Defining a Personal Injury from a Car Accident

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If you suffer a personal injury in a car accident, you will likely face many issues afterward. You may need to spend time in the hospital recovering from your injuries. This may cause you to miss work. In addition, your car insurance company will request that you file a car accident injury claim after the accident.  

Negligence and Liability

The first issue to consider in your personal injury case is whether you or the other drivers involved in the accident acted negligently. A driver is negligent when she fails to use reasonable care and caution in the operation of her vehicle. If a driver is negligent, then the injured party may be liable for all damages because of the negligence. Suing for negligence is a common way to hold the at fault driver accountable for your damages. However, if more than one party involved in the accident is at fault, liability may be distributed among the negligent parties according to percentage of fault.


Based on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you may be able to recover medical damages, and damages to repair your vehicle. In addition, if you missed work because of the accident, you can recover lost income damages. In some states, to recover pain and suffering damages, you must show that your injury met injury thresholds.

Injury Thresholds

To sue for pain and suffering you must show that you sustained a threshold injury. A threshold injury is a permanent serious physical impairment to important physical, mental or psychological functions. If your injury is a threshold injury, then it may affect your insurance deductible.

Settlement Options vs. Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If your insurance company refuses to pay the cost of the damage to your vehicle, your medical expenses or your lost income, you will need to speak with an attorney about the likelihood of recovering if you pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Do not settle with your insurance company without talking with an attorney first. If your case is not strong, your attorney may recommend settling the case. However, if you pursue a personal injury lawsuit, your time is limited. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim varies by state, but can be as short as three years.

Getting Legal Help

If you need help with a car accident injury claim, see an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney will help protect your rights and negotiate with your insurance company.