If you have been injured in a car accident or a slip and fall incident, then you may be eligible for a monetary award. Awards are typically paid by the negligent party's insurance company. While some insurance providers will pay you some money upfront, you may need to sue the insurance business to receive a settlement. You have the option of hiring a lawyer to assist with the lawsuit. However, you may want to try to file a lawsuit on your own. If you do this, then there are few facts about lawsuit filing you should know about.
There Are Time Limits
There are time limits that you will need to follow when filing a personal injury lawsuit. The limit is referred to as the statute of limitations, and this refers to the amount of time that you have to file paperwork for a lawsuit before you no longer have a right to seek legal recourse for an injury. The statute of limitations will start when the injury was caused and not when you seek out medical attention, inform a business owner of an injury, or file a police report.
The statute of limitations will vary from state to state and will range from one year to six years. Most states will have a two year statute on personal injury claims. However, there are some cases where the statute may be shortened or lengthened, and this typically depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. For example, if you live in Virginia and you were injured at the age of 16, then the normal two year statute to file a lawsuit will not apply. The two year statute will start when you turn 18, so you will have a total of four years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Your timeframe for filing a lawsuit may also be lengthened due to discovery of harm. Discovery of harm is when you figured out that you were injured by another person's negligence. If there was a delay between the time when the injury occurred and the time that you learned you were injured, then the statute of limitations will start after you learned of the injury. For example, if a doctor left a bandage in your body during a surgical procedure and the bandage caused an infection a year later, then the statute of limitations will start when the infection began, not when the bandage was left in your body.
You Will Need To Fill Out A Petition
To formally file a lawsuit, you will need to fill out paperwork and submit it to the court. This is called the petition or complaint, and it includes all of the important information involving your case. There are many details that need to be placed on the initial complaint. These details include your name as well as the defendant's name, and the jurisdiction where the claim is being filed. The facts of the case must be outlined, and you will also need to explain why you legally have a claim against the individual you are suing.
It can be difficult to understand all of the information that must be included on a petition, especially if you do not have a legal degree. However, you can download petition templates from resources online.
Templates are also a good idea because the paperwork must be numbered and placed on the right type of paper. The correct type and size of font must be used when drafting the paperwork too. Lawsuit petition formatting requirements are set by your state, so make sure to look for a template for your state or speak with the intake office in your area about requirements. The intake office is where the paperwork must be filed, and it is typically located within your legal jurisdiction's courthouse.
Contact a personal injury attorney for more information.