What is Personal Injury Defense?
Definition of Personal Injury Defense
Personal injury suits concern anytime a person or a business hurts someone else. This can include injuries like slipping and falling in a store parking lot, product liability suits, medical malpractice, car accidents, and many other types of injuries.
Personal injury defense attorneys specialize in defending people and businesses when someone claims they were hurt by that person. They can review the case, determine whether the person is actually liable for the injuries, evaluate the extent of the damage, file important court documents, and advise their clients on whether it is better to settle or go to court.
Terms to Know
- Plaintiff: The person or entity who initiates a lawsuit.
- Defendant: The person or entity a plaintiff sues.
- Claim: A request sent to an insurance company for benefits.
- Damages: The money the plaintiff wants to recover in the lawsuit. Damages can cover a wide variety of bills, including medical bills and property damage.
- Settlement: A sum of money the plaintiff accepts instead of going to court.
Practice Area Notes
Many people are covered by insurance which will pay for their defense in a personal injury suit. For example, most drivers carry automobile insurance, homeowners have insurance in case a guest injures themselves on their property, businesses have general liability insurance for the same reason, and doctors have medical malpractice insurance. As a result, many personal injury defense attorneys are hired not by the individual being sued, known as the defendant, but by the defendant's insurance company. Some defense attorneys base their entire practice on cases from an insurance company and are unavailable for individuals to hire.
If you are being sued, it may be best to contact your insurance company first so that they can (hopefully) find you a qualified attorney and pay that attorney’s bills.
Related Practice Areas
- Accidents and Injuries: Personal injury defense attorneys defend against personal injury suits.
- Product Liability: A product liability suit is a type of personal injury suit against the manufacturer of a product when that product has injured the consumer.
- Medical Malpractice: A medical malpractice suit is a type of personal injury suit against a healthcare professional when that provider has injured a patient.
- Car Accidents: Drivers who injure other people in a car accident may hire a personal injury defense attorney.
- Litigation: Personal injury defense attorneys may bring a claim to court, or litigate it.
- Insurance Law: Most personal injury cases involve an insurance company, so a personal injury defense attorney must be well versed in insurance law.