Personal Injury Law – How Soon Do You Have To Contact An Attorney
One of the reasons why personal injury cases can be so complicated is because there are significant differences between state laws. Every state has its own laws that apply to personal injury cases. There are crucial differences in how these laws work, and what they mean for people who have been injured.
Statutes of Limitations
The amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit is limited. Every state has a statute of limitations that creates a type of legal ticking clock. Once you have been injured, that clock begins counting down. Unless you act before that clock reaches zero, you are prevented from filing a lawsuit.
The amount of time you have differs significantly depending on the state in which you live. In some states, you might have as long as six years to file a personal injury lawsuit, while in other states you could be limited to a single year.
Another significant difference between states when it comes to personal injury laws is how much damages people are allowed to recover.
Many personal injury lawsuits involve non-economic damages. These types of damages are possible when a person suffers an injury that isn’t easily given a dollar value. Non-economic damages include compensation for emotional distress, pain, and suffering, loss of enjoyment, or loss of the ability to engage in sexual relations, known as loss of consortium.
When it comes to these types of non-economic damages, many states have a maximum recoverable amount. Though this amount differs significantly, it can range from about $350,000-$700,000.
Fortunately, states usually have exceptions that allow injured people to exceed the maximum limit, or eliminate it completely, in some circumstances.
Punitive damages can apply in cases where someone’s wrongful action was so egregious that state law allows for damages that serve solely to punish the intentional behavior.
Like non-economic damages, punitive damages can also be limited. Depending on the state in which you live, the maximum punitive damage award might range between $250,000 to $10 million.
Who is responsible for compensating you for the harms you suffered? The answer to this question will depend entirely on the state in which you live.
Let’s say that you are injured in a car accident. Three other drivers were involved in the accident, and each is partially at fault. You suffer $100,000 in damages. Depending on the state in which you live, each driver might be responsible for only a portion of those damages (several liabilities), each could be held responsible for the entire amount (joint liability), or the group of defendants could be held equally responsible for the entire amount but have the right to sue each other to recover the share for which the others are responsible (joint and several liabilities).
Of course, knowing what the differences are and understanding how they might apply to your situation is something that only an experienced personal injury attorney can help you do. To find out how your state laws apply to an accident you may have been part of, contact a local personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
This Blog was posted By The Carabin & Shaw Law Firm. principle Office in San Antonio, Texas