Demystifying Legal Jargon: A Guide for Personal Injury Clients

Demystifying Legal Jargon: A Guide for Personal Injury Clients

Demystifying Legal Jargon: A Guide for Personal Injury Clients

If you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may want to file a personal injury claim to recover your losses.

Through this process, you’re likely to hear loads of legal jargon that may seem confusing and complicated.

Trying to figure out what these terms mean is a difficult task on its own. It’s important for you to be involved in your case, but that’s nearly impossible to do if you don’t understand the terminology.

These are some of the most commonly used personal injury terms you’re likely to hear.

Personal Injury

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For starters, a personal injury is a civil matter in which a person has suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence. Car accidents are the most common type, though personal injury cases also include slip and fall accidents on someone else’s property, unprovoked dog bites, surgical errors, and injuries from defective products.


If you are the injured party in a personal injury lawsuit, you are the plaintiff. The plaintiff files a claim against the defendant to recover compensation for the losses incurred due to the injury from the accident.


The person or entity who injured you as a result of their negligent or careless actions is the defendant. If found liable, they will be responsible for paying you damages.


Negligence is a crucial aspect and common thread for all personal injury cases. It refers to the fault or error of another party. In a car accident, if the other driver got behind the wheel while drunk, they were clearly negligent. It is also negligent for store or property owners not to warn visitors of any potential hazards such as wet floors.


Liability refers to a person’s legal obligation to another person. In a car accident case, a drunk driver who crashes into your car and leads to your injuries is the liable party. This is because everyone on the road has a duty to uphold by driving safely and obeying the law.

In the supermarket, the property owner owes you a duty to provide you with a safe and hazard-free shopping experience. If they do not take care of a hazard immediately or mark off the area with warning signs, then they are liable.


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Damages are what you and your attorney will seek from the at-fault party for your injuries. These can include economic damages, which come with specific financial costs, such as your medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, or property damage. Additionally, you can seek non-economic damages for things that don’t have a set financial amount, such as your mental anguish, pain and suffering, or loss of consortium.

Statute of Limitations

This is the amount of time you have to file your personal injury claim. In California, it is two years from the injury date.

If you have questions about personal injuries or if you have suffered an injury due to another person’s negligent actions, contact an Orange County personal injury attorney to find out more.

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Bhumesh Verma

Legal Expert

Bhumesh is the Managing Partner of Corp Comm Legal, an Indian law firm. He is ranked among the Top 100 Indian corporate lawyers. He is advising domestic and foreign companies on M&A, joint ventures, corporate - commercial issues. Besides, he has written a book on Drafting of Commercial Agreements, has a couple of books in pipeline and trains students and professionals on Drafting Skills and corporate laws. He writes regularly on legal, business & other issues and is a guest faculty lecturer with educational institutes. Bhumesh holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Delhi and a further qualification in International Law and Legal Studies from College of Law, York.

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