Saturday, September 5, 2009

Should I file a Lawsuit? Should I Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Deciding whether to file a lawsuit is a decision that must be based upon each person's individual facts and circumstances.  Making an informed decision, however, is difficult without understanding what is involved in the legal process.  In this post, I have tried to outline some of the factors to be considered in deciding whether to pursue a lawsuit.  

If you are considering filing a lawsuit, and are looking for a personal injury lawyer, particularly a construction accident lawyer, please feel free to contact me.   I personally handle matters throughout lower New York State, especially on Long Island (both Nassau and Suffolk County) and in New York City, and can also help you find a quality lawyer in other regions.  



The main motivation for filing a civil suit is to receive financial compensation.  Even though money cannot replace what you've lost, it can make your life more comfortable.  Money received from a lawsuit can pay for education, medical expenses and devices, food, shelter, and transportation. It cannot make everything better, but it can alleviate financial problems that may make things worse.  It is a not a lottery, or a get-rich quick scheme.  When someone receives money in a lawsuit, it is because they are entitled by law to receive compensation for an injury they suffered that was someone else's fault.  Usually, the compensation is provided by an insurance company, which is in the business of issuing policies to compensate injury victims and makes a profit doing so.

A lawsuit gives you an opportunity to tell your story.  For some people, their case may become precedent, and can become an important part of a little niche of history.  My grandfather, for example, died of asbestos poisoning. Kreppein v. Celotex later became a leading case in products liability litigation, and there is a sense of pride in seeing my family name in case law.

Lawsuits can also promote positive change.  The threat of litigation is a substantial motivating factor in many institutional safety practices.  Contractors, property owners, manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies, among others, are kept from cutting corners due partly to the threat of liability.


A lawsuit is not a substitute for, or a means towards, closure.  The legal process will not make you feel better.  It is not a vindication of your struggles, there will be no clapping or cheering, it will not put things right in the world, and it will not make people care.

In fact, going through a lawsuit will likely involve an invasion of your privacy.  It will make you re-hash painful memories in a way that will not be comforting.  And, for years, it will keep you from closing a painful chapter in your life.

In the end, you will not say "it was all worth it." The legal process may have been worth the struggle, but whatever amount of money you receive will not make up for the injuries you suffer.  By it's nature, it can't. If you don't really have a serious injury, you can't fake it. And if you wake up in pain, you are missing a limb, or someone you love is dead, your bank account balance will not make up for it.


In the end, no-one but you can decide whether you should pursue a lawsuit.  It is rarely a situation where you contact a lawyer and then, without much further involvement, collect payment for your injuries.  It is also rare, however, that -- when everything is over -- someone with a legitimate claim regrets having filed a suit.  If you are searching for a construction accident attorney or a general personal injury attorney, please feel free to contact me to discuss your claim using either by e-mail or the form below.  I would be happy to provide you with an objective, individualized evaluation.  

1 comment:

  1. If you are well enough to take pictures/call someone/collect evidence, you don't have a case!