Personal injury lawsuits are legal disputes which arise while you have to suffer any pain or harm from an injury resulting from an accident of any kind. A typical personal injury event can become formalized or legalized through the proceedings of a civil court. The lawsuit related to personal injury is actually run to find out the legal fault of the other party, and based on the court judgment; you will be eligible for fair compensation. Sometimes, even before a court filing your case, there is a scope of getting the issues resolved through some informal settlement also.
Two common legal scenarios of personal injury claims
1. Formal lawsuits
Unlike criminal proceedings, where the prosecution is primarily the government, personal injury cases are initiated by individuals known as the plaintiff. The one who suffered an injury usually files a civil case against the other party as an individual, corporate, or government agency which is responsible for the accident due to any careless or irresponsible act which ended up in the plaintiff’s injury. This is the process of civil case initiation is called “filing a lawsuit.”
Informal settlement of personal injury cases
In reality, the majority of personal injury lawsuits tend to get settled outside the court. Through this process, the cases are settled early among the parties involved in the dispute. The parties involved in the settlement are usually the claimant, accused, insurers, and the attorneys of each side. A settlement is usually the result of a successful negotiation over the compensation, which is further formalized through a written agreement signed by both sides.
In fact, in the middle-ground of a settlement and a lawsuit, there are alternative dispute resolution practices too like arbitration and mediation, etc. Personal injury cases usually require a detailed understanding of the legal aspects, facts, and figures, court proceedings, etc.
Getting the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional to become necessary in order to ensure success in such cases and get the necessary compensation. For those who are new to running a personal injury lawsuit, further, we will explore some frequently asked questions about it and the expert answers.
Q&A on personal injury lawsuits
What laws govern personal injury cases?
Unlike many other fields of law with unique laws governing them like criminal cases or penal codes, the development of personal laws had been primarily through the court verdicts and the treatises prepared by the legal experts. Many of the states have taken necessary steps to summarize the context of personal injury laws and written statutes, but when it comes to the practical process of running a lawsuit, it still remains more of a subjective topic.
What is personal injury statute limitation?
The major thing is that the plaintiff who wants to file a lawsuit has only very limited time to file it, which is called the statute of limitations. Generally, the time window starts as soon as the plaintiff gets injured. Each state law established the statutes of limitations and varied from case to case based on the type of injury and the nature of the accident. Say, for example, the statute of limitations in states like Texas is two years, but a personal injury attorney NYC maybe tell you a different timeframe.
What to do first if one is injured?
If you find someone else at fault for your injury, then you have to make a compensation claim against the accused and their insurance provider. You have to properly document the injuries in terms of medical reports, bills, loss of wages, and the long-term implications of the injury.
What to expect from a personal injury lawyer?
An ideal personal injury lawyer will take up your end-to-end needs in terms of running a personal injury lawsuit. Some of the major aspects at the initial phase, which will be handled by a lawyer include, but not limited to the gathering:
- Police inquiry reports
- Medical and diagnostic reports
- Witness statements
- Review of all the personal injury laws.
What is the worth of a personal injury claim?
It’s difficult to determine the worthiness of your claim at the early phase of filing a lawsuit. It takes time to understand the implications of the injuries and the total cost for medical care etc. to estimate the cost. Usually, the major damages you are entitled to compensation are:
- Reimbursement of the current medical expenses
- Future medical expenses in case of ongoing treatment.
- Lost wages
- Compensation if there is a loss of future earnings
- Physical and mental suffering and pain.
Will the personal injury case be settled?
It cannot be predicted whether and when your case will be settled. Some cases may be settled at the very early stages itself if all the parties agree with the settlement terms. Some may drag for months or years. Some may not be settled at all, and the plaintiff may have to wait for the final verdict of the court to come.
Finding a good personal injury lawyer
As we have seen above, personal injury law is a very intricate specialty with many specific statutes and practices. So, it may be essential for the claimants to get a specialized attorney to handle than choosing a generic lawyer. Here are some tips for hiring an ideal personal injury lawyer for your case.
Select one with a proven track record
If you’ve sustained some serious injuries, then it is important to check whether your attorney has a proven track record in such cases and is capable of delivering a large verdict. If you are aiming at a settlement, then focus on someone who has an admirable history of successful settlements.
Choose someone who has sufficient resource
Major personal injury cases may be a bit expensive to run. It may require many experts to frame and run the case properly is a comprehensive way. So, check if the lawyer you approach has a professional backup to run such cases. They may have to coordinate with doctors, insurance specialists, economists, accident reconstructionists, biomechanics, rehabilitation specialists, etc. to properly frame the case and run it. So, make sure that you approach a professional provider with enough resources and also consider the qualifications of a personal injury lawyer.
It is also advised to get some references and feedback about the lawyers you consider to check the client opinions about them and the reputation they have in the industry. In fact, choosing a good lawyer is half done in case of personal injury lawsuits. So, you should take enough care and consideration before finalizing who is going to represent you in your best interest.