Aug 02

The Three Year Limitation of Claim

Beaman, Richard (2010-10-14)

Life is full of uncertainties; there are things that happen that we can never predict may happen but they happened after all. That is why it is necessary we protect ourselves at all times, after all, it is a “dog eat dog” world out there.

Personal injuries can happen for a number of reasons. In some cases, this injury is as a result of the recklessness of another party, in such scenario, what happens then? It is important that the victim of the accident does not suffer any loss whether financially, physically, mentally or otherwise as a result of their injuries. These losses can arise as a direct result of medical expenses for treatment of the injuries sustained by the individual.

No one knows that something bad may happen to us because we make a mistake or due to an accident. This mistake or accident usually causes personal injury and also can cause defects in ourselves. For example, a road accident that may make you get injuries. Sometimes, it is not entirely our fault. Perhaps, we get an injury caused by the mistakes of others. Someone makes a mistake and we get the bad impact. So, what can we do when we or our relatives become victims because of the mistakes of the other people? Automatically, we will try to prosecute the offender or the mistake maker or have a personal injury settlement that he should be responsible for his actions. Filing a lawsuit might be committed, but what if the offender also gets an injury or even if the offender dies due to the accident? Therefore, you may need a personal injury insurance so that you can get your personal injury claim to the insurer.

What is Personal Injury Anyway?

According to the law, personal injury occurs when an individual’s body or mind have been injured. Mostly, the cause of the injury is usually as another person’s behavior (negligent or intentional). In recent times, car accidents and other types of car collisions make up the bulk of the personal injury cases. However, the personal injury law applies to any situation in which a person suffers harm due to the negligence of another person or entity. Again, personal injury lawsuits are also applicable in a situation where a company sold defective consumer product to a costumer, and also in cases of dog bites.

There are 2 major types of personal injuries. A personal injury can be a physical injury, disease, illness, or a psychological illness. It can also be as a result of a traffic accident, injury caused by using faulty products or services, injury at work, or an injury caused by tripping and falling.

Most personal injury occurs as a result of traffic accidents. In the United States, a claim for compensation in case of personal injury applies for 3 years after sustaining the injury. If an 18-year old sustains a personal injury, he/she must file a claim before turning 21.Police record all cases of personal injury as a result of a traffic accident. The personal injury that occurs at a workplace must be recorded by the employer. You are required to inform both your insurance company and your doctor about any personal injury you sustained. A personal injury that is not resolved accordingly can lead to further complications later on.

Before we discuss a personal injury law, personal injury claim, personal injury insurance or anything which are related to personal injury, you have to understand some types of personal injury which may happen.

Types of Accidents

There are different types of personal injury you can file. These claims will not only cover your medical expenses but also will help you to get the financial compensation you deserved.

  1. Road Traffic Accidents

Nobody wants to get an injury while they are driving their cars on the road. However, a car crash may happen accidentally due to the negligence of a driver. There are so many personal injury cases due to the road traffic accidents and cause casualties. When a road traffic accident happens, one or two persons usually die at the location while some of the others survive. Sometimes, it is not your mistake, your may be just a victim who gets the impact of the negligence of the others.

Car accidents or collision is the most common type of personal injury. In fact, more than 70% of all personal injury cases involved vehicle accident. You can file for personal injury claim when another party injures you physically or emotionally as a result of reckless driving.

  1. Accidents at Work

In addition to the road, personal injury case could also occur when a person is working at an office. Therefore, when you work in a company while your position has a great risk, then you should register yourself with a personal injury insurance service. Usually, a big company where you work at, they provide insurance to their workers. For instance, you may slip on your office stairs while you are walking and it causes injury to your head. When this happens, then the insurance company will bear the cost of your medication until you recover.

A personal injury sustained at workplace can be categorized as a construction site, machine injuries and few other types. You can file for personal injury claim against your employer. Note; some employers may require you sign personal injury waiver form before they employ you; you are not entitled to sue the employer if you’ve already signed the waiver form.

