Personal Injury Law: The Basics


Personal injury—what a vague term when it’s taken out of context. When we’re talking about the legal field, though, the term loses all of its vagueness and takes on a very specific meaning. This meaning can and will direct the path of your law case, from how your personal injury lawyer goes about collecting information to what kinds of financial reimbursement you may be entitled to.

Though law is a notoriously difficult subject, JD Haas is here to help you understand it so that you can walk into your first consultation with us well-informed. Below we dive into the basics of personal injury cases, from what might qualify as one to a few common types and beyond.

Personal Injury Law: Basic Categories

The term “personal injury” in law is a very broad umbrella phrase that encompasses many subgenres, if you will, of legal practice. In essence, it describes law that deals with an individual’s being hurt (hence the “injured”) by another entity’s negligent or reckless behavior. An injury lawyer can help you do anything from figuring out liability to settling with any applicable insurance companies.

Common personal injury case types include:

Wrongful Death

Yes, if a person passed due to another party not taking the proper care, that person’s loved ones might be able to take legal action and recover money with the help of an injury attorney. If we’re being nitpicky, though, “wrongful death” can be seen as its own area of law. We cover that area in more detail in our injury lawyer blog.

Car Crashes

Getting injured in an auto accident as a result of another driver’s negligence or recklessness is a common type of personal injury case we see at JD Haas. State-specific definitions of recklessness in this context do determine the outcome of the case.

Animal Attacks

If you or a loved one was injured by someone else’s animal, you might be able to file a personal injury case. Aggressive dogs aren’t the only pets that are at the center of these types of cases; injuries sustained from horses, cattle, and other livestock can also warrant legal action.

What Happens in a Personal Injury Case?

That, of course, depends on the specifics and what personal injury lawyer you work with. That being said, generally speaking, there is a pre-established fashion that personal injury cases progress, which we discuss in detail on our injury attorney blog. It involves an in-depth interview to gather evidence, which lets us establish liability and understand your case on a deeper level. Then, we’ll help you choose further legal action, whether it’s going to court or working with insurance companies to establish a settlement. We pride ourselves on being your advocate every step of the way.

Is Going to Court Always Better?

Not at all! And settling with insurance isn’t always the worse, or less “noble,” option. Every case is an individual, and while it’s common to think that personal injury lawyers only are of use in court cases, the skilled ones are more than willing to help settle with insurance companies if that’s a route that you choose to take. Arbitration, which we covered in our injury attorney blog, can also be a quicker option for those who require a faster settlement.

What Kinds of Settlements Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help me Get?

Again, this depends on your individual case and how you or your loved one were injured. According to Nolo, damages can come from medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more. Your injury lawyer will be able to tell you specifics, as well as if your state allows for a given type of damage recovery.

An additional category, punitive damages, may also apply to certain cases. As their name suggests, these damages aren’t to compensate for your suffering, but to serve to curb the opposing entity’s similar behavior in the future. Such damages are reserved only for cases in which the conduct was particularly nasty or negligent, as determined by the situation and by precedent. We detail this topic in our wrongful death lawyer blog—”wrongful death” referring to another type of lawyer that frequently deals with the same concept.

Contact JD Haas For Understanding Legal Assistance

We’re a five-star Minneapolis team of injury attorneys, and we’re ready and willing to hear about your case. Give us a call now at (952) 234-2925. We also serve Rochester, Saint Paul, and Bloomington.

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