If you have been injured in a court case, it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit on your own behalf. Doing so means that you represent yourself in court and negotiate for any settlement.
However, there are drawbacks to filing a personal injury lawsuit yourself. Here are the biggest hurdles you might face.
Filing a lawsuit of any type is a complex and time-consuming procedure. There are different courts for different types of offences (civil and criminal), multiple jurisdictions, and multiple requirements about what needs to be filed to begin, continue, and negotiate a lawsuit.
There are statutes of limitations, after which a suit cannot be filed. For personal injury cases in New York State, the statute of limitations is three years. You need to have a knowledge of the court system, the law, and its requirements to successfully file a personal injury claim.
If you are filing a personal injury claim, you are accusing another entity of behavior making them liable for your injuries and often asking them to compensate you for damages. If the negligent behavior is clear and you have proof of it, and the damages reasonable, it may not be tremendously difficult to obtain justice.
But it may not be easy, either. The law requires that, for an entity to be liable for the injuries of another, they need to have been responsible for a condition, known that a condition was unsafe, and had time to make it safe. A landlord who knows his parking lot was icy, for example, is responsible for making it safe to walk on, should have known the conditions were icy, and should have de-iced it so it was safe to walk on.
But what if the landlord argues that the parking lot had become icy and dangerous just 15 minutes before you slipped and broke your leg? He could argue that he was in the process of sending crews to salt the area. A jury might interpret that as a reasonable defense. The responsible party had not had reasonable time to fix the situation. The defendant may be ruled not guilty.
The defendant may also argue that the damages you’re asking for are unreasonable. Suppose you broke your leg and are asking for damages to pay for medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An opposing party could argue that you could have worked with a broken leg and did not experience pain and suffering.
Another hurdle can be knowing what damages to claim. Some are equivalent to your costs, such as medical bills. Others, such as pain and suffering and even lost wages, can be much more complicated. It may be possible to ask for punitive damages if the injury was caused by egregious circumstances.
The good news is that prudent and experienced counsel from Aronova & Associates are ready and available to represent you on a contingency basis — that means you owe us nothing unless we win your case. Why not leverage our decades of knowledge and skill in your favor?
Aronova & Associates offer legal representation to New York State residents who have been personally injured by the actions of another person or organization. We fight to see that justice is done.
Call us today for a complimentary consultation about your personal injury.
Aronova & Associates is a firm for all New Yorkers. Our services are available in multiple languages and tailored to the needs of every client. The first step in providing you with the help you need is a free consultation to discuss your case. When you’re ready to talk, we’re ready to get to work for you.
Disclaimer: The submission of our contact form does not form an attorney-client relationship. You may not rely upon this information as legal advice.