I may be about to show my age, but when I was a child there was almost no talk of personal injury compensation claims. In fact, the only time I ever heard of anybody getting a lawyer was when my uncle began divorce proceedings. My understanding of lawyers at that time was something like my understanding of the post office is now – there’s probably more than a hundred services available and all the people behind the desk know how to help you no matter what your query. Now, as an adult, I know that not to be the case.
Lawyers have experience in different areas. You wouldn’t go to the same lawyer that my uncle used for his divorce, for example, as you would if you were looking for information on employment law or a debt litigation case.
This recently crossed my mind, and I supposed that even though personal injury ads are pretty much inescapable these days, many people might not know the broad details of what a personal injury claim might include. Feel free to check out a company like a Nashville personal injury lawyer for more details. Otherwise, let’s cover what you could expect from a personal injury claim.
3 years – date of knowledge
First of all, there are time limits on starting a claim. This time limit is typically three years from the date of the injury, but there are exceptions. One of these exceptions is known as the date of knowledge. This means that if you were injured in a way that meant your symptoms may not become apparent until many years later, your three year time limit is reset to the date on which you realised that your injury is linked to negligence.
Also, if you were injured as a child (i.e. under the age of 18), and if a parent or guardian did not begin a claim on your behalf, you normally have three years from the date of turning 18 to begin your claim. The date of knowledge also applies in this scenario, which means that, theoretically, an injured child could grow up and grow old before the person learns that their life long injury was caused by negligence (meaning they could start a claim well into their retirement).
Don’t have to go to court
One of the reasons that many people do not choose to enquire with a lawyer as to whether they have grounds to bring a claim for personal injury compensation is the fear of having to appear in court. Perhaps some people do not cope well in public due to social anxiety, especially where they are the centre of attention. Perhaps other people suffer from body image issues and don’t like to be in large public gatherings. Whatever the reason, most of us would likely wish to avoid a court appearance.
The good news is that most personal injury cases are settled outside of court. This is because many simple cases fall into categories that have very predictable outcomes (if handled properly), meaning the other side will want to cut their losses and settle when they know they won’t win.