Terms to Know for Personal Injury Claims


When filing a personal injury claim, knowing the vocabulary associated with these often complicated legal proceedings is essential. While numerous legal terms could come up in any lawsuit, we will cover the words you will see most often in almost all personal injury claims.

Defining a Personal Injury Claim

First, we’ll tackle the term “personal injury claim” itself. A “personal injury claim” covers injuries to a party’s physical and emotional health caused by another party. An example of an accident that could justify a personal injury claim could be a person who suffers debilitating back and hip injuries after being struck by a reckless driver who ran a stop sign.

Defining Negligence

One term you’ll often hear in personal injury cases is “negligence.” In most personal injury claims, the accident victim must prove that their injury resulted from negligence. But what does negligence mean, and what classifies as negligence in a personal injury claim?

According to most U.S. states, negligence is “the failure to use ordinary care.” Synonyms that help with defining negligence from a legal perspective include “carelessness,” “irresponsibility,” and “inattention.”  Ordinary care means that degree of care that would be used by a prudent person under the same or similar circumstances. An example of negligence would be a driver running a red light, which then causes a car accident resulting in someone else’s injuries. The driver who ran the red light would be the negligent party in this scenario due to their carelessness, resulting in another person’s injury.

Defining Liability and Damages

Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “What are ‘damages’?” “Liability” is another term heavily used in personal injury lawsuits – one party is responsible for another party’s damages.

From a legal perspective, “damages” refer to the amount of money awarded to an injured plaintiff. It should cover the full extent of damages that a plaintiff suffered and help them return to their life before the accident. An example of liability in a personal injury claim would be if a person were driving while intoxicated and hit a cyclist. The cyclist’s injuries serve as a liability to the driver. An example of damages in this scenario would be the costs of the medical bills and lost wages that the cyclist suffered because of the collision.

Get in Touch with a Knowledgeable Attorney to Learn More

As mentioned earlier, injury law uses a massive amount of legal vernacular. Still, with these few terms, you will better understand the basics of personal injury claims.

Contact us today if you have questions about any of the legal vocabulary discussed above or if you would like to speak with an experienced lawyer about filing an injury claim.