Common Terms In A Personal Injury Case | Eisenberg Law
Common Terms You’ll Hear In A Personal Injury CasePersonal injury cases are complex and time-consuming in the best of situations. To make matters even more complicated, they can be difficult to understand if you don’t have a legal background. Judges and lawyers will toss terms back and forth as they discuss a case, present evidence, or question witnesses. That doesn’t mean you’ll understand what is going on. To help promote understanding of your personal injury case, we’ve developed this primer on common terms you may hear as your case moves through the legal system. We hope it will help you better understand what’s going on and give you more confidence in your legal situation.
Common Personal Injury Legal Terms
- Complaint. Complaint is another term for the lawsuit. To pursue a lawsuit, you’ll file a personal injury complaint with the court clerk, pay filing fees, and then begin the lawsuit process. Complaints contain specific information, including details about the incident, a demand for compensation, and a request for a trial.
- Plaintiff. The plaintiff is the person who files the lawsuit. If multiple people have been injured in the same instance, there may be multiple plaintiffs.
- Defendant. The defendant is the one who is being sued. When a plaintiff files a lawsuit, he or she must identify whom they believe is responsible for the plaintiff’s injury or damages. If more than one person or organization is responsible, several defendants may be named.
- Party. Party is a generic, non-specific identifier used to refer to either the defendant, the plaintiff, or other included person or entity.
- Negligence. Negligence is a term that is used to describe a situation when someone fails to act in the way the law requires them to act. Failing to act with prudence and care can cause injury to others and may lead to a personal injury lawsuit. Proving negligence is central to winning a personal injury lawsuit.
- Damages. Damages refers to money that is asked for or awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Torts And Tortfeasors. A tort is a wrong that has been committed against a plaintiff. A tort refers to a specific type of lawsuit involving one person committing a civil harm against another. A tortfeasor is another name for the person who caused the other person’s injuries (the defendant), or who performed the act that lead to the lawsuit.