Litigation 101:  The Basics and Terminology

What constitutes a personal injury case? What does that phrase mean?

“Personal injury” is a phrase that describes the kinds of cases that deal with physical injury to the body. Some examples would include car accidents, defective products (known as “products liability”), heavy truck or 18 wheeler collisions, premises liability (injuries while visiting a business) and medical malpractice.

What do you mean by “damages” in a personal injury case?

The word “damages” refers to a monetary figure assigned to compensate a plaintiff in a personal injury case for his or her losses and injuries.  Damages include property damage, lost wages or loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering – which can be significant, medical expenses (both past and future), and mental or emotional anguish.

I’ve been told that I “assumed the risk” in my accident. What does that mean? Can I still bring a case?

The assumption of the risk is a legal concept that sometimes works to limit or preclude recovery in a personal injury case. If a plaintiff is aware that what he’s doing is an activity that carries inherent risks, and chooses to engage in that activity anyway, despite knowing the risks, in some jurisdictions that plaintiff is deemed to have “assumed the risk” of his activity, and thus may not recover as much in damages. However, in Arkansas, the concept of “comparative fault” is used to allow for the fact finder to allocate the degree of fault, instead of precluding recovery for an injury from “assumption of the risk”.

I’ve been diagnosed with a herniated disc after my accident. What does this mean?

A herniated disc is an injury to the vertebrae of the spine in which the material inside the disk is pushed out through a weakened area of the disk, due to trauma, injury, or congenital issues. Here’s an excellent resource on herniated disks from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

I suffered personal injuries in a truck accident. Can you represent me?

Yes, our firm has handled several litigation cases that resulted from accidents involving trucks. The trucking industry is subject to a number of additional laws on the federal level, which can complicate an otherwise straightforward set of facts. If your injuries are due to an accident in which a truck was involved, make sure you choose an attorney with specific experience litigating in this context.

I was injured as a result of a doctor’s negligence. Do you handle these kinds of cases?

When a person is injured as a result of the negligence of a doctor or other medical care provider, this is known as medical malpractice. We do handle medical malpractice and offer a free consultation and case assessment. To get started, call us.

Posted in Personal Injury

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