While you can leave most of the personal injury law jargon to us, there are a few terms that everyone should know and learn if involved in a personal injury case. Every case is different, but if you know these personal injury law jargon terms, you’ll be ahead of the game.
PERSONAL INJURY LAW JARGON
Average Daily Wage (Adw)-The ADW is a calculation of an injured employee’s average daily earnings and is sometimes used to determine entitlement to wage loss benefits following an injury, particularly where the AWW would not be an accurate representation of the employee’s earnings.
Bench trial– A trial without a jury, in which the judge serves as the fact-finder.
Brief– A written statement submitted in a trial or appellate proceeding that explains one side’s legal and factual arguments.
Burden of Proof– The burden of proof refers to the plaintiff’s obligation to prove his or her allegations to be true — or at least more likely true than not. There are several different thresholds of proof that could apply depending upon the type of case being litigated.
Class Action– An action in which a representative plaintiff sues or a representative defendant is sued on behalf of a class of plaintiffs or defendants who have the same interests in the litigation as their representative and whose rights or liabilities can be more efficiently determined as a group than in a series of individual suits.
Complaint– A written statement that begins a civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant.
Damages– Money that a defendant pays a plaintiff in a civil case if the plaintiff has won. Damages may be compensatory (for loss or injury) or punitive (to punish and deter future misconduct).
Defendant– The party against whom a criminal or civil action is brought.
Gross Negligence– A conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both. It is conduct that is extreme when compared with ordinary Negligence, which is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care.
Negligence– Failure to exercise the degree of care expected of a person of ordinary prudence in like circumstances in protecting others from a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm in a situation.
Plaintiff– The party who institutes a legal action or claim.
Pleadings– Written statements filed with the court that describe a party’s legal or factual assertions about the case.
Prayer For Relief– A prayer for relief is a part of a pleading, and it usually appears at the end of the pleading. It includes a request for specific relief or damages which the pleader deems himself entitled. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded. A prayer for relief is also termed as a demand for relief.
Res Ipsa Loquitur- A doctrine or rule of evidence in tort law that permits an inference or presumption that a defendant was negligent in an accident injuring the plaintiff on the basis of circumstantial evidence if the accident was of a kind that does not ordinarily occur in the absence of negligence.
Statute of Limitations- A statute of limitations is the time period (set by law) in which you may file suit claiming damages. The statute of limitations can vary from case to case depending upon the circumstances.
Tort – A wrongful act other than a breach of contract that injures another and for which the law imposes civil liability.
We hope these definitions will help you to understand some of the common used personal injury law jargon terms you will encounter throughout our site and when working with an attorney.