After a severe accident, taking legal action may be the last thing on your mind. Still, you should seek medical assistance and speak with a personal injury lawyers in seattle immediately. It is crucial because most personal injury cases have strict statutes of limitations that require victims to take action within a specific timeframe.
Statute of Limitations
Many states have statutes of limitations that limit the amount of time following an accident within which a victim can file legal action against alleged wrongdoers. These laws, which vary by jurisdiction and the severity of an alleged offense, ensure that claims are filed within a reasonable time, preserving evidence and preventing witnesses’ memories from becoming stale.
Statutes of limitation are also essential to prevent courts from being overburdened with old cases that can be more difficult to adjudicate because the evidence has deteriorated or witnesses have died. However, there are some exceptions to these seemingly strict statutes. The statute of limitations may be tolled or postponed under the discovery rule until a claimant learns of or should have known about their injury.
This rule is essential for personal injury cases involving medical malpractice and other types of medical negligence. These cases can be complex and require a thorough investigation to learn more about the patient’s condition by a qualified physician.
A large quantity of high-quality evidence is one of the most important aspects of any legal case. It is especially critical in personal injury cases where the evidence is needed to prove negligence and establish damages.
Carefully documented supporting evidence supports all successful personal injury claims. It includes witness testimony, medical records, and physical evidence (i.e., skid marks on the road, torn or bloody clothing).
However, it is sometimes possible to collect all this evidence alone. It is particularly true in personal injury cases involving negligent property owners. In these cases, the at-fault party may own a lot of valuable evidence that could bolster your compensation claim. Acting quickly and sending a spoliation letter—a legal notice asking that the relevant evidence be preserved- is critical in these situations. It will help prevent the at-fault party from concealing or destroying substantial evidence that could impact your case’s outcome.
Filing a Claim
Although many people associate personal injury cases with car accidents or slips and falls, this area of law covers much more than that. Any injury that negatively impacts a person’s physical, emotional, or financial outlook can be considered personal injury.
The first step of any personal injury case is filing a lawsuit. Once your attorney has filed a complaint, the other party has a set amount of time to respond.
Both parties gather information and evidence through various legal tools during this period. This process is called discovery and accounts for many personal injury cases. Documenting all medical treatments, procedures, and surgeries is also essential. This information will help calculate future medical and financial needs. It will also play a significant role in settlement negotiations. Ultimately, most personal injury cases are settled without going to trial. However, if the court does rule in your favor, the defendant must pay all damages awarded.
Negotiating a Settlement
Once a lawsuit is filed, it takes time to negotiate a settlement. It is especially true if the injured person has suffered extensive injuries and is facing a long recovery process.
Personal injury lawyers have the skills to translate your life difficulties into a reasonable dollar value for your claim. They are also skilled negotiators who can level the playing field with insurance companies and defense lawyers.
Insurance companies and law firms representing at-fault parties want to close claims quickly so that they can focus on other clients. Therefore, they often make low initial settlement offers. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can craft a detailed response to these offers, pointing out faulty assumptions the insurers have relied on in making their low offer. Ultimately, this will help build a strong case for a higher settlement offer. It will also increase the likelihood of avoiding a trial, which can be expensive and drawn out.