Personal Injury Lawsuit Defenses – Technicalities
The idea of a legal technicality is something that a lot of people have heard about, but also one that is often hard to nail down. Basically, technicalities have to do with the requirements of filing a lawsuit, or the rules or laws that surround the lawsuit process that does not necessarily have to do with the facts that gave rise to the case. Just like with any other type of lawsuit, there are some technicalities that can serve as effective legal defenses in a personal injury case. Nevertheless, a ‘technicality’ can derail, or even terminate, your personal injury lawsuit, so let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used.
Statute of Limitations
One of the most common technicalities that people often run into in a personal injury law situation is the statute of limitations. A statute is a law passed by a legislature and, as its name implies, a statute of limitations is a law that imposes limits on certain types of lawsuits. The kind of limits we are talking about involves the timing of when you file your claim.
Basically, a statute of limitations is a law that requires people to file their lawsuits within a specific amount of time. Should you fail to file your lawsuit in time, you will not be able to recover your injuries even if you could prove you did nothing wrong and that the defendant was at fault. In other words, if you don’t file in time, the statute of limitations prevents you from recovering any money for your injuries. More here
Further, even though every state has a statute of limitations, the amount of time you have to file, in any case, differs significantly based not only on the area in which you live but also on the kind of case you want to file.
Regardless of the kind of lawsuit you file, every state has a host of rules that require you to take specific actions. If you fail to take those actions, a defendant can ask a court to throw your lawsuit out by filing a motion for summary judgment. In a summary judgment motion, the court is often asked to rule on a technicality that doesn’t exactly have to do with the evidence or the facts around the case, but rather on an issue involving one of the procedural requirements you have to meet.
For example, states have adopted laws that require plaintiffs to go through a number of steps before they file a lawsuit against the state, a city, or a public employer. Even though you can still file a lawsuit, you have to be sure to take the necessary steps before doing so.
So, for example, if you want to sue a city because of the actions of a city employee, you might have to first send a notice to the appropriate governing body, and then wait a certain amount of time before filing your lawsuit with a court. Should you fail to either send the notice or fail to wait the prescribed amount of time, the city employee might file a motion for summary judgment and have your case thrown out before a court ever hears the facts.
Preparing Defenses and Protecting Yourself
Regardless of whether you want to file a lawsuit, are defending yourself against a personal injury claim, or have been injured and want to know what your options are, it’s absolutely essential that you talk to a lawyer anytime you have a question about legal defenses. The vast majority of people simply do not have the knowledge and expertise necessary to determine what they can do, and no way of ensuring that all of their rights are protected. Any time you have suffered a personal injury, speak with an attorney in your area as soon as possible.