If you’re reading this and you’ve suffered an injury, chances are you’re wondering what you can do about it. Maybe you’ve heard something about personal injury law, and now you’re thinking about reaching out to a lawyer. Here are the questions you should consider when considering whether you have a personal injury case.

What kind of injury do you have?

Here are the main situations that personal injury law applies to:

Accidents

Accidents are negligence on behalf of another party that leads to an injury, such as motor vehicle accidents or “slip and fall” injuries.

Motor vehicle accidents are usually a result of an operator of a vehicle not following the rules of the road. We see these kinds of cases a lot in personal injury law. If you were involved in a car accident that was even partially someone else’s fault, chances are, you have a case worth pursuing.

Slip and fall injuries can be a little more complicated to determine. These are injuries sustained due to a property owner failing to keep their property safe and free of hazards. In a slip and fall or trip and fall case, you must prove that the owner should have recognized the danger on the property and done something about it.

You might have to defend against the argument that the injury was your fault. In these cases, the defendant (aka, the person or company accused in court) will likely try to present a case that proves that they’re not liable. If you’re trying to determine if you have a case, think about the following:

  • Were you texting or distracted when the accident happened?
    Was there a reason you shouldn’t have been on the property, like a fence surrounding the area?
    Were there warning signs in the area?

Professional malpractice

Professional malpractice happens when a professional makes some kind of error in their service that results in injuries or damages. There are a number of different services that we access every day, like plumbing, estate planning, or mechanic work. When you’re accessing a professional’s services and something goes wrong resulting in injury or damages, you may have a personal injury case.

Medical malpractice is more challenging to prove, but that doesn’t mean these cases aren’t worth pursuing. In these kinds of cases, a medical team’s improper care has caused injury to their patient. Medical malpractice includes:

  • Not diagnosing a condition
    Not telling a patient about a treatment’s potential risk
    Unacceptable errors during surgery
    Reckless behaviour (like performing surgery under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
  • As you’re trying to figure out if you have a case, remember that a bad result from treatment isn’t the same as medical malpractice. Some conditions are unfortunately untreatable. In other circumstances, someone’s condition just might have gotten worse over time, but that doesn’t mean the doctor is at fault.

Other types of injuries

Sports injuries happen quite often and can range from minor bumps and bruises to serious life-altering accidents. If you’re injured as the result of another person’s actions, you may have a case.

Dog bites are usually the owner’s fault. However, there are some exceptions, like if the dog bite victim was on the owner’s property intending to commit a crime.

If you or your animal receives a dog bite, you’ll likely have a case if:

  • The dog acted dangerously towards you, someone else, or another domestic animal
    The dog’s owner didn’t make a reasonable effort to stop the dog from biting
    The dog’s owner didn’t make a reasonable effort to stop the dog’s overly aggressive behaviour towards you, someone else, or another domestic animal

How long has it been since the incident?

Another critical thing to consider when trying to figure out if you have a case is how long it’s been since the accident happened. Typically, the time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years, meaning that you need to get your case started within that time frame. However, this might be different depending on your situation.

In most cases, the countdown starts on the day the accident happens. If you didn’t realize you had an injury until later, you might have two years from the day you recognized the injury. For example, if you were in a car accident and you didn’t start having issues with your neck until three weeks later, your two-year time frame would start when you realized something was wrong.

Finally, in some situations, there is a requirement to provide written notice to the at-fault party describing the incident and your injuries shortly following the event. This is particularly important if your injury occurred on the city and/or municipal property. Failure to provide the written notice within the regulated time period could negatively affect your potential claim.

What can you prove?

Figuring out what you can prove is vital when you’re deciding whether to pursue a lawsuit. In a personal injury case, it’s up to the victim to prove that their version of what happened is true.

To build a convincing case, you’ll need to gather any evidence you can, including pictures, texts, emails, and witness accounts. The more you can gather to back your case, the more chance you have of success in court. With Fosters, we help you organize and gather all the necessary documents needed to help you prove your case. In some cases, it is important to start this process early so if you think you have a case, please don’t delay in getting some advice.

Still unsure?

There is nothing straightforward about making a decision to start a lawsuit or determining if you’ll be successful. We have provided some examples of things to consider above but every case is different and there are exceptions to every rule so if you’re still wondering if you might have a case, reach out to us. We’ll talk to you about your situation free of charge. Give us a call or visit our website, and set up your free consultation meeting today.

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