Fair compensation after a personal injury is determined by what kind of case you can build in your favor, and how the evidence backs up your claim. You can expect to have a better outcome if you decided to work with a Fort Myers, personal injury lawyer who understands how to do this successfully. At King Law, we help our clients by building compelling cases, backed by facts and undeniable evidence.
If you’re unsure about how personal injury cases are handled, keep reading. We are going to discuss what has to happen to have your claim be taken seriously, and what has to be proven for you to win your case.
The Burden of Proof – Working with a Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney
To win a personal injury case, you must prove that the other party was negligent. This means, even though you are the victim, you have the “burden of proof” to reveal evidence as to why the other party is liable for your injuries. While you do not have to have a 100% definitive case, you will need to provide evidence in the majority, that the other party is liable. Meaning, that your story is more likely true than that of the defendant’s account.
As the person bringing suit (the plaintiff), you are tasked with providing the court evidence, testimony and argument that your injuries are the result of negligence. This is the harder argument to make since it requires you to provide the proof.
On the other hand, the defendant doesn’t have to provide any “proof” of their innocence in your claim, they simply have to dispute your interpretation of the events or injuries that transpired. The defendant’s legal team will work to place doubt in the minds of the jury or a judge that your story isn’t valid. They may even use different versions of your account to make a case that the events could have happened another way, revealing that your story might not be totally legitimate.
Personal Injury Law – The Elements to be Proven
Here is a look at the elements that will need to be proven in order for you to see a successful personal injury settlement.
- Prove Act of Duty – People and businesses have a duty to take reasonable care of one another or provide reasonably safe environments for persons. For example, an office building that didn’t maintain their sidewalks to the front door of their business may be found negligent by not providing a safe space to walk. This would show a court that they breached their duty to provide a reasonably safe environment since that is the only way to enter the office building.
- Cause of Injury – Through different forms of evidence, you will have to prove that the office building management’s negligence caused your injuries. This might consist of showing how management ignored the maintenance team, photos that provide proof that you were on site and fell as a result of the poorly maintained sidewalk, or other evidence that the office building management has ignored other complaints about the sidewalk.
- Proof of Losses – Finally, you also need to reveal how your injuries have caused you financial losses or physical damages that you need help covering. An example of this might be, your medical bills as a result of the injury, your time off work requests from your employer or the doctor visits and treatment plans.
What a Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer Does
Working with an attorney for your claim is crucial if you want to build a successful case. This is especially true with personal injury cases since they can get relatively complicated quickly. When you need evidence you cannot come up with, a lawyer can. For example, a lawyer can request or even subpoena maintenance records of the office building. This may reveal how little attention they have placed on their sidewalk or that it has been in that state for months or years. A lawyer can also look into other complaints launched against the office building management.
A Fort Myers personal injury law firm also has resources and connections that can help your case. For instance, they may know people who specialize in your injury or experts who can back up your story. They may also have quality legal connections or relationships established to make you look like a credible victim.
Personal Injury Settlements vs. Trial
There are two main ways that your claim will be determined. There will be a settlement or your claim will be heard in a courtroom setting. If you’re wondering what the difference is, here is a basic breakdown.
- Personal Injury Settlement – When your attorney presents compelling evidence to the other party on your behalf, that party may decide to settle with you rather than go to trial. This will often happen if the negligent party feels they do not have a way to legally defend what has occurred and will offer you a settlement. This settlement can be negotiated between the two legal teams, and can still end up in trial if the settlement amount isn’t appropriate and can’t be decided.
- Personal Injury Trial – Your case can go to trial if the defendant feels that you are not bringing a legitimate claim or that your evidence will not prove negligence. When the defendant is presented with a suit (by you), there is a discovery period that typically follows. At that time, your attorney will have to provide reasonable evidence that the defendant is liable. If your attorney doesn’t offer sufficient or compelling enough evidence, that might be one reason why you end up in a trial situation.
At King Law, we are ready to listen to the details of your personal injury case and invite you to call or connect with us today. We serve the greater Fort Myers area as a personal injury law firm and look forward to hearing more about your claim.