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A Glossary of Basic Terms to Know in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Most of the times, the major request many of the Rochester personal injury law firms get is to explain the meaning of a legal word or phrase. Even though we can leave the high-level legal jargons and technical aspects of a lawsuit to an experienced lawyer, it is essential for those who are initiating a personal injury lawsuit is to know about the basic terminology. Knowing these will surely help you understand your situation and possibilities better and to communicate with a legal consultant effectively.

What we discuss below are some common terms and their explanations as described by one of the top-rated Rochester personal injury law firm, which will help you understand the personal injury legal suits in a better way.

Personal injury basic legal terminology

  • Abstract of Title: This is a summary of all the official records in chronological order.
  • Ad Litem: It’s a Latin term which means the purpose of the lawsuit.
  • Adjudicate: Resolving a legal suit.
  • Claim: In personal injury, it’s the civil action related to the physical or mental sufferings of the plaintiff or on behalf of the victim.
  • Class-action Lawsuit: A lawsuits filed to make a company accountable for their products like defective pharmaceuticals or any toxic materials.
  • Comparative Negligence: Considering the plaintiff’s contribution in an accident against the negligence of the defendant.
  • Compensation: The amount to make up for the loss of the plaintiff.
  • Damages: The payment recovered by the civil court for a loss or injury caused by the negligence of the accused.
  • Defendant: The accused party in a civil lawsuit.
  • Expert witness: It’s a person who testifies in a trail with his or her knowledge or proficiency in the field of the relevancy in a case.
  • Fraud: A deceptive or false statement which is intentional to persuade another one to give up something valuable.
  • Gross Negligence: Failing to performance of a responsible duty by disregarding the health or property of another person.
  • Litigation: Process of initiating a legal action or simply filing a lawsuit.
  • Medical Malpractice: Professional negligence of a healthcare provider, which ends up in an injury to someone.
  • Occupational Diseases: Any illness caused by the nature of long-term employment.
  • Partial Disability: Usually in workers’ compensation lawsuits, this refers to the disabilities which are less than total disability.
  • Personal Injury: The field of law which covers the physical or emotional injury and financial losses caused due to an accident.
  • Plaintiff: The one who initiatives a legal action.
  • Proximate Cause: The primary reason why damage or injury occur.
  • Settlement: Agreement between the parties to end a lawsuit.
  • The statute of Limitations: The specified time within which the plaintiff has to file a lawsuit.
  • Strict Liability: The legal doctrine is holding the defendant liable for any harm caused to others by their actions.
  • Tort: An injury or a private wrong committed against an individual or a property, which results in a lawsuit.
  • Total Disability: In workers’ compensation lawsuits, damages awarded to the sufferer if they are totally impaired in a work-related injury.
  • Verdict: The judgment in a case.
  • Wrongful Death Action: It is a lawsuit against an individual or organization in case of the death of a person due to wrongful behavior or negligence.

Hope this glossary may help individuals who are planning to file a personal injury suit to understand the terms better and communicate more effectively with an attorney.

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