Problems and Solutions in a Personal Injury Case
For many years, our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers have been representing people who have been injured due to negligence of others. As we have seen, the aches and pains do not always end once the physical wounds are healed. The legal process of seeking compensation from the responsible party comes with its own batch of headaches. This article will explore Problems and Solutions in a Personal Injury Case.
We have a lot of experience representing people who have been injured. We are here to take on those who are responsible for our clients’ losses. We know what it takes to successfully handle a lawsuit. Part of what we have learned over the years is that there are many difficulties in managing a successful personal injury case. That is, obstacles to success frequently present themselves and you need a skilled, knowledgeable, experienced attorney to be able to spot the complications before they become too problematic.
In this blog post, we are going to outline a couple of the hiccups that often come about in personal injury cases. In addition, after discussing the problems, we will list some tips for overcoming those obstacles.
- This perhaps obvious problem is a major thorn in the side of plaintiffs’ attorneys and plaintiffs themselves. Unfortunately, without witnesses willing to testify, it’s really the defendant’s word against the plaintiff’s. This is important if liability is dispute. If no witnesses and liability is disputed, the jury will be left to decide who they believe. Even if a case never goes to trial (and most personal injury cases do not go to trial), the believability of a litigant is incredibly significant. It weighs heavily upon a party’s decision to settle or not to settle. If a defendant knows that there are no witnesses to the accident and the plaintiff is not believable, the defendant will be less likely to settle. The defendant may think (correctly or incorrectly) that they have a better shot at winning.
- Without witnesses to testify, our personal injury lawyers still try to make a strong case. We use physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, and experts. That said, eyewitness testimony is crucial, in part for the reasons described above. So while you cannot create witnesses where there were none, if there were witnesses to an accident, make absolutely sure to get their information as soon as it is practicable. While we certainly do not advise an injured victim to crawl across the street in pain in order to speak to a witness. It does make sense for someone (again, when they are able to safely do so) to approach witnesses. You would ask them whether or not they saw the accident and what is their contact information. Having a neutral eyewitness available to testify and reiterate the plaintiff’s case strengthens the plaintiff’s chance of success exponentially. As we mentioned above, despite the fact that most personal injury cases do not go to trial, the availability of eyewitnesses could have a strong effect on whether a party settles or not.
Problem: Pre-existing injuries
- Another significant problem for plaintiffs, which defendants routinely focus on, is plaintiff’s pre-existing injuries. Despite the so-called “eggshell skull rule” (that a defendant takes a plaintiff as he finds him), the fact that a plaintiff in a personal injury action has pre-existing injuries is not a fact necessarily favorable to the plaintiff’s side.
- Consider the case of a plaintiff in a car accident who sustained a left knee injury and brings a case against the driver of the other car. If the plaintiff had previously broken his left knee, the defendant is going to feel emboldened to focus on the previous conditions as the causes of the current injury.
- One cannot, of course, travel back in time and erase the fact that a previous medical condition exists. But this area, among others, highlights the absolute importance of proper record keeping. If you do a careful, comprehensive job of ensuring that your medical records are thorough, up-to-date, and organized neatly, your lawyers can demonstrate how your current injuries are separate and distinct from your previous medical conditions, even where they sound quite similar.