What Factors Determine The Viability Of A Personal Injury Claim?
There are three prongs to any viable personal injury claim: liability, damages, and money. Liability means that there has to be someone who was responsible for the incident and a way to show that they were responsible for the incident. However, encountering difficulty in showing liability is not a reason to give up on pursuing a claim. The second prong is damages, which means that there must be injuries, property damages, or both associated with the incident. Generally, the greater the injuries and losses, the greater the damages recoverable. The third prong is money, which means that there has to be a source of money from which to compensate the plaintiff. There can be completely uncontested liability and significant damages, but if the at-fault party has no money, it will be a problem. For example, the at-fault party could be an 18-year-old kid with no money and a California state minimum insurance policy or no policy at all. A California state minimum insurance policy provides $15,000 per person and $30,000 per incident as required by California law, but it is viable for up to only $15,000 if there is only one person injured. In order to protect one’s self against uninsured drivers and underinsured drivers, car owners and drivers should insure themselves to the maximum amount they can reasonably afford rather than rely on someone else having adequate insurance.
How Important Are Evidence And Witnesses In a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim relies upon evidence, but independent witnesses aren’t necessarily required. For example, there may be no witnesses to a serious auto accident, but evidence of the significant injuries which resulted from it might be sufficient to show liability on the other party. Personal injury cases have a different burden of proof than criminal cases; rather than having to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, it just has to be shown that one party was slightly more than 50 percent responsible. Still, every effort should be made to gather witnesses to an incident. More evidence never hurt a case.
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