Personal injury cases often get complex, making it challenging for victims to fully understand how to proceed with their personal injury case.
However, you can equip yourself with reliable information to make informed decisions regarding your case.
Here are five frequently asked questions about personal injury law. If you have more specific questions about your case, you can schedule a consultation with a personal injury law attorney.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations In Personal Injury Law?
The statute of limitations is the deadline for accident victims to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
It depends on the type of case and your state laws, as it can range from one to six years after the accident.
If the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case expires, you can lose your legal right to file a claim and obtain compensation.
There can be some exceptions to the statute of limitations. For example, some states allow the statute of limitations of personal injury cases to be extended if the victim is not conscious after the accident.
The victim would have to prove that there were incapacitated for a period of time, and therefore could not file the claim.
What Expenses Can Be Claimed in Personal Injury Law?
The damages awarded to the plaintiff in personal injury cases can be a combination of economic and non-economic damages.
Noneconomic damages are the monetary compensation for the pain and emotional suffering of the victim following the accident.
On the other hand, economic damages include the financial loss suffered by the victim due to the injuries sustained in the accident.
These damages include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses including any deductibles, repair bills, legal fees, loss of income due to missing work, vehicle replacement, or loss of personal property.
The court might also award punitive damages to the plaintiff to punish the defendant for their reckless disregard for safety.
Is There A Benefit To Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney?
Not only are personal injury cases complicated, but they can also take a long time to conclude.
Personal injury attorneys can guide you each step of the way. An attorney is well-versed in personal injury law and knows how to expedite the process to help you obtain compensation faster.
They can also ensure you avoid getting tricked by the insurance company and settling on a low offer. It is common for insurance companies to pressure claimants to accept an unreasonably low offer.
Having a seasoned attorney on your side will help you avoid common pitfalls when communicating with an insurance company. Your attorney can also help you gather evidence to reinforce your claim or lawsuit.
How Long Does A Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
Every personal injury case is different, and many factors can contribute to how long a personal injury case takes to finalize.
For example, a victim could have to wait for a final prognosis from the doctor before they can claim compensation for their injuries. This can delay the entire personal injury lawsuit timeline.
Once a personal injury lawsuit is filed, the case enters the discovery process, which can take a few weeks or several months to conclude.
After the discovery process, the plaintiff and the defendant can enter mediation, and if a settlement cannot be reached this way, the case moves to trial.
The time between the trial dates also impacts how long it takes for the personal injury lawsuit to conclude.
If you want to expedite the lawsuit, you can consider an out-of-court settlement. Another way to expedite the process is to hire an attorney experienced in similar cases.
Should I Accept the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer?
Whether you accept the insurance company’s settlement offer depends on various factors.
For example, in many cases, insurance companies approach the victim with a settlement offer soon after the accident to get them to accept a lowball offer. You should be in no rush to accept an offer.
The insurance company can also persuade the victim that their claim is not worth more than their offer.
Typically, it is wise not to accept any offer in a hurry. The offer made by the insurance company might need to be higher to cover the potential costs of the accident.
It is also very unlikely that the insurance company has included compensation for your pain and suffering in the settlement.
However, not all first offers are unreasonable, so consult with an attorney to determine if the settlement offer is fair.