Personal Injury Lawyer
As with virtually all legal questions, the answer to who you can sue for a personal injury depends on a variety of factors, including the following:
- What type of injury did you sustain?
- Where did it occur?
- When did it occur?
- How did it occur?
- Who caused it?
- Were you partially responsible for it?
As a personal injury lawyer can explain, the circumstances surrounding your injury determine who was at fault for the accident that caused your injury and, therefore, who you can sue.
State Personal Injury Lawsuit Laws
Each state has its own laws regarding if, when, and against whom you can file a personal injury lawsuit, plus how you need to properly do so. This is why you always need the advice, counsel and representation of an experienced local personal injury lawyer.
Your state’s statute of limitations sets forth the time frame during which you must file your suit. Most states give you 2-3 years after your accident, but other states grant more time and some grant less. Unfortunately, if you miss the filing deadline, you may be unable to recover any compensation at all.
Furthermore, your state may have laws that limit who you can sue under what circumstances and how much you can recover. For instance, some states prohibit the award of punitive damages in some kinds of PI lawsuits. Other states set caps on the amount of damages you can receive in certain types of cases. Others call for a reduction in your overall damages if you were partially responsible for your own injuries. Called comparative negligence, contributory negligence, etc., these laws make it mandatory that your ultimate jury award be reduced by the percentage of fault the jury attributes to you.
How a Lawyer Can Help
As you can see, the personal injury field of law can quickly become quite complicated. There’s also the fact that personal injury lawsuits are some of the most difficult to win, given the amount of medical terminology involved that judges and juries might not always understand. This is why your lawyer will almost assuredly retain the services of one or more expert witnesses to explain your injuries and their current and future consequences to the jury in understandable layman’s language.
The value of good expert witnesses and your lawyer’s skilled questioning of them under oath cannot be overstated. It goes without saying that the lawyers representing the defendant and his or her insurance company will attempt to minimize your injuries so as to minimize the amount their client will be required to pay you. Your lawyer is there to protect your rights and get you the maximum amount of compensation possible.