Once you file your personal injury claim, there may be some terminology that is used when speaking with your lawyer or insurance companies that may be unclear to you. Here is a list of some of the most common terms that arise in most personal injury cases.
Damages: This term is used to describe the injuries suffered by an individual in a personal injury accident. Damages are usually placed in one of two categories; economical and non-economical damages.
Deposition: A deposition is a step in the discovery process when an individual or witness answers questions, or gives a statement in person and under oath.
Discovery: This part of a personal injury case is very important. This part of the case refers to before the trial when each party tries to gather as much information as possible regarding the accident. This is done through written questions and depositions (see above).
Negligence: Negligence occurs when an individual or group of individuals fails to act the way a reasonable person would in similar circumstances. In particular failing to take necessary measures to prevent injury or harm.
Personal Injury: This term may be obvious, but if you think you have a personal injury case it is important to know what defines a personal injury. A personal injury involves injury to the body, mind or emotions. Personal injuries can be physical, emotional, mental or psychological as a result of an accident.
Proximate Cause: Often referred to as the “legal cause”, the proximate cause is the primary cause of injury and the act that resulted in the injury. The law provides that it need not be the only cause of the last cause, but only “a” cause.
Statute of Limitations: This term is very important as it refers to the time period which a plaintiff must file a lawsuit seeking damages according to state law. If you wait until the statute of limitations passes you forfeit your right to file a lawsuit for your personal injury case. Many have different time limits.
Survival Claim: Refers to a legal claim that could have been presented prior to death. The survival claim is a lawsuit that can be presented on behalf of the descendant’s estate by family members or an executor of the estate for the injuries sustained prior to death.
Tort: In short term a tort is a wrong or illegal act. A tort refers to a wrongful act results in injury or harm to a person.
Wrongful Death: These are lawsuits that can be filed when a death is caused by the negligence of another person or entity. Certain family members of the deceased may file the wrongful death claim to receive compensation to recover economic and non-economic damages associated with the loss of their loved one.
If you are thinking about filing a personal injury claim or are in the process of one, it is important to keep this terminology in mind. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to help you understand your case and to receive the compensation you deserve.
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