The initial consultation with an attorney following an injury to you or a family member might be intimidating. At Atlanta Injury Law Center, our lawyers aim to use language that is easy to comprehend rather than legal terminology. If a specific situation arises that necessitates the use of technical phrases, it might be helpful to become acquainted with some of the commonly used words relating to personal injury cases. This article covers some of the most widely-used legalese.
Most Common Personal Injury Terms:
Claim – The process of requesting compensation directly from an insurance company is called a claim.
Contingency – As part of our personal injury law practice, we usually enter into contingency fee agreements with our clients. You will not have to pay anything upfront or while your case is pending. We will cover the costs associated with your case and you will only be reimbursed if you are awarded compensation.
Trial – It is the process of proving your case to a judge or jury. At the end of a trial, the judge or jury decides if the defendant is at fault and what compensation you should receive. The trial usually takes place in a courtroom with both sides presenting evidence.
At Fault – In law, the term “at fault” refers to the person who caused the victim’s injuries.
Parties – It is the generic term for both sides of the lawsuit, whether they are plaintiffs or defendants. Sometimes, a party to a lawsuit is a business or government entity.
Defendant – The defendant is the person, company, or other parties who have been accused of injuring you.
Filing – When we say we are filing, we are submitting a document or a series of documents to the court. For instance, we will file documents to initiate your case and provide the court with information during our investigation.
Verdict – An official verdict is either a judge’s or jury’s decision regarding who is at fault and how much the defendant should pay.
Settlement – Before you risk going to court, either the defendant or their insurance company may offer you money to resolve your case. A settlement is a pre-trial compensation offer. You may be advised to accept a settlement offer or to take your case to court, depending on the circumstances of your case and the amount we expect to recover.
Plaintiff – In a lawsuit, the plaintiff is the injured party or the one who filed the suit against the defendant. If you’ve been injured and wish to sue someone for your injuries, the plaintiff will be the one who files the suit.
Deliberation – When your case is tried before a jury, its members will take time outside the courtroom to discuss the case and make their decision. This discussion period before a verdict is called jury deliberation.