damage
- If you have no lasting medical condition
- If you lost no time from work
…then the damages a court would award you do not justify the cost and time of suing, except perhaps in small claims court.
To prove negligence, your attorney must show that there was…
- A duty of care—that the defendant had a duty to act in a way that a reasonable person would act
- A breach of that duty—that the defendant acted or failed to act in that reasonable manner
- A factual and legal causal connection—that the defendant’s actions or inactions were the cause of your loss or damages
- A resulting harm—that you, the plaintiff, were harmed as a result of the defendant’s actions or omission
Financially viable defendant
If you have an open-and-shut case against a person or entity that is unavailable (for example if they are deceased, in a country with no U.S. extradition agreements, in hiding, or unknown) or against a person or entity that is incapable of paying (such as a company that has folded in an insoluble state or a person on welfare with no insurance) then there is not much use in filing a lawsuit against them.
Why you need an experienced lawyer
Imagine going to the trouble and time investment of filing a lawsuit, only to find out that your case was not solid enough to win. This can happen with an inexperienced lawyer who lacks the knowledge or wisdom to counsel you against suing.
Imagine filing a lawsuit that goes all the way to court, only to find out that the judge considers your case to be a frivolous lawsuit, not only tossing your case out but even fining you heavily for wasting the court’s time.
This can happen with an inexperienced lawyer whose greed or ignorance causes him to take the case when it may be judged to be a frivolous suit. For these and countless other reasons, check the reputation of any injury attorney before letting them be your counsel.
Law Office of Paul R. Weber
One Oxford Valley, Suite 155
Langhorne, PA 19047