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Core pillar of injury laws and common questions answered
Overview: What is personal injury?
"Personal injury" is a type of tort lawsuit in which the person suing (the "plaintiff") has suffered physical, emotional or financial harm due to the actions of the person being sued (the "defendant").
Negligence is the most common cause of personal injury. Types of personal injury negligence include gross negligence, reckless conduct, intentional misconduct and, in rare cases, strict liability.
Every personal injury claim has two basic issues: liability and financial compensation. The financial costs a plaintiff can recover are known as "damages," which typically include the injured person's medical bills, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life.
Visit our Accidents page for more information on the most common types of personal injury claims, including car accidents, work accidents, slip and fall, medical malpractice, wrongful death and more.
Personal injury guides
Are you or a loved one still reeling after an accident? You need real answers to help you deal with real life challenges facing your recovery. Get started here to learn about the core pillars of personal injury law and the common questions surrounding them.
I've been hurt. Now what?
- Medication journal – keeping track of symptoms and side effects
- Post-accident pain journal – documenting details after your accident
- Post-incident report – documenting details after an accident
- What documents do I need in a personal injury claim?
- Life after your accident
- How to find a doctor after an accident
- Gravely or critically injured—Do you know the difference?
Do I have a claim?
- How to decide if you need a lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit
- State Sovereign Immunity and personal injury lawsuits
- Civil vs. criminal law: Is it negligent or is it criminal?
- When it gets personal: Libel, slander, and defamation
- Save time and money in small claims court
- Loss of consortium: Affection, companionship, and love
- What is personal injury law?
- Personal injury myths - what you need to know
- Do I have a legal case?
- What if I witnessed a traumatizing event?
- Negligence and how it is determined
- Causation and negligence cases
- Comparative negligence, contributory negligence and determining fault
- What is liability?
- Determining causation in a personal injury case
- The "reasonable person" standard
- Fault vs. no fault in a personal injury case
- What is a Qui Tam lawsuit?
- What’s the Meaning of Res Ipsa Loquitur?
- What is gross negligence?
- Subrogation: What it is and how it might impact your personal injury claim
- What is Qualified Immunity?
- Vicarious liability in personal injury cases
- Assumption of risk can prevent a plaintiff from receiving damages
How do I find a lawyer?
- Initial consultations with personal injury lawyers
- State & local Bar association directory
- An expert witness can be the key to your personal injury case
- What does a personal injury lawyer do?
- Tips on finding a qualified personal injury attorney - where to look
- Choosing a personal injury attorney – interview questions
- How to talk to a lawyer
- Preparing to meet with a personal injury attorney
- When do you need a lawyer?
- When do you NOT need an attorney after an accident?
- Why might a personal injury lawyer decline my case?
- Pro bono legal services – does your case qualify?
- Find a lawyer in your state
- How to fire your attorney & protect your legal rights
- “Ambulance chasing” is illegal in 21 states. Is yours included?
- Lawyer advertising rules and regulations
How does a civil lawsuit work?
- What is discovery & how does it impact your personal injury case?
- Understanding attorney-client privilege and confidentiality
- Personal injury lawsuits: Glossary of basic legal terms
- The 8 basic steps to every personal injury lawsuit
- What is a summary judgment?
- Strict liability and how it impacts your personal injury claim
- Plaintiff vs. defendant — Learn the difference
- Common law vs. civil law: how laws are made in the courts
- What are punitive damages?
- Types of personal injury compensation
- The claims process and how long a personal injury lawsuit takes
- Is there a time limit for personal injury compensation claims? (statute of limitations)
- Class action lawsuits
- Class actions, mass torts, MDLs: what's the difference?
- Understanding your rights following an intentional tort
- Switching attorneys in the middle of a case
- Jurisdiction: Accidents that involve multiple states
- Multidistrict litigation (MDLs)
- Difference between injury settlement and an injury judgment
- Mediation, arbitration, going to court - what's best?
- Out of court settlement agreements for personal injury cases
- Settle out of court with a payment demand letter
- All about mediation
- Calculating loss of wages
- How damages are calculated
- How is pain and suffering calculated
- Limits/caps on damages and what this could mean for your personal injury case
- 6 steps to writing an effective payment demand letter
- Before you sign a confidentiality clause - what you need to know
- What to do if a personal injury lawsuit is filed against you
- What does Esquire mean as a title?
- What is the Burden of Proof in a personal injury case?
- Statutes of repose Vs. Statutes of limitation
How do I handle insurance?
- Can a demand payment letter keep your dispute out of court?
- Dealing with insurance claims adjusters
- Tactics insurance adjusters may use
- Steps to an insurance claim settlement
- Personal property damage in an auto accident
- Maximum medical improvement and your claim
- All about Independent Medical Exams (IMEs)
- Filing a bad faith lawsuit