Personal Injury Legal Terms
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During the course of your Phoenix personal injury lawsuit, you may come across unfamiliar terminology – some personal injury legal terms that you should really know.
Listed below are twenty-five common terms you may encounter while pursuing justice for your personal injury claim.
When a lawsuit is unsuccessful in receiving a favorable settlement or resolution, the unsuccessful party may file an appeal to a superior court to review the final decision.
Assumption of Risk
A voluntary acceptance of a known risk of damages under specific circumstances where such a risk is reasonable is considered an assumption of risk.
Generally used in reference to insurance companies, acting in bad faith can include not fulfilling contractual obligations or violating basic standards of honesty.
A serious and often debilitating injury resulting from the actions of another person or entity is considered a catastrophic injury. These types of injuries are severe and will often permanently change a victims quality of life.
A civil action lawsuit seeks monetary compensation for damages caused by a civil wrong, or the actions of another person or entity.
Class Action Lawsuit
A lawsuit that joins together a group of individuals or companies with common interests or similar circumstances who file a claim as one entity. Class action lawsuits are usually used in product liability cases where a defective product or dangerous drug has caused similar injuries in a group of people.
Also known as contributory negligence, comparative negligence describes to what extent the injury victim contributed to their own injury. Insurance companies award compensation based on degree of negligence, so they will often use comparative negligence to limit monetary payouts, regardless of the severity of injuries.
Money awarded to a personal injury victim to recover losses related to the accident. Compensatory damages can be awarded for both economic and non-economic damages.
Fees that are agreed-upon prior to accepting a case, usually a portion of the settlement. Contingent fees are not paid to an attorney until after the case has been settled; they are contingent on recovery.
The compensation an injury victim may be eligible to recover. Damages can refer to any type of loss experienced due to an accident, including economic and non-economic damages.
Duty of Care
The legal obligation that individuals have to behave in a manner that will not inflict harm on others. Duty of care can include either an individuals actions or failure to act.
An act of negligence committed with conscious indifference to the consequences is considered gross negligence.
Similar to gross negligence, intentional torts are deliberate acts of malicious intent that cause harm to another.
A persons legal responsibility for causing an accident that resulted in the injury of another. Liability determines who is responsible for damages related to the accident.
The process of filing a lawsuit to pursue justice through civil action. Litigation can be resolved through a settlement or through a trial.
Loss of Consortium
The inability to have normal marital relations due to an injury. Loss of consortium is usually coupled with loss of companionship claims.
The inability of a professional, such as a doctor or lawyer, to perform their professional duties in a manner deemed reasonable of a person in their position. Malpractice is also referred to as professional misconduct.
A large number of claims against one product or entity. Mass torts are usually filed as a class action lawsuit.
A careless action, or inaction, of an individual or entity that results in the harm of another. Most personal injury lawsuits are based on proving the negligence of the liable party.
Pain and Suffering
Also known as human damages, these refer to the loss of quality of life in an injury victim. Pain and suffering is considered a non-economic damage and can be difficult to quantify without the help of an attorney.
Intended to punish an individual for an intentional act of malice that resulted in the harm of another. Punitive damages are awarded separately from compensatory damages.
Reasonable Person Standard
Refers to a hypothetical individual who exhibits average care and conduct for their particular position. A reasonable person standard is used when determining liability, especially in malpractice cases.
Statute of Limitations
The allotted time frame an injury victim has to file a lawsuit. Failing to file an injury claim within the statute of limitations can prevent an individual from recovering damages, regardless of the severity of their losses.
Added to some auto insurance policies, this provides coverage in the event that the negligent driver does not have enough liability insurance to fully cover damages. Underinsured motorist coverage is paid from the injured partys insurance company to the injury victim.
Protects the policy holder in the event that they suffer losses caused by a driver without liability insurance. Similar to underinsured motorist coverage, uninsured motorist coverage is paid from the injured partys insurance provider to the injury victim.
If YOU need help with your personal injury lawsuit – or perhaps an explanation of personal injury legal terms, we can help.
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Liz Gonzales was great!!!!
Jasmine Delgado is an amazing paralegal. She was patient, kind and extremely knowledgeable. Highly recommend Phillips law group
Jeffrey Phillips is truly a brilliant attorney and businessman. I would not hesitate for a moment to contact him if I needed a personal injury attorney in Arizona, you would be fortunate to have him and his team. If you have a car accident, slip and fall in a store, or get punched in the face, call Phillips.
Two family members were in a bad wreck a couple of years ago, and as a result called Phillips Law to represent them. Montana Thompson was the attorney assigned to the case with the help of Nemo Farr as legal assistant. Mr. Thompson litigated a very generous settlement for both my stepdaughter and her son. Because my grandson is a minor, I decided to act as conservator for him to ensure the settlement was safe and secure. Montana helped with that process, but it was Nemo who went way above and beyond the call in finding a financial institution to use for the restricted account. There were some glitches in that process but Nemo helped navigate them with a calm expertise which belies his age. I would consider them both great representatives of the level of commitment to their clients and assets to their firm.
I tried a few previous law firms and none would take my car accident case with confidence they could get my anything. Phillips law group took my case and although it took around 4 years to get this case settled as I was in treatment, they never let up with insurance adjusters and they got me as much money as possible. They worked hard for me and advocated for me. Shoutout to key individuals who worked my case nonstop of the years, Robert Ross & Jasmine, you are AMAZING!
My review is for Kathy Hudson a legal assistant at the law firm. She is great! She is very professional and a fair based person. She was never rude to me and always called me back. She listened to me and had my best interest as number 1. Mr Nasir who is a supervisor at law firm also was very professional and helpful. Not sure if spelling his name correctly but sorry if not. As far as mr Ross and the lady that runs the front desk reception I would say they are the most unprofessional and rude people I have met at a law firm in my life especially beings they were representing me. But Kathy made it overall a better experience. Thx Kathy.
The lawyers here are of top quality. Especially Trey Dayes, who was always respectful and hard-working.
My Attorney Sean Davis and his paralegal Hannah Dustin worked on my case. They listened to the problems that I was having with my case and they both got right to work. First they found me a doctor that actually listened to my problems from my car accident and worked quickly to form a plan that was comfortable for me and the doctor. The doctor was the best and after a couple of procedures the pain in my neck was gone. Behind the scenes Sean and Hannah were working hard to get my case settled with the insurance company. They kept in contact with me on all aspects of my case. They settled my case much faster than I expected and for more than I was expecting. If you want two real professional legal people to work on your case, I would highly recommend Sean and Hannah to you. I cannot say enough nice things about these two. Thank you so much, Rickey Hart .
Juan Roque has been integral with my legal needs. Communication has been easy. He conveys information I can easily understand without a lot of "Legal Fluff" jargon. I will certainly do business with Phillips Legal team again and refer them to my friends and family.
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