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On April 30, 2014, The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) granted accreditation to the NALA Certified Paralegal program for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. The NCCA Standards were created to ensure certification programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry.  The NALA Certified Paralegal program joins an elite group of more than 120 organizations representing over 270 certification programs that have received and maintained NCCA accreditation. More information on the NCCA is available online at www.credentialingexcellence.org/NCCA

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Personal Injury-Core Course
This page summarizes the Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Personal Injury. Use the links below to review the items, register or login to the course. If you have not already registered as a user on the NALA APC web site, click "Register for the Course." If you have already registered for this or another APC course, you have already created a user account, click "Login."

Paralegals who are not seeking the Advanced Paralegal Certification credential are welcome to register and take any APC courses as advanced continuing education programs. CLE credit is available upon completion of the courses from NALA for Certified Paralegals, and from various state CLE programs. 

Prerequisite Knowledge Learning Contract Register for the course
Fee:   $300 Members; $350 Non Members

Registration fee includes ONE practice area course

Personal Injury Practice Area Certification

The Advanced Paralegal Certification Program for Personal Injury paralegals offers a variety of certifications to paralegals based on practice areas. Paralegals may earn multiple certifications in practice areas.  If a Certified Paralegal (CP) successfully completes the Core Course and all 8 practice area courses, the paralegal is eligible for the ACP Personal Injury Credential.

The following is required of Certified Paralegals (CP) for ACP certification in a practice area:

  • CP certification in good standing
  • Successful completion of PI Core Course Pre-Test
    Note: This is requirement is waived for paralegals with the Discovery and Trial Practice ACP Certifications. 
  • Successful completion of PI Core Course including submission of the Learning Contract and Statement of Completion 
  • Successful completion of a PI practice area course including submission of the Learning Contract and Statement of Completion
Click here to visit the descriptions of the practice area courses.  

Fees:  The Personal Injury Core Course registration fee includes ONE practice area course. Subsequent practice area courses are $150 for members and $200 for non-members of NALA.

Personal Injury Core Course Description

The PI Core Course is required for all Certified Paralegals seeking an ACP credential. This course combines substantive and procedural personal injury law with the essential steps and elements of pursuing or defending a claim for personal injury damages - from client intake and case evaluation to settlement or trial. The core course reviews:

  • the essential elements of a personal injury case: parties, liabilities, damages, forms, documents, and witnesses;
  • obtaining police, medical, and employment records necessary for calculation and proof of liability and damages;
  • locating, retaining and preparing experts and their reports for case evaluation, assistance, and trial testimony;
  • gathering information and preparing settlement proposals and demands; and
  • preparing and presenting witnesses, exhibits, and documentation to support or defend a case at trial. 

Personal Injury Core Course - Method of Teaching and Objectives

The Personal Injury APC course relies on student participation through analysis of fact scenarios, compilation of witness statements that apply course concepts to practical, real-world challenges, and internet research. Upon completion of the core course, paralegals will have completed readings and exercises involving:

  • Types of personal injury cases
  • Elements of a personal injury case
  • Liabilities
  • Compensable damages
  • Defenses
  • Sovereign immunity and the Federal Tort Claims Act
  • Client intake and interviews
  • Case assessment
  • Information gathering, investigation and case evaluation
  • Use of practice and procedure forms - releases, consents, and powers of attorney
  • Gathering records, documents, and statements
  • Case timelines
  • Researching parties, cases, and the law
  • The role of insurance companies and subrogation
  • Finding and retaining experts for case evaluation and assistance
  • Admissibility and use of expert testimony under the Federal Rules of Evidence and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Negotiation strategy and objectives
  • Drafting settlement proposals and demands
  • Documentation of damages and other elements
  • Trial theme, strategy and preparation
  • Pleading and discovery
  • Discovery of expert information
  • Demonstrative exhibits
  • Presentation at trial

Reading exercises include review and analysis of current articles on:

  • Outlining, mapping, charting and note-taking
  • Insurance and subrogation issues
  • Client screening interviews and questionnaires
  • Using consent and release forms
  • Gathering and summarizing witness statements
  • Resources for finding and retaining expert witnesses
  • Research of variations in different jurisdictions
Prerequisite Knowledge

The Personal Injury Core Course and Specialty Area Courses are written for paralegals with a working knowledge of the following:
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Federal Rules of Evidence
Statutes of Limitations and Repose
Burden of Proof
Damages and Remedies
Insurance Policies and Subrogation
Practice & Procedure Forms
Power of Attorney
Release and Consent
Witness Statements and Affidavits
Internet Research

Course Modules

The Personal Injury Core Course consists of five modules.  The modules and their subjects are as follows:

1. Elements of a Personal Injury Case
An overview of the basic components of a personal injury case, including types of cases, case timelines, liabilities, damages, defenses, witnesses, documents, records, and forms.
2. Investigating the Personal Injury Case
This module discusses the process of evaluating a case, beginning with the initial phone and office interviews; use of consent and release forms to gather information and records; research of the client and legal issues; identification of parties and subrogation interests; case evaluation; and case acceptance.
3. Experts
This module discusses the various uses of the expert in the personal injury case, including locating, evaluating and retaining experts; the criteria for admission of expert testimony at trial under the FRCP and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; preparation of experts' reports; discovery of expert information in litigation; and the paralegal's role in working with the expert during the case and in preparation for trial.
4. Negotiation and Settlement
This module discusses negotiation strategies and objectives; preparations, and summaries of witness statements; facts, legal issues, and damages; and the purposes and elements of settlement proposals and demands.
5. Presenting the Personal Injury Case at Trial
This module discusses the elements of preparing a case and presenting it at trial, such as the development as trial strategies and themes; preparing pleadings; consideration of jurisdiction and venue; pretrial discovery issues and motions; use of experts and demonstrative exhibits; final preparation before trial; and the paralegal's assistance at trial.