What Gives A Personal Injury Case A Fighting Chance?
Many folks who might have personal injury claims worry that their cases may not be strong enough to have a chance. A personal injury lawyer will want to examine several aspects of a case before telling you what they might think of it. If you're wondering about the odds of a successful claim, it's worth looking at these three areas.
One of the most essential parts of filing a claim is the ability to identify a defendant. Ideally, a personal injury attorney wants to ring a claim against an insured party. Businesses and homeowners tend to be among the most common defendants. However, that doesn't mean there's zero chance if the defendant isn't insured. You could still seek a settlement from a self-insured defendant or sue one that's totally uninsured.
Also, the lack of a defendant isn't necessarily the end of a case's chances. You might be able to bring a claim against a different party if they failed to stop an at-fault party under certain circumstances where they had a duty to protect others. Similarly, you could bring a claim against your own insurance company in some instances.
Most states require a claimant or plaintiff to be able to prove that they've suffered physical injuries. This means that you need to show that you suffered a relevant level of financial damages because something happened to you. It might be hard to bring a case if you suffered a treatable scratch and went on with your day. Conversely, bone fractures, nerve damage, brain injuries, or burns would support a claim.
A few states allow claims based on distress or emotional trauma without any evidence of physical injuries. However, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer before trying to bring one.
Filing within the Statutory Limit
Most types of injuries in most states have statutory limits for filing. This means you only have so many years to submit a case or else a defendant can ignore it. Even if you sue, the court will likely dismiss the claim based on the failure to file it in a timely manner. Typically, the statute of limitations is between two and three years.
Notably, some types of cases are subject to longer limits or have none. Child sexual abuse cases, for example, often don't have statutory limits. Similarly, many chemical exposure laws don't start the clock until a victim knows they were exposed. Also, an Act of Congress might extend the federal limit, such as a recent extension did for people exposed to radiation from military tests.
For more information, contact a local personal injury lawyer.