When To Retain An Attorney On A Personal Injury Case

Have you or a family member been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence?  If so, you probably realize that you have legal claims which you can pursue in a court of law.  But what’s probably less clear is how and when you should initiate that process.

Time is of the essence.  All claims for personal injury are limited by something known as a statute of limitations.  Essentially, this is the time frame within which a plaintiff must take legal action or they forever lose their right to sue.

Statutes of limitation can be difficult to compute.  Most personal injury claims must be brought within two years of the date the injury occurred, but there are exceptions for injuries arising from the negligence of a government entity, medical or legal professional, and for circumstances in which the negligence giving rise to injury was concealed by means of fraud.  There are other exceptions, too.

Although personal injury claims have statutes of limitation, it is often beneficial not to file a lawsuit too early, either.  If a case is filed before the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries can be determined (i.e. a week after sustaining a back injury before it is known whether surgery or invasive means of treatment such as epidural injections will be required), the plaintiff may not be in a strong position to demand compensation for all of their anticipated damages.  At the very least, a case for such damages will be weaker because the damages are speculative until they are actually incurred.

The one certain thing is that the timing of a personal injury lawsuit is of critical importance, and it is therefore wise to retain an attorney as soon as possible.  A lawyer can help protect a case at its early stages and can guide the victim through the entire legal process so that there is no doubt they are benefiting from the fullest possible protection of the law.