The basics of personal injury law
As of 2014, there are about 318.9 million people living in the United States. Now, we all know that no human being is perfect 24/7, which means that with all of these people there are bound to be some accidents. However, you are lucky that every person has the ability to protect his/her legal rights after an accident or injury. This article is for those who may be unfamiliar with personal injury law, or how to proceed after an accident or injury occurs.
A personal injury case is a legal dispute that occurs when a person suffers harm from an accident or injury that someone else may be legally responsible for. It can become formalized through civil court proceedings that seek to find others legally at fault through a court judgment. Formal lawsuits are started when an individual files a civil complaint against another person, business, corporation, or government agency, claiming that they acted carelessly in connection with the accident or injury. However, it is common that such disputes are resolved through an informal settlement before any lawsuit is filed. These informal settlements occur among those personally involved in the dispute, their insurers, and attorneys representing both sides. It is a negotiation that is followed by a written agreement in which both sides agree to resolve the matter through an agreed upon amount of money.
If you have had an accident that has impacted your life, you will want to consult with an experienced attorney to see if you should pursue a lawsuit or reach a settlement. It is advised to do so as soon as you can after the accident/injury due to statutes of limitations. Statutes of limitations are like deadlines in which you have to pursue legal action or else you can no longer do so. They are established by state law and often vary by type of injury. For example, in Texas, it is two years for an injury, but five years for sex crimes and one year for libel or slander.
If you believe that you have the potential for a personal injury case, it is very important to consult an experienced attorney. It is good to know as many details as you can about the events that led up to the accident/injury and all that were involved. Gather all the information you can before consulting an attorney. The more facts you can provide him/her, the better they can work to help you out.