14 Legal Terms You Should Know

Legal terms are notoriously complex. That is one reason why it is essential for an attorney to look over any legal documents before you sign them. In a personal injury case, your attorney at The May Firm is committed to guiding you through each step of the process, including explaining difficult legal jargon.

However, it is also important for you to have a grasp on the terms. That’s why we put together this list of the top 14 legal terms you should know as a reference guide for you as you embark on a personal injury case.


A claim is the process of filing your case with the court system. It declares your legal right to request compensation for any injuries you suffered from.


This is the actual payment you receive from filing and winning a claim. Compensation may take into account any monetary losses incurred from your injury, as well as pain and suffering.


Court-ordered award given to the person filing a claim. Damages are typically monetary and are intended to cover the losses due to the person’s injury.


This determines who is responsible for the accident causing a personal injury. Fault can be assigned based on a person’s negligent or intentional act.


The court’s decision on the case. A judgment may determine fault for the accident or incident and award damages and compensation to the person who filed the claim.


Malpractice occurs when a person in a professional role, such as a doctor, acts negligently.


Everyone has a responsibility to provide reasonable care to avoid the injury of another person. When someone does not provide reasonable care, they are deemed negligent.

Personal Injury

This is defined as an injury to an individual. The injury can be labeled as physical, emotional or mental.

Premises Liability

Building and land owners are responsible for ensuring their property is safe from hazards. If someone is injured on their property, the owners may be held responsible.

Product Liability

The manufacturers, designers and marketers of a product have a responsibility to ensure the product is safe for use. These people may be held responsible if someone is injured while using their product.


This refers to receiving money or benefits due to an injury or loss. You are “recovering” what you lost through your injury.


A settlement resolves a legal case out of court. Your attorney will work with the other side’s attorneys to come to a fair conclusion outside of the courtroom.

Statute of Limitation

For personal injury cases, you must act on filing a claim within a certain timeframe in order to have a legal foothold. If a lawsuit is not filed before the time limit expires, your case is legally barred permanently.

Wrongful Death

A claim brought against a person who may have caused a death due to negligence. Contact The May Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are here to fight for your rights in your personal injury case.

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