Call A Lawyer


Your Needs:
Your Name:
Zip Code:


Personal Injury Glossary

Injury Terms and Their Definitions

Below are legal terms you may here if you are involved in a personal injury case. The terms listed below will have basic definitions and explanations. There may be additional legal complications that can occur so you should speak to a personal injury attorney if you are confused about anything regarding your case.

Appeal: An appeal is a request to move a case to a higher court in the hopes of reversing or changing a lower court's legal decision. An appellate court (the higher court) will review the case and lower court's decision (state supreme court). The appellate court will either decide to uphold the ruling or change it.

Asbestos: A mineral used in building material that was banned in the 1980's. Research has shown that exposure to asbestos can cause serious health issues such as cancer, mesothelioma, and other respiratory conditions.

Civil Rights: The rights possessed by all citizens of the United States, under the U.S. Constitution. Generally speaking civil rights refer to laws involved with race and gender discrimination.

Civil Law: Civil Law is a specific branch of law that governs two parties involved with a personal dispute. Under civil law, no criminal charges are filed and the dispute is normally over monetary damages.

Class-Action Lawsuit: A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff on behalf of a similar group of people over a similar circumstance. Generally, class action lawsuits are filed against companies with faulty products or defective drugs.

Compensatory Damages: Money awarded to a plaintiff in a civil case. Some states allow for compensatory damages for things like pain and suffering but all states provide damages for actual economic loses.

Defendant: the party whom a civil lawsuit has been filed against.

Discrimination: Discrimination is the unjust treatment of a person based on their race, gender, religion, or age. Discrimination violates the civil rights of an individual.

Dram Shop laws: State laws that make drinking establishments legally liable for damage done by patrons who were visibly intoxicated but were still served.

Due Diligence: The effort made by an individual to reasonably prevent harm to another party.

Excessive Force: A phrased often used to describe police brutality in which police officers go above and beyond the necessary requirements to subdue an individual.

Excited Delirium: A term that is used to explain a state a physiological that leads to death during an arrest or while in policy custody. Cases like this often involve the use of tasers by police officers.

Hate Crime: A crime committed against another person based solely on race, age, sex, or religion. Hate crimes can be both civil and criminal cases.

Hazardous Exposure: Physical contact with toxic materials or airborne agents such as hazardous chemicals, asbestos waste, chemical waste, mold, among other toxic agents. Liability can be given to multiple individuals include landlords, property owners or staff members.

Hit and Run: A hit and run occurs when a person in an automobile strikes another car, person, or structure, yet leaves the scene of the accident. Hit and Run accidents are also civil and criminal cases.

Insurance Adjuster: An employee of an insurance company whose job is to settle insurance claims. Insurance adjusters work on behalf of the insurance company, which means they often try to lowball plaintiffs. This is why a personal injury attorney is often needed to protect the interests of a plaintiff.

Liability: Legal responsibility for an event that caused damages to a person or property.

Medial Malpractice: Negligence from a health care professional who deviates from the normal standards of medial procedure.

Negligence: A law that requires people to act with a "reasonable care." These laws vary from state to state but mostly involve taking reasonable precautions to prevent an incident from occurring.

Pain and Suffering: Legal damages that can be recovered by the plaintiff for emotional damage and loses. These damages also include physical and mental pain.

Plaintiff: The party whom has filed the complaint or claim.

Police Brutality: A term that is used to describe the excessive use of force by police offers while trying to subdue an individual. Generally speaking, police brutality only occurs when police go above and beyond what is necessary to arrest an individual.

Product Liability: A legal responsibility a company has for defects or problems with its' products.

Punitive Damages: Damages awarded from a jury to punish a defendant whose actions or behavior caused injuries to a plaintiff. Punitive damages are meant to deter a plaintiff from further negligent behavior.

Slip and Fall Injury: A slip and fall injury occurs when a person slips or falls on an individual's property. Generally speaking the plaintiff must prove negligence and prove that the owner of the property did not take reasonable steps to try to prevent people from slipping.

Statute of Limitations: A period of time that a person has to file a lawsuit to seek damages. If the statute of limitations passes, a plaintiff cannot file a lawsuit.

TASER: A taser is an electronic device used by police officers to subdue an individual who is resisting arrest or acting in an erratic manner.

Tort: A breach of one's individual responsibility to another person, as defined by law. Personal injuries due to negligent behavior are the most common example of a tort, upon which a lawsuit may be based.

Tort Reform: Legislation that caps on punitive damages that may be awarded to a plaintiff for personal injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury: Damage done to the human brain that is caused by sudden trauma to the head. TBI often occurs due to a violent blow to the head or piercing of the skull. TBI can be a slow process, which is why insurance companies often try to settle as early as possible to avoid long-term medical costs.

Workers' Compensation: A legal provision for employees that gives them insurance money for injuries that were sustained while on the job. In exchange for the compensation, employees are not legally allowed to sue their employer for negligence.

Looking for a definition you don't see here? Call now to speak with an attorney for free. 1-888-398-5266


Your Needs:
Your Name:
Zip Code: