One of the things that makes the claims process so confusing and intimidating for clients is the variety of legal terms used. Although each claim is different, below is a brief list of common personal injury law terms that you may encounter during your claim. If you need help or would like to better understand the legal language in your claim, feel free to contact our injury attorneys for help.
Claimant: In a personal injury case, the claimant is the person who was injured by another party. When a lawsuit is filed, the claimant is known as the plaintiff.
Contingency Fee: Instead of charging an hourly or fixed rate, contingency fees are legal fees paid to the attorney only if he or she recovers compensation for the client. The contingency fees are a percentage of the verdict or settlement, and come directly out of the final award.
Damages: The amount of money that is awarded to the injured party to compensate for his or her injuries.
Defendant: The individual or company being sued by the injured party.
Duty of Care: The legal obligation of a party to provide a standard of care. For example, grocery stores have a duty to keep their aisles clean and free of hazardous conditions.
Expert Witness: These are experts in a particular field, such as medical experts, who can provide specialized knowledge about the accident, the injuries, or another aspect of the case.
First-Party Claim: A claim you file with your own insurance company as a policyholder.
Liability: A legal obligation that one party has to another.
Litigation: When a lawsuit is filed, it means the case is going to litigation.
Negligence: When a person fails to exercise reasonable care and causes injuries or damages to another person or their property.
Plaintiff: The party that is bringing a lawsuit. In a personal injury claim, this would be the injured party.
Settlement: An out-of-court agreement is reached where the defendant agrees to pay the injured party. When a settlement is reached, the plaintiff gives up the right to sue or continue the lawsuit against the defendant.
Prescriptive Period: The amount of time that a person has to file a lawsuit for their injuries. Once this time limit passes, they are no longer allowed to recover compensation.
Third-Party Claim: When you file a claim against the liable party’s insurance company seeking damages for injuries the insured person has caused to you.
Verdict: When a case goes to trial in front of a jury, the jury will issue a decision as to who is liable and the amount of compensation the defendant must pay to the plaintiff. This decision is known as the verdict.
Experienced New Orleans Injury Attorneys, Guiding You Through Your ClaimAt The Womac Law Firm, we have a unified team of experienced injury lawyers in New Orleans who can walk you through each step of your claim. From negotiation to litigation, our team is prepared to put our efforts and resources into helping you fight for fair compensation. If you have been injured, schedule your no-cost consultation with our team today.