Each and every personal injury case is different, however, there are terms that are common to almost every case. This article will discuss some common and basic terms and their meanings used when filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Basic Terms: Case Nature and Validity
Below are some basic terms on the nature and validity of a personal injury case, to be looked out for:
- Statute of limitations – this is a time period, set by law, limiting how long after the initial incident you may file a lawsuit. It bares the plaintiff’s ability to claim damages outside the set timeframe. The time period varies from one place to another depending on the circumstances and from one state to the next. In the state of Florida, personal injury cases have a four-year statute of limitations. However, the statute of limitations in the case of medical malpractice lawsuits varies depending on a number of factors.
- Torts – a tort is defined as any wrongful act that is not a crime and does not come from a contract. Almost every cause of action in a civil suit is a tort; this includes personal injury lawsuits. A tort forms the grounds for a lawsuit seeking damages in order to make the injured person whole.
- Intentional torts – these are wrongful acts that are committed on purpose. Most intentional torts are crimes. For example, assault and battery, theft, murder, manslaughter, etc.
- Negligence – this is a tort that comes about from carelessness or failure to act with reasonable care. This is when such actions result in damage to a person or property of another. In order to prove negligence, the plaintiff must prove four elements; these are:
– the existence of a duty or obligation to the plaintiff
– a breach of the duty
– the breach caused damage or harm to the plaintiff
– actual damages or injuries exist