Getting injured due to someone else’s negligence is the worst experience. But you can take solace in the fact that you have the right to bring up a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Although you have good chances of getting fair value in the settlement, things aren’t as simple as they sound. Timing matters the most when it comes to filing a lawsuit if you are not happy with a settlement offer by the insurance company of the guilty party. Here are some facts that you need to understand the importance of timing while suing the other party for compensation.
Determining the right time to file
While it comes to filing a claim after an accident, you must consider an early action. Although you may be struggling to recover from the injuries, it is advisable to connect with a lawyer and understand your legal options. They can guide you through the entire process, including the optimal time to file and the expected period of closure for the claim. Typically, the nature of the case determines the personal injury timeline. Car accident claims, for instance, take less time as compared to a medical malpractice claim. Obviously, the lawyer would want to get started earlier with the malpractice cases. Moreover, you may have to extend filing if you have serious injuries.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
While it is preferable to file a lawsuit within an optimal timeline, you also need to understand that a statute of limitations applies to all personal injury lawsuits. The statutes may vary from state to state but they impose strict deadlines for filing. Some states give you a year after the accident to file while others may accept a lawsuit up to six years. If the deadline has passed, the court is likely to dismiss the case. This is the last thing you would want to happen because you will be rendered ineligible for compensation just because of a delay in filing. Your injury attorney is the right person to decide when to file, based on the statutes of limitations that apply for your case. They can also help you with the discovery rule exemption, which lets you go ahead even if the legal period has expired.
Considering a settlement rather than a lawsuit
Even as you know that you have to follow the deadlines closely, it doesn’t always make sense to bring up a lawsuit immediately. They take up time and money, which is the reason why settlement with the insurance company is regarded as a better option where possible. If they are willing to give you the fair compensation that covers all your medical bills, damages, and economic losses, filing a lawsuit wouldn’t be necessary. Letting your lawyer handle the negotiations with the insurance company is a good idea because they will ensure that you get the claim value you deserve.
While settlement makes a better alternative to a lawsuit, you need to be very sure about its value and your injuries. Once you sign a settlement, you cannot demand more money from the insurance company even if new injuries surface or the existing ones require additional treatment.