When you suffer an injury due to someone else’s actions, whether those actions are purposeful or merely negligent, it can upend your entire world. You may be facing an extended period where you’re unable to work. Meanwhile, the household bills don’t stop coming in and your medical costs may start to pile up. That can make a personal injury claim essential to your well-being.

But not all personal injury claims are the same. What sort of things can influence the outcome of your personal injury case? The top factors include:

The nature of your injuries

The type of injuries you’ve suffered can have a big impact on your case. The more obvious your injuries and the better you can tie them to a specific incident, the easier it is to prove damages. When your injuries are serious, an insurance company may push back harder on your claim to avoid a big payout — but a jury may feel those injuries are worth more compensation, particularly if you are left with permanent scars or other damage.

The other party’s resources

When your claim is against an individual, like another driver who caused a car accident, your compensation may be limited by the amount of their insurance. Most people simply don’t have the additional resources to pay more. This is why it is very important to have your own auto insurance policy with sufficient uninsured/underinsured motorist limits.  However, if your claim is against a company — like after a wreck with a commercial vehicle — there may be a lot more resources available to compensate you fairly.

The extent of your liability

In Virginia, anyone who contributes to the cause of their own accident in any way is completely barred from making a personal injury claim. This is called the doctrine of contributory negligence.  Virginia is one of the few jurisdictions that maintains this antiquated law.

Personal injury claims are very complicated. Don’t let doubts about your claim prevent you from taking action. Speak to an experienced advocate about your case and let them be your guide.