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How to Determine If You Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim


Navigating the aftermath of an accident can be incredibly challenging, especially when you're faced with physical injuries and emotional stress. One of the pressing questions you may face is whether you have a valid personal injury claim. To help you through this process, our blog will cover everything you need to know about assessing your claim, establishing liability, calculating damages, and understanding the time limits for filing.

Assessing Liability: Who Is Responsible for Your Injuries?

Establishing liability is a critical step in determining the validity of your personal injury claim. Liability refers to the legal responsibility for an accident or injury. To establish liability, you must demonstrate that another party was negligent or at fault for your injuries. This can include individuals, companies, or government entities. Gathering evidence, such as witness statements, video, photographs, and medical records can help support your claim and establish liability.
Key Factors in Establishing Liability
  • Negligence: You must prove that the responsible party failed to exercise reasonable care, resulting in your injury. This involves showing that they owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused your injury through their actions or lack thereof.
  • Strict Liability: In some cases, liability is established without proving negligence, especially in product liability claims or cases involving inherently dangerous activities.
  • Intentional Torts: If your injury was caused intentionally, such as in cases of assault or battery, you can establish liability based on the intentionality of the act.

Steps to Establish Liability

  1. Gather Evidence:Collect witness statements, photographs and video of the accident scene, and any other relevant documentation.
  2. Consult Experts: Sometimes, expert testimony is needed to establish liability, particularly in complex cases involving medical malpractice, premises liability, construction accidents, or defective products.
  3. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of your medical treatments, conversations with insurance companies, and any other relevant interactions.

Understanding Damages: Calculating the Value of Your Claim

Damages are the losses you have suffered as a result of your injuries. These can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. Calculating the value of your claim involves assessing the total cost of your damages, both current and future. It's essential to keep detailed records of your expenses and losses to ensure you're seeking the full compensation you're entitled to.
Types of Damages
  • Economic Damages:These are quantifiable losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. They are typically easier to calculate because they have a clear monetary value.
    • Medical Expenses: This includes all treating facility, doctor and hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, physical therapy, pain management, and future medical care.
    • Lost Wages: Compensation for the income you lost due to the injury, including potential future earnings if your ability to work is affected.
    • Property Damage: Costs to repair or replace any property damaged in the incident.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These are subjective and include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
    • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and discomfort caused by the injury.
    • Emotional Distress: Compensation for psychological impact, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
    • Loss of Enjoyment: Compensation if your injury prevents you from enjoying activities you once loved.

Calculating the Value of Your Claim

  1. Document All Expenses: Keep receipts, bills, and any other proof of costs incurred due to the injury.
  2. Consider Future Costs: Include anticipated future medical treatments, ongoing care, and future loss of earnings.
  3. Assess Non-Economic Damages: While challenging to quantify, these damages are essential for full compensation. Consider keeping a journal to document your pain and emotional state post-accident.
  4. Consult with Professionals: Hiring a personal injury attorney can help accurately calculate the value of your claim, ensuring you don't overlook any compensable losses.

Statute of Limitations: Time Limits for Filing Your Personal Injury Claim

The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing your personal injury claim. If you fail to file within this timeframe, you may lose your right to seek compensation. Statute of limitations vary by state and by the type of claim, so it's crucial to consult with an attorney to understand and comply with the relevant deadlines. Acting promptly is key, as gathering evidence and building a strong case can take time.
Importance of the Statute of Limitations
  • Legal Deadlines: Each state has specific time limits for different types of personal injury claims. Missing these deadlines can bar you from pursuing compensation.
  • Preserving Evidence: Filing your claim promptly helps preserve crucial evidence and witness testimonies, which can degrade over time.
  • Prompt Action: Early legal action demonstrates seriousness and can lead to quicker settlements.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

  1. Consult an Attorney: Get legal advice as soon as possible after your injury to understand the specific deadlines for your case.
  2. File Promptly: Don't wait until the last minute to file your claim. This allows your attorney ample time to build a strong case.
  3. Stay Informed: Be aware of any changes in laws that might affect the statute of limitations in your state.


Determining the validity of your personal injury claim involves assessing liability, understanding damages, and knowing the time limits for filing your claim. If you believe you have a valid claim, seeking the advice of a qualified personal injury attorney is crucial. They can evaluate your case, help you understand your rights, and guide you through the legal process. The experienced attorneys at Sherwood Law Group can help.

The experienced attorneys at Sherwood Law Group can help. Our team has a proven track record of successfully representing personal injury clients and securing the compensation they deserve.

Contact Sherwood Law Group today for a free consultation to discuss your personal injury claim and explore your options for seeking compensation.
Categories: personal injury