If you or someone you love was injured due to another party’s negligence, you might have what qualifies as a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Your potential personal injury case may qualify if it was caused by negligence, and you can prove that:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care
- The at-fault party breached this duty of care
- The at-fault party’s breach caused your injuries
- Your injuries had a financial impact on you
Accordingly, a wide range of accident types may qualify the victim to file a personal injury lawsuit. This may include:
- Car and truck accidents
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- And more
Although you are allowed to represent yourself in an insurance claim or lawsuit, you may be able to hire a personal injury lawyer to handle all of the legal work, deadlines, and negotiations on your behalf.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Have a Time Constraint
New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CVP) §214 generally limits you to three years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York.
For wrongful death lawsuits, the general statute of limitations is two years, per New York Estates, Powers & Trusts (EPT) §5-4.1.
For medical malpractice lawsuits, the general statute of limitations is two years and six months, per CVP §214-A.
If you wait too long and allow the deadline in your case to pass, a court may dismiss your lawsuit, and you may lose your opportunity to compel compensation from the at-fault party, even if you have strong evidence of their negligence.
If you work with a personal injury lawyer, they can ensure compliance with the statute of limitations that pertains to your case.
Understanding the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
If your lawsuit is filed in time to comply with the statute of limitations, you (the plaintiff) and the at-fault party (the defendant) may go to trial. To prepare for trial, you or your lawyer may wish to:
- Gather the facts and evidence that present a full picture of the injury event
- Evaluate the evidence to determine full or partial fault for the injury event
- Calculate the financial value of your injuries, including physical and property damage
- Assign financial liability according to the degree of contributory negligence, per CVP §1411
If you or your lawyer are not able to agree on a settlement offer with the responsible party beforehand, you can proceed to trial and argue your case before a judge or jury.
You May Resolve Your Case without Going to Trial
Often, personal injury cases reach a resolution before going to trial. This may occur during the insurance claims process, as well.
However, you should be cautious when it comes to accepting a settlement offer. Settlements are often final and may require you to release the at-fault party of any further liability. This means that if you realize later on that your injuries have costs that were not covered in your settlement, you may not be able to request additional compensation.
A lawyer can evaluate your damages and produce evidence of their value when they represent you. This evidence may allow your lawyer to negotiate for a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
Recoverable Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Depending on the nature of your accident and your injuries, the following damages may be recoverable in a personal injury claim or lawsuit:
- Post-accident emergency medical treatment
- Current and future accident-related medical care, medications, and therapy
- Lost wages for the time when your injuries prevented you from working
- Reduced earning capability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- And more
An alternate set of damages may be available in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Morelli Law Firm Handles Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you or someone you love was hurt by another person’s negligence, you might have the basis of a personal injury lawsuit.
Morelli Law Firm helps accident victims file personal injury insurance claims and lawsuits in New York City, on Long Island, and in New York State up to Albany. We also handle wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuits.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800. We can discuss if we believe your accident qualifies for a personal injury lawsuit as part of this call.
Morelli Law Firm represents our clients on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning we do not collect attorney fees unless and until our clients win their case and recover compensation via a settlement offer or court award. No up-front payments are required in this arrangement.