Personal Injury Lawsuits 101
A basic guide to the process involved in filing and driving a personal injury suit, with advice on how adequate compensation can best be ensured.
Within the blink of an eye, your life changed; you were seriously injured. Personal injuries can range from assault to malfunctioned products to car accidents. In today’s day and age, danger is seemingly lurking around the corner, with the average person confronted with an increasing number of personal injury dangers. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration predicted that there could be a 50% increase in vehicular related deaths and injuries, from the present millions of annual injuries and tens of thousands of yearly fatalities. These injuries are tragic. At a glance, you may even believe that it was purely an accident. However, chances are, someone’s negligence is to blame for the resulting injury. If that is the scenario, the responsible party should bear the burden of the medical bills and the expenses associated with the injury.
In this article, we will look at the process of a personal injury lawsuit.
What Does Personal Injury Law Cover?
Generally, personal injury law covers virtually any physical injury a person endures because of another’s negligence or carelessness. Essentially, if you have been injured and it was not your fault, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the party who caused the accident that led to your injury. Common types of personal injury lawsuits include:
- Vehicular Accidents. Accidents involving automobiles, boats, planes, trains, bicycles, busses, golf carts, or virtually any moving vehicle fall into this broad category. Vehicular accidents are the most common category of personal injury lawsuits.
- Products Liability. These cases are typically brought against a manufacturer because a defect from the manufacturer’s product caused an injury or led to death. This may include medical devices, cell phones, lawnmowers, among many other products.
Generally, personal injury law covers virtually any physical injury a person endures because of another’s negligence or carelessness.
Consult and Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer As Soon As Possible
If you have suffered a personal injury resulting from the negligence of another party, you must file your personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations. While the statute of limitations varies from state to state, it is three years in New York. Although three years may seem like adequate time to fight this case on your own, you will be forced to confront the party’s attorney alone; the other party’s attorney’s goal is to pay you as little as possible for your losses. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side from the very start helps to level out the playing field. Your personal injury lawyer will advocate on your behalf, inform you of your rights (such as how everything you say may be used against you), research your case thoroughly, and make certain that you are adequately compensated. Even though you may have time to file your personal injury lawsuit, it is best practice to hire a well-versed lawyer as soon as possible.
The Personal Injury Lawsuit Is Filed
After you have selected a personal injury lawyer, you will discuss the injuries and events leading up to and following the accident. From there, your attorney will build your case and conduct a thorough investigation, reviewing your medical records and injury-related expenses. Once the research and review stage is completed, your personal injury attorney will file a complaint with the appropriate court. Following this, there are two potential courses of action.
- Settlement. Your attorney and the opposing party reach a fair resolution of compensation without going into court.
- Trial. If settlement does not happen outside of court, you and your attorney will go to trial. The trial process is usually lengthy, sometimes taking upwards of years before a resolution is met. The investigation or discovery process will begin all over again, and multiple court meetings will take place before a trial date is finally set.
Ultimately, every personal injury lawsuit is as unique as each personal injury accident.