Personal Injury FAQs: Covering the Basics

Persona Injury FAQs

What is a personal injury? Why might you need a personal injury attorney? These and other commonly asked questions will give you an idea of what to expect in a personal injury case. A quick caveat: know that each person’s situation is different; use these FAQs as a general guide.


Legal definition of personal injury: an injury to one’s body, mind, or emotions; it is an injury that is not to one’s property.

Personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers an injury in which someone else may be legally responsible. Typically, personal injury claims are the result of the negligence, or carelessness, of another person.

Common personal injury accidents include (but aren’t limited to):

A personal injury is a civil case, not a criminal case. A civil lawsuit can result in a finding of responsibility that makes the responsible party pay money to the victim.

WHAT should you do after a personal injury accident?

  • Be sure to obtain medical treatment and follow the designated treatment plan, including all follow-up visits.
  • Take pictures of the injuries suffered. The doctor, medical staff, family and friends may be able to assist with this.
  • If a car accident, call your own insurance company to report it. DO NOT talk to any other insurance companies besides your own.
  • Write down a summary of what happened as soon after the accident as possible.
  • Make a list of people who witnessed the accident and their contact information (if known).
  • Obtain legal representation.
  • DO NOT give recorded statements and DO NOT sign anything. Your attorney will handle this.

Car Accident FAQs

Why should You hire a personal injury attorney? how can they help?

Hiring personal injury attorney basics on personal injuryA personal injury attorney is an expert in personal injury law and can help you navigate the system to obtain the most compensation possible for your injuries. They shoulder what needs to be done allowing you the opportunity to recover.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney: Questions You Should Ask

Are all personal injury claims resolved with a trial?

Most personal injury cases do not see the inside of a courtroom. Cases that do go to trial are typically ones where the facts are in dispute or when there is a contested legal issue.

How much compensation can you collect?

The value of your claim includes your economic damages – medical expenses, lost earnings, future lost income, estimated future medical expenses, etc., and potentially pain and suffering. Every case and every situation is different so there is no guarantee as to what compensation you may receive.

How long does it take to reach a settlement or resolve a case?

Some cases can be resolved in a matter of weeks if there is no formal litigation. If there is, it can take a year or more. The more complicated the case, the longer it can take to reach a settlement or trial verdict. Your attorney should be able to give you a general estimate based on how long other similar cases have taken. Again, this will depend on your specific situation.

Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.

What happens during a personal injury case?

In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person files a complaint (a demand for compensation). Both the plaintiff and the defendant build their cases, gathering evidence from things such as depositions, subpoenas, witness statements, medical evidence and more. During the process, the parties will have opportunities to reach an agreement through mediation and informal settlement negotiations.

Personal Injury Lawsuits commonly asked questions personal injury FAQs personal injury case

Your attorney may first approach the defendant to try to resolve the case by settlement. If a settlement is reached, you are compensated according to the agreement and the case ends. However, if you do not reach a settlement, your case will go to trial.

Personal Injury Lawsuits: The Basics

How much does a personal injury attorney cost?

Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis – they do not get paid unless you win your case. If there is a successful outcome, they take a percentage of your compensation plus any expenses they paid up front so that you could proceed with your case.

How long do you have to file a personal injury claim?

In Missouri, the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of case; however, should you not file a claim within the prescribed time period you can lose your right to recover any compensation. Your personal injury attorney will be able to tell you the statute of limitations for your state and specific situation.

How do you know if you need a personal injury attorney?

It is best to consult with a personal injury attorney to get an experienced opinion. Most lawyers will offer a free no-obligation consultation before taking a case.



Contact the capable counsel you need now. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.



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Past results afford no guarantee of future results and each case is different and is judged on its own merits. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published December 16, 2019. It was reviewed on January 10, 2024, updated for content and accuracy and re-published on January 17, 2024.

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