4 Legal Terms You Should Know Before Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you are getting ready to file a personal injury lawsuit it is important that you take the time to really educate yourself about the terms used in the legal field. Just as in any profession there is a set of new words and vernacular that is used. Here are some of the common words you should be ready for.


One of the most common words used when it comes to personal injury cases is damages. Damages are what lawyers call the injuries that you sustained that require a financial payout. For instance, if you were in a car accident the damages would be loss of personal property, damage to your car, medical bills, loss of quality of life, and even emotional suffering. The thing about damages is that they need to be able to quantify. There needs to be a way to get a number attached to them for monetary needs. Otherwise it is not included in the lawsuit.


Mediation is another common word used because it is so common in the civil courts. This is when the two parties don't go to court and they try to work out the problem on their own. In the situation both parties would sit in separate rooms with their attorneys, then a mediator will go back and forth between the two rooms trying to help you find a resolution. Each time the mediator will bring an agreement proposed or amended by the other side to try and find a good compromise.


This is a word used to describe the payment method for some attorneys. Contingency means that the lawyer won't require any kind of payment upfront for the lawsuit. Instead, they will do the work based on contingency and they won't get paid unless you win.

However, if you do win the attorney will take their payment out of the winnings. This means that you may pay more in the long run because the percentage they require from the winnings can be as much of a third. This is a common way to pay a lawyer if you have a personal injury lawsuit.


This is what attorneys call finding a compromise without using a judge or a jury. When you can settle your dispute outside of the courtroom, it is called a settlement. This is the ideal way to solve the majority of problems since it is cheaper and faster.

To learn more about filing a lawsuit, contact resources like Downs, McDonough & Cowan LLC.