Accidents happen, but how do you know if the accident that you were in is a case that you could file as a personal injury? With so many different types of accidents that can be claimed, there’s no doubt that it’s challenging to know what you’re working with and get an idea of whether or not you can take it to court.

While one of the obvious answers of determining this answer is to contact Westphal Law Group and have a member of our team better determine that for you, we’re going to provide you with a few things that will help you get a decent idea of where your incident stands before you have to contact us.

Personal Injury Claim

While every accident may be different, there are three factors that every personal injury case will have incorporated into them. They may not be as obvious in each case, and will certainly differ from one to the other.

Are You Experiencing Personal Injury

This is one of the first questions that you’re going to have to ask yourself. By definition, personal injury is any injury to the body, mind or emotions. That means that there is no limitation to the injury itself; it can be both physical or psychological. When an incident happens, and you are experiencing long-lasting trauma, pain or complications because of the incident, you are experiencing personal injury.

The main thing that you’ll have to consider with this case and where you stand with your case and how it is titled. Something that we see often is the confusion between is whether a scenario leads to personal injury or property damage. It’s easy to think that when you have gone through some form of accident, and your property is damaged, it too would go under this type of claim. However, that is not the case.  

For example, if you are in an accident where your property is damaged in any way or form, but your body isn’t injured, you cannot file a personal injury case. Even though the accident did happen.

Given all of that information, you should be able to answer if your case fits the description of a personal injury case. If it does not, then you should still seek legal advice to learn more about what a lawyer could provide to you. However, if you are positive that the outcome of your accident is considered personal injury, go ahead and move to the next piece of evidence and support that we’ll be looking for.

Was the Other Party Negligent

The other piece of support that your lawyer will be looking for will be in regards to whether or not the accident that happened was because of negligence on their part. This is a huge part of any personal injury case because it cannot be considered a personal injury case unless there was some form of negligence that occurred.

This negligence doesn’t have to happen in any specific way and can truthfully be the fault of an entity or an individual. Anything from government agencies to businesses has been charged with personal injury claims with which they’ve had to answer to. When this does happen, the entity or person has acted in a careless manner that wound up injuring someone else, leaving them liable for the claim. These types of scenarios prove that in order for that to happen, the individual or entity needed to be negligent.

Negligence, defined by the law, is known as the failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. For this specific part of the case, we dive even deeper into the 4 different types of elements or components that are considered with negligence when in a personal injury lawsuit.


The defendant had a legal duty to behave in a particular manner toward the plaintiff. This will usually be relevant to the circumstances of the case.


If the defendant has breached their duty to the plaintiff by acting a particular way or failing to act in a particular way.


The action, or lack of action, by the defendant, were what caused the injury of the plaintiff and can be supported by evidence.


If the plaintiff was injured or harmed because of the actions or decisions of the defendant, and there are monetary values that could provide relief to the victim.

For the most part, being able to recognize that there was some sort of cause for the injury that occurred is going to be fairly straightforward and easy for us to distinguish. If these instances are the case for your personal injury claim, then move on to the next point that we’re going to cover. This section will go further into the negligence and the overall injury that the accident left you with but will explain the last thing that needs to be there in order for your case to be considered a personal injury case.

Are There Recoverable Damages

The last thing that people will take into consideration when determining if a case is a personal injury case or not will be if there are recoverable damages that can be provided by the defendant. There are obviously some injuries and damages that a person will never be able to truthfully payback, but when the court looks at a personal injury case they need to be able to recognize that there are damages that some monetary value could provide relief for.

There are so many different types of expenses that get considered at this point of the claim. Anything from medical bills to emotional tolls is considered when they look at damages that could be recovered through monetary compensation.

  • Medical bills for any injury treatments or appointments
  • Physical or emotional pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish or illness because of the accident or injuries
  • Lesser quality of living because of the accident
  • Inability to work or earn a living
  • Disability accommodations: living and employment taken into consideration
  • Loss of companionship or support

Now, in this list above you can see clearly that there are some points that are monetary and could be replaced, for example, any medical bills or wages. However, there are also some that are impossible to put a number on, like the loss of support or the pain and suffering that you have experienced. This part of the process can be one of the most challenging parts because it is then up to the court to determine what type of monetary value is going to be adequate for the claims that you’re making. This is also why it’s so important that you have a legal professional that you trust and know will fight hard for your compensation.

If you have answered yes to the questions above, then you can be certain that you have a personal injury case. A member of our team can provide you with the assistance that you need to place the claim and progress through your case. Don’t let your case wait, let us help you get the justice that you deserve. We truthfully have the experience to know what the right type of support is capable of, and we have worked hard to provide that for our clients.

Westphal Law Group has worked in the field for years, and in that time we have been able to provide the justice that our clients deserve. If you have a personal injury case that you’d like to bring to court, contact our office and we’ll schedule your free consultation with a member of our team. From there we can better shape your case and determine what the months moving forward will look like for your case.