In the midst of a personal injury claiming or case, you’re probably in too much pain, shock or confusion to have a solid grasp on what’s actually going on.
You’re not the only one. Traditionally speaking, the victim of a personal injury is the plaintiff in this type of case, and they have suffered (now and potentially in the future) pain, or injury due to the negligence of another person or entity. The whole target of a personal injury case is getting your rightful compensation.
Yet, if you don’t even know the difference between a plaintiff and a tort, no worries. You’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading for our full breakdown of the nuances of personal injury cases, the key terminologies you’ll want to understand, and why you’ll want to have an attorney on your side.
Personal Injury Claiming 101: The Key Terms
Let’s make sure that you have a thorough understanding of the basics before we explore the different types of personal injury cases.
In the simplest of terms, the plaintiff is the entity, the party, company, or organization that’s pursuing the civil lawsuit.
This is probably you, the victim who’s filing the personal injury claim so that you get your rightful compensation.
On the other end of the equation, we have the defendant.
This is the party or individual who’s being sued. This is the party that’s legally responsible for the act of negligence mentioned in the case. This act has resulted in the wrongful death or the pain and suffering of the plaintiff.
Moreover, in a personal injury case, you might have more than one defendant. After all, it will all depend on the cause of the accident.
Torts and Intentional Torts
You’ll find that the terms “torts” and “intentional torts” are used quite a lot when you’re involved in a civil lawsuit.
Basically, in the court of law, torts are what refer to the wrongful actions of the defendants. These wrongful actions aren’t considered a violation of a contract or a crime. They are wrongful actions due to their impact on the victim, which resulted in injury.
On the other hand, we have “intentional” torts, which can lead to the defendant facing a civil and criminal charge. Those are the cases where the defendant’s negligence can be considered criminal in nature.
This term refers to the compensation that the plaintiff is actively seeking in their claim.
Usually, those are measured in monetary terms that are meant to pay for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other financial costs that might burden the plaintiff as a result of their injury.
The Statute of Limitations
When you’re filing any personal injury claim, you have to know exactly what statute of limitations your case falls under.
This is the range of time that you have to file your lawsuit. If this window passes you by, you won’t be able to file a claim in the first place.
Traditionally, you’ll find that this time can range between two and four years, depending on the nature of your case and your state of residence.
The Types of Personal Injury Cases
Now that you have a solid foundation of the legal terms that you’re going to face, it’s time to delve into the different kinds of personal injury cases and what makes each one tick.
- Auto Accidents: This is the most common type of personal injury case by far. It includes any type of vehicle, like motorcycles, planes, buses, cars, anything that’s considered a vehicle. Admittedly, it’s more likely than not that personal injury claims will involve cars, as it’s one of the most commonly used forms of transportation in the nation.
- Slip and Fall: This is the type of personal injury case where unsafe (or actively dangerous) conditions on a premise have led to someone falling or getting injured due to the absence of any warning labels or preventative actions.
- Medical Malpractice: Those are claims that are brought against medical professionals that have failed to meet the accepted standard of practice, which directly caused injury or death.
- Wrongful Death: Unlike the high degree of specificity in the previous categories of personal injury cases, this one is more of a broad classification that describes the result of an injury, instead of the case details. It’s a civil lawsuit that’s brought on behalf of a deceased person who’s lost their lives due to the carelessness or negligence of the defendant.
- Products Liability: Those are specialized cases that are brought against manufacturers of medical devices, cars, drugs, or even toys. These products have caused injury or death.
There are other forms of personal injury claims than the ones we’ve just covered. Yet, those are considered the most common ones that you might see.
Why Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Simply put, not every case is identical to another. For instance, you might be dealing with pre-existing conditions, which can completely change your compensation terms. You’ll need to file specialized personal injury claims with pre existing conditions with the help of an experienced attorney.
After all, you’re already dealing with the injury or the loss of a loved one. This territory comes with many doctor’s visits, therapy treatments, and even funeral arrangements.
You’ll want to have a professional who specializes in the legal processes on your side to handle all of the time-consuming processes of getting your compensation.
Furthermore, the insurance process is infamous for its complexity. Hiring a personal injury lawyer will ensure that your insurance claim process is going smoothly and you’re actually getting the money you’re owed, instead of getting brow-beaten by insurance companies to settle a claim for much less than your case is worth.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim: Unburdened
We know how overwhelming it can be to navigate the treacherous waters of personal injury claiming and getting all your affairs in order.
Hopefully, our full guide on the process, its main factors, and terms have shed some light on the whole ordeal and reminded you that you don’t have to go through the process alone.
If you’ve liked our breakdown on personal injury claims, you’ll definitely enjoy our other advice and strategies in our legal blog section.