The aftermath of a serious car accident can be a stressful, confusing time
for car accident victims and their loved ones - and the idea of a
personal injury claim can seem overwhelming. In this post, our Columbia
car accident lawyers discuss some of the terms that are commonly associated with Missouri
personal injury claims.
Missouri personal injury cases: A glossary of terms
Catastrophic injuries: Extensive injuries that necessitate long-term medical treatment and often
result in temporary or permanent disability. Such injuries can permanently
restrict a victim's ability to perform everyday tasks and to maintain
Contingent-fee basis: An arrangement between a personal injury lawyer and an injury victim which
means that the fee for legal services is contingent on recovering compensation.
There is no initial payment required for representation, and the fee is
a percentage of the compensation recovered on the victim's behalf.
Damages: The various, reasonably-related costs associated with a victim's injuries.
Depending on the circumstances, these costs may affect victims (and their
loved ones) financially, physically or mentally.
Loss of consortium: Refers to a loss of companionship, care and affection between an injury
victim and his or her spouse. An uninjured spouse may be entitled to damages
for loss of consortium when a car accident victim is fatally injured or
disabled following a crash.
Negligence: Careless or reckless conduct that causes injury to another person. Missouri
law requires drivers to use reasonable care to avoid harming other people
or property. A person or party can be intentionally or accidentally negligent.
Settlement: A final compromise between both parties involved in a lawsuit, wherein
plaintiff and defendant agree to end the lawsuit for a set amount of compensation.
Soft tissue injuries: Damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and other connective tissues
in the body. Soft tissue injuries are extremely common in car accident
victims. They often don't appear on X-rays and symptoms can take days
to appear, so these injuries can be trickier to diagnose and treat. Depending
on the severity of the damage, soft tissue injuries can cause chronic
pain and long-term disability.