Ask a Lawyer: What Can I Expect In a Personal Injury Case?

Posted By Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP || 14-Jun-2018

The legal realm of personal injury law is often a difficult one to endure, sometimes leading to individuals failing to take action because they are not sure what comes next.

To help give individuals peace of mind, our lawyer, Paul Van Der Walde, answers some common questions about what to expect in a personal injury case.

How Does a Personal Injury Case Start?

Third party personal injury cases start when an individual is injured by another person or business in a negligent or an intentional matter, as opposed to a medical malpractice case when someone is injured through the negligence of medical provider care provider or from a workers' compensation case through no fault or negligence.

Third party personal injury cases involve holding an individual or a third party responsible for the injuries they cause the victim and the victim has the right to file a lawsuit with the court to get just compensation for their injuries.

Is There a Deadline to File?

Yes. Depending on the type of injury and how it was sustained whether it was intentional or negligent. The typical statute of limitations is two years. You also have to look out for if the action was intentional. Some other things to consider would include if the government was a factor.

Was someone injured due to the negligence of the city of San Jose? Did a city officer rear-end you?

If the government is involved, you only have six months to file an environmental tort claim and if you fail to file, you may be precluded from filing a claim later on. It can be shorter if a government entity is involved or longer if a minor is involved.

Most deadlines are two years from the date of the incident.

The Insurance Wants Me to Settle, Should I?

Maybe. First of all, it depends on size and complexity of the case. It depends on whether you have permanency of injury that requires further care.

If you have a settlement offer that pays for all of your medical bills that you actually paid for, includes compensation for anyone who had to help you while you were injured, includes your wage loss, includes provision for future medical care that you are reasonably, it may be a good idea.

If you are not able to make all those determinations, you should always consult a professional if you have a complex case.

Why Is Hiring a Lawyer Important?

It’s important so the other side takes you seriously. The insurance company’s job is to pay the least amount of money possible. An attorney’s job is to get the money a person is entitled to as per the law.

An attorney has the resources to put together experts for investigation and to asses for future medical care, past wage loss, future wage loss, or do things you're not able to do. In these types of cases, you need an economist, not including the medical care and life care planner. A professional can provide investigation including an accident reconstructionist. You may need a variety of experts that attorneys are intimately familiar with.

Most people don't have access to that type of information and wouldn’t be able to put it together. Plus, navigating the court system. You should never file a lawsuit on your own. It's like speaking another language.

You likely wouldn’t be able to communicate effectively through the legal process and could be taken advantage of by defense attorneys.

You shouldn’t have to stress the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit. To help you understand the process and protect your rights, our San Jose personal injury lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde are here for you.

Call our firm today.

Categories: Personal Injury
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