A lawsuit can be a very tricky process, so if you are planning on filing one, then you need all the help that you can get. After all, a single misstep could destroy your chances of getting the compensation that you need. There are so many different important laws that it can be downright impossible to keep track of them all. To help you out with that, here are two of the most important legal concepts to understand when it comes to personal injury lawsuits:
First, you need to understand what the idea of comparative fault entails. The very short version is that responsibility should be weighed when it comes to determining how much money will be awarded.
The slightly longer version is that damages and compensation are reduced proportionally to the amount of fault that can be placed on your shoulders. This means that if the defense can prove that you were to blame for a portion of your injuries, then the amount of money that you win will be reduced.
However, this is actually the most favorable form of comparative negligence, at least in respect to your position as the plaintiff. Some states side more with the defendant, saying that you will forfeit the claim to any compensation if you were more than half responsible.
A select few states go even further, saying that you shouldn't get any money at all if you had any role whatsoever in your accident. It is thus extremely important that you understand your state's stance on comparative negligence, since you might not even want to file a lawsuit in stricter states if you think that there is evidence that can prove that you were partially to blame.
The Statute of Limitations
You also need to be acutely aware of the statute of limitations in your state. There is a statute of limitations for each type of civil and criminal action, which means that there are a lot of numbers to sift through. Personal injury limits tend to be anywhere from 1 to 10 years, with most falling in the 2-4 range.
If you fail to make that deadline, then there can be dire consequences. In many situations, your case might simply get thrown out, eliminating your best chance of getting compensation.
However, not all hope is necessarily lost, since there are some circumstances that are often valid grounds for an extension. For example, minors are often granted an extension until they legally become adults, at which point the statute of limitations begins counting down. For more information, contact an injury lawyer like The Reed Noble Law Firm PLLC.
My husband does much of our auto repair work himself. We do all that we can to save a dollar when we can, and doing the repair work saves us a small fortune each year. Unfortunately, all of the money that we have saved over the past 15 years has gone to pay the medical bills that we have accumulated during the last several months after a floor jack failed and dropped our car on top of my husband. A few days after the incident, I contacted an injury attorney. I have created a blog to help others that have been injured due to faulty products find some sort of resolution.