How Soon After I Am Injured Do I Have To File A Lawsuit?

Updated on April 8, 2021

There are many things that a person has to do after they get injured, such as get an evaluation and treatment for their injuries, which is why a lawsuit will be unlikely to ever enter their mind. However, a lawsuit can become necessary in some cases. Those cases are usually when the insurance company of the party responsible for the injury refuses to cooperate with you or your lawyer. A lawsuit is not simply to punish the at-fault party, it is used to recover the compensation needed to take care of the expenses caused by the injury. Those expenses could include medical bills, lost wages, repair bills, pain and suffering, and more.

You will of course need the help of a personal injury attorney to help you with the lawsuit, but if you end up needing to file a suit, then it is likely that you already have one retained. The reason is that if you were in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, then you have the right to pursue compensation and a lawyer can help you to do that. 

They can help you to file your injury claim and will negotiate with the insurance company of the negligent party on your behalf. It is only when the negotiations come to an impasse that a lawsuit will become necessary. But if the attorney helped you before you had to file a lawsuit, then they will be with you when a lawsuit becomes necessary. As for when a lawsuit may become necessary, keep reading to learn more.

What To Do After a Personal Injury

As stated previously, the first priority after getting injured is to seek treatment because your health is of the utmost import. If you believe that the injury was due to the negligent behaviour of another person, then you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you. There are many types of personal injury scenarios and personal injury lawyers can handle most of them, but you should make sure that the one you choose has experience with the type of personal injury you suffered. Some common kinds of personal injuries include the following:

  • Car Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Defective Product Injuries
  • Dog Bites
  • Assault and/or Battery

That last category might seem unusual because assault and battery is a deliberate act rather than a negligent one. However, since it is a criminal act, the punishment is normally punitive in nature, but a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the assailant is meant to provide compensation for the losses suffered by the victim.

After getting treatment for the injury, the victim should contact a personal injury to help them get the compensation they need to cover their losses. The lawyer can help the victim to file an injury claim against the insurance company of the party responsible for the accident. The response of the insurance company determines whether or not a lawsuit will need to be filed.

When a Lawsuit Becomes Necessary

After the insurance company knows the settlement amount demanded by the victim, they can choose to accept the settlement offer and pay out the required amount. They can also ask to renegotiate the initial offer. If they accept the initial settlement amount or renegotiates a reasonable amount, then the case will end at this point. However, if they reject the offer or make a counter offer that is too low, then the victim will need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party if they want to get the compensation they need.

When You Should File a Lawsuit

The time in which you have to file a lawsuit against the negligent party is determined mainly by two factors: the statute of limitations and your maximum medical improvement.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit before doing so becomes invalid and the clock starts ticking from the time that the injury happened. The statute of limitations is different for the various types of lawsuits and varies from state to state. Even within the scope of personal injury cases there are different statutes for different kinds of personal injuries. 

That is one of the reasons why you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after you have experienced a personal injury; they will know the statute of limitations for your kind of case as well as for the state where the injury occurred. Many states have a time limit of about two years for most personal injury cases, but you should speak to your attorney or do some quick research for yourself before making any assumptions about the statute of limitations in your state.

Maximum Medical Improvement

Another important factor that affects when someone should file a lawsuit is their healing process. Some injuries take a short time to heal while others might require ongoing treatment for quite some time. However, even before you know the extent of your injuries, you should start the process of filing your injury claim. If you are still in the treatment or healing process for your injuries, then you may not initially know how much compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, but you should start the injury claim process nonetheless. You will know what amount to value your injuries when you have reached maximum medical improvement, or MMI.

MMI is when you have healed as much as you can and no medical treatment will improve your condition any further. When that happens you and your attorney will know what value to put on your medical expenses and you both can determine the current and future financial ramifications of those injuries. But to reiterate, you should start the injury claim process before you have reached MMI.

Contact an Attorney If You Suffered a Personal Injury

There are a lot of factors that determine when you can file a lawsuit after you experience a personal injury, but if you hire an attorney, then you do not have to do any of the calculations yourself. Your personal injury lawyer will take care of your case and carefully monitor when you should file a lawsuit, or even if a lawsuit will be necessary in the first place. 

Most personal injury cases never go to trial since trials are expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable and most people would like to avoid the inconvenience if they can. But no matter where your personal injury case goes, you should make sure to have an experienced lawyer by your side to help you. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.