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How long does a lawsuit for an injured child take in New York?

How long does a lawsuit for an injured child take in New York?

A child is hurt, whether by a faulty product, animal attack, car accident or otherwise.  You, as the parent or guardian, have the obligation to protect that child.

This, of course, means ensuring that the child receives adequate care for her injuries – that is always step number 1.

But what happens when you consider legal action? If the child was hurt because of a poorly designed kitchen device, you think, would a legal action by you potentially prevent it from happening to someone else?

One of the primary concerns by parents and guardians is the length of time that it takes to pursue a lawsuit or legal action on behalf of an injured child in New York.

The good news is twofold – sometimes the case does not take as long as you might expect; and your day to day involvement as the parent/guardian is generally limited.

The lawsuit for an injured child – an overview.

Let's start with a caveat – not every case where a child gets hurt results in a lawsuit.  When you come to see us, we will evaluate your situation, and make an assessment as to whether there appears to be legal liability.  Once this has been established, we will discuss the best approach.  This may be sending a letter to the wrongdoer (the company who manufactured the product that caused the injury, for example) demanding that they pay for what they have done.  It may also mean moving right into a lawsuit.  No situation is the same, and the decision ultimately rests upon several factors including the child's condition and your willingness to pursue a claim on her behalf.

If, however, you decide to pursue a lawsuit to help obtain a recovery for the injured child, there is a usual pattern to that proceeding that, if you are inexperienced, may seem unusual.

The first thing to keep in mind if you bring a lawsuit for a child in New York is that there is no restriction on resolving cases after a suit has been filed.  In other words, at any point along the way you and the wrongdoer can settle the case and end the lawsuit.  For this reason, sometimes, lawsuits do not last long because the wrongdoer decides that it makes more sense to pay money to settle the claim for the child.

The second thing to keep in mind is that it is our job, as the attorneys for the child, to handle the case and move it through the process.  We may seek input from you from time to time, and we need information periodically, but you hired us to do a job – obtain the best recovery possible for the child – and that is what we do.  Much of what we do day to day happens behind the scenes, but it does happen, and it moves the case along.

Our ultimate goal for the child is to get the case to trial as quickly as possible within reason.  We do not want to rush the case along and miss something, but we also do not, generally, want to delay the case unnecessarily.  The reason for this is that the best way to obtain a good recovery for the child is to have the case ready for trial.  This does not mean that the case will go all the way through a trial, but it means that we have prepared it for that, which lets the other side know that we (and, by extension, you) take the case seriously. This can be helpful in obtaining a resolution for the child.

In the end, the average life of a case involving an injured child in New York is 9-18 months – sometimes more, sometimes less. In Saratoga or Albany, courts tend to give the parties leeway in self-governing the case, which can in some situations help move it along.

Do not be intimidated by this – time tends to go by quickly, and the reality is that bringing these claims is, we believe, the most effective way to ensure that bad products are made better, dangerous animals are kept away from children, and society becomes a safer place.  That's our goal in helping you, and if you have questions contact us today.

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