If you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the damages you have experienced. Navigating the legal process can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the terminology.
An experienced attorney at The Barnes Firm can help explain the legal terminology and walk you through every step of your claim to help you understand the legal process.
If you or a loved one were wrongfully injured and wish to file a personal injury claim, call The Barnes Firm. Our trusted team of experienced personal injury attorneys are available 24/7 and can help answer your questions. Call The Barnes Firm today at (800) 800-0000 for a FREE case evaluation.
Important Terms to Understand When Filing a Personal Injury Claim
When it comes to filing a personal injury claim, there are some terms you should familiarize yourself with to improve your understanding of both the claim and legal process.
Commonly used terms in personal injury claims include:
Plaintiff: This is the term used to describe the person who initiates a personal injury lawsuit. They are the injured party seeking compensation for their damages.
Defendant: refers to the person or entity who is being sued in a personal injury lawsuit. They are the alleged party responsible for causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
Negligence: it describes the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to another person. In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence directly caused your injuries.
Liability: Liability is a party’s legal responsibility. As a plaintiff in a personal injury claim, you must establish that the defendant is legally responsible for your injuries due to their negligent actions or failure to act.
Damages: refers to the losses you’ve suffered because of the accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. It’s important to accurately calculate and document these damages to seek appropriate compensation.
Statute of Limitations: this is the timeframe within which you must file a personal injury claim.
Each state has its own statute of limitations, so it’s crucial to be aware of the deadline to avoid losing your right to seek compensation. In California, the statute of limitations on a personal injury claim is two years. In New York, you have three years from the date of accident or injury discovery to file a claim.
Preponderance of Evidence: means that you must show that the evidence you present is more likely to be true than not true.
Settlements: the settlements are agreements reached between the parties involved in a personal injury claim, usually outside of court. It typically involves the injured party receiving a certain amount of compensation in exchange for dropping the lawsuit.
Contingency Fees: these are paid to personal injury lawyers if they successfully recover compensation for you. If they win your case, they will take a percentage of the settlement or court award as their contingency fee. If they don’t win your case, you do not have to pay any contingency fees.
Mediation: resolves an alternative dispute where a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps the parties in a personal injury claim negotiate a settlement outside of court.
Litigation: refers to the process of taking a personal injury claim to court. It involves filing a lawsuit, gathering evidence, presenting arguments, and ultimately having a judge or jury decide the outcome of the case.
Comparative Negligence: assigns fault and damages based on the degree of each party’s negligence. If you are found to be partially at fault for your injuries, your compensation may be reduced accordingly.
Fault State: is a term used in personal injury law to describe a state where the party at fault for an accident is responsible for compensating the injured party. In fault states, the injured party can file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company to seek compensation for their damages.
No-Fault State: describes a state where drivers involved in accidents are typically required to seek compensation for their injuries and damages from their own insurance companies, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
In no-fault states, individuals are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which covers their own medical expenses and lost wages in the event of an accident.
Understanding these terms will be helpful to you when navigating the personal injury claim process.
By familiarizing yourself with these legal terms, you can make informed decisions and effectively communicate with a personal injury lawyer at The Barnes Firm.
Steps to Take Following an Accident that Resulted in Personal Injury
After an accident, victims can be left feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what to do next. If you’ve been injured in an accident, The Barnes Firm recommends that you:
Get to safety and call 911. Safety should be the number one priority after any type of accident. Call 911 to report the accident and request medical attention.
Collect evidence at the accident scene. Documenting the accident scene is extremely important after any accident. You will want to collect information from all parties involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses. It is also important to take pictures and videos of property damage and your injuries. Before leaving the scene, also request a copy of the police report.
Visit a medical professional. Even if you don’t think you are injured, it is wise to seek medical attention after an accident. Symptoms may not be immediately apparent and can present themselves days or weeks after the accident. A medical professional can help identify your injuries even if you are not immediately showing symptoms. Remember to save any medical notes or bills you receive. These are extremely important for compensatory and evidential purposes in personal injury claims.
If you’ve been wrongfully injured, call a trusted personal injury attorney at The Barnes Firm. From the first phone conversation, through to the final settlement, our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys will fight for you every step of the way. Call (800) 800-0000 today and find out what your case is really worth.
The Barnes Firm is Here to Help
Navigating legal terms and processes associated with filing an injury lawsuit can be overwhelming. While you focus on your recovery, our trusted team of our trusted personal injury attorneys at The Barnes Firm will handle your legal matters.
If you or someone you know was injured and has questions about filing a personal injury claim after an accident, contact The Barnes Firm. Our experienced team of attorneys is committed to helping you achieve the best result possible. Call The Barnes Firm today at (800) 800-0000 for a FREE case evaluation and find out what your case is worth.
Richard Barnes – President of The Barnes Firm
“As President of The Barnes Firm, I have dedicated my career to achieving justice in hundreds of cases for the victims of injuries caused through the fault of others. Additionally, I have been honored to have been elected Best Lawyer and a Super Lawyer”