Just because someone sustains a personal injury does not automatically mean that person can file a lawsuit right away. Depending on the circumstances, the individual could have emotional trauma or is perhaps recovering in a hospital. However, there are time limits to consider, otherwise known as “statutes of limitation.”
If you sustained an injury and want to file a lawsuit, there is one critical thing you need to know. You need to hire an attorney who specializes in this area of the law. That individual will advise you of the statute of limitation for the state where you live.
Statutes of Limitation
The statute of limitation for filing a personal injury case varies from one state to another. For instance, if you live in the state of New York, you have three years from the date of the injury to file a formal lawsuit in a court of law against the person or entity responsible. In New Jersey, the statute of limitation is two years.
If you feel that you are incapable of filing a claim or unable to due to recovery, it is essential that you contact an attorney who can start the proceedings on your behalf. In preparation for the case, your lawyer will talk to witnesses, take formal statements, gather physical evidence, speak with your doctors, collect medical bills, and so on.
With everything combined, the personal injury attorney will determine if you have a case, and if so, its strength. Although you sustained an injury because of the actions of another person, business, or product, winning your case without supporting evidence is difficult. That does not mean your attorney will not try, but you might end up settling for less than you deserve or have the case tossed out altogether.
Because of potential challenges, you need an experienced personal injury attorney working on your case. That person will work hard to uncover everything possible to support your claim so you win your lawsuit. As far as going through the process, it usually takes one or more years depending on the type and severity of the injury as well as the evidence.
Settlement Versus a Court Proceeding
Once your attorney files a lawsuit, the responsible party can respond by offering a settlement. With that, you and the individual, business, or product manufacturer agree on an amount. If you accept, you waive your right to a lawsuit later. Without reaching an out-of-court settlement, your attorney files a formal lawsuit. Immediately upon filing, the clock begins ticking to determine when your case goes to trial.
As with unique timelines for filing a personal injury case, every state follows different pretrial procedures. Typically, getting your case before a judge or jury will take between one to two years. During that time, your attorney will continue working on your case so that it is strong when your trial date comes up. The goal is for you to receive the most financial compensation possible.
Due to potential challenges and all the legalities involved, if you want to settle or win a personal injury lawsuit, hiring a qualified attorney is the best course of action you can take.