INJURY: What is a Personal Injury?

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Under the law in Tennessee and Kentucky, personal injury means harm to the human body caused by another person’s actions or inactions.  “Carelessness” is the most common action or inaction causing personal injury.

To distinguish unlawful carelessness from an accident, Judges and lawyers apply certain legal rules. These rules are contained in a body of law called Tort Law. Lawyers who handle personal injury cases are specially trained in Tort Law.

There are various steps to handling a personal injury caseDamages for personal injury should be determined by a lawyer who concentrates in personal injury cases.  If you have not hired a lawyer for your personal injury, you can take steps to protect yourself.

For questions about personal injury, please submit a request.  We answer your questions and there is never a fee to discuss your injury case.  Anything you tell us is kept confidential.



3d person holding the last puzzle piece of the community circle


  1. Injury
  2. Investigation
  3. Medical Stability
  4. Presentation
  5. Negotiation
  6. Resolution, or
  7. Litigation
  8. Trial Preparation
  9. Mediation, or
  10. Pre-Trial
  11. Trial
  12. Appeal

INJURY – First, there is an injury event.  Burman Law is contacted to handle the case.  Clients are treated promptly and professionally’ all questions answered.  A written Plan of Action is provided to each Client.  Our client is invited to the Burman Law Client Portal.

INVESTIGATION – Next Burman Law investigates, hires any experts needed to preserve evidence, and finds out the causes for the injury and informs Client who is legally responsible.

MEDICAL STABILITY – Medical care progresses to the point medical providers can give Burman Law a good diagnosis and likely prognosis of injury.  Burman Law informs Client of medical evidence strengths and weaknesses.

PRESENTATION – Burman Law sends the insurance adjuster a written demand for compensation; the written demand is carefully prepared by Burman Law to present documented evidence in the case.  Burman Law sends Client notice that demand can be confidentially reviewed at the Burman Law Client Portal.

NEGOTIATION – Burman Law informs Client of settlement amount offered by insurance adjuster to resolve claim; Burman Law advises client to accept or reject.

RESOLUTION – Burman Law advises Client on range of values of case, and whether amount offered in settlement is reasonable.  Client always controls whether to settle or not settle.  If case is settled the settlement is distributed to Client and liens are resolved.

LITIGATION – If there is no resolution, then Burman Law files a lawsuit asking a Judge and Jury to hear case.  The lawsuit sets forth the legal foundations for the case.  The lawsuit can be viewed by the Client at the Burman Law Client Portal.

TRIAL PREPARATION – After the lawsuit is filed, Burman Law begins preparations for trial by issuing subpoenas, deposing witnesses, and requesting information from any Defendant in the case.  The Client receives confidential information and documentation through the Burman Law Client Portal.

MEDIATION – Once preparations for trial are far enough along, all the parties come together to attempt a resolution with the assistance of a good mediator.

PRE-TRIAL – If there is no resolution at mediation, then Burman Law goes to a pre-trial conference to show the Judge what Burman Law will prove at trial; Burman Law prepares Client and witnesses on what to expect at trial.

TRIAL – A jury hears the evidence and decides on a verdict.  Burman Law will advise the Client on all aspects of trial.

APPEAL – Either side can appeal a case if they believe a legal error has occurred;  Burman Law handles appeals.




My name is Mike Burman.  Every day, I talk to people about how to best present a case.  Insurance adjusters have training and experience on tearing down cases.  I’ve spent more than 25 years building cases.  Here are some common mistakes I see:

1. Not Seeking Medical Attention/Not Documenting Your Injuries

If your injury is not serious enough to go to the doctor, then insurance companies do not take your injury seriously.  Your injury drives the value of any case.  But many people think they can treat themselves.  Putting off treatment could actually make it harder for your doctor to help you.  If you increase your injury by unnecessarily delaying treatment, then the insurance company blames you.  Waiting days to seek medical attention without a reason, may allow the insurance company to argue that your injuries were not serious, or worse, that your injuries were caused by something else.  When you see the doctor – be prepared.  You want the doctor to fully document your injuries.  Understand your injuries and what the doctor expects from you.  To be prepared, read my article on “Helping Your Doctor Help You.”

2. Posting About Your Injuries on Social Media

We are a social society.  We talk.  We take pictures.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites gather information on us that insurance companies use.  After an injury, think twice before posting anything – even if it doesn’t seem related to your injury. Insurance companies and attorneys for the other side will use your posts or photos against you.

3. Giving Statements to the Other Party or Their Insurance Company

When you are injured, you are usually emotional and anxious.  Avoid communication with the at-fault party or anyone connected to the at-fault party.  When injured, you may not be ready to talk to the other party, their insurance company or their attorney.  Similarly, don’t verbally agree to anything or sign any kind of written statement or agreement without first consulting with your lawyer.

4. Trying to Represent Yourself

Winning your case involves more than just recounting your side of events. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll be able to represent yourself or negotiate your own settlement, particularly when insurance companies are involved. The other side’s insurance company has one goal in mind: settling the case for as little money as possible, as quickly as possible. When you choose to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled cases similar to yours in the past, you can be confident that your legal rights and interests are being protected.  Your case is about compensation, but there are many moving parts that help – or hurt – your case.  Having a skilled personal injury attorney in your corner can help you understand and avoid them. I am always happy to just talk to you and answer your questions.  Mike Burman.