If you have been involved in any type of accident or have suffered damages because of the negligence of others, you must decide if you are going to file a lawsuit. There are three important elements to consider: fault (civil liability), damages, and your chances of collecting money compensation. What follows is a brief explanation of each of these elements.
- Fault (civil liability)
An individual, a business entity, or a governmental entity, must be legally responsible for your damages. That is, that the other party was negligent. This means that something was not done correctly or that there was a failure to do something which should have been done. For example, if you slip and fall on the wet and greasy floor of a cruise ship and the employees knew of the danger and ignored it, the cruise ship company is legally responsible to you for your damages because its employees ignored the danger. Even an employee of the same cruise company working on his own ship is entitled to collect money compensation if he slips, falls, and injures himself because of the wet and greasy floor.
In most states, you can file a lawsuit even when you are partially responsible for your damages. In this case, your money compensation will be reduced according to your percentage of responsibility.
You must have suffered damages in order to receive money compensation. When you think about your damages remember that they include past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, past and future pain and suffering, property damage, etc.
- Chances of Collecting Money Compensation
Can the person or entity at fault pay for your damages? If the answer is yes, you should file your lawsuit. Even if the other side does not have much money, there could be insurance coverage or other assets. In certain situations, it is also possible to sue a third party, such as an employer. If a cruise company is involved, collecting your damages is never a problem. All cruise ships companies have plenty of insurance coverage and assets to pay for your damages.
If you have been involved in an accident, it should be easy to decide to file a lawsuit considering the aforementioned elements: fault, damages, and your chances of collecting money compensation. With the help of an attorney, you can easily find out if you have a viable lawsuit.