  1. Tripping Accidents

Tripping accident is a minor accident that causes you to get slipped or tripped until you fall. This accident usually happens when you’re working in the office or maybe you are just a visitor who visits a company and you get tripped accidentally when walking in the room. If you get a little tripping accident, you may just be embarrassed. However, what if the tripping accident makes you injured? You may file a lawsuit against them and ask for their accountability. Still, all has to go through the correct personal injury law so that you cannot only blame them. Here, the insurance company will take over the case.

You can sue for personal injury settlement if you sustain injury as a result of fall on icy sideway or unaligned staircase. Note that this depends on the local laws whether the owner liability laws permits you to make this kind of legal claim.

  1. Product Defect Accidents (product liability)

Most of the companies in the world are registered with some liability insurance services. Why product liability insurance is so important? This is so important because we never know that our products on sale in the public may harm the consumers. For instance, your customers may get sick after consuming your product, so they may file a lawsuit. Since you have registered your company with a product liability insurance, so the lawsuit will be covered by the insurance. You do not need to worry to pay the compensation because the insurer will do it.

You can file this type of claim when many people bought a certain product but get injured or some kind of damage from using the product. In this situation, you can file a case against the manufacturer of the product. The manufacturer can compensate you with a better product or give you cash compensation.

  1. Assault Claims

When you got bitten by a dog or other domestic animals, you can sue the owner under personal injury law. However before suing, note that the law in regards to animals varies from state to state, so we recommend that you contact your personal injury lawyer to you guide you in making your claim.

Damages of Personal Injury

There are various types of damages common in personal injury cases. Most personal injury cases are categorized as “compensatory” which implies that they are intended to compensate the person who filed the claim for what was lost due to the accident or injury. The compensation is awarded so as to make the injured plaintiff “whole” again from a monetary perspective. What this means is that the law is trying to put a dollar figure on all the consequences of accidents and their effects.

Some common types of damages of personal injury include:

Measurable Costs

  1. Medical expenses

When you get Injured after you get an accident, you have to spend your money to pay the medical treatment. If you have registered with a personal injury liability insurance service, then you do not have to worry when you have an accident because the insurance company will cover all your medical expenses. If you have a company and registered with an insurance service and if someone gets injured due to your company’s fault, the insurer will bear the cost of the victim’s medical treatment.

Almost all the personal injury damages awarded includes the cost of medical treatment for the injured party or reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses the plaintiff used in seeking medical treatment.

  1. Lost Earnings

Another possibility when you have an accident is that you will lose a chance to earn money because your time has been spent to solve your injury issue. However, it may not be your fault so you can sue the offender. In some cases, you can also claim your insurer to ask for personal injury liability insurance, except you have an agreement or you signed a waiver of responsibility for injury for certain injury excluded.

If the injury has an impact on your salary or wages both now and in the future, you may be entitled to compensation for the lost earnings. A damage given based on future income is classified as compensation for an accident victim’s “loss of earning capacity”.  Note that you cannot claim for loss of earnings for the first seven days after the accident. You are entitled to receive only eighty percent of the net loss of income minus any accident benefits received. You can only receive 100% of your gross loss of income after the trial.

  1. Property damages

The last possibility when you get an accident is that you will get your property damaged or make other party’s property damaged. If you are a company and registered with product liability insurance, then the insurer will replace all of the damages that occur on both sides. It may also work on personal injury liability insurance where you can also claim it to your insurer for replacement.

If your car, clothing or other properties were damaged as a result of the accident, you are entitled to receive reimbursement to repair those properties. The compensation is usually a fair market value of the property that was damaged.

There are other types of damages which are not measurable. However, you are entitled to file a claim for such damages under the personal injury law. Such types of damages include;

Not Measurable Costs

  1. Pain and Suffering

When a person gets in an accident, then it would be could feel the pain and suffering. It belongs to non-measurable cost. There is a possibility that when you get an accident, the insurer does not refer to this benchmark to bear the cost of your medical treatment.

You can file a claim and receive compensation for the pain and suffering you endured as a result of the accident. This type of damages is called non-pecuniary general damages.

However, you need to meet certain threshold before you can be entitled to receive such compensation, the injuries sustained in the car accidents must have resulted in:

  • Death
  • Permanent body disfigurement such as scars or loss of a limb
  • Permanent impairment of vital physical, mental, or psychological function.

