Archive for April, 2015

Demystifying the Personal Injury Insurance Claim Process

When people suffer an injury because of a car accident, slip and fall, or anything else, they commonly have to file an insurance claim before they can be compensated for their loss. The insurance claim process is relatively straightforward, but because so few people have experience with it, it can seem quite intimidating. This is doubly true if you are suffering financially or are facing debilitating injuries.

To better explain the insurance claim process, let’s take a look at one of the more common situations in which people might have to file an insurance claim; the automobile accident.

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Common Terminology in Personal Injury Cases – Part 2

Suffering a personal injury is not something any of us want to experience. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been harmed by someone else and need to file a personal injury lawsuit, you can help make the process a lot easier by doing some basic research. Previously we looked at some common terminology that many people encounter during the personal injury lawsuit process. In this follow-up post, we’re going to take a look at some more terms you might come across that you might otherwise not be very familiar with.

  • Affidavit. An affidavit is a document that contains a written statement of facts. The person making the affidavit and stating the facts it contains is known as an affiant. In order to make an affidavit, you have to make your written statement of facts under oath or affirmation that they are true. You typically do this in the presence of a licensed public notary. Affidavits can contain almost any facts relevant to your case, and can be made by almost anyone as long as that person is a mentally capable adult.
  • Discovery. Discovery is the legal process of investigating the facts surrounding a case. The discovery process typically begins after you file a personal injury lawsuit or demand letter. Discovery includes a variety of methods that each side can use to determine what happened, such as interrogatories and depositions.
  • Deposition. A deposition is when a witness gives testimony about the case outside of the courtroom and before a trial takes place. A deposition is simply a way to get someone to give testimony without the necessity of having to go before a court. Depositions are part of the discovery process, and can involve almost anyone related to a case.
  • Interrogatory. An interrogatory is a list of questions that either side involved in a case sends to the other side, or to witnesses or experts involved in it. The questions ask for specific information about the facts surrounding the case. Interrogatories are also a part of the discovery process.
  • Preponderance of the Evidence. In personal injury cases, the person who files the lawsuit (the plaintiff) has to provide evidence to show that the other party (the defendant) violated the plaintiff’s rights by a preponderance of the evidence. This simply means that the weight of the evidence presented by the plaintiff makes it more likely than not that the defendant violated is at fault. In other words, you have to have evidence that shows the defendant acted wrongfully, and that evidence has to be convincing.
  • Judgment. Most personal injury cases settle before going to trial. However, if the case goes to trial, a court will have to make a determination about the outcome. This decision is known as a judgment. If the court rules in the plaintiff’s favor, the judgment will include a determination of the type of damages to which the court believes the plaintiff is allowed. In other words, judgment says how much you win if you win your personal injury case.

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The personal injury lawsuit process is complicated, time-consuming, and, to people who have little background in the law, often difficult to understand. Lawyers and legal professionals use a lot of terms that many people don’t encounter in their daily lives. Though these terms have specific meanings and allow attorneys to be precise when they speak, that doesn’t exactly make it easier for their clients and non-legal professionals to be able to easily follow along.

Because most people don’t have a legal background and don’t have a good grasp of the legal terminology involved in their personal injury case, it can be useful to take a little time to become more familiar with some of the terms you might come across.

Personal Injury Legal Terms

  • Complaint. A complaint is a lawsuit. When you want to file a personal injury complaint, you file documents with a court clerk, pay a filing fee, and then begin the lawsuit process. (Depending on the state in which you live, your complaint might also be known as a petition, or by some other term.) The complaint will contain specific information, such as allegations about what happened, a demand for compensation, and a request to go to trial.
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    For nearly 30 years the Injury HelpLine® has been helping people nationwide to connect to a local personal injury lawyer quickly and free of charge. Whether you have questions about a potential case or need immediate legal representation, our service was created to help people like you to connect to a local lawyer for FREE to assist you with your legal needs.

    With many personal injury claims, time is a critical factor. It is important to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible about your potential case, so call the Injury HelpLine® today. The Injury HelpLine® has helped over 2 million people, like you, to connect to a local personal injury attorney.
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