Does Your Personal Injury Case Stand A Chance?

Anyone thinking about pursuing a personal injury case will want to know what their chances of success might be. No lawyer will ever guarantee success, but they can look at these four factors that often determine whether a case will succeed or fail.

Can You Identify the Defendant?

Before you file a claim or lawsuit, you need to identify a party that you believe is liable for what happened. If you can't name a defendant, it's impossible to obtain damages.

Notably, you shouldn't assume this is a problem before you speak with an attorney. For example, a lawyer might be able to show how a property owner was liable for an anonymous person hurting you through some theory of negligent security or premises liability. Generally, it's a good idea to consult with a law firm before deciding whether or not to give up on a case. It may have better chances than you might expect.


It is not enough that a victim can say someone was responsible for an incident. There also has to be a legal theory of why they're liable for what happened. Suppose someone was struck by lightning at an outdoor concert. If there were no signs of bad weather at the time, it would be hard to hold the concert organizers liable. However, the odds of them being liable would probably go up if they ignored weather alerts and let people stay outside exposed.


The law also requires measurable damages for a case to have a chance. If a potential defendant was insanely negligent, it still wouldn't matter if through some stroke of luck nothing happened to the victim.

One exception may be psychological trauma. However, this varies by state because many legal codes don't allow damages for trauma without a claim of substantial physical injuries that required medical attention. You should consult with a lawyer before deciding whether to press a personal injury claim solely based on trauma.


A defendant doesn't have to be insured, but it usually helps a case a lot if they are. Insurance companies have claims processes, and insurance adjusters often want to minimize their company's exposure to potential big lawsuits.

Also, self-insured parties usually don't handle claims well unless they're large entities, such as major corporations. Your neighbor, on the other hand, might not know what to do if you demand compensation for a fireworks injury that happened during their cookout. You can still pursue damages, but expect the process to be more cumbersome. 

For more information, contact a local personal injury lawyer.