10 Terms You Should Know When Filing a Lawsuit

Published on Apr 10, 2020 at 2:59 pm in Legal Information.

If you’ve been in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, it may have caused injuries and damages. As a victim of their negligence, you could have extensive medical bills, are unable to work at this time, and are experiencing pain and suffering as well. You can decide to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

When you’re going through the legal process, many aspects of it can be confusing. While having a lawyer at your side to help explain everything can provide clarity on what’s happening, you may want to familiarize yourself with some of the common terms used when someone is filing a lawsuit. This way, you’ll feel a more comprehensive understanding of what you should know when you’re going through the legal process.

Legal Terms

There are more than a few legal terms that may come up during your lawsuit. It’s important to know these terms so you know what the mean when your lawyer uses them or you can ask specifically for clarification on a term you aren’t familiar with. Check out the following legal terms:

  • Claim. This refers to the statement of relief desired in a civil case.
  • Plaintiff/Defendant. The plaintiff is the person bringing the claim forward. They start the civil case. The defendant is on the other side of this. They are given the court papers.
  • Damages. When someone is seeking compensation for a legal wrong, the money they receive is referred to as damages.
  • Liability. This is the responsibility for the damages. Typically, the plaintiff filing the lawsuit will say the defendant is liable for the damages, as they’re seeking compensation from the defendant. The defendant may try to show they weren’t liable or that the plaintiff was partially liable for damages.
  • Discovery. Both sides of the case can request information from the other side. The do this to help gather evidence, evaluate the circumstances, and build their case. During this process, lawyers can request items like documents from the other side, witness statements, and other pertinent information.
  • Negligence. Negligence is exhibited when someone fails to meet the duty of care they owed another person. For example, a driver has a duty of care to go the speed limit, drive sober, and remain cautious as to not cause a car accident. If they are driving negligently, they may cause an accident. A store has a duty of care to mark slippery floors if they were recently mopped so people know to walk carefully. An unmarked recently mopped floor could result in a slip and fall. Because of the negligence, the other party suffers damages.
  • Malpractice. This is a complex concept that your lawyer will need to prove through a series of steps. For example, if you’re involved in a medical malpractice case, your lawyer will need to prove the doctor owed you a standard of care, they didn’t provide this standard of care—while others in their field would have acted differently to meet this standard—and their actions injured you and caused you damages.
  • Statute of Limitations. Most personal injury cases have a time limit in which you can bring the case forward. This is referred to as the statute of limitations.
  • Tort. This is an act or lack of action that causes injury or harm to another. The person who was injured or harmed can bring the case to a civil court to determine liability. Injury is when someone’s legal rights are invaded and harm is what the individual suffers.
  • Adjudication. When a judge makes a decision, their decision is called an adjudication.

Now that you have the definitions of these legal terms down, you may feel like you have a better grasp on what’s going on in your case and will be able to communicate your concerns or questions more clearly to your lawyer.

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When you’re involved in a legal claim, you may be in a long process until you get the compensation you need. There are options for pre-settlement funding that can help you deal with your current financial situation. After discussing the matter with your lawyer and getting approval, get in touch with our funding experts to see how we may help you. We may be able to provide the funding that you need in a day.

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