A personal injury is harm or damage incurred as a result of another’s negligence or other conduct. This includes physical injuries like broken bones, concussions, lacerations, wounds, burns, internal organ damage, back and neck injuries, head injuries, slip and falls, and wrongful death. It may also include mental and emotional harm, such as damage to one’s reputation in the case of slander or defamation. Sexual harassment and discrimination are other examples of mental and emotional harm.
Continue reading to familiarize yourself with some common personal injury claim terms that will help you better understand your case. Always talk to a seasoned Indianapolis personal injury lawyer to get professional advice and assistance with making an injury claim.
⚖ Tort ⚊ A wrongful or immoral act that causes another person injury or harm. Often times, you will hear personal injury law referred to as “tort law.”
⚖ Accident ⚊ An unintentional and unanticipated event that causes harm to a person, a person’s reputation, or their property.
⚖ Negligence ⚊ Failure to possess or demonstrate a level of care, expected by all persons under law, which protects another person, reputation, or property from harm or foreseeable and unreasonable risks.
⚖ Damages ⚊ Economic compensation that is awarded by a court in a civil action to a party who has been injured through the wrongful conduct of another party.
⚖ Pain and Suffering ⚊ The physical and/or mental distress experienced by a victim after being injured in an accident.
⚖ Liability ⚊ In tort law, the term “liability” refers to the legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions.
⚖ Plaintiff ⚊ The party, or group of individuals, bringing forth a lawsuit. Also referred to as a claimant.
⚖ Defendant ⚊ The person or entity that is being presented with a lawsuit from the plaintiff. The party supposedly liable for the plaintiffs’ injuries and damages.
⚖ Party ⚊ A participant in a lawsuit. This may include the person (plaintiff or defendant), their insurance company, and their attorney.
⚖ Claimant ⚊ Also referred to as the “plaintiff”, it is generally the party who brings forth a lawsuit.
⚖ Tortfeasor ⚊ The tortfeasor is the actual person who demonstrated negligence that caused someone harm or damage (also referred to as the “at-fault party”). In some cases, it is the defendant rather than the actual at-fault person. For example, in the case of a minor, the parents might be the defendants, while the juvenile is the actual tortfeasor.
⚖ Lawyer ⚊ The licensed legal party that represents a claimant or a defendant. Sometimes one person, and other times, a small team of people.
⚖ Judge ⚊ A pubic officer that is appointed to hear and decide legal cases in a court of law.
⚖ Jury ⚊ A small group of selected individuals that assist a judge in identifying the guilty party in more complex lawsuits.
⚖ Answer ⚊ The pleading filed by the defendant or opposing party in response to the claimant’s allegations and requests, revealing their position in the case.
⚖ Complaint ⚊ A pleading or formal expression of grievance filed in the appropriate court by the plaintiff.
⚖ First Party Insurance ⚊ The claimant’s insurance company.
⚖ Third Party Insurance ⚊ The defendant’s insurance company.
⚖ Third Party Claim ⚊ A personal injury claim that is filed with the insurance company of another person or entity. They are brought forth by individuals who were purportedly injured or harmed by another party.
⚖ Adjuster ⚊ An individual appointed by an insurance company to handle and investigate a claim. Their purpose is usually to coordinate a settlement that doesn’t require the insurance company to pay out, or pay-out as little as possible.