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When you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, you deal with a lot of unfair situations. You’re hurting, and it’s all because of someone else’s negligence. You’re most likely losing money: you’ll have to pay for pricey hospital bills, doctor’s bills, and physical therapy bills. Those don’t come cheap — it’s no wonder that medical bills are the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy in the United States. And then there’s the potential for lost income. If you’re hurt, you can’t work, and if you can’t work, you could lose wages or even lose your job entirely.

Against all of this unfairness stand the rights given to you by our laws. You are empowered by the law to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party who caused your accident. Through a court award or a settlement agreement, you could receive monetary compensation that helps you cover those pricey medical bills and makes up for the lost income that you’ve suffered in the days, weeks, and months since the accident.

But not all personal injury cases are successful. Not all of them are even taken on by attorneys. At times, after a consultation, a lawyer may decline to take you on as a client. On the other hand, you could join forces with a great local lawyer and get some serious money. So what’s the difference? Why do some personal injury cases lead to successful lawsuits, while others fizzle out? Here are the essential traits of a great personal injury case.

The case checks all of the legal boxes

A personal injury case that is successful will have to meet all the criteria that the law establishes for personal injury cases.

Contrary to popular belief, not just any old injury can lead to a successful lawsuit. In a personal injury case, you must prove that you suffered damages. You must prove that those damages were caused by an accident. And, finally, you must prove that that accident was the result of another party’s negligence. That negligent party is the one that you can hold accountable.

In a perfect world, this might be the end of our list of essential traits of a great personal injury case. But we all know that it takes more than being in the right to succeed in court. Let’s keep going.

Great evidence and documentation

Your being the victim of someone else’s negligence isn’t enough. That other party could just deny it — unless you have evidence.

That’s why keeping track of everything as your personal injury situation unfolds is important. Take photos with your phone at the scene of the accident, if possible. Get a copy of the police report, if there is one. Hang onto those medical bills. Keep correspondence with your employer and any financial records that show your lost income.

When the time comes, it will make a big difference that you have all of this information at the ready. Bring it to your first consultation with an attorney. And make the appointment for that consultation soon. When it comes to evidence, time is of the essence.

A superior lawyer

Having a great case is wonderful. But having a great attorney can be even more important. An expert personal injury lawyer will be able to show you all of your legal options and will fight hard for your rights, making you more likely to win a court award or inspire the other side to come to the negotiating table with a great settlement offer.

According to the law experts at Avrek, you’ll want to turn to a local attorney who specializes in personal injury law. Ideally, you should choose one who has handled cases similar to yours in the past. Set up a consultation, and come prepared with that documentation we talked about.

Only a trained and qualified attorney who is familiar with the details of your case will be able to tell you what your options are and advise you on what to do next. But if you have the right lawyer and the right case, you just might be able to get the compensation you deserve.