No one leaves their house in the morning suspecting that they might fall victim to a horrific accident that day. But accidents can happen at the most unexpected of times, and often change their victims’ lives drastically. If you or someone you know has recently suffered a tragic accident, you may be wondering what your options are and what the future holds.
Do I have to go to trial?
This depends upon the circumstances. Often, parties will be able to hire attorneys and negotiate a settlement. This means that they resolve the conflict without ever having to set foot in a courtroom, and they can avoid a potentially lengthy, costly and stressful lawsuit.
What would I have to prove in order to win?
If settlement negotiations fail and you do have to go to court, your attorney will have several key elements that they have to prove in order for you to be successful in your suit.
First, they will have to prove that the party responsible for your injury owed a duty to the public at large to act in a prudent and safe manner. Then, they will prove that this party violated that duty by doing something negligent or reckless. Next, they will prove the injury that you suffered, and lastly, they will show how your injury is a direct result of the responsible party’s negligent actions.
What kinds of damages can I recover for?
You can ask for reimbursement for costs resulting from your accident, such as medical bills, physical therapy, medication, and the cost of repairing damage to your vehicle or other personal property. If you are unable to return to work for a while, you could possibly recover lost wages.
However, not all of your damages are financial. You have also suffered pain and emotional anguish because of your accident, and your family likely has as well. In Minnesota you are allowed to recover for pain and suffering in addition to economic damage.
You may have never expected to have to engage in the court system, and the thought of bringing a personal injury lawsuit could be worrisome to you. However, sometimes that is the only way to recover what you need to deal with your injuries and take care of your family after an unexpected accident.