Common Terminology You’ll Hear in a Personal Injury Case

If you’ve never suffered from a personal injury before, the process may seem complicated and hard to understand. Oftentimes, you’ll hear a personal injury lawyer throwing around terms you may have never heard before. Personal injury lawyers may be throwing around these terms because of how much they have been working the field. Eventually, they’ll come to explaining everything to you, but in the meantime, learning about the common terminology won’t hurt! We define the most common terms that arise in personal injury cases to help you better understand the process. 

Bodily Injury 

One of the most common terms you’ll hear, when ‘bodily injury’ is used, they are referring to any damage done to a person’s body including bruises, burns, lacerations, broken bones, anything of the sort, no matter how severe. Bodily injuries can be caused by accidents, negligence, or intentional act. Those who cause bodily harm intentionally may face charges of negligent harm in a lawsuit. 

Compensable Injury 

Similar to a bodily injury, but more specifically, a compensable injury is one that qualifies for coverage. In simpler terms, a compensable injury is any kind of damage done to someone’s body that will or can be compensated by worker’s compensation. This term is specific because it intends to keep injuries outside of work out from a personal injury case if damages did occur in a work setting.

Emergency Medical Condition 

Some personal injury cases lead to the immediate need for medical care. If this is made known in a personal injury case, it will be referred to as an emergency medical condition. Emergency medical conditions are those that involve severe symptoms, such as severe pain or trauma. The term indicates that if a patient does not receive immediate care, they could suffer from permanent or extreme damage. 


This term is typically used where negligence is highlighted in a personal injury case. Causation is the intentional act to make something happen. In a case of negligence, the plaintiff must have evidence showing that the defendant did something intentionally to directly cause harm, whether successful in doing so or not. 

Statute of Limitations 

This term is heard in many cases, even outside of personal injury cases. This term refers to a time period, set by the court overviewing your case, in which you may file a suit if you are claiming damages. Outside of this limit, you may not be able to file, depending on your case. In civil suits, this can usually extend from a year to ten years. 


Although mistaken with causation, it is not necessarily the same. Negligence is when an accident or damages was caused by recklessness or carelessness. Just like in many other cases, in order for negligence to be proven, the plaintiff must have evidence that depicts the defendant violating their duty, that their violation resulted in damages, and that damages are still being tended to. 

Burden of Proof 

Much like the term states, this means that the plaintiff has the obligation of proving the accusations or claims being made against the defendant. In personal injury cases, the burden of proof specifically refers to the plaintiff being able to prove that the damages were caused by the defendant. 


Damages can be a range of anything that the plaintiff aims to recover in a lawsuit, including damages done to property or bodily harm. Property typically includes vehicles and anything else that can be replaced. Bodily harm, as defined earlier, refers to pain or damage done to a person’s wellbeing. 


This term is commonly used in auto accidents that result in personal injury cases. States that operate under no-fault laws require that every owner carries at least a minimum amount of personal injury protection in their insurance or coverage plan. The basic understanding is, an injured party may not be able to sue unless their injuries or damages reach a specific level of severity. 

Assignment of Benefits

This is the process where the insurance company transfers over benefits to the party filing for compensation. This often requires medical documents to show that the person who experienced damages needs coverage for bills and medical expenses. 

Learn More at The Law Office of Javier Martinez, Jr., P. C. 

The process of a personal injury case can be a lot for you to take in. A personal injury lawyer is not only here to help you file your claim, but we are also here to help you understand where your case stands. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help you.