Everything You Need to Know About Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

July 24, 2023

Fernald & Zaffos

Being involved in an accident that causes temporary or permanent injury is an extremely frustrating and traumatic experience. The only thing that makes this situation worse is if the accident was preventable yet occurred due to the actions of another person. While many people will write off their injuries as bad luck in life, there may be legal action a person can take. Filing a personal injury lawsuit has the potential to help make someone whole through the payment of damages. Learn everything you need to know about a personal injury lawsuit and if filing one is the right choice for your situation.

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

For those who have never heard the term before, a personal injury lawsuit deals with, as the name implies, personal injury. This is a subset of tort law which directly deals with redressing a wrongdoing committed to one party by another party. In personal injury, one party is injured due to the negligent actions of another party and they file a lawsuit in which they request payment in the form of damages that correlate to the injuries they received.

Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

The definition of what a personal injury lawsuit may look like is one thing, but actually understanding what it looks like in real life is another. There are a variety of common situations where personal injury lawsuits are applicable, but some of the most notable include:

  1. Medical malpractice incidents where a healthcare professional violates their sacred oath to the patient and their health
  2. Off-leash or general animal related attacks by an owner who was not properly restraining their pet
  3. Slip-and-fall accidents where the proper signage for a wet floor was not clearly displayed to those walking around
  4. Product defectiveness cases where a preventable malfunction to a product resulted in an injury to the party using that product
  5. Vehicle-on-vehicle or vehicle-on-pedestrian collisions where insurance doesn’t simply solve the matter

How Much Can You Win from a Personal Injury Case?

Naturally, a person will want to know how much they can potentially win from pursuing a personal injury lawsuit before they actually put in the effort of contacting a lawyer. While the amount can absolutely vary depending on the details of a case, the median amount awarded for all personal injury cases studied was around $30,000.

As mentioned, however, the actual amount a person stands to win can vary drastically depending on the type of case. For perspective, the average auto accident case only had an average win amount of $16,000 whereas the average product liability case was nearly $750,000. This is why speaking to a lawyer is so important, as they can help you determine what your case may actually be worth.

How to Prove Personal Injury in Court

Proving personal injury in a court of law is far easier said than done, however, as there are many nuances to this task. However, the most important aspect of personal injury revolves all around negligence and whether it was present or not.

Negligence 101

For those unfamiliar with the term negligence, it simply refers to failing to act with reasonable behavior based on a given situation. In a personal injury lawsuit, the defendant must have acted with negligence in such a way that it resulted in the accident which would have been preventable had they acted with reasonable behavior expected of a person in their situation.

The Four Foundations of Negligence in Personal Injury

When it comes to winning a personal injury lawsuit, negligence must be shown to have been present as mentioned. This is done by establishing the following:

Duty of Care

First, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty of care to others around them, meaning they had an obligation to act with reasonable and expected behavior so as to not endanger others. For example, a driver on the road has a duty of care to other drivers on the road that simply involves being at full focus behind the wheel and driving in accordance with the law.

Breach of Duty of Care

Second, it must be shown that there was a breach of the duty of care on behalf of the plaintiff (i.e. negligence). Sticking with the same example, a breach of duty of care could be a driver choosing to text and drive while consistently taking their eyes off of the road in front of them.

Proximate Causation

Third, it must be shown that the breach of duty aforementioned was directly correlated to the accident that happened. After all, if a person is injured by a falling tree next to a driver who was texting and driving, that driver’s actions were dumb but they did not cause the injury.

Correlated Damages

Finally, it must be shown that the damages a plaintiff filed for line up with the injuries they sustained due to the accident which occurred via proximate causation to the breach of duty of care.

Deciding Whether or Not to Pursue Personal Injury

The decision of whether or not to pursue a personal injury lawsuit is entirely personal and typically depends on the level of injuries a person sustained. For those with minor injuries that will heal quickly, there may not be as much reason to go through an entire personal injury trial. However, for those who suffered life-changing injuries, going through a personal injury trial to recoup some monetary compensation can be more than worth it.

The Bottom Line

While a personal injury lawsuit may not be the right choice for all situations, it can certainly be an excellent option for some. Take the time to sit down with a personal injury lawyer to look over your accident and the factors which caused it to determine if filing a lawsuit is the right choice. By not speaking with a lawyer at all, you may simply be leaving money on the table unnecessarily. Trust a personal injury lawyer to take your case to heart so that you can be made whole following your accident and the injuries you suffered.


I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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