How Do I Know When I Have A Personal Injury Case In St Pete?

Anyone who lives and works in St. Petersburg knows that traffic accidents can happen a lot here, just like in other parts of Florida. Locals always know it’s time to be more alert when navigating places like the intersection of 4th St. N. and 9th Ave. N., just because such locations are hotspots for accidents throughout the year.

Unfortunately, while some accidents are inconvenient and expensive fender-benders, others can result in serious, sometimes permanent, injury or even death. As tragic as this is, in certain circumstances, accident victims do have some options for compensation. If an injury results from another driver’s negligence, it’s possible to negotiate a settlement for compensation or, if the other driver is unwilling, go to court with a personal injury lawsuit and seek out a judgment that legally binds the other driver to compensate you.

But how do you know when you have solid grounds for an auto accident personal injury lawsuit? You need to have high confidence in three areas to move forward with an auto-accident personal injury lawsuit.

Prove The Injury Was Caused By The Accident

Under normal circumstances, this should be one of the easiest components of the case to build. A properly documented medical report will include the nature and cause of an injury. A professional medical diagnosis is typically all that is required in a court of law as proof that an accident caused an injury. This is why it’s critical always to get treated by medical professionals, not just for quality medical care, but for documentation.

People who sustain injuries such as concussions, but aren’t initially aware of it, may sometimes decide they are fine and forgo medical attention. However, if it becomes clear later that there are more severe medical repercussions, depending on how much time has elapsed, it may be difficult, especially without a medical report, to back up a claim that an injury resulted from a specific accident.

Prove The Other Driver Was Negligent

The other important component may be easy to establish or difficult depending on the circumstances. You must present a case showing the other driver was negligent about their driving responsibilities. In legal terms, people have a “duty of care” that varies from one activity to another. Duty care means acting responsibly and not taking an action—or inaction—that would injure others. In driving, this means drivers should maintain situational awareness at all times and consciously position themselves, so they have suitable reaction time should anything occur.

In some situations, such as a drunk driving accident where police are on the scene and have administered a sobriety test that the other driver failed, there is enough evidence on hand that it is easy to build a case. In other instances, such as distracted driving, where a driver was looking at their phone and not paying attention to the road, providing proof may be less straightforward. This is especially true if the other driver denies everything, and there’s no video or photographic evidence, such as an image from a dashboard camera, to corroborate one side or the other.

Prove That Negligence Caused The Accident

The final component of building a strong auto accident personal injury case is being able to die the accident directly to a negligent act. After all, people can be careless on the road but still arrive safely at their destination, a fact that many drunk drivers pin their hopes on. A good personal injury case has strong evidence to support the idea that a driver was not only negligent about their driving responsibilities but that negligence occurred at the wrong time and led to an accident.

Again, in the case of drunk driving, this can be comparatively easy to prove. A police-administered sobriety test showing that a person is above the legal limit for alcohol is already proof enough that reflexes, judgment, and reaction times are all compromised.

Driving while drunk is illegal in and of itself, but getting involved in an accident while intoxicated becomes far more serious. There is enough medical evidence to support the fact that a drunk driver is a compromised, less reactive driver, so it’s much easier to establish that being drunk impaired the driver enough to cause the accident.

Talk To An Expert

While it’s the right of every American to represent themselves in a court of law, it’s highly inadvisable to do so. As with medical practices, the legal system of the United States is complex and requires someone with years of expertise to navigate it successfully. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident and know the other driver was at fault, don’t try to get a settlement yourself.

Instead, talk to an experienced auto accident attorney about your situation. This way, you can see how to build your case and have a much better chance of getting the appropriate compensation you deserve in an out-of-court settlement or a lawsuit.