Glossary Of Legal Terms
Plaintiff: The word plaintiff describes the injured party who files a lawsuit against someone else after sustaining injuries because of their negligence. Sometimes, there are multiple plaintiffs and defendants involved in personal injury cases. That brings us to our next word.
Defendant: This term can be defined as an individual, business, or institution accused or sued in a court of law. When it comes to a personal injury claim, it may make sense to file a lawsuit against a single party. Then again, a plaintiff might wish to sue each and every player that could be liable for their injuries.
Negligence: According to Forbes, the legal definition of negligence is the failure to exercise the level of care toward another person that a reasonable person would exercise under similar circumstances. It is the plaintiff's duty to prove the defendant or defendants neglect caused their damages. Negligence comes in various shapes, including drunk driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, and more.
Liability: Legal responsibility is the definition of the word liability. An example is the homeowner had a legal liability to keep their front porch handrail in excellent condition. However, they failed in this regard, the rail came loose from the wall while a guest was holding it, and they fell backward off the steps. Then, the individual hit their head on the sidewalk, sustaining a traumatic brain injury.
Compensation: The Free Dictionary says compensation is something, such as money, which is given or received to pay for a service or loss. People hire attorneys to seek compensation after accidents to cover medical bills, car repairs, funeral costs, etc. Factors like lost wages and current/future medical expenses are used to calculate compensation.
Litigation: Litigation is the process of filing a lawsuit or taking legal action. To use this word in a sentence, one might say, "Bob entered into litigation after opening a civil suit against his employer for wrongfully withholding wages." So, don't let the word litigation intimidate you. It is like the rest of the terminology on this list, all bark, and no bite.
Personal Injury: This is an area of the law that covers physical, mental, and emotional injuries caused by someone's negligence. These cases are not criminal lawsuits. Rather, they're classified as civil torts.
Tort: Don't let this fancy word scare you. In layman's terms, a tort can be defined as the reason why a lawsuit was brought about. As for a personal injury tort, that's normally when a person's action or inaction injures or harms another party.
Wrongful Death: A wrongful death occurs when someone loses their life due to the negligence/misconduct of someone else. Auto crashes, premises liability incidents, and defective products are just some ways wrongful deaths arise. Families sometimes seek compensation from responsible parties to cover funeral costs, lost wages, punitive damages, and more.
Some Last Words
Have you been injured in an accident in the St. Petersburg area? If so, do you believe someone's negligence is why you're hurt? You might be entitled to compensation, providing that you can prove that. That's where some professional help often comes in handy.