Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

What are the Minimum Requirements for a Personal Injury Case?

A common question we get from potential new clients is “Do I have a case?” I have been handling personal injury cases in the Kansas City area for almost 20 years and here are some of the basic requirements of a personal injury case.

First, there must be liability, or wrongdoing. Someone must have done something wrong, or failed to do something that should have been done, in order for you to have a personal injury case. The touchstone of these cases is some kind of wrongdoing, whether that be breaking a traffic law, professional rule, building code, industry regulation, or just plain common sense. Without that, there is no liability and no personal injury case.

Second, the wrongdoing must have caused you some kind of damage. The damage must be significant enough to justify the attorney’s fees and expenses. Sometimes, and hopefully, bad actions (liability) don’t cause anyone harm. Someone can blow through a red light at an intersection but not hit anyone, or the store leaves water on the floor but no one slips. If there are no damages, there is no personal injury case. Similarly, if the damages are too small, like a bump or bruise, then the lawyer’s fees and expenses may leave you with no recovery.

Third, the wrongdoer must have insurance or the ability to pay money compensation. Without insurance or the ability to pay, any judgment you get in a personal injury case will be uncollectable. In some instances, however, you may be able to get money compensation even if the wrongdoer has no insurance or assets. Missouri has a Tort Victim’s Compensation Fund that can provide partial compensation when you’re hurt by someone that can’t pay.

If these minimum requirements apply to your case, then I encourage you to contact our firm. Provide free consultations, Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott will gladly tell you whether you have a case.

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