Can I still file a personal injury lawsuit a month after my injury?

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Can I still file a personal injury lawsuit a month after my injury?

I fell on a escalator at a tourist attraction. At the time I had to leave right away because I had to attend my son’s wedding. I didn’t think the injury was that bad until the next couple of days my entire lower back was black and blue. I went to my doctor a couple of times then he sent me to a specialist and he wants to do all these test. My husband says I should go back and fill out some kind of report. Should I do this or just get a personal lawyer to do it for me?I don’t know how many tests this doctor is going to have me take or how expensive. I’m in Niagara County, NY.

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The problem here is that since you didn't file any accident report with the tourist attraction when the accident occurred, it will be difficult to prove that your injury occurred when you fell on the escalator there and not somewhere else.  Were there any witnesses?

The tourist attraction's insurance carrier might deny liability since no accident/injury report was filed when you fell if you can't prove the accident occurred at the tourist attraction.

You want to verify that the tourist attraction's insurance carrier will accept liability before incurring huge medical bills.  If the tourist attraction's insurance carrier accepts liability, then when you finish your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the insurance carrier for the tourist attraction will consist of the medical bills, medical reports and wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the tourist attraction.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  Your question asked about filing a lawsuit immediately.  It would be premature to file a lawsuit until you complete your medical treatment because you would not know the total amount of your medical bills, the total amount of your wage loss and without your final medical reports would not know how much compensation to seek for pain and suffering.

If the insurance carrier for the tourist attraction denies liability and you are unable to prove the accident occurred at the tourist attraction, you might want to consider using your own health insurance to pay for your medical treatment.

It would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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