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Procedural Issues That Could Hurt Your Personal Injury Case

Procedural Issues That Could Hurt Your Personal Injury Case

Injury victims typically have recourse to important forms of compensation when they are harmed by others. However, compensation is never automatic, even when liability is clear. Instead, injury victims must follow various procedures when pursuing compensation. Failure to abide by the regulations can and often does result in issues with collecting compensation.

If you or someone you love has been injured by someone else, pay close attention to the information that follows. It could help you avoid some of the procedural issues that end up hurting injury victims’ claims for compensation.

The Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a time limit that dictates how much time a person has to take legal action in a case.

In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years for standard cases and two years and six months for medical malpractice cases. If an injury victim fails to take legal action within this period of time, they typically lose the ability to pursue damages.

To prevent statute of limitations issues from causing problems with their claim, injury victims should act swiftly in their pursuit of compensation by immediately reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer for help.

Suing the Wrong Party

Suing the wrong party will set your compensation claim back quite a bit. In order to bring a successful injury claim against a party, said party must bear some responsibility for the incident. However, some claimants add parties to their suits who should bear no legal responsibility for their losses.

This error happens often when injury victims add multiple defendants to their lawsuits, often in an attempt to tap into “big pockets.”

For example, a negligent truck driver’s employer would most assuredly have more resources than their driver employee. So an injury victim might add the employer to the lawsuit under a theory of vicarious liability. However, this would be an error when the truck driver is only an independent contractor and not an employee.

The same error sometimes happens in the medical profession. Many medical malpractice victims sue the hospital along with the professionals who harmed them. However, since many medical professionals are independent contractors, the hospitals they serve are not on the hook vicariously.

Lack of Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction refers to the power of a court to hear a legal issue. When a court does not have jurisdiction over a matter, it may not hear or rule in said matter. For example, if a person suffers a personal injury in Pennsylvania from a Pennsylvania-licensed physician, New York courts would not have jurisdiction to hear the case.

Although jurisdiction seems straightforward in many cases, it is often a tricky issue, especially when parties from multiple states are involved.

Inadmissible Evidence

As you well know, evidence is crucial in court cases. However, there are numerous rules and laws that govern the admissibility of evidence in New York. Failure to follow these precepts can lead to evidence being deemed inadmissible.

For example, expert witnesses present powerful evidence in personal injury cases. However, without properly establishing the qualifications of the expert, their evidence may be ruled inadmissible.

Improper Complaint

There are strict requirements when it comes to filing complaints in New York and around the country. Formatting and procedural requirements govern how complaints are to be submitted and what information they are to contain. Running afoul of these requirements can result in a dismissed claim.

One of the most important aspects of filing a proper complaint is to actually state a valid claim. For example, if you are suing someone for a slip and fall accident, you must structure your statements in a way that details the precise nature of the claim and other important requirements, such as damages. Without these elements, the judge will likely dismiss the claim.

Refusal to Comply With Discovery

Discovery is the process whereby parties to a lawsuit demand evidence of one another to build their cases. In some cases, claimants refuse to comply with the other party’s discovery requests, which opens them up to sanctions and other penalties.

Regardless of your circumstances, you can avoid procedural problems with your personal injury case by seeking legal counsel as soon as possible after your injury.

Trust the Personal Injury Lawyers at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos

The personal injury attorneys at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos have protected the right to compensation of thousands of clients and can do the same for you. Please give our office a call to learn what you are entitled to and how our personal injury lawyers can help. Contact us for a free consultation today.