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Personal injury law: Basic terms you should know

Personal injury plaintiffs may encounter a lot of new words and vocabulary throughout their legal proceedings. Some of this vocabulary will be rarely heard legal jargon, but other words you might be more familiar with. What follows is a listing of some vital personal injury vocabulary. If you're not familiar with the definitions of any of the following words, be sure to read it and commit it to memory as the word may become very handy to you in the future.

Here are a few common personal injury words for lawyers:

Plaintiff: This is the individual who was hurt in the crash, accident or another event. It's also the person who -- usually through a lawyer -- has filed a claim to pursue financial damages in court against the party at fault for his or her injuries.

Defendant: This is the individual or party that was to blame for the injured person's injuries. The defendant might be one or more people, businesses or government entities. Ultimately, the defendant will be able to defend him or herself against your accusations.

Claim: This is what you send to an insurance company after an accident in order to request money to pay for your accident and injuries. You may also end up filing a claim for damages with the court, which -- if successful -- the defendant will later use for medical care.

Damages: These are the various ways that you may have been wronged. There are many different categories of damages -- including pain and suffering, physical injuries, the cost of medical issues and more.

The bigger your vocabulary, the more it will help with your legal proceedings. As such, any time you encounter a legal term you don't know, be sure to ask your lawyer about it you can better navigate your criminal defense process.

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