The Three Ingredients That Make up a Successful Personal Injury Case
If any personal injury case is to be successful, it must have three distinct elements present. The first thing a plaintiff must prove is liability, either through defendant negligence or some other violation of legal duty. Second is the amount of damages that the victim, or deceased victim’s estate in the event of wrongful death, has suffered. And finally, you must have a solvent defendant who can be made to pay the damages that are owed to you. Below is a further explanation of these elements.
1) Liability: Once a defendant has violated a clear legal responsibility to another person, it is grounds for some liability damages. These damages can be either a percentage shared by multiple defendants or complete liability if one person or entity is the sole proximate cause (or completely responsible). In personal injury cases, only defendants are responsible for any damages incurred by the plaintiff: again, in proportion to their involvement in the harm that the plaintiff has suffered. The primary avenue in which a defendant breaches their legal duty towards a plaintiff is through negligence, which is primarily viewed by the law as either irresponsible or brash actions, that has caused an accident. And negligence can take on various degrees of behavior.
It’s easiest to think of negligence as the vehicle through which the violation of the legal duty occurred. The most common form of negligence is carelessness or inattentiveness: the defendant was simply not paying attention and caused an accident. But, when “gross negligence” causes the defendant’s breach of his or her legal duty, then it is not merely carelessness. It becomes an overt act. In legal terms is called “willful intent.” More information on this website @ https://www.carabinshaw.com/corpus-christi-18-wheeler-accidents.html
A defendant who causes injury through gross negligence has behaved in a way in which he or she clearly was aware that their actions could likely result in some sort of harm, such as drinking and driving or refusing to provide a safe workplace or speeding through a school zone at 3:30 in the afternoon. Whatever the civil (or criminal) offense, gross negligence boils down to the fact that he or she just didn’t care.
Intentional or deliberate torts (a tort is a legal term for the violation of a civil duty) are the most reprehensible violations of legal duty. Some of these torts can also involve criminal offenses like assaulting another person or intentionally creating an environment that is certain to cause harm to another. This brief explanation should illustrate to you how negligence is often the most common form of violations against others’ legal rights. But, it doesn’t remove the responsibility of the victim/plaintiff to prove negligence, the degree of that negligence, or some other form of disregard of the defendant’s legal duty as being the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries to which the defendant is liable.
2) Damages: This is another word for any monetary loss that the plaintiff has a right to legally claim because of the defendant’s negligence. Damages do not include specific physical injuries to the victim because those in-and-of-themselves have no value. But the medical bills to treat those injuries are.
In the instance where the victim fractured his collar bone, the collar bone is the injury. But the legal damages would be all monetary costs and, or, losses that produced by the injury. Damages will either fall into the category of General damages or Special damages.
General damages are of those found to be non-economic. This means they are much more subjective and should be computed (and presented to a jury) very carefully if you want to have the best chances of winning your civil trial. Some common examples of General Damages include:
Pain and suffering.
Loss of consortium (or partnership, this can be classified as either a professional or marital partnership or in the event where husband and wife work together, both).
Physical disability (either short-term, long-term, or permanent).
Because of the subjectivity of these damages, a clear and effective explanation of your general damage suffering, and the degree of that suffering, is a vital consideration when filing (and winning) a personal injury claim. General damages and the amount awarded for them differ with every case, even if the injuries appear to be similar.
To better understand the subjectivity of general damages, imagine that two victims are in a blowout accident caused by defective tires where the vehicle rolled over and exploded. Both were badly burned. But one plaintiff was unconscious during the explosion. And though he suffered horrible burns, in his unconscious state he was not alert to experience the pain as it happened. But the other plaintiff was just as badly burned and was fully alert enough to experience the full and terrible agony of being burned. So even though both of these victims may end up with similar injuries and medical expenses, each experienced a different level of pain and suffering. So it is quite likely that the monetary damages each victim is entitled-to would be different.
Hopefully, you better-understand why every accident will be different from the next and you should get a Texas personal injury attorney to help you correctly determine the proper amount to demand, based on the details of your suffering and other background elements surrounding your damages.
