When it is time to pick up the pieces after negligence causes an accident and injuries, understanding the legal options and how personal injury cases work is crucial. The foundation of this understanding relies on knowing the key terms that are used to discuss these claims and the recovery process.
Revealing more, the following presents some clear, no-nonsense definitions of the most common and fundamental terms associated with personal injury cases and recoveries. For deeper insights about your case and legal options, contact an experienced Bogota personal injury lawyer at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, P.C.
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Personal Injury Terminology & Glossary: 15 Essential Personal Injury Terms Defined
These important personal injury terms are in alphabetical order for ease of reference:
- Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) – Out-of-court methods for resolving a personal injury case. Mediation and arbitration are the most common forms of ADR. Possible benefits of ADR for personal injury claims can include saving money and securing faster resolutions.
- Bad faith – Acting with the intent to deceive in order to avoid fulfilling legal obligations. Bad faith can arise in the insurance claims process when, for example, an insurer prolongs the investigation of a claim, misinterprets the evidence or rewrites the policy after a claim is filed (i.e., post-claim underwriting). Insurers can be liable for their acts of bad faith.
- Burden of proof – The legal obligation to provide evidence that validates the allegations associated with a personal injury case. In these claims, the injured party who has filed the claim has the burden of proving negligence, liability and damages. Failing to meet the burden of proof generally can mean that no compensation will be secured for that claim.
- Compensatory damages – Monetary awards for the actual losses a victim has sustained as a result of negligence. The purpose behind these damages is to restore the injured parties and make them “whole” again (to the extent possible). In personal injury claims, some examples of compensatory damages include compensation for medical bills, property damage and lost wages.
- Contingency fees or services – Legal fees or services that only require payment if compensation is secured for the given claim. The attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, P.C. work on contingency, meaning that injured people owe the firm nothing until or unless there is a financial recovery for their claim. This form of legal services is intended to relieve victims’ financial stresses as they exercise their rights and legal options.
- Demand letter – A formal letter sent to a defendant (or the defendant’s insurance company), requesting that some action be taken and explaining the legal consequences of not taking that action. Demand letters can be sent before a case goes to trial in an effort to try to settle a claim out of court.
- Deposition – An interrogation that occurs under oath. Depositions are commonly a part of the discovery process, and the information provided in these sessions is recorded by a court reported so it can be used as evidence later (if needed). Plaintiffs, defendants, eye witnesses and expert witnesses are just some of the parties that may be deposed for a personal injury case.
- Discovery – The pre-trial, fact-finding phase of a personal injury case. During discovery, both sides of a case will gather and exchange evidence. Depositions, records requests and additional medical exams (for the injured) can all be part of the discovery process.
- First-party claims – Claims filed with the injured party’s insurance provider. Uninsured motorist claims and hit-and-run cases are a couple of examples of first-party personal injury claims.
- Liability – The legal responsibility that an individual, company or other entity has for its actions. In personal injury cases, one or more parties can be liable for an accident and the resulting injuries, and proving liability is critical to the success of these claims.
- Negligence – The failure to fulfill one’s duty of care. Negligence is a fundamental part of a personal injury claim. Some common forms of negligence that can be basis of personal injury cases include reckless driving (causing car crashes) and failing to warn the public about dangerous products (causing injuries or death).
- Plaintiff – The party who files a personal injury case. Plaintiffs in these cases can include accident survivors and families who have lost a loved one to deadly negligence.
- Punitive damages – Compensation awarded to punish the negligent, liable party (as opposed to restoring the injured party). Punitive damages are not available for all personal injury cases. Instead, they are usually reserved for cases that involve particularly horrific negligence and/or for defendants who have a history of acting negligently and causing harm.
- Statute of limitations – The legal time limits for filing a personal injury case. Statutes of limitations vary by state. New Jersey law sets the statute of limitations for personal injury cases at two years (from the date of the accident or the discovery of the injuries).
- Third-party claims – Claims filed with the insurance provider for another party involved in the accident (rather than the victim’s insurer). An example of a third-party personal injury case is a slip-and-fall claim that a victim would file with the insurance provider for the building where the accident occurred.
For a free legal consultation with a personal injury lawyer serving Bogota, call (201) 585-9111
A Bogota Personal Injury Lawyer at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, P.C. Is Ready to Help You
If you or a loved one has been injured by another party’s negligence or recklessness, contact an experienced Bogota personal injury lawyer at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, P.C. by calling (201) 585-9111 or emailing us. We are ready to level the playing field, protect your rights and help you obtain the compensation you may deserve.
Let us explain how we can make a difference in your claim, recovery and future during a free, confidential consultation. We look forward to helping you with your claim and recovery.
Bogota Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me (201) 585-9111
A borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, Bogota is located on the east shore of the Hackensack River and borders the cities of Hackensack and Teaneck.
Bogota is a vibrant area that is home to more than 8,000 people. As a “Sustainable Jersey certified community,” Bogota is one of 208 communities in New Jersey that is “making important contributions to the long-term goal of a sustainable New Jersey and world.”
In popular culture, Bogota is known for being featured in the 2005 documentary Anytown, USA.
Our attorneys specialize in all areas of personal injury practice, including but not limited to:
- Car accidents, including rear-end collisions, hit-and-run accidents, drunk driving accidents, head-on collisions, rollover accidents, tire blowouts, uninsured motorist accidents, municipal vehicle accidents, weather-related accidents, recreational vehicle accidents, snowplow accidents, accidents caused by distracted drivers, and accidents caused by reckless drivers
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Premises liability/unsafe building conditions
- Swimming pool accidents
- Wrongful death, train accidents, subway accidents