Those legal terms provide a personal injury lawyer with a way to confront the fact that not every person with an injury enjoys the ability to file a personal injury claim. Claims get filed at the courthouse, and authorities in the courthouse determine whether or not a given complaint has the standing of a legal claim.
What happens after a claim has been filed?
Ideally, it puts the filer, the claimant on a path towards obtaining a compensation and then becoming whole again. Yet there is no guarantee that the claimant will go down that path. The filing could lead to failed negotiations and a low settlement.
What factors does the court exam, when deciding which complaints qualify as a personal injury claim?
The court studies all of the evidence that has accompanied the presentation of the complaint. In addition, the authorities study the circumstances that surrounded the incident that gave rise to that particular complaint.
In Alberta, a smart potential claimant obtains legal counsel before approaching the court with a tentative claim. The personal injury lawyer in Grande Prairie then becomes responsible for proving that the other party was careless and neglectful of his or her duty of care. In the absence of such a proof, the claim’s standing comes into question.
What sort of evidence could a lawyer present, in order to prove that a potential defendant had neglected a duty of care?
At this point, the lawyer only needs to show what happened to the potential plaintiff, the lawyer’s client. Did that client have to seek medical help? If so, where are the medical bills, and what was the doctor’s diagnosis?
At this early stage of the process, that serves as sufficient evidence. In light of such evidence, the court would probably allow the client’s attorney to move forward with a personal injury claim. It then becomes the attorney’s job to prove that the defendant’s actions caused the harm suffered by the plaintiff/client.
What factors might make it harder for an attorney to prove that fact?
The lawyer’s job would become more difficult if the client/plaintiff had carried out some act that contributed to occurrence of the injury-causing accident. In that case, the defendant’s lawyers could produce evidence of such contributions, and diminish the size of the settlement that the client had hoped to obtain.
What factors might make the attorney’s job easier?
If could be that the defendant’s actions were so egregious that the court might consider introducing punitive damages, if the case were to go to court. The defendant would want to avoid paying such damages. Consequently, the defendant’s legal team could be more easily persuaded to accept a reasonable settlement. Then neither side would go to court.