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Key Personal Injury Terms

Personal Injury Glossary From A-Z

At De Rose Lawyers, we believe the best clients are informed clients. As your personal injury lawyer, it is our job to ensure you fully understand your predicament and the options available to you. Learn more about some of the key personal injury terms that may relate to your case below.

Accident Benefits

In Ontario, Accident Benefits come in the form of money or assistance provided to persons injured in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who is at fault. Types of accident benefits include: medical and rehabilitation expenses such as equipment, treatment, or therapy, attendant care, income replacement benefits, housekeeping expenses.

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

An acquired brain injury is damage to the brain that occurs after birth and is not related to a congenital or degenerative disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The damage may be caused by a traumatic (physical) injury to the head or it may be due to strokes, tumours, infections, allergic reactions, anoxia or hypoxia (no or reduced oxygen), or metabolic disorders.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a alternative process for deciding a legal dispute out of court; a substitute for an ordinary trial. It is often considered a more efficient, faster, and cheaper route than litigation.

Benefit

For legal purposes related to personal injury law, a benefit is financial assistance that a party receives from an employer, insurance company, or social program (such as social security) in a time of sickness, disability, or unemployment. When a person receives financial compensation for their wages or when a person’s surgery is covered by the insurance company and paid directly, both are considered benefits.

Claim

A civil action relating to the physical or mental harm suffered by the plaintiff, or on behalf of the injured victim, due to negligence of the defendant; a request to the insurance company by the insured requesting coverage and payment for damage or injury.

Damages

The losses the plaintiff has suffered because of the defendant’s conduct. These losses can take many forms including compensation for pain and suffering; loss of past, present and future income; health care costs; loss of social or familial relationships; etc.

Defendant

A person and/or corporation that is being sued by a plaintiff. Examples of defendant corporations include an insurance company, a leasing company, a municipality, a tavern, a property owner, a hospital, etc. Most defendants in personal injury lawsuits are insured. A defendant’s insurer will usually appoint a lawyer to act on behalf of the defendant.

Deposition

Out-of-court question and answer session under oath; testimony given under oath, recorded in an authorized place outside of the courtroom and usually documented by a court reporter; the questions will be asked by the opposing attorney, with the party’s attorney present, in order to have an official, written account of what happened.

Disbursement

Rather than asking clients to pay up front, disbursements are expenses incurred by the law firm to handle your case. These expenses are incurred on an ongoing basis in order to advance your case. Disbursements are paid when your matter is over.

Examination For Discovery

Also known as “examination of discovery;” an important step in the litigation process. It is not a trial but a process that allows counsel for both parties to examine (question), under oath, the opposing party orally before trial.

Liability

Legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions; an obligation one is bound to by law to perform, typically involving the payment of monetary damages. Liability is one of the most significant words in the field of law.

License Appeal Tribunal (LAT)

Makes decisions on applications and resolves disputes concerning compensation claims and licensing activities.

Litigation

The process of taking legal action and/or filing a lawsuit and going to court.

Mediation

Mediation is a non-binding method of resolving a case in which a neutral third party, agreed upon by both parties, helps the disputing sides to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. The job at mediation is to bring both parties together to bring forth a settlement.

Negligence

Failure to use a degree of care considered reasonable under a given set of circumstances; the four elements of negligence are: a duty owed to a plaintiff, a breach of that duty by the defendant, proximate cause, and an injury or damage suffered by the plaintiff; carelessness.

Personal Injury Law

The area of law that involves persons who have been injured in an accident. Accidents include motor vehicle, slip and fall, medical malpractice, boating, assault, etc.

Settlement

Conclusion of a legal matter; negotiated agreement by opposing parties in a civil suit before or after litigation has begun but before the court hears the case, eliminating the need for the judge to resolve the controversy.

Tort

Damage, injury, or a wrongful act done wilfully, negligently, or in circumstances involving strict liability, but not involving breach of contract, for which a civil suit can be brought. This is an area of law in which one party sues and seeks monetary compensation (money) for injuries and losses suffered because of the fault or negligence of another party. This contrasts with accident benefits (no-fault benefits) where benefits are paid without reference to fault.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A type of injury that occurs when an external force causes brain dysfunction; usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object penetrating the skull, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, can also cause traumatic brain injury.

Trial

If negotiation and settlement cannot be reached through the mediation process the matter will proceed to a trial. A trial is when all the facts of the case are heard and a judge or jury makes the final decision regarding the matter.

Verdict

A formal decision about the outcome of a case made by a judge or jury.

Got more questions about your personal injury case? Contact De Rose Lawyers for a free consultation. You don’t pay any fees unless your case is won or settled.