What Is a Personal Injury?

Wooden justice gavel and block with brass

Legal definitions can be tricky to understand for the layperson. There’s a reason why we refer to law jargon as if it’s a language of its own with the term legalese. Words that mean one thing in plain English might mean another in legal terminology. One example where this applies is with the term “personal injury”.

What does the term personal injury mean in a legal sense? When are you eligible to file a personal injury claim with an attorney? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Personal Injury, Legally?

First things first, let’s define the term personal injury in a legal sense. In US law, there are three main types of harm that one can file suit for. Damage to property, damage to the reputation, and personal injury. As you might guess, personal injury refers to damage done to the self, whether physical or emotional.

What Are the Types of Personal Injury?

There are three major types of personal injury that can occur. These types of injury include:

  • Pain and suffering, or someone’s long-lasting injuries and repercussions after the initial incident
  • Emotional distress, or the psychological harm caused by the incident
  • Bodily harm, which refers to any actual physical injuries to the person

Each of these types of personal injury could merit a lawsuit under the right circumstances. Speaking of…

When and Why Should You Contact Personal Injury Lawyers?

You might wonder when it’s time to get in touch with a personal injury attorney. Many personal injuries have a very strict statute of limitations, so your window to seek compensation from the injuring party can be a bit limited. Different states will have different statutes, so make sure that you act fast if you think your injury requires financial compensation.

Some common reasons that people file suit with a personal injury law firm’s help include, but are not limited to:

  • Getting injured in a business, like a grocery store slip and fall
  • Injuries sustained during a car accident that insurance didn’t help to pay for
  • Issues with medical malpractice

Each of these cases may have different time limits, so research your state’s laws before you contact a personal injury attorney.

How Do Personal Injury Suits Get Handled?

Many lawsuits relating to personal injury get settled informally, without the need for attorney interference. Even once lawyers get involved, the parties involved usually opt for a financial settlement as opposed to seeing the case tried in court. However, if neither side can reach a satisfactory agreement, there may be no choice but to go to court.

Let’s Review the Basics of Personal Injury

Personal injury is the section of the law that handles injuries done to one’s person, whether they are physical or emotional. Whether you’re hurt by someone’s negligence or their malice, you may be eligible for financial compensation if you act fast enough. 

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