Personal injury attorneys dedicate their careers to fighting for those who have been physically injured or otherwise harmed by the negligent acts of others. Personal injury attorneys also fight for justice for the families of those who have died as a result of someone’s negligence. In these cases, the victim’s family and the attorney serve as the deceased’s voice with the goals of justice and compensation for the wrong that was done to the victim always at the forefront of the fight.
Delaware Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
One very important aspect of personal injury law is the statute of limitations. It’s imperative that you take legal action against the negligent party before the statute expires. Think of statutes of limitations as the amount of time allowed to file suit against the individuals or business that harmed you.
While no amount of money will ever bring the deceased back or even ease of the pain of grieving loved ones, being awarded compensation shows the defendant that his negligence will not be ignored, and when punitive damages are awarded to the plaintiff, there’s a lesson learned–actions do have consequences, and bad acts (even when unintentional) will be punished in a legal and just manner. Monetary compensation helps families pay for medical expenses, lifestyle changes and lost income due to the injury suffered by the victim. When a life is lost due to negligence, compensation can be used to reimburse many of the expenses associated with a funeral and burial of the deceased as well as the loss of income and companionship.
In Delaware, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years; that same two-year period applies to medical malpractice and product liability cases. For written contracts, the statute of limitations is three years, and breach of a verbal contract also has a three-year statute of limitations in Delaware.
Due to the fact that it is not always clear as to when the injury occurred, Delaware and many other states have what is called a “discovery rule” in place to protect victims who may not show signs of injury or illness for months or even years after the negligent act. The discovery rule is used primarily in medical malpractice cases in which a surgery or some other procedure was performed in a seemingly successful manner, but as time goes by, problems develop, patients become ill, health problems arise, and quality of life declines due to an error at the time of the procedure. The discovery rule suspends the statute of limitations until the time the injury is or should have been discovered rather than the time the procedure was performed.
Because of the complicated legal language involved in these statutes, it’s crucial to hire an experienced Delaware personal injury lawyer to advise you on whether and when you can proceed with legal action against someone or some company that harmed you or a loved one either physically, psychologically, emotionally or financially.
Delaware also has statutes of limitations for criminal cases. If the statute of limitations has expired for the crimes which you are alleged to have committed, you may be able to avoid being prosecuted.
Because statutes of limitations are vital to any legal case, it’s important to seek out an experienced attorney or law firm as soon as possible to get your questions answered and to get guidance on how to proceed if that is a viable option.