If you’ve been injured in an accident and are considering filing a personal injury claim or have just started, the legal process can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms used throughout the process. To point you in the right direction, in this blog post, we’ll review the top 7 personal injury terms to know. The best way to ensure the claims process after an accident is a successful one is to find a skilled, experienced personal injury lawyer to pout your best interest first.
Top 7 Personal Injury Terms to Know
If someone else’s actions caused you physical harm, you might have a valid personal injury claim. Most personal injury claims aim to prove the other party’s negligence caused the losses incurred by the injured plaintiff. However, you need to show the other party was negligent before you can collect any compensation. Depending on the circumstances and type of accident, proving negligence may be complicated and require a highly skilled lawyer.
Economic damages are meant to be compensatory in nature. In other words, they are intended to compensate the injured party for tangible losses incurred as a result of their injuries. Economic damages often include compensation for your medical treatment, loss of income, loss of property and legal fees.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are for intangible losses that may not be physical or cannot be seen. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering as well as emotional anguish.
Statute of Limitations
Statute of limitations refers to the time limit for filing a claim after the injury occurred. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies by state. In New Jersey, injured victims have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, in New Jersey and many other states, if your case involves an injury on public property, there is a very short window to file a claim. It’s always in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the incident to review your options.
Maximum Medical Improvement
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is the point at which you have reached full recovery or, in the cases of serious injury, MMI may be the point at which continued medical treatment is unlikely to improve your condition. This is not to say that you may not need continued medical care to manage the limitations presented by your injury or additional services to have the best quality of life possible. Typically, the negotiation and demand for settlement awards does not start until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
A settlement release is a document that an insurance company will ask you to sign in return for accepting a settlement offer and receiving funds. Keep in mind, by signing the release, you are accepting the settlement and therefore releasing any other claims against the defendant and usually any other defendant related to the incident. In other words, once you settle you can never reopen the case or try to file a claim for additional compensation.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee arrangement. That is, you do not have to pay any legal fees unless your attorney recovers compensation on your behalf. Once a settlement or verdict is reached, your attorney’s fees will typically come out of that settlement as a certain percentage of the settlement.
With free consultations and no upfront fees, if you’ve been injured in an accident through someone else’s negligence or reckless conduct, you have little risk in contacting a personal injury lawyer for a case review.
Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Working with an experienced, skilled personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Why be left without enough compensation to cover your bills and other losses -- for an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness?
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience and a track record of success. Our firm works on contingency, which means that you don’t pay any legal fees unless you win your claim.
Many of our clients tell us they feel a sense of relief once they make that first phone call. Contact us today for a free consultation.