Groups » All You Need To Know About Personal Injury Law


Mishaps are fairly commonplace; but the pain and confusion caused by an accident is something that no one deserves, especially when it is caused by someone else’s wrongful conduct. Personal injury law is to protect your legal rights should you happen to have suffered due to such an accident or injury. Unlike criminal law, personal injury law cases do not involve prosecuting the wrongdoer by the government. They rather involve a private plaintiff to seek compensation, usually in form of money for the damages caused to the victim.

Personal injury cases are mostly based on the doctrine of negligence and the plaintiff needs to establish liability by showing that the defendant could have acted differently to avoid the accident or injury under the same circumstances. These cases are usually formalized via civil court proceedings though many disputes are resolved through informal settlement even before filing any lawsuit.

Formal Lawsuit: A personal injury case begins with the plaintiff filing a civil complaint against the defendant (which could be another person, government agency, business, or corporation) alleging that the careless or irresponsible act of the defendant caused the accident or injury.

Informal Settlement: As mentioned, most personal injury disputes are resolved through informal settlement between the plaintiff and the defendant in presence of their attorneys and their insurers. Both the parties reach to a negotiation and a written agreement is signed that forgo any further action. The matter is resolved by paying an agreeable amount of money.

Why Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When negotiating for a personal injury case, remember that the damaged caused is often more than physical. While you are entitled to be paid for the medical bills incurred due to the injury and damage done to your vehicle, you also have the right to claim money for your affected wages. There are a lot of legal and insurance hassles you need to deal with.

Negotiating with the guilty party and/or insurance companies requires some special skills and knowledge as there are several complex legal rules related to insurance claims. Moreover, there are various types of personal injury cases, ranging from car accidents to medical negligence. There are special laws related to each of these cases, which again vary from state to state. For example, if your injury was due to a car accident that happened in Illinois, a personal injury attorney Chicago will help you proceed with the negotiation process/trial according to the state’s vehicle insurance law so that you can obtain a complete recovery claim.

Lawyers can also help you understand if you have been the victim of someone else’s wrongful conduct and will guide you through the different stages of a personal injury case, which also involves fact-finding and discovery. You should never take this process lightly and opposing counsel will leave no stone unturned to challenge and discredit your story.

Depending on the severity of your injuries, an experienced personal injury lawyer can also help you obtain compensation that greatly varies from the norm. Besides, insurance companies often refuse to settle a matter in good faith and even if they do, they try to negotiate the amount payable. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer by you side in such a situation therefore is worth the money.

Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingent-fee basis. This means, you pay them only after they can successfully recover the monetary damages from the guilty-party and/or the insurance company.

When Do You Need Legal Help

The following are some of the examples of personal injuries and accidents that call for a lawyer's help.

Severe Injuries: As mentioned, the severity of your injuries determines the amount of your accident compensation. This is measured by various factors such as the type of injuries incurred, your medical bills, the time it will take for your complete recovery, and so on. A skilled and experienced lawyer can help you get compensation claim at the highest end of its range.

Permanent or Long-Term Disabling Injuries: While accidents are often unavoidable, some leave a permanent mark. They significantly affect your appearance or physical capabilities either permanently or for a long time. It is the responsibility of your lawyer to determine the monetary value of such a serious injury and help you get the most out of your insurance claim.

Medical Malpractice: You have been subjected to medical malpractice if your injury or illness is due to unprofessional, careless, or incompetent treatment by a doctor, healthcare professionals, hospital, laboratory, clinic, or any other medical provider. However, such cases involve complex legal rules and medical questions and require highly skilled personal injury lawyers to represent your side of the story.

Toxic Exposure: Sometimes illness or injuries are caused by being exposed to contaminants in our immediate environment, including the food we eat. If you have suffered due to such toxic exposure you can seek legal help to obtain compensation claims. However, such claims are difficult to prove and usually require complex scientific data. The required evidences too are hard to come by. It is therefore recommended to get expert help to deal with such cases.

Statute of Limitations – How can it Effect Your Case

There is a time-limitation associated with personal injury claims called a “statute of limitations”. Plaintiffs need to file a lawsuit within this time frame and it begins soon after the plaintiff is injured/ discovers the injury. He/she cannot file a lawsuit once the statute of limitations has expired.

This limitation of time usually varies by type of injury and is decided by state law. For example, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and personal injuries in Illinois is 2 years. You should therefore file the lawsuit within the established time-period in order to obtain your compensation claim.


Personal injury law, unlike criminal cases, does not have their rules in statutes. The development has mostly taken place through court decisions as well as in treatises. While many states have summarized this development in written statutes, court decisions remain the primary source of the law when it comes to cases associated with accidents or injuries. Such cases therefore require a detailed understanding of the legal processes and facts related to the incident. Since a personal injury case can adversely affect your life as well the life of other people depending on you, it is recommended to consult with an experienced lawyer before pursuing a lawsuit.

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