Personal injury is not just harm inflicted on you physically, but also harm inflicted on your emotions and mental health as a result of an accident. If you are not aware of what such legal cases comprises of, don’t worry as we will be sharing more about it and the important personal injury terms you will need to know.

These lawsuits comprise of various accidents. Traffic accidents that have caused injuries, medical malpractice, injuries as a result of bad work conditions and even negligence at eldercare homes are all covered. The victim can hire a personal injury attorney to support them in getting compensation. Every case is unique, but there are some common terms that you will hear regardless of the nature of your case. As such, it is important that you familiarize yourself with these personal injury terms.


This refers to the party or group of parties filing the lawsuit. For instance, if you have suffered a bad fall at work due to unsafe conditions and become injured as a result, you become the plaintiff in the lawsuit should you file one. Essentially, the plaintiff is the person who initiates the suit and has legal claim against someone else, another organization, company, government or country.


This refers to the party or group of parties the lawsuit is filed against. They are the party who have caused you harm either physically or emotionally. They can be an individual, a business or government entity that is alleged to be responsible for the injuries caused to the plaintiff. In the example mentioned above, the company you work for would be the defendant in the lawsuit.


A lawsuit is initiated when the plaintiff files a complaint with the court. It is a document containing the details and reasons behind the initiation of this process. It is a formal expression of the grievances you hold against the defendant.

Statute of Limitations

This is a time period set by the law on the time available to you to file your personal injury lawsuit and claim damages. This duration differs according to state and case. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it can range from one year to ten years. Negligence claims usually have statute of limitations of two to three years. If you are planning to file a suit, be sure to check your local state laws on the time available to you.

Intentional Torts

Torts are wrongful acts that are not crimes. Almost every cause of action in such suits are considered suits, including wrongful death, battery and libel and slander. For personal injury cases, there are two main torts-intentional and negligence. Intentional torts refer to wrongful acts that are committed deliberately. Many times, intentional torts are also crimes.


These are wrongful acts as a result of carelessness and failure to act with care, resulting in injury to another party. The defendant should have some form of obligation to the victim but has violated that. Should the breach in duty cause damages to the plaintiff be it property, physical or emotional damage, a personal injury case can be established. Referring back to the earlier example, your company had the responsibility of keeping the floors free of hazards. However, due to their negligence, you fell as the floor was slippery.

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