All posts by Law Office of William R. Noelker

Legally: Why Time Is Not On Your Side

You are scheduled for routine surgery on your left leg. The doctor tells you there’s nothing to be worried about and the risk of complications is very small. The nurse administers the anesthesia and you quickly fall asleep.

The next thing you know you’re awake in recovery. Curious you lift up the blanket to see how your left leg looks only to discover your right leg is missing below the knee. You demand to see the doctor who tells you he read the wrong chart but that he is sorry that you no longer have your right leg.

Dealing with the emotional pain of losing your right leg you concentrate on your physical recovery while learning to walk again on a prosthetic leg. A year and a half passes until you finally feel emotionally and physically well enough to seek the advice of an attorney regarding your case.

You schedule an appointment as soon as the attorney can see you. When you arrive and speak with him you are horrified to learn that the time has expired for filing a lawsuit against the doctor. The attorney tells you are simply too late.

While the above scenario is overly simplified it illustrates the importance of seeking legal advice as soon as you believe that you have been injured by someone else’s negligence. The time for filing a personal injury cases is very short, in some instances no longer than a year. While a year may seem like plenty of time, if you wait too long to file a personal injury lawsuit you may be forever barred from doing so. That means, as in the scenario above, you get to live with the results of someone else’s negligence while they enjoy life without any consequences for what they’ve done.

In our civil justice system the courts cannot replace your right leg. The courts can however relieve the financial burden associated with an injury caused by somebody else’s negligence. While the emotional burden of a physical injury can sometimes be overwhelming, don’t let that burden keep you from seeking legal advice before time has run out. Time is definitely not on your side when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit.