10 Personal Injury Legal Terms You Should Know
Life is full of risks, but sometimes injuries can be avoided. When someone acts in a way that causes unnecessary risk and harm, or fails to act in a way to prevent it, the victim may be able to file a personal injury claim and lawsuit.
A personal injury claim is when you file a claim to recover expenses incurred by accident and injury. Personal Injury claims can include anything from lost wages and vehicle damage to immediate medical bills, medication, and regular doctor’s bills.
Our team at the Harmonson Law Firm helps clients throughout Texas and New Mexico navigate the legal terrain of personal injury law. To get started, here are some fundamental personal injury terms that you should know. A Plaintiff, also called the complainant, is the individual or party who files the lawsuit or brings legal actions against another party. A Plaintiff, also called the complainant, is the individual or party who files the lawsuit or brings legal actions against another party. A defendant is an individual or party the claim has been filed against — in other words, the party allegedly responsible for the injury. The Statute of Limitations refers to the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit. Generally, New Mexico dictates that you must file a lawsuit for personal injury within three years to proceed in court, while in Texas, you must do so in two years. If someone has died because of negligent behavior or misconduct by another party, and they are at fault, this is a wrongful death suit. Compensation may be in the form of medical expenses, funeral expenses, and lost wages, to name a few examples. In the case of a medical malpractice case, you will come across the term “standard of care” to refer to the expectation of a medical professional to protect patients. This expectation is based on a baseline of medical knowledge in the field at the time.
Medical malpractice cases can have many different requirements depending on the state, so it’s important to contact a New Mexico medical malpractice attorney if you lost a loved one in Las Cruces, or a Texas medical malpractice attorney if you lost a loved one in El Paso. Negligence is when one party neglects to take care of another’s well-being based on a simple action that could have been taken to avoid said harm. An example is not putting up a “wet floors” sign after mopping up a spill. Assumption of risk means that people should know that something is dangerous before doing it. For instance, if they are driving and don’t stop at a stop sign, the burden will be on them if they have an accident. Premises liability is the type of personal injury case that infers damage done on an owner’s property and is responsible for keeping it safe for anyone visiting. Premises liability applies to both business or residential property. For example, when someone leaves a pet alone with a visitor, they could be found responsible if the animal bites the visitor. Fault is an important term for personal injury law, although it could refer to unintentional as well as intentional actions. A person could be found “at fault” if they did not act to protect the other party from injury. A tort is what lawyers call a particular class of civil litigation which includes personal injury. Negligence, for example, is a type of tort. The Harmonson Law Firm works out of both our Las Cruces, New Mexico office and our El Paso, Texas office. If you have suffered an injury and are looking to file a personal injury lawsuit, we can help. Our motto here at the Harmonson Law Firm: Keeping you first. And we live by that promise every single day.
Contact our team today for a free, confidential consultation.