Each and every personal injury case is different, however, there are terms that are common to almost every case. This article will discuss some common and basic terms and their meanings used when filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Basic Terms: Case Nature and Validity
Below are some basic terms on the nature and validity of a personal injury case, to be looked out for:
- Comparative fault/ contributory negligence – these two theories can reduce or eliminate damages. However, this depends on the law of the state where the incident occurred. The state of Florida uses comparative fault. This rule reduces the amount of compensation based on the percentage of fault the plaintiff may bear. For example, during a car accident it may be found that the defendant ran a red light. In addition, it may be determined that the plaintiff was traveling a few miles above the speed limit. It can be determined that the defendant is 90% to blame for the accident, while the plaintiff is 10% to blame. This is called shared fault. If the plaintiff’s damages amount to $10000, the defendant will pay $9000. The $1000 accounts for the 10% blame the plaintiff holds for the accident. And will thus not be paid this amount.
- No fault – this is a legal theory mainly applied to auto accident personal injury cases. A number of states, including the state of Florida, apply the no-fault theory to auto accidents. As a result, each auto owner is required to carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. When an accident happens, an injured individual collects from their own insurance company. Instead of having to file a lawsuit. This is regardless as to who was at fault for the accident and the injuries sustained. However, once an injured person’s injuries reach or pass a specific threshold, they are able to file a lawsuit.
For legal advice on your personal injury case contact the Vinson Law Office today for a free first consultation.