If you are injured in an accident and are seeking monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained, then you may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in order to obtain said monetary compensation. However, if you do file a personal injury lawsuit, keep in mind that you may run into more than a few legal terms, the definitions of which may be foreign to you. Below, we have compiled a list of some of the most commonly used legal terms that you will hear when litigating a personal injury case to help you be better equipped to litigate your own case.
Legal Terms Used In Every Personal Injury Case in Middlesex County, NJ
The following are a list and definition of the legal terms that are used in every personal injury case:
- Plaintiff – This is the party that initiates the personal injury lawsuit and is the one who is seeking monetary compensation for his or her injuries. If you are the one who files a personal injury lawsuit, you will be called the plaintiff.
- Defendant – This is the party to the lawsuit that is named as the at-fault party by the plaintiff. The defendant defends himself or herself against the claims that the plaintiff brings in his or her lawsuit to avoid being held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Prayer For Relief/Ad Damnum Clause – To initiate every personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must file a complaint against a defendant. In this complaint, the last paragraph is typically supposed to state the type of relief the plaintiff seeks to obtain from filing the lawsuit. The relief is often monetary compensation but can be another form of relief. This last paragraph is called the prayer for relief or, stated differently, the ad damnum clause.
- Damages – This term is used to describe the amount of money you, as the plaintiff, want to recover from the lawsuit. Damages can be compensatory, meaning they are sought to make you whole again after the accident. Damages can also be punitive in more egregious cases, which means the court is punishing the defendant for his or her behavior. Moreover, compensatory damages are sometimes divided further into what are called economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are damages that can be easily calculated, such as costs for reimbursement of medical bills, whereas noneconomic damages are for injuries that cannot be easily quantified, such as for emotional distress or pain and suffering.
- Preponderance of Evidence – This term is used when describing the legal standard by which the plaintiff has to prove his or her case against the defendant. Under this legal standard, you need to prove, that it is more probable than not, that the defendant caused the injuries you sustained.
- Tort – A tort is the wrongful act that caused the plaintiff injury or property damage.
Other Legal Terms Used In Specific Personal Injury Cases in NJ
- The Statute of Limitations – This term refers to the deadline by which a plaintiff may file a personal injury lawsuit against a defendant.
- Negligence – This term is a legal theory by which a plaintiff can hold a defendant liable for his or her injuries. Negligence occurs when a person owes a duty to another person, breaches that duty by failing to act in a reasonable manner, the breach caused injuries and there are actual damages. In order for a plaintiff to win their case, they will need to prove every element of a negligence claim.
- Proximate Cause – This term is used to describe an element of negligence. It is defined as the main reason that resulted in injury to the plaintiff.
Contact an Edison Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious personal injuries due to a motorcycle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party, or their insurance company, to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side and fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lombardi & Lombardi, P.A. represent clients in their personal injury lawsuits in Edison, Piscataway, New Brunswick, Old Bridge, and throughout New Jersey. Call 732-564-7165 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820, as well as other offices in Brick, Freehold and Point Pleasant Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.