How long does a lawsuit take?
It depends, but almost all lawsuits take several months or years to resolve. While this timeline may seem excessively long, especially if your medical bills are piling up, the legal process is specifically designed to ensure that fair decisions are made, which takes time. The quickest way to conclude your case is through a settlement, where your attorney makes a demand on your behalf and negotiates a cash settlement. Because there is no jury or judge involved, the length of a settlement depends entirely on how much investigation and negotiation is required to settle. However, if you or the defendant choose to go to court, the timeline will expand to allow time for discovery and to schedule a trial with or without a jury. Finally, after a court ruling, if the defendant chooses to appeal the decision, the time before you receive payment may be extended. It is for this reason that the vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved through a settlement.
What should I expect when I meet with a lawyer?
When you first meet with a lawyer, the lawyer’s primary goal will be to get to know you, your case and your expectations. Most lawyers have areas of expertise and want to make sure that they can effectively handle your case. The lawyer will try to collect as much information as possible about your situation to determine if there is a case, so you should bring along any documentation you have from doctors or the other parties involved. You should also bring along any questions you have about the case or the legal process. If the lawyer is comfortable with your case, they will present you with a retainer agreement and explain the terms of the retainer. It is important to know that attending a consultation with a lawyer does not mean you are obligated to hire that lawyer and anything you share in the initial consultation is still covered by attorney-client privilege, even if you do not hire that attorney.
How much money will I get from a drug or device lawsuit?
In short, the amount of money you receive from a drug or device lawsuit is dependent on the damages that the defective drug or device caused, as well as the degree of negligence on the part of the manufacturer. If you experienced significant pain and suffering and extensive medical bills due to a defective drug or device, or if a family member died after using a drug or device, you can expect to recover more in damages than if you experienced a relatively mild adverse event. While your lawyer will be unable to give you an exact number at your initial consultation, you can work with your attorney to select a monetary demand that fits your specific situation and legal precedents.
Do I need a lawyer?
Technically, you don’t need a lawyer for a personal injury lawsuit, but it is in your best interest to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. While you could file all of the necessary paperwork for a personal injury claim, your chances of winning your case and getting the maximum settlement are low without the advice and support of a lawyer. A lawyer brings a level of expertise and time to manage your case that is simply impossible for you to provide yourself. Remember that whoever you are filing a claim against, whether it is a person or organization, is likely to have their own lawyer and you stand the best chance of winning your case if you also have a lawyer in your corner.
When is it too late to sue?
Most states require you to file a personal injury claim within a certain amount of time, called a statute of limitations, a deadline which varies from state to state. For personal injury, this is often two years, though you may have more time if the injury is not discovered for a number of years. For example, if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, this is likely because of exposure to asbestos several decades ago. In that case, the statute of limitations applies to the date of diagnosis rather than the date of exposure. To ensure you do not miss the deadline to file a personal injury claim, contact your lawyer as soon as possible after you receive the necessary medical attention.
Can I file a lawsuit over a drug’s side effects?
You can file a lawsuit for a drug or device that was defective, or you can sue a manufacturer or physician for failing to properly warn you about the severity of side effects. However, you likely cannot file a lawsuit for a side effect that you were properly warned about, either on the drug or device packaging or through your physician. All injury lawsuits require that you prove that you were injured, that the drug or device was defective or inadequately labeled, and that there is a clear correlation between the defective drug or device and your injury.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers are typically hired with contingent fees, which means that their fee is dependent on whether or not you win your case. With a contingent fee, if you lose your case, your attorney will not collect any payment. If you do win the case, your lawyer’s fees will be subtracted from the settlement as a percentage of the total amount. You will also be responsible for any expenses incurred in litigating your claim. You will probably still walk away with the lion’s share of the settlement, and likely far more than if you had chosen to pursue a case without hiring an attorney. If you are the victim of negligence or recklessness, you have nothing to lose from talking to an attorney and pursuing a personal injury case. Contact James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. for a free consultation on your case today.