What is 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.
In personal injury cases there are two likely outcomes:
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.
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|
|Colorado||2 years; 3 years for claims involving motor vehicles|
|Kentucky||1 year; 2 years for claims involving motor vehicles|
|Michigan||3 years; 1 year for personal injury protection (PIP) claims|
|New Hampshire||3 years|
|New Jersey||2 years|
|New Mexico||3 years|
|New York||3 years|
|North Carolina||3 years|
|North Dakota||6 years|
|Rhode Island||3 years|
|South Dakota||3 years|
|West Virginia||2 years|