Personal injury cases involve a person who is suing another party (a defendant) because they were harmed due to the defendant’s actions or inactions. The types of harm include physical, emotional, and financial. From auto accidents to medical malpractice, when an unintentional injury interrupts your life, you deserve compensation. An attorney at https://jdblawfirm.com/ can help you get the money you need.
The amount of compensation awarded in a personal injury case depends on the type and severity of an accident or illness. There are three main categories of damages: special compensatory damages, general damages and punitive damages.
Special damages are usually easy to calculate and include expenses for medical treatment, loss of earnings and use of sick or vacation time related to an injury. They also include the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property and the fair market value of any items lost.
It is more difficult to place a monetary value on the other types of damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. Our personal injury attorneys will carefully review the details of your accident and injuries to help determine the appropriate level of non-economic damages for your case. The more detail you provide about your daily struggles, the impact on your life and your relationships with loved ones, the more your attorney can maximize your pain and suffering awards. Keeping a journal of daily pain levels, bouts of depression and anxiety, and other symptoms can also help your lawyer build a compelling argument for maximum non-economic damages.
Damages for future care and lost future earnings can be awarded as well. Our team can calculate your projected expenses and losses for the rest of your life to help you receive a fair settlement or jury award. This can include home health care or other alterations to your home, transportation expenses to medical appointments, rehabilitation or therapy equipment, and more.
A small number of cases result in punitive damages, which are designed to punish the at-fault party for gross negligence or egregious acts of negligence that demonstrate a willful disregard for human safety. These are rare in injury cases, but might be available if your accident was caused by an act of violence or a reckless driver.
Statute of Limitations
In the law, a statute of limitations is a legal rule that specifies how long an injured party has to file a civil lawsuit. This is a standard legal principle that applies to almost all types of lawsuits filed in the state court system, and it usually also apply to personal injury cases (assuming the case involves negligence—the common legal theory behind many personal injury lawsuits). It is critical to understand the statute of limitations that applies to your specific situation. Failing to file a case within the statute of limitations will likely result in your claim being dismissed without consideration.
The statute of limitations “clock” typically starts ticking on the date that your injury occurred, but there are several important exceptions to this rule that an experienced attorney should review with you. For example, the statute of limitations may be tolled (paused) if you were a minor or mentally incompetent at the time that your injury occurred. It is also possible that your injury case could fall under a different timeline if the injury was caused by a medical procedure, as these types of cases are often governed by their own distinct rules and deadlines.
If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the other party will likely ask for your claim to be dismissed. If the court agrees with this request, you will have lost your only chance to seek compensation for your losses and damages.
Statutes of limitations also vary by location. In New York, for instance, a person has three years to file a civil lawsuit in the state court system if they suffered an injury because of another’s negligent behavior. But if they were injured by an intentional act, they only have two years to file their claim.
Additionally, if the at-fault party is a government agency or municipality, there are strict rules that must be followed. For example, a claim against the City of New York must be submitted within 90 days, while claims against counties, towns, and villages require adherence to the rules established by the State of New York’s Court of Claims.
Preparing Your Case
After an accident, you are likely to have medical treatment, fill out paperwork for the incident, and spend time dealing with your injuries. While you are doing this, it is important to keep up with your health care professional’s appointments and follow their treatment plan. This is critical for your medical treatment and will help your injury claim by demonstrating that your injuries are serious and permanent.
Once your attorney has all the necessary information, they will prepare and send a demand package to the insurance companies involved in the case. This will include a statement of your current and expected future medical bills, the cost of any physical therapy or rehabilitation you need, any lost wages, and other related economic and non-economic losses. Your lawyer will also consult expert witnesses, if necessary, to help prove how the injury occurred and why it was not your fault.
If the parties cannot agree on a settlement, your attorney will file a lawsuit against the party that injured you. This begins the litigation process, which is when each side investigates the other’s claims and defenses. This part of the process can take up to a year and involves a lot of documentation.
In personal injury cases, negligence is often the legal theory used to determine liability. To prove negligence, the plaintiff’s attorney must show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in a given situation and that the failure caused the accident and your injuries. This step is often the most challenging, as it requires your attorney to understand how the accident occurred and how you were harmed.
If you are being sued for a personal injury, it is very important that you have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side. The right lawyer can make the difference between a fair resolution to your case and an unfair one. When choosing an attorney, consider their experience, track record, and reputation. In addition, you should feel comfortable working with them. Since your lawsuit may last months or years, you want to work with someone you can trust.
Filing Your Claim
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, you may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury claim can help you recover the money you need to pay for medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other expenses. However, filing a claim can be complicated and raises many questions. A personal injury attorney can help you understand the steps and timelines involved in a personal injury case.
After reviewing your injury and gathering evidence, your lawyer will file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. The plaintiff’s name and contact information will be listed in the complaint along with the facts that support your case. After the lawsuit is filed, your lawyer will send a summons to the at-fault party that alerts them of the suit. Once the defendant receives notice, they will have a set amount of time to respond.
The insurance company of the party at fault for your injuries will then begin an investigation to determine their liability. Your lawyer will work with investigators, accident reconstruction experts, and medical professionals to gather proof of causation, fault, and damages.
During the process of documenting your injuries, it is important to follow your doctor’s recommended treatment and make sure you reach maximum medical improvement. It is also helpful to keep records of medical visits, out-of-pocket costs, and dates you had to miss work to get treatment. This can help your injury attorney account for all of your damages in the Demand Package that is sent to the insurance company.
Your lawyer will prepare and send a demand letter to the insurance company of the at-fault party outlining details of your accident, showing how their policyholder was negligent, and describing all of the injuries you suffered and the resulting medical treatment. Often, this starts the negotiation process for a settlement.
If the parties are unable to come to an agreement on a fair settlement, the case will go to trial. At trial, your injury attorney will present the evidence in your case and a judge or jury will decide if you are owed compensation and how much.