I often meet people that say, "i have been hurt, but i don't want
to sue, i'm not that kind of person." Most of the time, if that's
how they feel, I agree with them. I agree that we all make mistakes and
it is good to be kind to other people. I think we have all heard of people
being sued for things we find to be silly. Stupid lawsuits are just that,
stupid. They waste your time. They give personal injury lawyers a bad
name. And they give hesitation to people who are actually hurt pause when
considering legal action.
Deciding whether or not to sue after an injury is a very important life
decision. A personal injury action can mean a significant investment in
time and energy. You will have to meet with your lawyer. You can be subject
to cross examination at depositions and trial.
Some important considerations when filing a lawsuit
Who are you suing?
In most cases the answer is you are suing an insurance company. In
slip and fall and general
accident cases it is overwhelmingly likely that the defense will be handled by
an insurance company. Further, any settlement or verdict will be paid
by an insurance company. Most people don't want to take a decent person's
life savings to pay for their pain and suffering. The point of insurance
is to make sure that an injured person can recover money for their injuries,
without going after any personal assets. The need for insurance is critical
in car accident cases. In fact, all drivers in New York State are required
to have liability insurance if they drive a car.
What is the level of injury?
How hurt are you. Regarless of the level of liability of another party,
without injury, there is no case. A personal injury case requires two
things: 1) negligence, and 2) injury. I hear about negligence with no
injury, or very small injuries regularly. In New York the law actually
requires serious physical injury to recover. Sometimes it is very obvious
that an injury is serious immediately. In my opinion those people should
consult with a lawyer. The ongoing problems that can be created for the
rest of a persons life should be treated with professional experience.
Sometimes the extent of an injury is not known at the time of the accident.
For example, soft tissue damage usually heals, but sometimes it doesn't.
It can be a good idea to talk to a personal injury lawyer, so that your
rights are protected if something bad happens in the future, even if that
What is the likelihood of liability?
Certain cases are very clear for liability. For example if you are parked
at a red light and rear-ended by another car, they are liable for any
injury sustained as a result of the accident. In cases with clear liability
there is a greater likelihood for a quick settlement and a less burdensome
experience. On the other hand, In very complicated cases without clear
liability the likelihood for a long, drawn out case is increased. The
strength of potential liability can be very complicated and should be
discussed with an experienced personal injury attorney.
In conclusion, only you can decide whether a lawsuit is something you want
to pursue. In most cases it should be carefully considered and discussed
with a lawyer. Most cases a plaintiff is trying to recover damages from
an insurance company, not an individual. The level of injury and potential
for civil liability are two of the important factors to consider, when
assessing whether or not to go forward with a case. Both of those aspects
should be discussed with a Rochester personal injury lawyer. I provide
free consultations and can review your case at no cost.