How long can I wait before I have to file my case?
After any accident concerning an injury, sufficient amount of time needs to pass so that you understand the nature and severity of your injuries. Even minor injuries and pain may linger on for weeks or months after a tragedy – car accident, slip or fall, dog bite etc. – before you’re able to assess their impact on your life. More serious bodily harm will require medical treatment that may continue with no clear end in sight.
If you’re filing a legal claim for your injuries, how will you know how much compensation to demand if you’re still undergoing the healing process? Should you initiate your insurance claim or injury lawsuit right away?
When Should You File an Injury Claim?
If you are still getting medically treated for your injuries, you need not delay anymore to file a claim. In fact, it’s a good idea to get the process started, whether it’s an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
That’s because you’ll eventually run into a deadline when it comes to filing a lawsuit, and if you’re going to take the matter to court, you’ll need to comply with it. Getting a case started is one thing, but you must not have it (i.e. accept a settlement) resolved before you have a firm understanding of the nature and scope of your damages.
Time Limit to File Your Case in Court
For every kind of lawsuit, there is a state law that sets a deadline for going to court and getting the case filed. This law is called statute of limitations, and there are different deadlines for different kinds of cases. Car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, and other similar cases will be governed by the personal injury statute of limitations in your state. If you’ve just got involved in an insurance claim, it’s important to keep the statute of limitations in mind in case you eventually need to file a lawsuit.
Maximum Medical Improvement and Settlement
Before you decide to accept a settlement offer from an insurance adjuster or a defendant, you need to figure out whether you have reached “maximum medical improvement” or MMI. This means either you are as healthy as you are going to be in the wake of your injuries, or you and your attorney at least know how to value your damages in terms of the required future medical care and the ongoing financial impact of your injuries.
Remember, there’s nothing to be lost by getting a claims process started before you reach MMI; you just need to be sure you have a clear picture of your damages before you get the case resolved.
You may be at an advantageous position by talking to a Manley Traeger personal injury lawyer about your case before making any possibly damaging decisions concerning your rights.