Why Time Is A Big Factor In Personal Injury Claims
Time is an issue that hangs over personal injury attorneys and their clients. People facing medical bills and lost wages would like to wrap their cases up as quickly as possible. However, other time factors push and pull in opposite directions. Here is why time is a big factor in injury claims and how it might affect yours.
Before a personal injury lawyer presents a demand package to the defense, they want to know how extensive their client's injuries are. Likewise, they want to know how much healing has happened and what issues may linger for years or even the remainder of the client's life.
Healing takes time. In some cases, healing has to happen before doctors can even assess the situation. For example, swelling can prevent doctors from looking closer at some injuries. Only once the swelling goes down, over time, they can get a better sense of how bad the injuries might be.
Statute of Limitations
Every state has a statute of limitations for injury cases. Normally, this is two or three years from the time of an accident. If you don't file your claim before the statutory limit passes, then you won't be eligible for compensation.
There are some notable exceptions. In many chemical and radiological exposure claims, the clock doesn't start until you discover there's a medical problem. Likewise, some states have laws that extend the limit or eliminate it entirely. You should discuss your specific case with a personal injury lawyer who's licensed to practice in the state where you plan to file. They can tell you what the rules are in that state.
Bear in mind that submitting a demand satisfies the statute of limitations. Once you've filed your claim, you'll have time to negotiate with the defense or even sue. The important thing is to send an official demand for compensation before the deadline.
Many cases are straightforward, but some require a personal injury lawyer to investigate. Suppose a client suffers a slip-and-fall accident on an icy sidewalk. An attorney may need to collect surveillance videos from nearby cameras. They might also interview witnesses. It takes time to collect evidence and testimony.
Writing a Demand Letter
Ultimately, a personal injury lawyer wants to present a well-reasoned demand letter. It should explain who you are, what happened, and why the evidence shows that the defendant should compensate you for your injuries. Assembling the letter with a package of evidence and reports takes time because an attorney wants the case to be tight.
For more information, reach out to a personal injury attorney near you.