Legal Answers
Brien Roche Law > Legal Answers > Is My Case Worth Pursuing?
« Go back to Frequently Asked Questions

Is My Case Worth Pursuing?

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Is My Case Worth Pursuing

Brien Roche

Before any accident attorney can advise you as to the strength or weakness of your case she must do some investigation. That may be conducted before suit is filed. In some instances you may have to file suit first. Once suit is filed you can obtain info through the formal discovery process. This includes subpoenas, depositions, etc.

Is My Case Worth Pursuing-Insurance Company Claims

Most often it is in your interest that the investigation be conducted quickly. Insurance companies move very quickly to gather evidence. Once a person or company that they insure is involved in an incident that may result in a claim they begin their inquiry. Many insurers discourage injured people from hiring attorneys. Their hope is that they can negotiate directly with the injured person. They want to “buy” the claim cheaply.

If you have a minor injury then it may be OK to deal with the insurer. A minor claim is one with minimal medical treatment and no continuing problems. In that case it may be in your interest to deal directly with the insurer. However if you have suffered serious injury you may want to contact counsel. Serious injury means ongoing treatment and/or inability to return to your pre-accident status. If that is the case, then you may be well served by having an experienced lawyer handling your case.

Is My Case Worth Pursuing-Tort Litigation

In any tort suit the party bringing the suit (plaintiff) must prove that there has been some breach of duty by the other party. That other party is the defendant. That breach of duty may be referred to as negligence or malpractice.

In addition to simply proving the breach of duty, the plaintiff must prove that the breach was a cause of his injury. For instance, two parties run a red light at the same time. Only the first car strikes the person crossing the street. Although the operator of that second auto may be negligent that did not cause the injury. As a result the pedestrian has a claim against the operator of the first car but not the second. In any tort suit the plaintiff must prove a breach of duty and that the breach was a cause of injury. Finally the plaintiff must prove what her damages are.

Elements of Claim

If those basic elements can be proven by the greater weight of the evidence then the party can prevail. To prove something by the greater weight of the evidence means convincing a jury that it is more likely than not likely. In most cases that means that the other party is responsible for the injuries you claim.

In addition you must consider that the law in the tri-state area that we deal with (Virginia, D.C. and Maryland) recognizes a concept known as contributory negligence. This refers to fault on the part of the party bringing the claim. The law is that if there is any fault on the part of the person bringing the claim which contributed to the injury then their claim is barred. Some states recognize a concept known as comparative fault. This means that where both the party bringing the claim and the party being sued are at fault then that fault will be compared. The plaintiff then will be allowed to recover the amount of damages that are not due to his fault.

Is My Case Worth Pursuing-Conclusion

What is set forth above is the basic analysis that I do in terms of deciding whether a case is worth pursuing. Many of these concepts are explained in much greater detail in a book that I have written titled “Law 101“.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Legal answers provided by Brien Roche, a personal injury attorney with over 40 years of trial experience. Contact Us today to discuss your personal injury matter.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Is My Case Worth Pursuing?

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation