Personal Injury Law Terms You Should Know

March 11, 2022

The complexity of the personal injury claims process can be perplexing for many clients. This complexity is further compounded by a variety of confusing law terms. Although each claim is unique, below is a list of common personal injury law terms that you may come across while processing your claim. If you need assistance or want to better understand the law terms in your claim, please contact a personal injury lawyer at Saladino & Schaaf.

Personal Injury Legal Terms

Proximate Cause: In order for an injured party to recover damages, their lawyers must show that the actions (or inaction) of the defendant were the “proximate cause” of the injuries suffered. Simply put, but for the defendant’s carelessness, the plaintiff would not have been hurt.

Tort: A tort is a wrongful act or omission that results in harm to another person. Torts can be intentional or accidental.

Negligence: Negligence occurs when a person fails to exercise reasonable care, and as a result causes harm to another person. For example, if you’re driving and hit someone because you weren’t paying attention, that would be considered negligence.

Liability: Liability refers to a party’s legal responsibility for their actions or omissions. In personal injury cases, liability is often determined by proving negligence.

Damages: Damages are the financial compensation a person receives for injuries or losses suffered as a result of an accident. Damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

First-Party Claim: A first-party claim is a type of insurance claim filed by the policyholder. For example, if you’re injured in an accident and have medical expenses, you would file a first-party claim with your health insurer.

Expert Witness: An expert witness is a person who has special knowledge or experience in a particular field, and can offer testimony to help support a plaintiff’s case.

Plaintiff: A plaintiff is a person who brings a lawsuit against another person or entity.

Defendant: A defendant is the person or entity sued in a civil lawsuit.

Standard of Care: The standard of care is the level of care that a reasonable person would exercise in a similar situation. For example, the standard of care a doctor must meet is that of a reasonably competent doctor. If a doctor fails to meet this standard and their patient is injured as a result, they may be liable for negligence.

Assumption of Risk:  Assumption of risk is when a person knowingly and voluntarily accepts the risks of an activity. For example, if you go skiing, you assumed the risk that you might fall and get injured.

Fault: Fault is a legal term that refers to who was responsible for an accident. In personal injury cases, fault is often determined by proving negligence.

Statute of Limitations: A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on how long a person has to file a lawsuit. 

Pecuniary Damages: Pecuniary damages are financial compensation for losses that can be quantified, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

Non-Pecuniary Damages: Non-pecuniary damages are financial compensation for losses that cannot be quantified, such as pain and suffering.

Premise Liability: Premise liability is when a property owner is held responsible for injuries that occur on their property.

Negligent Security: Negligent security is when a property owner fails to provide adequate security, and as a result, someone is injured or killed.

Workers’ Compensation: Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job.

Personal Injury Lawyer: A personal injury lawyer helps people who have been injured in accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer to learn about your options and understand your rights.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Saladino & Schaaf have over 75 years of combined expertise representing Kentuckians in accident injury incidents. Contact one of our attorneys now to talk about your case at 270-444-0406 (Paducah) / 270-753-1529 (Murray), or contact us online for a free case evaluation.




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Personal Injury Law Terms




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Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is dedicated to providing high quality, aggressive legal representation to victims of personal injury and wrongful death. Since 1984, this firm and its predecessors have had one goal in mind – to help the victims of personal injury put the pieces of their lives back together.

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Car Accidents learn more
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