Thousands, if not millions, of personal injury claims, are filed each year across the country. There are many factors that play into a personal injury. This is why you should be aware of the different types of personal injury cases, the process, and how long you can expect the case to take.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
The following are injuries or accidents that lead to personal injury claims.
1. Auto Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around six million auto accidents happen every year. Many of these accidents lead to serious injuries and even death. In fact, auto accidents are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States. These accidents are caused by a number of factors such as distracted driving, drunk driving, aggressive driving, speeding, driving while sleep deprived or even auto defects and poor road conditions. Injuries from these accidents can lead to a financial and emotional burden. If negligence was found, you could have a case where compensation will be rewarded to help with medical bills and other financial strains. Always report to a doctor right away after suffering from a car accident and visit an experienced personal injury attorney to start the claim process.
2. Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by an avoidable medical error involving a surgeon, nurse, doctor or anesthesiologist. This usually occurs during routine surgery or a medical appointment. It could include delayed diagnosis or surgical errors leading to patient injury, ranging from minor injuries to death. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that medical negligence is the 3rd leading cause of death. Always speak with a lawyer and get a second opinion to see if you have a medical malpractice case on your hands.
3. Premises Liability
A premises liability claim can occur when you become injured on another person's property. This includes slipping in the grocery store, falling from inadequate lighting or injury due to the negligence of maintenance or not posting warning signs. These accidents are common in nursing homes where slip and falls can happen often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, slip and falls are the leading cause of injuries and death in elderly Americans. A slip and fall can happen to anyone, anywhere and can usually be prevented. A property is responsible for exercising reasonable care and maintenance to prevent accidents. Signs for any potential risks should also always be placed in a clear and visible area. If you get injured from uneven pavements or wet floors and there were no warning signs, the property owners should be held legally responsible.
4. Product Liability
If you have been injured by a defective product such as a car part or device, you have a product liability case. There are many types of product liability claims that fall into one of three categories; defectively manufactured products, defectively designed products, or inadequate warnings or instructions. Understanding which category you fall under will help determine if you have a valid claim. In any case, the product manufacturer or seller is held responsible. If you become injured by a defective product, you should receive compensation.
5. Wrongful Death
Negligence occurs when avoidable accidents lead to death. This happens under doctor care, usually during surgery or by prescribing the wrong medications. It can be confusing to determine the difference from a wrongful death claim and a medical malpractice claim. Even though they may overlap at times, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as every case is different.
Why Bring a Claim Forward?
When injuries from an accident are caused by someone else, you should always consider bringing your case to an experienced personal injury lawyer. Get the justice you deserve and prevent this from happening again to someone else. You deserve to receive compensation to help with any expenses brought on by your injury.
Compensation can help with the following:
- Past & future medical expenses
- Loss of wages due to missing work
- Property damage
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional distress
- Expenses directly related to injury
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Case Forward?
It is always best to bring your case forward right away, the sooner the better. You always want to see a doctor right after your accident to treat your injuries and keep track of all medical records and bills. Also, see a trusted personal injury attorney to start the process as soon as possible. With every legal claim, there is a statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim. Every state has specific laws that can affect your personal injury claim, but most have 2 years to file a claim from the date of the accident. If it is a medical malpractice claim, you usually have 2 years when the injury is discovered to bring the claim forward, not when the accident occurred.
How Long Can I Expect a Case to Take?
Many different factors play a part in how long a personal injury case will take. The location of the injury, the type of injury, the severity of the injury and the number of people involved all play an important role in your case. Your attorney will be responsible for gathering the necessary information for a successful claim, from medical records to witness statements. Remember, you usually have 2 years to file a claim after an accident. Once you meet with an attorney, the process should start moving quickly. With an experienced attorney, they will conduct the interviews and gather evidence including medical reports and witness statements. If it needs to go to trial, it could take anywhere from one year to two years. Sometimes you can close a case quickly, but you will usually be settling for less money. If you are looking to get compensated a substantial amount, this could slow down the process. Be ready for cases to drag on for months, no matter how prepared you are. Legal cases take time. Be patient, trust your attorney and the process. It could only be a few months if the negotiations are successful and the lawsuit isn't filed. However, once a lawsuit is filed, expect to add additional months of waiting.
Steps to Take to File a Personal Injury Claim
- As soon as you have been injured, get medical assistance right away.
- Choose the right lawyer. One that is experienced and skilled in the area of personal injury. The sooner you do this, the sooner the case will start.
- A reliable lawyer will thoroughly investigate the claim by obtaining medical records and talking with witnesses. This will determine if you have a case and how strong it is.
- There will be a time where negotiations will be made to avoid a lawsuit. This is usually for small injury claims. Never settle for less than you deserve.
- If you do decide to move forward, it is time to file a lawsuit with the help of your lawyer.
- Once the lawsuit is filed, the discovery process starts. This is where your legal team reviews the claim and digs even deeper.
- After all of the research is said and done, it is time for mediation and negotiations.
- If you are unable to come to terms and an agreement, the lawsuit could possibly go to trial.
If you have suffered from an injury, speak with a personal injury lawyer right away. The legal team at Edelstein Law Firm is complete with skilled, experienced and aggressive attorneys. We are always on your side to earn the compensation you deserve from the negligence of another.