Decoding the Legal Jargon Common Terms Used in Personal Injury Cases - Accident & Injury Attorneys | The Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A.

Decoding the Legal Jargon Common Terms Used in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases often involve a plethora of legal terminology that can be confusing for the average person. Decoding this jargon is beneficial, as you’ll feel more comfortable with your case and understand what your lawyer is explaining to you. At the same time, you don’t need to be an expert. The right personal injury attorneys will still talk to you in a way that you can understand.

Below are some of the most common terms used in personal injury cases. Knowing what this legal jargon means puts you at an advantage already!


The plaintiff is the individual who initiates the lawsuit, seeking compensation for injuries or damages suffered due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions. In personal injury cases, the injured person becomes the plaintiff, pursuing legal action against the defendant.


The defendant is the party being accused or sued in a personal injury case. This can be an individual, a corporation or any entity alleged to be responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries or losses.


Negligence refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm or injury to others. In personal injury cases, proving negligence is crucial. It involves demonstrating that the defendant had a duty of care, breached that duty and caused the plaintiff’s injuries due to this breach.


Liability refers to legal responsibility. If the defendant is found liable in a personal injury case, they are legally obligated to compensate the plaintiff for their injuries, medical expenses and other losses.


Damages represent the monetary compensation awarded to the plaintiff in a personal injury case. They can be economic (quantifiable financial losses like medical bills and lost wages) or non-economic (intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life).

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the legally defined time frame within which a plaintiff must file a lawsuit after the injury occurred. If the lawsuit is not filed within this time limit, the plaintiff may lose the right to seek compensation.


A settlement is a resolution reached between the parties involved in a personal injury case before going to trial. It typically involves the defendant agreeing to pay a specific amount of money to the plaintiff, thus avoiding a court trial.


Litigation refers to the process of taking legal action, including filing a lawsuit, conducting discovery, negotiation, and, if necessary, going to trial. Personal injury cases often involve litigation to resolve disputes and seek fair compensation.

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Understanding these common terms is essential for anyone involved in a personal injury case, whether as a plaintiff, defendant or concerned individual. Armed with this knowledge, you can communicate effectively with legal professionals, comprehend the legal documents and discussions surrounding your case and make informed decisions about your legal rights and options. To schedule a free case review, contact The Law Offices of Ron Sholes.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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