Top Ten Common Personal Injury Terms Defined

Mrs. López and all of the Staff that had helped us it has been an absolute pleasure. They always had an answer to our questions and treated us with respect but most of all they listened.

Alondra O.

Outstanding Attorneys and Legal Team. Lopez, Justin, and Daisy were quick to answer my questions and handled my accident case with speed and courtesy. The outcome was much better than I anticipated.

Robert R.

A huge thanks to your office for such a great experience with my case. Special thanks to Denora, Carmen, and especially Kevin for answering my many calls and questions and keeping me informed through the entire process. I’m am extremely happy and grateful with the outcome.

Kathy W.
March 14, 2024

Civil litigation is packed with language that forms the backbone of legal speech. While second nature to attorneys, this glossary can appear complicated to those less familiar with the legal field. This blog educates and empowers people by giving them definitions of the most used legal words in personal injury cases.

1. Damages

This term refers to the monetary compensation sought by the plaintiff or awarded by the court for loss or injury suffered due to the defendant’s actions or negligence.

2. Defendant

The party against whom a lawsuit is filed. In civil litigation, the defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff’s allegations and may potentially owe damages if found liable.

3. Complaint

This document officially starts a lawsuit. It outlines the plaintiff’s grievances and the legal reasons why the defendant is believed to be at fault, setting the litigation process in motion.

4. Duty of Care

This phrase is the legal obligation requiring individuals to exercise reasonable care in their actions by considering the potential harm they might foreseeably cause to others. It’s a cornerstone concept in negligence cases.

5. Burden of Proof

This term describes the obligation of a party to prove their allegations in court. In civil litigation, the plaintiff typically carries the burden of proof, needing to establish their case to the required standard of evidence.

6. Assumption of Risk

This phrase is a defense in personal injury lawsuits where the defendant argues that the plaintiff voluntarily exposed themselves to a known risk, thereby absolving the defendant of liability for any resulting harm.

7. Liability

The legal responsibility for one’s actions or omissions. In civil litigation, determining liability means establishing who is at fault for causing the plaintiff’s damages.

8. Contingency Fee

A payment structure where a lawyer’s fees for representing the plaintiff are based upon winning the case. The fee is typically a percentage of the damages awarded, meaning if the case is lost, no fees are due.

9. Verdict

The final decision issued by a judge or jury on the matters presented in the trial, including whether the defendant is liable and, if so, the amount of damages owed to the plaintiff.

10. Appeal

The process by which a party requests a higher court to review and change a lower court’s decision. An appeal is based on arguments that legal errors were made that affected the trial’s outcome.

One of the jobs of a personal injury attorney is to explain not only the steps of a personal injury case but also the definition of personal injury terms used in the legal world. Lopez & Humphries has decades of experience in Personal Injury law, helping injured clients obtain compensation for their injuries. See what our clients say about us and allow us to stand by your side as your legal allies, steering you through the legal process, championing your interests, and aiding in your recovery after an accident. Reach out to us today for a FREE consultation.

Start Live Chat? We don’t get paid to lose.