If you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed in a car accident, you might be thinking about speaking with a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim.
But if you’ve never worked with a lawyer before, your first meeting with one might be intimidating. Some things that lawyers say when they are speaking about personal injury cases might sound like they are speaking another language.
Here are definitions for some of the most common terms that may come up if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Assumption of Risk – A defense which prevents or reduces a plaintiff’s right to recover compensation from a defendant who shows that the injured party voluntarily and knowingly assumed the risks of the dangerous activity that he or she was participating at the time of the injury.
- Burden of Proof – The requirement that the plaintiff (the party bringing a civil action) show by a “preponderance of evidence” that all the facts necessary to win a judgment are presented and are probably true.
- Comparative Negligence – In a comparative negligence state, a plaintiff’s negligence is compared to the negligence of the defendant. The plaintiff’s recovery is then reduced by the percentage that it is determined that the plaintiff contributed to the accident.
- Contributory Negligence – In a contributory negligence state, if a plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the accident at all, he or she is prevented from recovering damages from the defendant.
- Economic damages – These damages may include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, household services, vocational rehabilitation, property damages, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost earning capacity.
- Loss of Consortium – These are damages that are awarded to a family member (usually that person’s spouse) of a deceased person for the loss of companionship.
- Medical Malpractice – Negligence by a professional health care provider who departs from the applicable standard of care and causes injury to a patient.
- Modified Comparative Negligence – In a modified comparative negligence negligence state, liability is spread proportionately according to fault. However, if a plaintiff’s negligence is greater than then defendant’s, the plaintiff is barred from recovering damages from the defendant. Nevada is a modified comparative negligence state.
- Non-Economic Damages – Damages including pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, or other nonpecuniary injury.
- Punitive Damages – Damages that are intended to punish the defendant.
- Reasonable Care – The degree of caution and concern that an ordinarily prudent or rational person would use in similar circumstances.
- Reasonable Person – A hypothetical person in society who exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct.
- Statute of Limitations – The statute of limitations is the period of time that you have to file a civil lawsuit.
- Strict Liability – This is a legal doctrine that holds a person liable for the harm that is caused by their conduct regardless of their intentions or level of care. Typically, strict liability is used in defective products or product liability cases.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – A TBI is an impact to the head that results in a diminished or altered state of consciousness and may impair a person’s cognitive abilities, physical capacity, and/or cause a disturbance of emotional or behavioral functioning.
- Wrongful Death – A lawsuit that is filed against a person or company who is responsible for a person’s death because of their negligent or wrongful behavior.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured because of the conduct of another, you should seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you protect your rights.