For many accident victims, filing an insurance claim and fighting to recover compensation for an accident that was not their fault can be overwhelming. Insurance adjusters, investigators, claims representatives, lawyers, and other professionals involved in the case throw around words that may be foreign and sound overly complex. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys talk to you in terms that you can understand. We don’t try to impress you with our legal vocabulary (we save that for judges and other lawyers).
However, there are some common terms used in personal injury cases that we use throughout a case. Learning the meaning of these terms often helps accident victims feel more comfortable when discussing their case.
Common Terms Used in Insurance Claims and Accident Cases
- Liability — Liability is the responsibility a party has for compensating an injured party for damages arising from an accident or incident caused by the party.
- Damages — Damages include physical injuries, mental anguish, emotional distress, and financial losses incurred because of an accident.
- At-Fault Party — The at-fault party is the party that is responsible for causing the victim’s injuries. An at-fault party can be an individual, company, or government entity.
- Pain and Suffering Damages — Pain and suffering damages or noneconomic damages are caused by the accident. This type of damage cannot be quantified with bills or invoices because it is different for each person. Noneconomic damages include your physical pain, the severity of your injuries, mental anguish, emotional distress, scarring, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Catastrophic Injuries — Catastrophic injuries are typically defined as injuries that result in a permanent impairment or disability. A catastrophic injury may also include injuries that require long-term care or ongoing medical care. Examples include paralysis, amputations, severe burns, blindness, loss of body function, spinal cord injuries, severe traumatic brain injuries, and death.
- Soft Tissue Injuries — Soft tissue injuries describe damage to tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Sprains and strains are examples of soft tissue injuries. Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury in car accidents. Even though some soft tissue injuries heal in a few weeks or months, soft tissue injuries can create impairments and require substantial medical care and recovery time in some cases.
- Wrongful Death — A wrongful death is a fatality caused by another party that occurred because of that party’s negligence, omissions, actions, or other wrongdoing.
- Medical Malpractice — A type of personal injury caused by medical errors, medical negligence, or wrongdoing committed by a health care provider.
- Product Liability — Product liability cases are based on a party’s duty to produce products that are safe for their intended use. Injuries resulted from defective or dangerous products fall under this category of personal injury law.
- Contingency Fee — Many California personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. The attorney does not receive compensation for the attorney’s time and services unless the attorney recovers compensation for the client. The attorney’s fee is a percentage of the total settlement amount or jury verdict received for the injury claim.
Contact a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney for Help
Call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with a Sacramento personal injury lawyer.