If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, then there are some things that you should know before you proceed. To make sure that your case goes as smoothly as possible, here are some pointers on how personal injury lawsuits work:
Statute of Limitations
The first thing that you need to know about personal injury lawsuits is that they are time-sensitive. If you do not file your lawsuit within a certain period of time, it will get thrown out. Therefore, your first order of business should be to make sure that you are still within the statute of limitations for your state and circumstances.
Some states require you to file within a single year, while others allow you to file up to ten years after the fact. However, the majority of states have a limit somewhere near two or three years.
In some situations, this deadline may be extended. For instance, if you don't immediately find the damage that serves as the basis of your lawsuit until much later, then your deadline may be extended. If you were exposed to some hazardous chemicals earlier in your life and didn't experience the effects until much later (and after the statute of limitations ran out), then you can probably still file your lawsuit successfully.
In order to figure out whether or not you are past the statute of limitations, it's a good idea to talk to a personal injury lawyer. After all, you don't want to go to all the effort of setting up your lawsuit, only to find out that your specific case doesn't qualify for a deadline extension.
Nature of the Injury
Secondly, you will want to make sure that your injury is a valid grounds for a lawsuit. This can be a pretty tricky area, since the success of lawsuits can vary greatly based on the exact nature of the injury. Medical malpractice, defective products, and auto accidents are all commonly cited in personal injury lawsuits, but having such an injury isn't enough to guarantee that you will get compensated.
There will need to be proof that another party is at fault, and in some states, that you were entirely not at fault. For example, uninsured drivers in California may not pursue certain types of damages (non-economic, like pain and suffering) in a personal injury lawsuit that stems from a car accident. However, there is a certain caveat, which is that uninsured drivers may pursue non-economic damages when the offending party was under the influence at the time of the accident.
In light of this information, it's a good idea to talk to a lawyer before making any serious work on your personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer can help you figure out whether or not you have a good chance of winning and how much money you stand to gain.Share