A Beginner’s Guide to Personal Injury

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One of the most common types of legal situations that people end up getting involved in is personal injury. Navigating the legal world can be tough for anyone, so if you aren’t sure what personal injury is or how it works, that’s just fine. If you’ve been in an accident, you’re probably wondering if you have a case and how the process works. Here’s a short guide to understanding it.

1. What is personal injury?
In it’s simplest definition, it is an area of law. When accidents happen because of someone’s negligence and another person suffers a bodily injury, the person who caused the accident is legally responsible. It’s important to emphasize that the person must have suffered a bodily injury. Property damage is much less complicated than these types of cases.

2. What happens in a case?
Generally, the injured person hires a personal injury lawyer and begins to negotiate with the liability insurer of the person who is responsible for the accident. The insurance company estimates monetary losses and pain and suffering that the injured party endured and offers a sum of money as compensation. This is what is referred to as a personal injury settlement. The injured party and his or her legal counsel then decide to accept or reject the settlement.

3. What if the parties involved can’t agree?
If the two parties cannot agree — for example if the injured person thinks the settlement offer is too low, this is when the case goes to court. There, a jury and a judge all examine the case and come to a judgement about what settlement amount is going to be fair. Most cases, however, never make it to court. In the ones that do, only half of plaintiffs (the injured parties) win.

Do you have any questions about personal injury cases or how they get resolved? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.
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