Personal injury law deals with legal remedies and defenses related to civil lawsuits that result from wrongful conduct by one party that affects another party. Unlike criminal law, such a court case involves a private plaintiff who seeks compensation for the physical and/or mental harm caused by the actions of the defendant.

A personal injury case can be brought on one’s behalf by a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer represents a plaintiff in a civil court, during which he presents the circumstances and details of the situation such that the defendant might be found to be legally at fault and responsible for any negative outcomes of the situation. Such disputes may be resolved by court judgement, or through informal settlement (which would occur before any lawsuit gets filed).

There are two possible outcomes of a case: a formal lawsuit or an informal settlement. A formal lawsuit refers to a personal injury case that starts when a private individual (designated officially as the “plaintiff”) files a civil complaint against another party, be it an individual, a business or corporation, a government agency (officially known as the “defendant”). The case states that the plaintiff alleges that the defendant acted recklessly or irresponsibly in connection with actions that resulted in damage or injury due to that negligence. This court action is called “filing a lawsuit.”

An informal settlement is another outcome. Most disputes related to fault for damages or injuries due to careless or reckless actions are resolved through informal early settlements. They are usually settled out of court, among the personally involved parties of the dispute, as well as their insurers, with attorneys representing both the plaintiff and the defendant in the case. A settlement is a common process that usually begins with negotiation, which then is followed by drafting a written agreement in which the plaintiff and defendant decline to take any further action (such as formally filing a lawsuit). They choose instead to resolve the situation via a mutually agreed upon monetary payment (sometimes called “damages”).

If a plaintiff agrees to a settlement presented by the lawyer of the defendant in the case, it goes no further; the case comes to an end. If a plaintiff does not agree to a settlement, he or she might choose to file a personal injury lawsuit at that time. Note that even if the plaintiff files a lawsuit, settlement negotiations can continue–a settlement still can be reached as long as it occurs before the civil case gets handed over to the jury.

If you’re thinking about filing a personal injury case, your best course of action is likely to discuss your situation and your options with a competent and experienced personal injury lawyer. Reeves Law, PLLC, located in Austin, Texas, handles a variety of legal cases, including personal injury lawsuits. The professionals at Reeves Law are committed to ensuring that every client achieves the most favorable outcome possible in his or her case. If you want legal advice from a qualified attorney,contact Reeves Law for assistance, including a free consultation.