Suffering a personal injury can alter the course of your entire life. Suddenly, medical bills and expenses pile up, plans are derailed, and favorite hobbies and activities fall by the wayside — sometimes forever.
At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we understand the confusion and pain that injury victims live with after an accident, which is why we’ve made it our firm’s mission to fight for justice on their behalf. Your fight is our fight, and when you choose us to represent you, we’ll pursue an aggressive strategy and consider every legal option available to get you the closure and compensation you deserve.
If you’d like to learn more about personal injury law and how we can help you, the information on this page will enhance your understanding of what we do and how personal injury law works in general.
Understanding Liability in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Many factors determine the strength of your personal injury case and how much you may recover in damages. One of the most important factors is liability, which comes down to a simple question: who was at fault for your injuries?
Liability is most often determined according to whose negligent actions (or inaction) caused the injury. This is true of most injury cases, from automobile accidents to defective products. Therefore, the more obvious the negligence — which the law defines as a lack of reasonable care — the more liable the defendant is and the greater potential value of your case. (The defendant is the person or entity you make your personal injury claim against.)
Clear Liability Increases Personal Injury Settlement Prospects
A good rule of thumb in personal injury law is that the better your chances of winning the case, the more money in damages you may be able to recover. A stronger case (one where liability is clear) will typically pay more than a weaker case.
Furthermore, if your own negligence contributed to your injury, this can damage your case. A major consideration in some injury cases is the concept of comparative negligence, which measures how much your own negligence contributed to your injuries compared to the role that the defendant’s negligence played. For example, if you engaged in negligent behavior that partially caused your injuries, this may reduce the value of your case.
In fact, jurors sometimes believe that you are not entitled to anything if your own negligence played any role in your accident, however small. People who have been rear-ended have even been found to be partially negligent by juries simply for being present at the intersection. This unpredictable tendency among jurors is one of the reasons you need an experienced personal injury attorney arguing on your behalf in negotiations (before a case goes to trial) and in the courtroom.
Medical Documents Are Crucial to a Personal Injury Case
Another critical factor in the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit is the amount of medical bills the victim incurs due to their injury. Both insurance companies and juries often use the expensiveness of an injury to gauge its severity. If the defendant is found liable, his or her insurance company may have to help pay your medical bills as well as other damages.
Because of this, the defendant’s insurance company will be extremely meticulous about scrutinizing your medical bills. The better the documentation for your medical expenses and the more firmly you can tie those expenses to the severity of the injury, the more your case should be worth. This means that written reports from your diagnosing and treating physicians as well as records of any emergency room visits, physical therapy sessions, and other follow-up appointments weigh heavily in the evaluation of your case. You should also ask your doctor(s) to compose a statement detailing your injury as well as its diagnosis and treatment; clear documentation like this can prove invaluable to your case.
The clarity of the medical documents you collect for your case can be important as well. Typed, legible letters are preferable to handwritten office notes, and clear descriptions and assessments of your injury are better than vague descriptions or qualified assessments that include words like “possibly” and “maybe.”
Ultimately, the strength of your case will depend heavily on having complete and unambiguous documentation of your injury. At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience helping clients keep track of medical bills and other important pieces of documentation that can affect the outcome of their personal injury lawsuit. When you work with us, we can coordinate with your physicians and handle all communications with the insurance company so you can move forward and concentrate on your health and well-being.
Contact David L. Hood for Personal Injury Representation in North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, and Throughout South Carolina
If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We handle all cases on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your case or negotiate a successful settlement.* We understand the pain and frustration that accompany a personal injury, and we’ll treat you with compassion and handle your case with an aggressive strategy that puts your needs and best interests first.
*Clients are not liable for any expenses, unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.