If you were hurt — physically, psychologically, or financially — because of another person’s negligence, you may qualify for a personal injury lawsuit. Whether someone else can be held be responsible is key to determining if you have a case.
With enough evidence that another party’s negligence caused your injury, you may be able to reach a settlement or take your case to trial and win a jury award.
Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits
Common types of personal injury cases include the following:
- Auto accidents or boat accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Burn injuries
- Construction accidents (though these might instead fall under workers’ compensation)
An example of a car crash PI case would be if a driver was rear-ended by another driver and suffered whiplash, vehicle damage, and other injuries.
In a slip-and-fall case, the owner of a home or business fails to maintain safe conditions on the property, and as a result the plaintiff falls and hurts themselves. As attorney Keith Mitnik says, You didn’t fall for no reason.”
Ultimately, though, the only way to determine if you have a valid personal injury case is to speak with a licensed attorney for a free case review.
First Steps in Filing a Personal Injury Claim
In the immediate aftermath of your injury, you should take these crucial measures to not jeopardize a potential claim:
- Take photos or video of the scene of the incident
- Write down exactly what happened while it’s still fresh in your mind
- Get contact information for the negligent party and witnesses at the scene
- Hold onto all receipts and other records pertaining to the incident
- Do not accept any money from the negligent party
- Do not sign away your right to file a lawsuit
Next, you should contact an attorney who can determine if you have a case.
Personal injury attorneys in these cases will go to great lengths to advocate for their clients. This may include investigating the scene of the incident, questioning witnesses, working with medical experts, and sometimes even working with experts that can help reconstruct the accident.
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?
You may have anywhere from one to six years from the date of the injury to file your claim, depending on where you live and the type of claim. Statutes of limitations vary by state, but most are two or three years. The easiest way to find out how long you have to file is to contact an attorney for a free case evaluation.
How much does it cost?
It doesn’t cost anything to file a personal injury claim if the law firm you retain operates on a contingency fee basis, as ours does. We only get paid if you win. In the event of a settlement or jury verdict in your favor, the attorney will recoup a percentage (usually one-third) of the money won.
Otherwise you pay nothing, and you always pay nothing upfront. This arrangement incentivizes your attorney to recover the most compensation possible on your behalf.
Types of Compensation for Personal Injury Lawsuits
How much money you can get from a personal injury lawsuit depends on the type of injury sustained and the circumstances under which you or a loved one were injured, as well as several other factors. Typical settlements or jury awards go toward medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and (in a wrongful death claim) funeral expenses.
In 2013, we won $47.5 million for a client hit by a pickup truck that was driving the wrong way. That same year, we won $38 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit for a woman whose doctors failed to perform a timely C-section. And in 2017, we won an $8 million jury verdict for a woman gravely injured when a drunk driver crashed into her car.
Over the years we have recovered $5 billion for our clients, and the bulk of those recoveries were from personal injury cases.