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 employment.
- 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.
- Statute of limitations: Governs the time period during which a personal injury lawsuit must we filed. If you've been injured in a Missouri car accident, we encourage you to seek legal advice as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation for your damages.
- Wrongful death: A death occurring as the result of an individual's negligence or wrongful act. When a wrongful death occurs in an auto accident, certain surviving relatives may be able to recover compensation for their losses, which may include medical and funeral costs, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.