How long do I have to file my claim?
If you have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence or recklessness, state law allows you to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against that party in order to recoup the financial and other losses you have suffered because of those injuries. It is critical to determine what the time limit is to file that claim. This is legally referred to as the statute of limitations. Each state has its own laws regarding that time limit.
In general, there is usually a two to three statute of limitations for filing your claim. The clock begins counting down from the day you were injured. There are cases where the clock begins counting down from day of diagnosis. When the victim is a minor child, then the clock does not begin counting down until they turn 18 years of age.
There is usually a different rule when the at-fault party is a government entity. In these cases, victims are often required to notify the entity within six months from the date of the incident, before they even file their claim.
Because of the different rules, it is important to consult with experienced personal injury lawyers Milwaukee trusts to determine what the statute of limitation is in your situation. Once that time has passed, you lose your right to pursue damages and get the compensation you deserve.
How long will my personal injury claim take?
There is really no way to predict how long a personal injury lawsuit will take to resolve since every case is different. In many cases, the two parties are able to negotiate a settlement amount and avoid the need to litigate the case in court. In cases that do not settle and a civil trial becomes necessary, the length of time to resolve is now dependent on how quickly or slowly that particular court schedules and resolves trials and how full their docket is.
One of the important factors that determine the time frame is how long it takes for the victim to recover from the injuries they have suffered. Your attorney will want to make sure you have fully recovered from those injuries or that your doctor has determined that you have reached your medical maximum recovery before settling your case. Otherwise, it could turn out that your injury losses are actually more than the amount you agree to for a settlement amount. For example, if you settle your case and then your doctor determines you need surgery, you would be responsible for the medical expenses for that surgery, not the at-fault party.
Will my personal injury claim end up in court?
The majority of personal injury cases do not end up being decided by a judge or jury, but instead, are resolved by settlement. The main reasons why a case does not settle and does end up in a trial are:
- The insurance company is not willing to offer a fair and just settlement for the victim’s injuries.
- The insurance company is not accepting that their client is the at-fault party that caused the incident that resulted in the victim’s injuries.
- The insurance company does not believe the victim was really injured or they question the extent of the injuries.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Hickey & Turim for their insight into personal injuries.