If you or a loved one have suffered an injury, you may be considering your legal options and wondering if it would be better to file a lawsuit or simply move on. If so, how do you know your personal injury case is worthwhile? To determine whether you want to pursue legal action, you need to understand several key factors. Personal injury cases can be very complicated, and a personal injury lawyer should be able to provide you with valuable insight.
Filing a Personal Injury Case
As you consider taking legal action, you should be aware of several important factors that will affect your case. First, you will need to prove that another person (or entity) was negligent in allowing your injuries. Second, you will need to accurately calculate the expenses you have incurred because of the injury.
Finally, it is important to understand whether you have a good chance of winning your case. If you take on a case you will not win (or are not likely to win), you could incur even more expenses with no benefits.
How Is Personal Injury Defined?
The definition of a personal injury is relatively broad. Generally, a personal injury is an injury (either to the mind or body) caused by the negligence of another party. In other words, a personal injury is any injury caused due to the actions (or inactions) of others. If you suffered a personal injury, you might be eligible for compensation.
You must establish negligence in order to have a successful personal injury claim. So, what is negligence? Negligence is legally defined as the lack of ordinary and reasonable care. For a victim of a personal injury to be compensated by the guilty party, the victim must prove that the other party is negligent. Once established, the personal injury victim will be entitled to compensation.
How Much Is Your Personal Injury Claim Worth?
If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you have likely suffered a significant economic loss. But do you know how much you have lost? To establish the value of a personal injury claim, you must account for all expenses incurred due to the injury. These expenses are known as damages.
There are two types of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages as defined here:
- Economic damage - Economic damage refers to specific financial loss and are generally easy to calculate. Repair bills, medical bills (current and future), lost wages, and rental car bills are examples of economic damages. Anything that is easily calculated with a dollar amount may be considered economic damages.
- Non-Economic Damage - Economic damages deal with losses that are not strictly financial and are considerably more complex. Discomfort, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium (in a wrongful death case), and pain and suffering all qualify as non-economic damages. Calculating non-economic damages requires more legal knowledge which a personal injury lawyer could walk you through.
Accurately calculating damages can ensure that a personal injury victim receives enough money to account for their losses. The calculation can be straightforward for some expenses, such as car repair bills, but calculating all of the damages you incurred as a dollar amount isn't always easy.
Personal Injury Lawsuit Statute of Limitations
It is essential to understand that personal injury victims have a limited time to file a lawsuit. This time limit is referred to as the statute of limitations which varies from state to state. In Florida, you have four years, starting from the date of the accident or incident to file a personal injury case. It's important to act fast and protect your rights, so be sure to file well before the statute of limitations in your state is up.
How Long do Personal Injury Lawsuits Take?
Personal injury cases are all unique and can vary significantly in many ways, from the severity to the circumstances. In many cases, it may not even be necessary to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies and major corporations are often willing to negotiate outside of court.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and what your next step should be. If your case does in fact need to go to trial, you should expect that it will take several months. In some cases, personal injury cases may go on for two years or more.
Contact The Dolman Law Group Today
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another, reach out to our personal injury lawyers at the Dolman Law Group for your free case evaluation. Our team will take the time to discuss the circumstances of your case and guide you through the legal options. We can help you determine if your case is worthwhile.