If you have suffered a serious injury or illness as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is important to understand the rules governing the process. For example, according to The Judicial Branch of California, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury. If you were not aware of the injury immediately, you have just one year to file a claim from the time the condition was discovered.
On top of rules regarding statutes of limitations, you should do a little homework to determine whether or not you have a case. In general, personal injury lawsuits are used after someone suffers a significant injury or illness with serious consequences and expenses. For example, if you were hospitalized after a car crash and may have long-term side effects, it is likely worth consulting with an attorney. However, if the car crash is merely a fender-bender, it may not be worth your time to pursue a claim. An attorney is best-suited to look over the details of your case with you to determine if it has merit.
The American Bar Association points out that there are two aspects at play in every claim: liability and damages. If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you will have to prove that the defendant was responsible for causing your injuries, and you will need to substantiate the damages. You may want to save receipts, medical bills and any other items that demonstrate the financial burden the injury has caused. There are other damages, such as pain and suffering, that may not be as easily quantified but are still due to victims of negligence.
If you choose to pursue a claim, the results include either reaching a settlement or taking the course to trial in the hopes of obtaining a jury verdict in your favor. While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.