Almost all personal injury claims are defended by lawyers paid by insurance companies. Any payment the defendant makes to you is ordinarily covered by the same insurer. As a result, personal injury claims do not typically impose financial damages on the defendant personally. One of the reasons our civil lawsuit system exists, however, is to make people who cause injuries, whom the law calls “tortfeasors,” more careful in the future. Often there are side consequences to a legal claim even if the person doesn’t have to pay his or her own money – higher insurance rates, extra oversight by supervisors or government agencies, and other generally healthy consequences.