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Injured And Need To Sue For Damages? Know These Terms

Were you injured by another person and need to sue for damages? If so, you'll want to meet with a personal injury lawyer for a consultation. However, it is best to become familiar with a few common terms associated with personal injury cases so that you can be well prepared. 


A tort is when you file a civil lawsuit against somebody, but it is for an act that is not considered an actual crime. Some common examples of torts include slander, libel, trespassing, and negligence. Your personal injury case will mainly be dealing with negligence if the injury was not caused intentionally. There are also intentional torts, which is when the injury that was caused was intentional

Burden of Proof

Be aware that the burden of proof is always going to be on the plaintiff to prove that the defendant was responsible for causing their injury. When you meet with a lawyer for a consultation, they are going to be looking for the evidence that you have that can show the defendant is guilty of the act you are accusing them of. In most situations, it can be challenging to prove that the defendant was negligent in their actions. 


Negligence is defined as an act of carelessness that results in some sort of damage. In your personal injury case, someone's act of carelessness would have resulted in your injury. It could be something as simple as driving through a red light and hitting your vehicle, which would be easy to prove. Gross negligence is used to describe an action where the person was reckless and disregarded the safety of others, such as drunk driving.

Comparative negligence is when the plaintiff holds some amount of responsibility in the accident. This is typically defined as a percentage of fault, and it can reduce your compensation by a certain percentage if you are awarded compensation in the end.

Contingency Fee

Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. They will take on your injury case with the understanding that you will only have to pay them their contingency fee if they help you win your case. If you do not win, then you would not owe them the contingency fee. That said, your case may not be completely free for you, since you would still have to pay for court fees and other costs associated with the lawsuit. 

Be sure to ask the personal injury attorney during a consultation if you do not understand the words that are being used.