Whether you have a case depends on three main factors: fault, injuries, and insurance. First, you can’t be the one at fault. In most states, if you are at least 50% at fault for the accident, then you cannot recover a penny for your injuries. If you are less than 50% at fault, then you can recover for your injuries minus the amount of the percentage of your fault. For example, if a jury awards you $100,000 for your injuries and decides you are 30% at fault, then you would get $70,000.
Deciding who is at fault is not always an easy task. Oftentimes, more than one person is at fault. It can take some time to investigate the facts to make a determination about fault. Parties often do not agree on who is at fault for an accident. Ultimately, your case outcome will depend not only on the facts themselves but also on how well your attorney frames the facts in your favor.
Second, you must have injuries serious enough to pursue a claim. In car accident cases, you need to have at least $3,000 in medical bills, permanent impairment or disfigurement, or a death in order to bring a claim for personal injury. However, this is only a requirement in car accident cases. If you don’t have damages in excess of $1,500, you may be better off resolving it without an attorney. Never assume your injuries aren’t serious enough until you’ve talked to an attorney.
Lastly, the person or company at fault needs have insurance or enough money to pay you for your injuries. If there is no way to get paid for your injuries, then the time and stress of seeking payment will be pointless. An experienced attorney will know what insurance policies may be available to help compensate you for your injuries.