What You Need to Know About Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If someone else’s carelessness caused you severe harm, you likely have many questions about your rights and legal options. What will your medical recovery look like? How can you restore your quality of life? And how can you find accountability for the party that caused your injuries?
A personal injury lawsuit can help you obtain justice if you can prove that the liable party disregarded their duty of care to you. At the Twin Cities personal injury firm of Robert Wilson & Associates, we have decades of combined experience supporting injured clients as they seek compensation for their losses. We would like to share some important information about how personal injury suits work and the most fundamental strategies for a successful outcome. If you have questions, our team would be happy to help you. Give us a call today at (612) 334-3444 for a free, no-obligation case review.
Hire an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible
You have better odds of securing fair compensation if you have a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side. Good counsel will be compassionate, experienced, thorough, and honest. They should give you realistic advice on whether you have a case and be forthright about their track record working with similar cases.
Once you decide which lawyer is best for you, it is important to read their contract carefully before you sign. This is for multiple reasons:
- It protects you – Should your personal injury case go to trial, your attorney-client relationship will be long-term.
- It protects your wallet – Most personal injury lawyers only charge fees if you win compensation. However, you should still pay close attention to the financial terms of the relationship.
Investigate early, document early, file early
In Minnesota, you have a deadline to file your personal injury lawsuit. According to the state statute of limitations, how much time you have depends on the nature of the accident:
- Four years – Personal injury suits related to either defective products or medical malpractice
- Two years – All other personal injury lawsuits
The earlier you file your lawsuit, the better chance you have of a satisfactory resolution. However, it is not as easy as just beginning negotiations or submitting court papers. You and your legal team must complete several preparation steps, including a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the accident. The information you should gather includes:
- Medical documents – Documentation of your injuries from your physician, including the prognosis and prescribed treatment, is a crucial piece of evidence in any personal injury case. Also consider acquiring documentation from mental health professionals, who can help you prove emotional stress (”pain and suffering”) resulting from the accident.
- Witness accounts and police reports – If other people saw the accident, they may have dashcam footage or testimony to support your case. If the police assisted after the accident, request a copy of their accident report.
- Financial documents – Use your previous pay stubs or tax documents to estimate your lost wages. You should also acquire documentation of current or expected medical bills and the cost of repairing or replacing property damaged in the accident.
- Other information about the accident, depending on your attorney’s advice
Know the other side
In personal injury suits, you are not just fighting the party liable for your losses. You’re also fighting their insurance company, as they are the ones with the money and power. If a policyholder hurts someone else out of negligence, their insurance company will use their power to protect that customer and, in turn, their bottom line.
Many personal injury lawsuits stem from a denied insurance or workers’ comp claim. In building the opposing case, an insurer may scrutinize your social media posts after the accident, produce competing evaluations of the accident that misrepresent your circumstances or ask you to give statements in an attempt to catch you off-guard and weaken your case.
You have better chances of winning your personal injury suit if you do not talk to insurance companies without first speaking with your lawyer. Until your case concludes, you should also refrain from posting to your social media accounts and be mindful of what you say in public. If you have pressing questions about your case, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.
Most personal injury claims never go to court
It’s not ideal for either side to go to trial in a personal injury lawsuit, and the good news is that many cases in this area of law never see a courtroom. After you and your lawyer have assembled the facts of the case, they will send a demand letter to begin negotiations with the liable party’s insurance company. Both sides will frequently reach a settlement. However, if negotiations go nowhere and you cannot arrive at a fair financial settlement, your legal team can proceed with filing the lawsuit and defend your rights before a judge or jury.
Contact Our Minnesota Injury Attorneys
If you were hurt through no fault of your own, contact the Minnesota personal injury attorneys at Robert Wilson & Associates to discuss your situation right away. We’ll be ready to discuss your legal options during a free consultation, so call us or reach out to us online now.