Before filing a personal injury case against a person or a company, the first thing to determine is whether the accused will be considered liable or not. Without knowing this, you may simply end up wasting time during your injury period. In addition, you will also have to consider the statute of limitations. Below, we take a detailed look at each of these two factors.
Liability Of The Accused
The liability of the party that resulted in your accident is determined by three important concepts – negligence, strict liability and intentional harm.
Negligence refers to the injuries you suffered as a result of the other party failing to stick to his prescribed duties. For example, if you are involved in a car accident when the other party was driving the vehicle and looking through the messages on his smartphone, then they will be held liable due to negligence.
A strict liability is mostly applied against businesses, and usually refers to injuries caused due to any defect in a product or service. For example, if while using a phone charger, the device explodes and you suffer injuries, and the explosion is linked to a fault in the manufacturing of the charger, then the manufacturer can be made liable on grounds of strict liability.
Intentional harm, as the name suggests, refers to injuries which have been caused by the other party with an intention to cause you harm.
As long as any of the above three can be proven against the other party, you have a strong case against them, else your case will probably won’t stand in the court. And if you are confused whether you have a case or not, consult an experienced lawyer like R.T.Green, who should easily be able to tell you whether your injury merits compensation.
Statute Of Limitations
Statute of limitation lays out the time period you have to file a case against a party. If you don’t file the case of personal injury within the specified time period, as determined by the law of the state, then your case will be dismissed by the court. However, there are a few exceptions to the statute of limitations. One such exception is the ‘Discovery Rule’.
What the ‘Discovery Rule’ states is that the statute of limitations can only be applied once you have knowledge of the injury. For example, imagine that you suffered a minor accident due to a company fault about 5 years ago, because of which you are experiencing pain in the spine at the present moment. If the statute of limitations of your state is set at 2 years, then it may seem like you don’t have a case. But this is not true. If you can prove that you began experiencing pain and have known about the effects of the injury only since the past 2 months, then you can still file a case.
The time period of the statute of limitations varies from state to state. As such, it is better to consult a lawyer to determine whether you can still file a case. And if not, whether you can apply the ‘Discovery Rule.