8 Terms Every Plaintiff in a Personal Injury Case Must Know About

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In the event that you are harmed because of another person’s carelessness, trying to understand the procedure for seeking compensation can appear overwhelming, because of the obscure language used.

It is very important for plaintiffs to know some of the legal terms well so as to enable them to make good choices while protecting their rights at the same time. Plaintiffs can learn about the important legal terms by speaking with a personal injury lawyer. They can also help plaintiffs through the claim process.

This article discusses the eight terms that every personal injury plaintiff should be aware of.

  1. Negligence

The keystone of a personal injury case is the negligence of an individual or entity. It means that a person or organization has not taken enough precautions and so caused another person injury. Proving that there was any liability requires finding out whether or not someone got hurt by another person’s fault for their carelessness or lack of attention, because this would be considered negligence under law. Proving negligence is important if one wants to be paid damages after suffering because of someone else’s mistake or failure, which was not intentional.

  1. Liability

Liability refers to the legal obligation of one person to another because of injuries or damage. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving the defendant’s liability through negligence or misconduct in a personal injury case. Proof of liability is significant in the process of obtaining damages for losses incurred.

  1. Damages

Compensation for damages means the money awarded to the plaintiff for suffering caused by the defendant. They can include economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

  1. Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is a legal principle that assigns fault to each party involved in an accident based on their level of responsibility. The plaintiff’s percentage is decreased by their percentage of fault. This system allows for a fair distribution of damages compared to contributory negligence.

  1. Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence arises when the plaintiff’s own negligence has been a cause of the incident or injury. Some states hold that plaintiffs cannot recover any damages if they are found to be contributory negligent; others use only comparative negligence.

  1. Statute of Limitations

Every state has a particular time period, called the statute of limitations, within which a lawsuit for personal injury must be filed. If you fail to do so, then you will be prevented from taking any legal action against another person or business entity. This is why seeking legal advice immediately after the accident occurs and talking to your lawyer about time limitations applicable in your area is very important.

  1. Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are a category of damages that will compensate the plaintiff for the physical and emotional distress of their injury. It may include such factors as physical pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

  1. Contingency Fees


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Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingent-fee basis, which basically means that they are paid only if they win the case. The fee is usually calculated as a percentage of the total amount that is received from the settlement or award. In this type of arrangement, clients do not have to pay the attorney’s fees at the outset but instead are paid from the judgment or settlement proceeds.


Making your way through a personal injury case can be a confusing experience, but knowledge of these basic terms can give you a much better understanding of what is happening in general and help you feel more in control as you work your way through the process. Keep in mind that an experienced attorney who practices personal injury law can explain the legal aspects, protect your rights, and secure compensation for your injuries and losses.