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An Intro to Personal Injury Law for the Layman

Lawsuits can be pretty intimidating, but there are a number of situations where a lawsuit could be your best option. For example, if you were buried under a mountain of medical bills because you were in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, then a lawsuit could help you cover all of your expenses and more. This is even more important in situations where insurance just isn’t cutting it. To help you get a better idea of how personal injury law works, here is an overview of several key concepts that are considered in every personal injury lawsuit:

The Statute of Limitations

When it comes to figuring out when you can and cannot file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations is one of the most important factors to consider. Specifically, the statute of limitations tells you exactly how many years you have if you want to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies from state to state, but every state does have a statute of limitations for personal injuries. In most situations, the statute of limitations begins counting on the date of the accident. However, that isn’t always the case, with one of the biggest exceptions being the discovery rule. The short version of the discovery rule is that it allows you to get an extension of the statute of limitations if you didn’t actually discover your injuries until long after the statute of limitations expired. This is common in situations where chronic injuries were sustained as a result of exposure to dangerous substances, since symptoms might not appear for months or even years. It can take even longer than that to actually link those symptoms back to your original injury, which is why an extension via the discovery rule could mean the difference between successfully filing a lawsuit and losing out on all of your potential benefits.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence determines how responsibility is factored into personal injury law. Professionals, like those at Trammell & Mills Law Firm LLC, know that an experienced lawyer can walk you through all there is to know about it. Some states are very lenient and allow plaintiffs to recover some money in damages even if they were mostly to blame for their injuries. Other states are much less lenient and some will even bar you from recovering any damages if the defendant can prove that you were even 1% responsible for your own injuries. States in the first category practice what is known as pure comparative negligence, while the second category is called contributory negligence. States in the between the two extremes generally practice modified comparative negligence, which allows you to recover some money as long as you did not bear the majority of the responsibility for your injuries.

Figure Out the Best Solution

It can be tough to determine if a lawsuit is the right course of action, which is why you should consult a lawyer if you think that you might have a viable case on your hands. If it doesn’t pan out, then all that you wasted is a little bit of a time and money. However, if you do find out that a lawsuit could be your best bet, then you could end up being awarded more money than you ever dreamed of.

Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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