In personal injury cases, timing matters. In the first instance, there’s only a limited period of time during which claims can be filed. This period may vary for minor children, and also for minor children who were accompanied by adults at the time of the accident that caused the injury. Second, as personal injury attorneys advise their clients, once the claim has been filed, it is best not to be in a hurry to settle. The long term consequences of injury take time to manifest themselves, and the costs should be factored into a settlement. The first step in filing a claim for personal injury is finding a good attorney who can advise any support you every step of the way.
What is a personal injury claim?
Personal injury claims arise out of injuries or harm caused to an individual by the fault or negligence of another person on organization. Personal injuries cover a number of situations, including traffic accidents, medical malpractice, negligence, workplace injuries etc.
Personal injury can cause losses to the affected individual in a number of ways. They may have to spend time in hospital or receive medical care, incurring medical costs and bills. They may have to take time off from work, leading to loss of income. In case of severe injures, the injured person may be left with a limited ability to work and earn a living.
Civil lawsuits allow the injured person to sue the parties responsible for their injuries for compensation. Annually, civil law cases in the U.S. are worth $233 billion. They typically take eight and a half months from filing to disposition.
Finding legal representation for personal injury settlements
Finding a good attorney can be key to a successful personal injury lawsuit. That’s because the vast majority of cases are settled out of court, before they can be brought to trial. Most often, this involves negotiations with an insurance company, which is trying to protect its own interests.
The best lawyers are experienced in negotiations and in getting the best settlement for their clients. They can also offer expert advice on how to conduct the case, from filing a claim in a timely fashion to accepting a settlement only when the full extent of injuries has been manifest.
Why timing matters
The statute of limitations defines the time period within which a claim for personal injury may be filed. In the state of Alaska, this time period is two years. In case the injured person is a minor, the period can be extended until the child reaches the age of twenty years.
However, it’s best to file claims as early as possible, since case law in Alaska allows for the limitation of the filing period for minors to two years if a parent was also injured in the same incident.
Once a claim has been filed, however, its best not to settle quickly. The long term results of accidents and injuries can take months to appear, and will involve costs that should be included in the settlement.
Finding a good attorney who can advise you on the timing of your claim can help to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.