What does “personal injury” mean?
What types of injuries fall into the personal injury category?
Who is the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit?
What types of damages can I get through a personal injury lawsuit?
How much is my case worth?
How long does a personal injury lawsuit take?
Do I have to worry about a filing deadline for a personal injury lawsuit?
What will it cost to file a lawsuit?
What Types of Crashes Cause Which Types of Injuries?


For more than three decades, Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson has been successfully litigating personal injury cases.  People seeking information about filing a personal injury lawsuit often have similar questions.  We hope you will find the answers to the following frequently asked questions helpful.  If you have other questions about your particular case, feel free to call McNeely Stephenson at (855) 206-2555.  He and the entire firm of McNeely Stephenson are ready to put their experience to work for you.

What does “personal injury” mean?


When used in a legal context, “personal injury” has a more narrow definition than when used in ordinary conversation.  It describes an injury caused by the negligence or carelessness of another person or a business.  Negligence is the failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care for the safety of others. It is this requirement of negligence that limits situations which may be remedied by a personal injury lawsuit.  For damages to be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit, there must be a finding of negligence.

What types of injuries fall into the personal injury category?

Car accidents are the most common cause of personal injury.  Others are slips and falls, workplace accidents, dog bites, boating accidents, motorcycle wrecks, and unsafe products.  Any of these, if caused by the negligence of a person or company, could be the subject of a personal injury lawsuit.

Who is the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit?

In a personal injury lawsuit, the defendant is the person or company whose negligence led to your being injured.  This could be another driver, the driver’s employer, a retail store, a manufacturer, a neighbor or anyone else who carelessly caused your injury.  The key is to determine who was negligent and how their actions or inactions harmed you.

What types of damages can I get through a personal injury lawsuit?


Depending on the specifics of your case, you could be awarded some or all of the following:

  • Payment of past medical bills
  • Payment of future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Compensation for past pain and suffering
  • Compensation for future pain and suffering
  • Household services
  • Loss of consortium
  • Property damage.

How much is my case worth?

People who are contemplating filing a lawsuit always wonder how much they might get if they win.  Unfortunately, we can’t predict or guarantee what any personal injury plaintiff will ultimately receive, either in settlement or as the result of a trial.  It can depend on many factors, such as the severity of the injuries and whether the plaintiff was partly at fault for the accident.

How long does a personal injury lawsuit take?

Again, each case is different.  Often, a defendant will make an offer to settle the case so that they don’t have to go to trial, so this shortens the time involved.  You can read about some of the results we were able to achieve for personal injury clients through settlement and mediation here:  http://www.indianapilaw.com/vehicle-accidents/auto-accident-cases.  Settlement is not always possible, or even desirable.  Mike Stephenson of McNeely Stephenson Thopy & Harrold is as skilled in the courtroom as he is in a conference room.

Do I have to worry about a filing deadline for a personal injury lawsuit?

There is a deadline, or statute of limitations, for such claims.  In Indiana, the statute of limitations for personal injury actions is codified at Section 34-11-2-4(1) of the Indiana Code.  Personal injury actions in this state must be filed within two years of the injury.  If you’ve been injured and are dealing with medical treatment and the changes a serious injury can have on one’s life, those two years can go by quickly.  It’s important that you not delay in contacting a personal injury attorney, so that you don’t lose the opportunity to seek compensation for your injuries.

What will it cost to file a lawsuit?

Your initial consultation with Mike Stephenson will be free.  Serious accidents can have serious financial consequences, so personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis.  This means that we don’t get paid unless and until you receive compensation.  We’ll be glad to evaluate your situation, but you’re under no obligation to pursue the matter further.  Call Mike Stephenson at (855) 206-2555 or use the online contact form.