“Personal injury” cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers harm from an accident or injury, and someone else might be legally responsible for that harm. A personal injury case can become formalized through civil court proceedings that seek to find others legally at fault through a court judgment or, what is more common, such disputes may be resolved through informal settlement before any lawsuit is filed.
Formal Lawsuit: A formal personal injury case typically starts when a private individual (the “plaintiff”) files a civil “complaint” against another person, business, corporation, or government agency (the “defendant”), alleging that they acted carelessly or irresponsibly relating to an accident or injury that caused harm.
Informal Settlement: Most disputes over fault for an accident or injury are resolved through settlement among those personally involved, their insurers, and attorneys representing both sides. A settlement commonly takes the form of negotiation, followed by a written agreement in which both sides forgo any further action and to resolve the matter through payment of an agreeable amount of money.