If you have sustained an injury from an auto accident or some other type of incident, you may find yourself in the midst of a court battle or on a quest to obtain a fair settlement to your case. Dealing with such issues can be difficult and worrisome – particularly if you’ve never gone through the process before. If that sounds like your situation, a Denver personal injury lawyer can help you with your case and walk you through the process, whether you are seeking a fair settlement or taking your case to court.
As you work with an attorney, you may hear a number of terms that are unfamiliar to you. Of course, if you hear something that you do not understand, you are encouraged to ask your attorney to explain things further so that you have a full understanding of your legal options and rights. Below, we’ve included a list of 10 of the more common personal injury case terms with which you should become familiar.
Personal Injury Terms You Should Know and Understand
- Negligence – In general, negligence involves a person’s failure to use a reasonable amount of care that would ordinarily be used by a reasonable person in a similar situation, such that the failure results in harm and/or injury to another.
- Complaint – A complaint is a pleading document that is presented to the court. As the first pleading of the case, the document will be used to initiate the civil action. Generally, complaints provide insight into the plaintiff’s (you/the harmed individual) reason for the claim and it will seek to obtain relief of some kind – typically in the form of financial compensation.
- Answer – An answer is an individual’s response to a complaint that has been filed against him or her. In the answer, the individual will usually admit or deny the claims made in the complaint.
- Damages – Damages are what’s paid to an individual who has been harmed/injured. Such compensation can include money for actual damages, as well as punitive damages that are designed to punish a wrongdoer.
- Discovery – In general, the process of learning more about a case is known as discovery. Discovery can take place through written requests, questions and/or depositions.
- Proximate Cause – Proximate cause refers to the “legal” cause that ultimately results in a party’s liability. Think of it this way: It is the cause the directly led to the incident that would not have taken place without “the cause” happening.
- Statute of Limitations – The statute of limitations is the timeframe that a harmed individual has to file his or her lawsuit. The timeframe differs based on the type of case at issue.
- Deposition – Depositions are usually taken out of a courtroom setting. It is testimony provided by an individual that may be used as part of the discovery process or in court before a judge.
- Comparative Fault – Comparative fault is a legal concept that involves determining and proportioning an individual’s recovery based on his or her level of fault with respect to the incident that resulted in the injury sustained. The concept is also sometimes referred to as “comparative negligence.”
- Wrongful Death – Wrongful death claims are typically made by a deceased individual’s family and they seek to obtain damages for their loved one’s death that was caused by another party’s wrongdoing/negligence.
If you or someone you love has questions about a current personal injury case, contact the personal injury attorneys at Levine Law as soon as possible. Let us help you obtain the just compensation to which you may be entitled.