You must meet these thresholds before you can file a claim.

  1. Loss of Consortium

When you work together with other companies to develop a project and then an accident happens and causes damage to some property, so this will be categorized as non-measurable costs. It means that the loss cannot be measured financially.

  1. The Effects of Defamation

When you feel a loss for defamation, then you probably cannot ask for monetary compensation to someone who has disfigured your name. Since this also belongs to non-measurable cost.

  1. Emotional Distress

When you have an accident and get emotional distress, then you can not ask for monetary compensation for the pressure that happens to you. 

Time limitation – 3 Year Limitation of Claim

When you get an accident while working, then you will get 3 years limitation of claims. It will start from the first time you get an accident and you have a chance to claim up to three years ahead. After three years, your claim may not be valid anymore. Therefore, it is really important to discuss with solicitor concerning to the time of the claim limitation.

You may have seen TV or internet advertisement asking you “If you have had an accident in the last 3 years?

This is because, under the Personal Injury Law, you have a 3-years time limit to start a court case for the injuries you sustained as a result of the accident. This means that after 3 years starting from the date the accident occurred, you can no longer sue the other party whose negligence or recklessness caused the accident.

However, there are few exceptions to this rule:

  1. Your 3 years time limit will not start if you are under 18 when you sustained the injury. This means that you can have 10 to 15 years to start a court case for an accident involving minors.
  2. If there is an injury such as industrial deafness as a result of the accident, your 3 year period will only start from the time you knew or suppose to have known that you had a claim.

Personal Injury Insurance

A car accident can cause damage more than your ordinary insurance can pay for. When you add up the medical bills, lost earning damages and other expenses it add up and can do a lot of damages to your bank account. The best way to protect yourself is by getting Personal Injury Protection Insurance otherwise known as PIP insurance. This type of insurance can help you pay the cost associated with personal injury claim and even help protect your family and friends after a covered accident.

How It Works

One insurance which can guarantee the safety of your life when you get in an accident is a life insurance company. When you register yourself with a personal injury insurance, then you get the right to claim so that the insurer will cover all the costs of medical treatment until you recover.

With just your standard auto liability insurance, your insurance company can only pay for the costs resulting from a covered accident up to the policy’s limits. In some state, the Personal Injury Protection is required. This type of insurance also known as “No-fault” coverage means that the damage to the car and some of the medical expenses for the policyholder and others in the policyholder’s car may be covered by insurance irrespective of which driver was at fault.

Depending on your policy limit, the PIP insurance may pay up to 80% of medical and other expenses that result from a covered accident. Your PIP insurance may cover

  • Your medical treatment
  • Medical treatment of passengers
  • Medical treatment of those you injured in the insurance
  • Service replacement of person injured in a covered car accident
  • Rehabilitation cost
  • Funeral cost

 

With this type of insurance, you protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances and events that my wiped out your bank account. When a personal injury lawsuit is made, you can deal directly with your insurance company.

Taxation of personal injury settlements

Most personal injury cases are settled before or during the trial. The case is settled once you accept the defense attorney’s settlement offer. As a general rule, the settlement you received from most personal injury lawsuits is not taxable under either state or federal law.

Neither your state or the federal government can tax you on the settlement or verdict proceeds in most personal injury cases whether you  went to trial and won a verdict or not. The IRS tax law excludes losses received as a result of personal physical injuries or physical sickness from a taxpayer’s gross income.

Personal injury settlement may require a tax, non-tax, or a half of tax which depends on the type of the case and the type of compensation for the injury. The taxation status is commonly depending on the existence of the “physical injury or non-physical injury”. The guidance actually has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service but some of the people still have some dispute in the settlements.

Conclusion

When you are involved in an accident and sustain injuries as a result of another person’s recklessness or negligence, it is very important that you know what your options are. Your attorney can help you figure out how to make legal claims. On the other hand, you need to protect yourself against this type of lawsuit in case you are the one that caused the accident. Personal injury law is very complex; you will surely need the help of a legal expert at some point to figure out what you need to do to be protected.

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