What Types of Problems can Delay a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Posted by on Mar 21, 2015 in Injury Laws | 0 comments

If you think that there is anything simple about a personal injury lawsuit, you have another thing coming. Even when a case seems straightforward enough, many problems that may arise can delay or even derail a personal injury lawsuit.

There are many types of personal injury lawsuits. For a comprehensive list of the different types and a brief explanation of each, click here. However, all personal injury lawsuits have two things in common: serious injury and liability.

It is not always easy to determine how serious an injury is. If the plaintiff becomes disabled or requires several surgeries, then it is obviously a serious injury. However, questions may arise when there are no obvious signs of injury, such as in whiplash injuries traumatic brain injury. It can be even more difficult to prove when the injury is emotional or psychological. When the level of injury is in question, the lawyers will have to produce a preponderance of evidence to demonstrate the extent of the injury.

The same applies for proving liability. Liability assigns fault to a defendant for being the proximate (direct) cause of injury to the plaintiff. In cases where the victim was injured in a car accident because the driver was drunk, there is usually enough evidence to assign fault. However, this is not always the case. Some injuries take time to manifest, such as mesothelioma (asbestos exposure) or uterine cancer (power morcellators), so the lawyer has to show evidence that points directly to the defendant as the proximate cause of the injury.

In many cases, the evidence comes from the attending physician and other medical experts. If they can state clearly that the injury was caused by a certain act or failure to act of the defendant, then the job of the lawyer becomes easier. However, if there is some doubt about causation, then the plaintiff’s lawyer has to find a way to convince a jury (or the insurance company if it is for a settlement) that there is a high likelihood that the defendant is liable.

These types of problems are common in personal injury lawsuits, because the plaintiff has the burden of proof. The defendant only has to introduce reasonable doubt. To have a good chance of winning your case, you need an experienced lawyer that handles this type of cases.

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