What Are the Legal Terms of a Personal Injury Claim?
Motorcycles are inherently risky; let's be honest, that's part of the reason we love them, right? And, if you're a regular rider, you know that a good portion of the risk comes from other drivers who don't know how to share the road with bikes. Personal injury law protects your rights and your finances in the event you're injured, or your bike is damaged in an accident. Here are some terms you need to know:
- Personal Injury: Personal injury is a legal term for injuries
to body, mind, and emotions rather than to property. Personal injury suits
and claims are filed against parties that cause harm through negligence,
recklessness, or intentional misconduct.
- Negligence: Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable
care. As all drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care when on the
road, if that duty is breached, personal injury law provides a way for you
to recoup your losses.
- Strict liability: Strict liability holds designers and
manufacturers liable for injuries that are the result of defective
- Intentional wrongs: If someone hits you intentionally, you
may be able to win a personal injury suit separate from any criminal
- Plaintiff: This term refers to the injured party.
- Defendant: This term refers to the party accused of causing
- Discovery: The discovery process is when lawyers for both
sides and for the insurers gather facts by exchanging documents, written
questions, and depositions.
- Interrogatories: These are written questions submitted for
- Depositions: Questions asked and answered in person under
oath during the discovery process.
- Statute of Limitations: Time limits, called statutes of
limitations, govern when can file a personal injury lawsuit. It's critical
that you contact a personal injury lawyer in your state as soon as your
injury occurs to make certain you understand what time limits exist in
- Damages: If you win, you're awarded money for your injuries,
known as damages. Damages can include compensation for medical bills, lost
wages, future wage losses, and physical pain and suffering.
- Settling: When you settle a case, you agree to accept a set
amount of money in return for dropping your legal action and signing a
release absolving the defendant from any further liability. Your personal
injury lawyer will provide an assessment of whether your lawsuit has any
chance of success, but ultimately, the decision whether or not to accept a
settlement offer is yours.
- Complaint: If you choose to proceed to court, your lawsuit
begins when you or your lawyer file a legal document known as a complaint.
The complaint contains basic facts about you and your case and provides a
legal basis for why you believe the defendant should compensate you for