It is critical to know your personal injury rights when you’ve been injured and need assistance. Understanding your state’s statute of limitations, victim’s rights, and the steps to filing a personal injury lawsuit will help you pick the right lawyer.

Learn About Personal Injury Law

If you have a personal injury case, educate yourself about your rights. It’s the surest way to ensure that you get your just restitution for your injuries. Depending on your state’s law, you could be entitled to the specific damages that you suffered or even treble (triple) damages. The purpose of injury laws are to prevent people from recklessly injuring others and to help provide compensation to pay for damages suffered. A competent injury lawyer will help you receive what you’re owed.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Each state has the right to set its own statute of limitations, or the deadline for filing a claim for an injury. If you wait until after the statute of limitation, then any claim that you file will be dismissed outright.

The primary purpose of a statute of limitations is to ensure that fraudulent claims are not filed. They also ensure that witnesses are still available and that evidence is not lost, which provides for smoother and more accurate trials.

You should research your state’s bodily injury statute of limitations before filing your lawsuit. Your state’s statute of limitations for personal injuries will be expressed as a deadline; for example, Pennsylvania’s personal injury statute of limitations is two years. This means that personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the incident.

Personal Injury Lawyers

You should pick your personal injury lawyers based on referrals, ratings, or a combination of both. Make sure that your personal injury lawyer comes highly recommended, because a lawyer who does not represent you accurately will cause you more headaches than it’s worth.

How will you pay for your personal injury lawyer? Clients usually pay for personal injury lawyers in one of a few methods:

  • Contingency fees are fees paid out of the settlement or judgment fee after the lawyer files the lawsuit. This is a very common method for clients without ample funds to file lawsuits, and it helps ensure that frivolous lawsuits don’t clog up the court system and make the justice system more inefficient for everyone else.
  • Hourly rates are another common method of billing clients. With hourly fees, lawyers bill clients periodically for time spent on their case based on a set hourly rate.
  • Retainers are also very common in the legal profession. When a lawyer bills on a retainer basis, he or she receives a set amount of money (for example, $1,000, $3,000, or $5,000) upfront. The attorney deducts any hourly fees from this retainer as the case proceeds. If, at the end of the case, there are funds left over in the retainer, the client returns the balance. Conversely, if the client owes money beyond the original retainer, the client must settle up this balance.