Even if you’ve previously had experience navigating the civil court system, personal injury cases can be quite complex. Your best source of information about these cases is your personal injury lawyer serving Gaithersburg and Rockville. When you schedule a consultation with the personal injury lawyer, you may want to bring along a list of your questions.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Sustaining an injury does not automatically mean you have the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. It’s best to bring all relevant documents to your meeting with the personal injury lawyer. He or she will review your case and explain your legal options, which might include filing a complaint in court. You may be able to file a complaint if you sustained injuries as a direct result of someone else’s actions. Personal injury cases typically arise from negligent actions. For example, a careless driver may run a red light, striking another car or a pedestrian. Less commonly, a personal injury lawsuit might be filed on the basis of intentional wrongdoing. For example, if you’re at work and an irate customer strikes you, causing a concussion, you could file a lawsuit against that individual. The lawsuit would proceed separately from any criminal charges that might be filed.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit?
Yes, which is one reason why it’s crucial to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. If you wait too long to file a complaint, you could forfeit your right to demand compensation. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies from state to state. Usually, the deadline is three years from the date of the incident, or from the date when you knew or should have known of your injuries. In some states, the statute of limitations is as short as one year.
What Happens After I File a Lawsuit?
After your personal injury lawyer files the complaint, the defendant will be served with a notification of the lawsuit. The defendant is the other party in the case, whom you allege caused your injuries. You are named as the plaintiff. Your personal injury lawyer will begin exchanging information with the counsel for the defendant. This process is known as discovery. Following discovery, the trial will begin. At any point, your lawyer and the other party might engage in settlement negotiations.