Special damages pertain to the actual economic cost of your accident. This makes them much more objective because they are primarily market-driven. So the amounts are easier to assess, although this is not always the case.
Some examples of general damages may include.
Wages or earning capacity lost.
Medical costs, incurred in the past and future: including any prescribed physical or psychological therapy and any form of long-term care.
Physical damage to the victim’s property as a result of the mishap.
In an accident where the injuries are enormously disastrous to the victim’s state of well-being, your attorney might not be capable of precisely determining, for example, how much longer their client will live. This can make a precise determination of lost wage damages extremely difficult to calculate. This is because often the victim’s previous salary earnings, relative to what they might have expected to earn through future promotions or leaving that job to take a better one are indistinct. So a lot of thought must be given to the more technical nature of the victim’s earning potential, like changes in the job description, the pursuit of additional higher education, or more specialized certification. All of these future possible changes, and others, would inevitably lead to a higher pay scale for the disabled victim in the ensuing years.
Winning fair and reflective total damage compensation from the defendant is predicated more on special damage awards rather than general damages. This is why it is very crucial to the plaintiff’s physical and fiscal recovery that all general damages be handled with care. Sometimes the plaintiff will already have paid portions of what turns out to be general damages prior to filing suit. Some of these might involve medical bills or other monetary expenses that are ultimately owed to the plaintiff by the defendant, especially if the injury is work-related or if the plaintiff has some form of insurance to defray these costs. So once the plaintiff wins damages, some of those monies might then be quickly paid to the plaintiff’s insurance carrier, or whoever initially paid those medical bills.
All of the damages that the plaintiff claims to have suffered must be clearly codified and presented as evidence at trial. The personal injury lawyers at our Texas Law Firm spend a generous portion of their time on each case computing damages and creating a demand packet that is presented to the defendant(s). It is an itemized accounting of all the plaintiff’s damages, which is generally submitted to the defendant’s insurance company and is accompanied by a legal request for a specified amount of financial compensation.
3) Solvent Defendant: Though the first two items are important, this one is probably the most critical. You must have a defendant that is financially solvent. This means they have the financial means to reimburse you. Consider the junk man who trolls your streets on big trash pickup day and tosses all your recyclable metal and such into his truck to take to the recycle center to earn a few dollars. He hits your car (with you in it) and in addition to totaling it, you have a legitimate medical injury and other damages totaling $75,000. The junk man also drives without insurance. Realistically, there is no way you can expect any real compensation since the poor-as-a-church mouse junk man who caused the accident has nothing to pay you with.
It is unfortunate that some cases involving defendants without monetary resources will leave victims hurt and without a way to be compensated for the damages they’ve suffered. But sometimes, that happens. Let the rich people who can afford to hire a lawyer sue the “junkmen” of the world, regardless of the outcome. They have the money to act on their principles.
Identifying solvent defendants is one of the more valuable ways in which an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer in Texas/ Texas can be of great value to you in getting the justice you deserve. While many defendants can try to avoid their responsibility of paying legal damages for their negligence by claiming financial duress, most of the time, they are simply hiding their true worth by stashing their money in separate, maybe even offshore, bank accounts, or converting all their assets to cash and hiding it in a safe deposit box in another state, or falsifying their lack of insurance. We see many insurance falsifiers because some defendants are so afraid their insurance carrier will drop them if they have to pay one more negligence claim.
Regardless of what these defendants try to do to prevent you from learning the truth of their financial resources, they can’t fool our experienced legal team’s asset checks. We won’t be denied in finding, and identifying for the court, all possible monies they may be hiding from you. A stringent asset check is the most effective way to discover the money to compensate you that some defendants try to hide. With few exceptions, once we have lined-up all liable parties to your personal injury, the next step is a meticulous asset check. Luckily for our clients, rare is the time when these investigations don’t find money that the defendant hoped we never would.
Put our years of experience to work for you if you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim, and how much compensation you can secure from your personal injury case. Regardless of how it happened or who is liable, we can answer all of your questions. Call our Law Firm now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.