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How Do You Decide Whether You Can Make A Personal Injury Case?

If you think you might have a personal injury claim, it can be tough to decide whether and how to proceed with it. A personal injury attorney will tell you to consider the following XX issues before you move ahead.

Fast Decisions Are Rarely Necessary

The majority of cases fall within a statute of limitations that ranges between two and three years depending on the state where the incident happened. In most cases, the clock for the statutory limit starts ticking from the time of the incident.

You may encounter two possible exceptions. First, there are scenarios involving government entities where the statute of limitations might be as short as 6 months to file. Second, some state laws carve out exceptions for things like toxic exposure incidents, repetitive stress injuries, and sexual abuse.

Don't assume your case does or doesn't fall into one of these categories. Contact a personal injury attorney who is licensed to practice law in the appropriate state. They can tell you how long you will have to file.

Naming a Defendant

Every case has to include an identifiable defendant. Generally, this will be whoever you believe was at fault for the incident. For example, you'd probably pursue a claim against a homeowner for a slip-and-fall accident that occurred on their property.

A few scenarios involve what's called vicarious liability. This happens when someone is liable for another party's action under some legally accepted extension of their authority. The most likely version of this for the average case would involve the employee of a business. Companies are typically liable for actions their employees take while at work or doing work-related activities, such as running errands. In those scenarios, the employer would probably be the named defendant in an injury case.


For a case to go far, there must be substantial damages. If a person got a minor bruise from a fall, for example, that likely wouldn't be substantial enough to support an injury claim. Conversely, if that person sustained a broken wrist and required emergency care, there's a good chance they have a case.

Bear in mind that a personal injury claim doesn't have to be massive to be viable. A $50,000 claim has just as much right to move forward as a $1 billion lawsuit. As long as you can attest to an identifiable defendant and meaningful damages, the claimant has every right to pursue the case.