Key Terms To Know In A Personal Injury Case

If you can't see your target, you have to depend on luck to hit your target. If you do not understand how the law defines a personal injury case, you are metaphorically shooting at an unseen target. Thus, your first step when you consider filing a personal injury lawsuit is to understand how the law defines the situation that would allow you to file a suit.


Most personal injury cases hinge on the idea that someone failed to perform some act and that said failure led to the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. If you were injured, but the defendant took every reasonable precaution to avoid your injury, then you do not have a case. On the other hand, if the defendant failed to properly maintain a property, did not adequately explain risks to the plaintiff, or otherwise did not take reasonable steps to prevent injury, the defendant can be held liable. 


When you sue someone to receive compensation for injuries you have received, you have to make sure that person was actually responsible to perform a duty. For example, if you sue a semi-truck driver because his brakes failed, your suit should have been filed against the trucking company who oversees maintenance for their fleet of trucks. The duty to maintain the truck rest with the trucking company, so the suit should have been directed to them.


Some states require that a plaintiff not be at fault at all for an accident in order for the plaintiff to receive compensation. For example, if you step out on a rickety old deck and it collapses, the property owner should have maintained the deck properly, but you should also have taken stock of your surroundings. Some courts will assign comparative fault percentages. For example, the homeowner was 75% at fault but you were 25% at fault. If this is the case, you will only receive 75% of the money that the court awards you for winning your case. 

Assumption of Risk

When you willingly participate in a dangerous activity, you cannot sue those who talked you into the activity for being negligent. In that you knew the activity presented a risk of injury, and you participated anyway, you are responsible for your injuries. On the other hand, if you were given malfunctioning equipment, someone maliciously tic to hurt you, or those responsible for the activity did not take adequate safety precautions, you may still have the right to sue for damages.

When you prepare to make a case, you need to study up to make sure you know what you have to prove to win your case. If you doubt your ability to make a convincing case, hire a lawyer to help you. You can only benefit from their expertise. If you were injured due to someone else's negligent or malicious actions, understanding the terms that surround personal injury cases will help you to make a convincing case. Contact a law firm, such as Dunnigan & Messier P.C., for more information.