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 car accident, 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 is unlikely.
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.