This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get and there really is not easy answer. For lawyers who practice in this area we know that the law requires us to get over two hurdles.
The first is: Was the other person at least 51% at fault?
The law requires that the person bringing the claim (you) must be able to show that the other driver was more at fault than you were. Now in most cases one party is clearly at fault and it’s really not an issue. Sometimes, however it is. Like when both drivers say they had a green light going into an intersection where the crash happens. That’s when attorneys have to dig in, look for witnesses, review video if available and sometimes get experts involved. That’s what we do to show, more likely than not, that the other party was at fault. Once that is done, there is still another hurdle.
The second question is: Are my injuries serious enough?
As a plaintiff in a motor vehicle personal injury case we must show that your injuries can be understood by the average person to have been caused by the accident and that they are a “serious impairment of a body function.” That’s lawyer speak for: Can we identify the injury by looking at it (a cut or a bruise) or does it show up on an X-ray, CT scan or MRI (broken bone or herniated disk).
After we identify the related injury, we then need to find out what kind of treatment was needed to get it better. The more treatment, the more evidence to show that it was a real injury.
These seem like common sense questions, and they are. What they are all pointed towards is to demonstrate that the accident caused an injury that we can identify and that is has affected a person’s life. It doesn’t have to be forever. In theory it could be for a day.
The point is, if you are hurt in a motor vehicle accident get the treatment you need to get better. If you do that and listen to your treating doctors, you will generate the medical record we need to get you the money you deserve.