Should You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit or Not?
Often times when people are involved in some kind of accident, medical malpractice or some other kind of incident that results in an injury, they question about whether or not they should take some kind of legal actions. For some, legal action is what immediately comes to mind and, for others, it may take a bit more convincing about doing so.
While, ultimately, it is highly recommended that an individual seek out the advice and direction of a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney to make the final determination about whether or not a lawsuit is the right course of action, here are some important questions and considerations one should make when determining whether or not to take legal action for a personal injury.
• Did you suffer any injuries that resulted in medical attention? If you suffered any kind of injury as a result of an accident, use of a particular product or the actions of someone else, you should seek medical attention. Even for what may seem to be a minor injury not worth going to either the Emergency Room at the nearest hospital or to your primary physician, the fact is, you are not a doctor, so you should not make your own determinations about your medical condition without the knowledge and expertise of someone who is. Going to the doctors not only helps properly identify any injuries you may be experiencing, but it also helps create a physical record of the time of injury and the possible causes. While all personal injury cases do not necessarily need to be serious enough to warrant the need for medical attention, it is wise to seek medical attention to then determine if your injuries are severe enough and also diagnosed as a cause of the particular incident or use of a product.
• Are you still suffering from those injuries? Injuries come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. For some people, injuries are immediate and apparent. For others, injuries as a result of a particular accident or use of a product may not be discovered until down the road. Many accidents or faulty products may come with long-term side effects on your health and well-being, which is another reason for seeking medical attention and advice whenever you are exploring your options for potential legal action.
• Were your injuries preventable if it weren’t for the negligence or intentional actions of a third party? In a personal injury case, the victim must be able to show that the actions or conduct of a third party violates one or more of the following three areas: (1) Negligence; (2) Strict Liability; and, (3) Intentional Wrong. The first is pretty obvious. If your injuries are the result of one’s negligence, which could have been prevented had greater care or concern of another third party, you may very well have a personal injury case. The second, strict liability, is a part of product liability law – – essentially protecting consumers from defective or harmful products. Even though there may be no intentional malice or negligence on the part of a manufacturer, these laws were put into the place to protect consumers. Lastly, there’s intentional wrong, which does cover the case where there may be known intentional criminal acts or other malicious wrong-doing by another to cause personal harm to a victim. If your injuries can fall in any one of these three categories, then you may very well have a good case for a personal injury lawsuit.
• Can you identify a third party that is at fault for your injuries? One major question you must ask yourself when determining whether or not to file a personal injury lawsuit is if you can clearly identify a third party that is at fault. It doesn’t have to be a specific person. Perhaps it’s a company, a particular medical group, perhaps there’s an argument that more than one person is to blame. For example, this may be the case in a medical malpractice case where there may be negligence from say doctors, surgeons and product manufacturers. Whether you know who the third parties are or not, identifying the right third parties to go after and hold liable for your personal injuries is crucial to your case. A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you with this task.
• How long has it been since the accident? Last, but not least, you may have the “perfect” personal injury case, but if you don’t act in a timely manner, you may not be able to even file a lawsuit. Every state has its own set of what is known as “statute of limitations”. These laws lay out the amount of time a personal injury victim has from the time of the incident to the time a suit must be filed. In the state of California, the current law gives a victim up to 2 years. If the injury was not discovered right away, which was the case for some victims of the Zimmer Durom Cup and DePuy ASR hip replacement surgeries, then victims have up to 2 years from the time the injury was discovered.
As you can see, there are a number of factors that are weighed when determining whether or not a personal injury lawsuit makes sense for an individual. Rather than make these determinations yourself and especially given the issues surrounding statute of limitations, be sure to seek out a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you with your case. You don’t want to have a situation where you may fail to timely or properly file your lawsuit, which can blow your entire case altogether!
This post is brought to you the good folks at Csengeri Law, servicing the personal injury needs of clients nationwide along with the greater Los Angeles and South Bay areas for over 25 years. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or death, call Stephen Csengeri of Csengeri Law at (310)373-9330 or through our website to set up a free meeting to discuss your case and explore your rights. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook!