How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case?
Not every accident will result in a legal claim. Instead, sometimes there is no legal recourse that you can use after an accident. If you have been injured in an accident, it is a good idea to talk to a personal injury lawyer about whether you have a legal case based on the specific facts of your situation.
In most cases, you might have a personal injury case if all of the following facts apply to your case.
The accident was not your fault.
As part of every personal injury case, you must prove that someone else caused the accident, whether it was because of a car accident or slip and fall. No matter what the situation may be, someone else must have contributed to or caused your injuries or damages.
In personal injury cases, the reason that most accidents happen is that someone was careless or reckless. In legal terms, the person at fault for the accident is “negligent.” You must prove that the other person was negligent to recover money damages for your situation.
You suffered damages and/or injuries because of the accident.
Money damages in a personal injury case are designed to put you back in a place where you were as if the accident had never happened. If you break your arm in a car accident, for example, the at-fault driver will have to pay for your medical bills and pain and suffering related to breaking your arm.
The more severe your injuries, the more money damages you are entitled to receive. However, you must have actually suffered damages because of someone else’s fault to be compensated for those damages. There must be a causal connection between what the other person did wrong and your injuries or damage.
The accident occurred within the past two years in Minnesota or three years in Wisconsin.
Every personal injury case must be asserted within a specific amount of time, or you waive your legal rights. In Minnesota, personal injury cases must be asserted within two years of the date of the accident. In Wisconsin, personal injury cases have to be filed no later than three years from the date of the accident.
If the accident happened more than two or three years ago (depending on where it occurred), then you will not be able to start a personal injury case.