Personal Injury Legal Terms
Experiencing a personal injury is challenging enough, and understanding the process you are looking at if you decide to seek compensation is an important step in making sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Having over 15 years of experience working with clients who have been injured in car and trucking accidents, our team at the Law Office of Josh B. Maness is here to go over some of the most important terms to understand if you have experienced a personal injury and are considering taking legal action.
Understanding Personal Injury Terms
Here are some of the most common personal injury terms that are likely to come up in nearly any case.
Establishing ultimate responsibility for a personal injury is crucial in determining the appropriate compensation, if any. Liability pertains to the extent to which the actions of each involved party contributed to their level of fault. The key factor in identifying entitlement to compensation is determining whether an individual or multiple parties are liable for the personal injury and specifying the percentage of the total compensation they are entitled to receive.
Personal injuries can include any physical, mental, emotional, or serious property damage that results from another party's error. Personal injury cases typically result in some type of compensation for the individual or individuals that are injured.
Preponderance of Evidence
Determining who or what is truly at fault for a personal injury can be difficult -
there must be a reasonable amount of proof that an individual's actions (or inactions) caused someone else to be injured before they will be responsible for any damages. The preponderance of evidence involves being reasonably sure that an individual is at least 50 percent likely to be the cause of a personal injury before seeking damages from them or their insurance company.
Statute of Limitations
Individuals who experience a personal injury usually need to start the process of seeking compensation within a specified amount of time, and waiting too long may mean that they are no longer eligible for compensation that they might have been able to obtain earlier. A statute of limitations is the specific amount of time an individual has to begin the legal process following a personal injury. In Texas, the statute of limitations for most types of personal injuries is two years.
Tort refers to the specific actions taken (or not taken) by an individual that cause another person to experience a personal injury. This may describe anything from knowingly selling faulty products or deliberately creating an unsafe situation to failing to follow traffic laws or provide adequate warning labels.
Assumption of Risk
In some situations, individuals have a reasonable level of understanding that their actions may cause them to be injured, which means that they do not have the legal grounds to sue if their actions show that they agree to the risk they are choosing to take. For example, signing a waiver before participating in certain high-risk activities or ignoring clearly posted warning signs will mean that these individuals usually cannot obtain compensation if they are injured as a result of their own actions because the other party fulfilled their responsibilities to make this assumption of risk clear.
Breach of Duty
Breach of Duty is a type of negligence that refers to an individual's lack of adhering to their responsibilities to create a reasonably safe environment. Individuals who cause a personal injury because they were speeding, texting while driving, or otherwise not following safety rules, may be liable in this area.
Compensation (or Compensatory Damages)
Many personal injuries entitle defendants to some type of justice or compensatory damages. Compensation is typically financial and may include reimbursement for medical bills, missed work, property repairs or replacement, and other expenses. Financial compensation that goes above and beyond what you may need to spend may also be included in the case of many serious personal injuries.
Injured? Know Your Rights: Trust the Expertise of Josh B. Maness
Navigating any personal injury can be challenging, but finding the right attorney is an important step in understanding the process and obtaining the best possible compensation. Contact Josh B. Maness today for more information about how we can help you handle nearly any type of personal injury case in the East Texas area or to schedule an appointment.
Image Credit: New Africa / Shutterstock