Personal Injury Lawsuits: Important Things to Know
A personal injury lawsuit is a legal dispute that arises when you suffer injuries in an accident where someone else is legally responsible for your pain. The person at fault is liable for paying your medical expenses, lost wages and travel costs. Generally, the responsible party’s insurance company will pay the compensation. Now that’s where the case can get challenging because the latter is not easy to deal with. That’s why hiring a personal injury lawyer is always wise as they are well-versed in the legal technicalities that apply when negotiating a settlement. But you should still also have an idea of what a personal injury lawsuit is all about. Here’s a guide so you can prepare to fight for your rights.
Important Things to Know About a Personal Injury Lawsuit
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
As mentioned earlier, a personal injury lawsuit helps compensate you for injuries following an accident. Though filing a case can be stressful, what with your physical pain and mental trauma, it is wise to do so. Winning can help lighten the financial burden you are likely to experience after the incident. Plus, you will likely miss work until you recover. However, informal settlements with the person at fault can be negotiated and agreed upon instead of filing a lawsuit. (There is a middle ground between a lawsuit and an informal settlement, i.e. mediation and arbitration, which is an alternative dispute resolution procedure.)
Requirements for a Valid Lawsuit
Your lawsuit will bring you a positive result only if you provide all the essential evidences.
- Duty of Care
You need evidence to highlight that the responsible person had a duty to act with reasonable caution to prevent causing injury to others.
You must prove that the person at fault was negligent in their duty to safeguard you from accident.
Sometimes breaches of duty may not get you compensation. In that case, you need to prove that your injuries were the result of the responsible person’s misconduct.
You need to prove your pain and suffering, along with how the accident has altered your life. That’s why keeping a personal injury journal is a good idea, as documenting everything related to the incident will strengthen your case.
Statute of Limitations
As the victim, you have a timeframe in which you can file a lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations, and it begins right after you are hurt. During this time, you have to hire a personal injury lawyer who can bring you justice. Once you have filed a lawsuit, you are no longer limited to a timeframe.
Remember, the statute of limitations is governed by laws that will vary from one state to another. It can also differ by the type of injury you have sustained. In Canada, statutes of limitations for civil laws vary by province, whereas it depends on the type of offense for criminal offenses.
Reasons Why Your Personal Injury Lawsuit Can Fail
The responsible person’s insurance company should compensate you for your injuries. That said, they will be very critical in assessing your claim and could deny it if they find any weakness in your case. Knowing the reasons why your lawsuit could fail is a good way to avoid them:
- Delayed medical treatment interpreted as your injuries not being serious
- A lack of proper documentation of your pain and suffering
- Sharing happy life events on social media following the incident
- Revealing out-of-context details to the insurance company
- Not hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer
That’s a brief summary of the important things you should know before filing a personal injury lawsuit. This is mandatory if you want maximum compensation from the person at fault. From medical expenses to lost wages, you are eligible to claim your accident-related losses. Hiring a reputable personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit with all the essential elements will help a lot in that.