Understanding Personal Injury Law: A Summary Guide

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Car Accidents, Workplace Accidents, Negligence…


Accidents happen when we least expect them, and they can often result in injuries that disrupt our lives physically, emotionally, and financially. When you find yourself in such a situation, it’s essential to understand your rights and the legal remedies available to you. This summary guide aims to shed light on personal injury law, helping you navigate through the complexities and make informed decisions.

What is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law is a branch of civil law that deals with cases in which individuals suffer harm or injury due to the negligence or intentional actions of others. It encompasses a wide range of incidents, such as car accidents, animal attacks, elder abuse and neglect, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and product liability, among others.

Establishing Negligence

One crucial aspect of personal injury law is establishing negligence, which refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care that results in harm to another person. To successfully pursue a personal injury claim, your attorney will help you establish four key elements, and we will use a car accident as an example:

  1. Duty of care: The defendant had a legal obligation to act reasonably and avoid causing harm by remaining in his/her lane of traffic, driving the speed limit, timely apply brakes, etc.
  2. Breach of duty: The defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care through action or inaction in compliance with the examples above.
  3. Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the accident, and the accident in turn caused you to suffer damages, which are discussed below.
  4. Damages: You suffered actual injury, whether physical, emotional, and/or financial.

Types of Damages

In personal injury cases, damages are the monetary compensation awarded to the injured party. They can be categorized into two main types:

  1. Compensatory damages: These aim to compensate the victim for their losses and can be further divided into economic and non-economic damages.
    • Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and rehabilitation costs, both past and future.
    • Non-economic damages encompass pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium, both past and future.
  2. Punitive damages: In cases where the defendant’s conduct is particularly reckless or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded. Their purpose is to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.

Statute of Limitations

It’s important to note that personal injury claims have a statute of limitations, which is the time limit within which you must file your lawsuit. This timeframe varies depending on the jurisdiction and the type of case. Failing to file within the statute of limitations can result in the dismissal of your claim. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the incident to ensure you meet all the necessary deadlines.

The Role of Insurance

Insurance often plays a significant role in personal injury cases. In many situations, the at-fault party’s insurance company will be responsible for covering the victim’s damages. However, dealing with insurance companies can be complex and intimidating. They may try to minimize your claim or deny it altogether. Seeking legal representation can help level the playing field and ensure you receive fair compensation, and it should be done quickly and before any statement is given by you to an insurance adjuster.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating the legal intricacies of personal injury law can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with physical and emotional recovery. Hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can greatly benefit your case. They have the expertise and experience to:

  1. Investigate your case thoroughly, gathering evidence and identifying liable parties.
  2. Calculate the full extent of your damages, including present and future losses.
  3. Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, aiming to secure a fair settlement.
  4. Represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached and litigation becomes necessary.


Personal injury law is a complex field that empowers victims to seek justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered. By understanding the fundamentals of personal injury law, you can make informed decisions and take the necessary steps to protect your rights. Remember to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process, ensuring your best interests are represented. In difficult times, having a knowledgeable advocate by your side can make all the difference in achieving a fair resolution to your personal injury claim.

This is why you should choose David M. Kennedy as your personal injury attorney. With extensive experience, compassionate support, and a proven track record of success, he will fight for your rights and fair compensation. Schedule your free consultation today and let him navigate the complexities of your case, ensuring you receive the justice you deserve. Don’t wait; take the first step towards securing the legal representation you need. Call (903) 819-0720 or click here to email our law office.

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David M. Kennedy

David M. Kennedy has over 30 years experience representing individuals and businesses in matters of civil litigation, especially personal injury and wrongful death. He is licensed in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.


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Call Us 903-819-0720

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Sherman, TX 75090

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Contact Us

Call Us 903-819-0720

Law Office of David M. Kennedy, P.C.

320 N. Travis St., Suite 207
Sherman, TX 75090

Email: Click Here

Map and Directions

Practice Areas