Top Ten Dictionary Terms for PI Cases

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The ten most common personal top ten personal injury terms to know, are terms that will come up during discussions with the personal injury attorney. Knowing the meaning of these legal words will clarify legal words that are commonly used and enable you to participate more in the litigation process.

Damages: The word damages, is used to describe the harm or injuries suffered by an individual. Damages are in two types, which can compensate the injured party; economical damages and non-economical damages. Compensation can be awarded for physical impairment, disfigurement, and mental anguish, which are non-economical damages. Compensation for economical damages is compensation for items such as medical expenses and lost wages. (Learn More.)

The jury can award punitive damages, in addition to compensatory damages, which are designed to punish the defendant for their conduct that was responsible for the injuries. In order for punitive damages to be awarded, the plaintiff must satisfy a higher burden of proof.

Deposition: Depositions normally occur outside of the courtroom and are transcribed by a court reporter, while the person being deposed is under oath to answer questions asked by an attorney. Deposing the person is considered a form of discovery. (Learn More.)

Discovery: This is the obtaining of evidence that will be used at trial and can include various forms of gathering the evidence. The discovery can include depositions, requests for producing of documents, and written interrogatories. (Learn More.)

Negligence: This is a failure to act with a standard of care that society expects and people have a duty to act reasonable. When the actions of a person or entity fail to act with a standard of care, which results in the injury or death of another person, they are considered negligent under the law. (Learn More.)

Personal Injury: A personal injury involves a personal injury to the body, mind or emotions, and does not involve damages to real property. (Learn More; See Also Here.)

Proximate Cause: This is a term used to refer to the primary cause of an injury, and the act that resulted in the injury. Without this act the injury would not have occurred and proximate cause if often referred to as the “legal cause” or it can be called “cause at law.”

Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations is the time limit that the plaintiff has to file their lawsuit. This time limit differs in different types of cases and against government or state entities, than the individual defendant. The statute of limitations is on average two years from the date of the incident. (Learn More.)

Survival Claim: The survival claim is a lawsuit brought by a person on behalf of a descendant’s estate. The survival claim is a legal claim that would have been brought prior to the death of the defendant and can be filed by specific family members or the executor of the estate. (Learn More.)

Tort: Tort is used as a term for negligent or wrongful conduct that results in injury to a person. (Learn More.)

Wrongful Death: Wrongful death lawsuits are filed, when a death is the result of negligence by another person or entity that causes the death of an individual. Certain family members can file the wrongful death claim to recover damages they suffered by the loss of their loved one and future loss. (Learn More.)