I still remember my accident like it was yesterday. One minute I was driving my daughter to school and the next I was waking up in a hospital bed. It was frustrating to deal with the emotional trauma of forgetting an entire week of my life, in addition to stressing about my small child. Fortunately, we were both able to recover, but it wasn't easy walking dealing with the medical bills that accompanied the accident. I found myself struggling with things as simple as answering the phone, because I was nervous about dealing with another insurance adjuster. Fortunately, by working with a lawyer, I was able to make sense of my situation. I know that you can overcome difficult challenges too, which is why I shared my story on this website.
When it comes to getting injured in an accident you didn't cause, you want the party responsible to pay for your injuries and damage to your car. While a lot of people think a personal injury case is easy to win, sometimes it is more difficult to get the compensation you are due. Here are three things that can affect your personal injury claim.
1. Your degree of fault.
Whenever you go to court for a personal injury claim, the defense will do everything they can to prove you are at fault for the accident instead. If the defense is successful in proving you had any degree of fault in the accident, it will affect your claim. In some cases, such as with contributory negligence, it can completely obliterate your case and you won't get any compensation. In other cases, a judge will adjust the amount of compensation you get based on your degree of fault-- this is called comparative negligence.
2. Your injuries are the result of a pre-existing condition.
If you had a pre-existing condition that could cause the injuries you claim came from the accident, the defense can try to use that against you. That is not to say that you won't get compensation, but they will likely seek to make your medical records public in court to prove that it wasn't the accident that caused your injuries.
Of course, the burden of proof would lie with the defense as they would have to prove your pre-existing condition did actually cause your injuries. But, if they can prove it, it can greatly reduce the amount you win or even ruin your chances of winning anything at all.
3. The statute of limitations.
As with many legal cases, there is a statute of limitations when it comes to filing personal injury claims. If you fail to file the lawsuit in a timely manner, you could end up with no compensation from the party responsible. The statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims is different depending on the state you live in.
Some states, like Kentucky, only give you a year after the accident to file a claim. Other states, such as Maine, give you up to 6 years to file the claim following an accident. Still, it is always best to file your personal injury claim as soon as possible after the accident to avoid missing your opportunity.
If you are looking into filing an injury claim after an accident, talk to a professional like Norris, Gary G. Attorney.