What is Plaintiff Law?

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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 19 March 2020
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Plaintiff law is a reference to the body of law that pertains to victims of personal injury cases. These cases may include medical malpractice, product liability, and slip and fall accidents. A plaintiff who is a victim of negligence or other liability that resulted in physical, emotional, or financial injury can bring legal action under plaintiff law to recover damages. A plaintiff attorney often represents plaintiffs in cases, but some plaintiffs may file a pro se complaint, representing themselves. Plaintiffs often seek compensation for loss of wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.

There are a number of areas that encompass plaintiff law, which is often referred to as personal injury law. The majority of cases fall within these categories: negligence, product liability, and accidents. Plaintiffs often prove that a standard of care was breached and that they were injured as a result.

Plaintiff litigation requires that the plaintiff produce evidence that supports his claim on personal injury. It is often necessary to preserve the evidence immediately after or close to the time that the injury occurred. The first thing that plaintiffs are advised to do is to take notes and photos if possible. For example, if there is an auto accident, the plaintiff should record what took place and, if a camera is handy, take photos at the scene. If not, he can take photos and even notes soon after.


Once a plaintiff starts a case, there are no guarantees that it will go to trial or that a jury will have an opportunity to reach a verdict. Cases often get settled out of court between the plaintiff and defendant. The plaintiff waives her right to pursue the case any further in exchange for compensation from the defendant. The defendant often has an insurance company willing to settle in lieu of trial, and she may have the right to settle despite the defendant’s desire to continue with litigation. Partial settlement on some of the issues raised by the plaintiff in the case is also an option that both parties consider.

Plaintiff law allows a plaintiff to collect judgments that he is awarded at the end of a trial. The process is sometimes difficult if the defendant does not have insurance and has few assets. The plaintiff may even have to pay additional expenses in the process of trying to collect a judgment. For example, a plaintiff may have to file additional court papers and initiate a separate proceeding to obtain details of the defendant’s assets. There are collection agencies that assist plaintiffs in collecting court judgments, but they often charge a percent of the judgment owed.


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