If a car wreck has left you hurt, out of work, and without transportation, you might need to take action. You can be paid for all of those damages, and more, but only if you have a good case. What makes a good case, when it comes to car accidents, are three elements: physical injuries, fault, and proof of your damages. To help you know what is meant by all three of those, read on.

Physical Injuries

The issue of physical injuries and other types of injuries can be confusing. For personal injury cases, there must be proof of bodily harm — mental trauma is not enough. In other facets of civil law, you can sue someone for damaging your reputation, defrauding you of money, or making you fear for your safety — none of which require proof of bodily harm. With a car accident case, you can include mental and emotional damage as part of your damages, but only if you had physical injuries as well. Personal injury car accident cases rest so heavily on bodily injury that the amount of medical treatment costs influences your payment for pain and suffering. If your injury was bad enough to cause broken bones or hospitalization, you may be entitled to a lot of pain and suffering compensation.

Fault for the Accident

While the other driver doesn't necessarily have to be 100% at fault for you to be paid compensation (at least in most states), it certainly helps. Any time you and the other driver share liability for the accident, your compensation will be reduced. When fault is shared, that share is calculated by a percentage. In some states, unfortunately, if you share fault you are not entitled to any compensation at all. Proving fault is the cornerstone of a personal injury case but not the only issue. If fault is disputed, it can take more time to investigate the way the accident happened and it can be more expensive for both sides.

Proof of Damages

The final point in the personal injury triangle is proof of damages. Simply put, if you don't have proof of a loss, it doesn't exist. This category is known in legal parlance as evidence and you need certain key pieces of evidence if you expect to be paid. For example, if you want to be reimbursed for the time you missed from work, you should be ready to show proof of your wages with a pay statement or an income tax return. Medical records have to be the most important of all forms of proof because, as mentioned above, you don't have a case without bodily harm. Evidence is gathered as time goes on and can eventually include eyewitness statements, photos of vehicle damage, the accident report, and more.

Speak to a car accident lawyer to find out more.