Although a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind when an accident or medical mishap occurs, the reality is that cases are often won or lost within a short period after an incident based on the actions (or inactions) of the people involved.
Personal injury claims generally arise from the negligent acts of a third party or a defective product.
Doyle APC attorneys are experienced in personal injury claims in the following areas.
- Prescription drug injuries
- Automobile and truck accidents
- Defective medical devices
- Defective consumer products
Personal Injury FAQs
What Damages are Available to Personal Injury Victims?
The damages available largely depend on the age and occupation of the injured person and the type and extent of the injuries suffered. Damages in a personal injury lawsuit can include:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses incurred
- Future medical care, if future medical care is needed. This includes things like physical therapy and rehabilitation, future surgeries, etc.
- Pain and suffering for the injuries caused, for both past and future pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress, which are mental and emotional injuries caused by physical injuries, such as PTSD or anxiety attacks
- Lost income or wages, which is compensation for the past income missed due to missed work
- Loss of earning capacity which is the difference in future income between your former occupation and your post-injury occupation if your injuries render you unable to continue in your preferred occupation
- Reduced earning capacity if your injuries limit your ability to work in your pre-injury occupation, i.e., you can only work four hours per day instead of eight.
- Occupational therapy and retraining if you suffered permanent injuries leaving you unable to continue working in your prior occupation
- Modifications to your household and vehicle if necessary;
- Hedonic damages, or loss of the value of life, is compensation for the intangible things in life the injuries have impacted, i.e., the injury leaves you unable to enjoy your favorite hobby.
How Much Time do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The law affords you only a limited amount of time to investigate and file a personal injury claim. This time limit is typically called the “statute of limitations.”
How much time depends upon the individual facts of your case. Specifically, how and where did the injury occur? Each claim has its distinct cause of action, which can differ from state to state.
For most personal injury claims in California and most other states, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury. A handful of states have a shorter, one-year statute of limitations (Kentucky, Tennessee, and Louisiana), and a few states have three, four, and five-year statutes.
There are some important exceptions. For example, medical malpractice usually has its own statute of limitations, which is typically shorter than traditional negligent injury claims. In California, medical malpractice has a one-year statute of limitations.
There are also various mechanisms to “toll” or extend the statute of limitations, such as notice tolling. This equitable principle says a statute of limitations does not start running until the individual knows, or should know, that the negligence of some third party has harmed them. But the application of these tolling principles varies from state to state, with some states not applying any tolling provisions to personal injury claims. In contrast, others allow tolling but only under very limited factual circumstances.
The statute of limitations discussion above is one reason why contacting an attorney as soon as possible is so important. And it should cost you nothing to get the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.