A personal injury lawsuit refers to a legal dispute that arises when someone is hurt in an accident or incident caused by someone else.
Under New York’s tort laws, personal injury claims are filed in civil court. In a civil lawsuit, a jury or a judge will determine whether the defendant in the case bears legal responsibility for causing the plaintiff’s injuries and the resulting damages, such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, and economic and non-economic losses.
Finz & Finz, P.C. has seen that, in many cases, a personal injury claim will be “settled” or resolved out of court through negotiation or mediation. In such event, the parties will agree on the amount of compensation that will be paid to the injured party, and the lawsuit will be dismissed.
Does My Injury Qualify for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When you’ve suffered an injury, you may wonder whether your injury qualifies as a personal injury claim. If you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s willful acts (meaning they intended to cause you injury), recklessness (they consciously disregarded a substantial risk of causing injury), or negligence (they failed to exercise due care), then you may have an injury that qualifies for a personal injury lawsuit.
Examples of injuries that can commonly give rise to personal injury lawsuits include:
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Soft-tissue injury (for example, a tendon, ligament, or muscle injury)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal organ damage
- Neck and back injury
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
- Nerve damage
- Toxic exposure (for example, lead paint)
Mental and emotional injuries such as memory/cognitive problems, depression, or PTSD can also sometimes qualify as injuries serious enough to merit a valid personal injury litigation claim.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
Under New York law, you typically have three years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation.
This time period is known as the “statute of limitations,” but it can be extended under certain circumstances, such as:
- If the injured victim is under the age of 18
- If the injured victim is physically and/or mentally incapacitated and unable to file suit
- If the injured victim does not realize that they have been injured at the time of injury
However, cases against municipalities such as New York City and New York State require the injured victim to file a notice of claim within 90 days from the date of the injury. In addition, a lawsuit against New York City or New York State must be filed within 1 year and 90 days from the date of the injury.
If a notice of claim or lawsuit is not filed within the required time periods, the court will almost certainly dismiss the personal injury case.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Personal injury cases are usually handled on a contingency-fee-basis. In a contingency fee arrangement, you will not pay anything until the case is successfully resolved on your behalf.
If you have questions about your potential personal injury claim or lawsuit, contact the personal injury lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. today for a free case review.
As a family-run law firm spanning three generations, our personal injury attorneys care deeply about our community and have a very strong understanding of New York law and the New York State court system. We are standing by to answer your questions and help you understand your legal rights and options.