What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

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Following an injury that was caused by another’s fault, you may file a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit is filed after the negotiation process falls apart and it is clear that no agreement can be reached. This happens when the insurance adjuster denies that their client was at fault or disagrees with the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries and the amount of compensation they are asking.

Personal injury cases are legal disputes that occur when one person is injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person or business. The responsible party’s insurance company will compensate the injured person for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any property damage.

A personal injury case is established when a personal injury attorney represents you in a civil court lawsuit. Once at trial, your attorney will aim to prove that others are legally at fault through a court judgment, although the majority of cases are settled out of court and never reach trial.


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    In personal injury cases there are two likely outcomes:

    • Lawsuit

    A formal personal injury case begins when a plaintiff files a civil complaint against a defendant. The defendant may be a person, business, corporation or government agency. The plaintiff accuses the defendant of negligence and of being responsible for the accident that involved the injury that has caused harm to the plaintiff. This is what is defined as filing a lawsuit.

    • Settlement

    The majority of cases are settled via negotiation between the attorneys representing the two parties involved and the insurance companies. Both sides agree in writing to resolve the dispute through monetary compensation and abstain from any further action.

    Statute of Limitations

    It’s important to understand that the plaintiff has a limited amount of time to file a formal lawsuit. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Every state sets its own deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. The statute of limitations begins when the plaintiff is injured. If you don’t file a lawsuit within your state deadline your case will definitely be dismissed. Once you find an attorney to represent you and file a formal lawsuit, there is no longer a limited amount of time to present your case.

    All 50 states have a statute of limitations that dictates how long accident victims have to pursue financial compensation. What is the personal injury statute of limitations in your state?

    State Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
    Alabama 2 years
    Alaska 2 years
    Arizona 2 years
    Arkansas 2 years
    California 2 years
    Colorado 2 years; 3 years for claims involving motor vehicles
    Connecticut 2 years
    Delaware  2 years
    Florida 4 years
    Georgia 2 years
    Hawaii 2 years
    Idaho 2 years
    Illinois 2 years
    Indiana 2 years
    Iowa 2 years
    Kansas 2 years
    Kentucky 1 year; 2 years for claims involving motor vehicles
    Louisiana 1 year
    Maine 6 years
    Maryland 3 years
    Massachusetts 3 years
    Michigan 3 years; 1 year for personal injury protection (PIP) claims
    Minnesota 6 years
    Mississippi 3 years
    Missouri 5 years
    Montana 3 years
    Nebraska 4 years
    Nevada 2 years
    New Hampshire 3 years
    New Jersey 2 years
    New Mexico 3 years
    New York 3 years
    North Carolina 3 years
    North Dakota 6 years
    Ohio 2 years
    Oklahoma 2 years
    Oregon 2 years
    Pennsylvania 2 years
    Rhode Island 3 years
    South Dakota 3 years
    Tennesee 1 year
    Texas 2 year
    Utah 4 years
    Vermont 3 years
    Virginia 2 years
    Washington 3 years
    West Virginia 2 years
    Wisconsin 3 years
    Wyoming 4 years

    Get the assistance of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney to help you with your case.

    Personal injury cases require experience and a comprehensive understanding of the facts, procedures and the nuances of personal injury law. If you have been in an accident or suffered an injury and someone else is responsible, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with a personal injury attorney near you.

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