I have a friend who tripped and fell over some landscaping in my neighbor’s yard which resulted in my friend breaking his arm. He immediately was upset over the incident and said he wanted to sue my neighbor. Does he really have a claim? Not all injuries result in a valid claim against another individual or company.
When assessing whether or not you have a legitimate personal injury claim, one of the first things one must ask is “did the wrongdoer act as a reasonable prudent person under the same or similar circumstances.” What you’re really asking is, “would a normal individual who was acting sensible have acted in the same manner as the ‘wrongdoer’ in your incident.” If the answer is yes, then you don’t have a claim. If the answer is no, then you MAY have a claim depending upon the incident and the law that regulates such an incident. For instance, if you were injured on another’s property, then it makes a difference if you were trespassing, if you were an invited guest, or if you were customer buying something at a retail store.
There are many factors to consider. The first thing you should do if you are injured is call 911 or have a loved one or friend drive you to the hospital. You should also take pictures of your injuries and have a loved one or friend make notes of what happened. The facts surrounding how you became injured are very important in determining if you have a valid claim. You should then contact a qualified personal injury attorney who will listen to the circumstances surrounding your injuries and then make a determination of whether you have a case.
Another important factor in considering whether you should or should not assert a claim against a third party is the extent of your damages. Were you simply bruised or did you sustain objective injuries like a broken arm? Most reputable attorneys will not handle your case if you did not sustain objective injuries.
All of these questions highlight the importance of seeking the advice of a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Most who specialize in this area work on a contingency fee, which means they get paid when you get paid.
Let an expert do the work for you.
by Preston J. Dugas III, attorney at law
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