Glossary Of Legal And Medical Terms
To understand your personal injury claim you must know the legal and medical terms that apply to your case – below Bob provides you a GLOSSARY of TERMS to help you
Lawyers and doctors have a bad habit of using BIG words. Bob and his staff have designed this page to help understand the medical records and legal jargon that you will likely run into – See more at:
Disclaimer Note: This information was developed to provide general information and guidance. It is not intended to provide a formal, definitive description or interpretation of the law or legal defense. For specific legal advice on any issue, interested parties should contact an attorney directly.
Aggravated Stalking – stalking while causing bodily harm, confining or restraining a person against their will, and/or violating an existing court order for stalking.
Annuity – the amount of money paid to somebody yearly or at some other regular interval.
Arbitration- Arbitration is one method of dispute resolution that is available In the private sector and employed by some courts throughout the United States. In Lake County, arbitration is mandatory on all civil cases seeking money damages between $10,000-$50,000. Small Claims cases where a jury demand has been filed are also subject to mandatory arbitration. Only lawsuits filed in the Lake County Circuit Court can be heard in the Lake County arbitration program.
Assumption of Risk- acceptance of the danger associated with an activity by accepting, following, or otherwise doing or attempting to do such activities.
Attractive Nuisance – a potentially harmful object such as a pool, or condition of the land that, by its features, tends to lure people, mostly children.
Breach of Warranty – a breach that occurs when an item is deficient according to the terms of a warranty.
Burden of Proof – proof by clear and convincing evidence necessary to win a legal argument.
Calibration – To check, adjust, or determine by comparison with a standard.
Car Accidents – “One person dies in the US every 13 minutes in a Car Accident- 115 killed each day. 1.2 million killed worldwide each year” Don’t become a statistic. Find information about auto accident collisions, crashes, wrecks and view thousands of accident pictures.
CDL License – Commercial Driver’s License.
CMV – Commercial Motor Vehicle.
Comparative Negligence – rule of law applied in accident cases to determine responsibility and damages based on the negligence of every party directly involved in the accident.
Contingency Fee – Payment to an attorney for legal services that depends upon there being some recovery or award in the case.
Contributory Negligence – if a person was injured in part due to any degree of his/her own fault the law of contributory negligence would bar the plaintiff from collecting damages (money).
Diversion Programs – a program aimed at rehabilitation and to benefit the community without the stigma of the guilt of a defendant.
Domestic Violence – a pattern of abusive behaviors including physical aggression (hitting, slapping, kicking, biting, scratching, shoving, restraining, throwing objects or levying threats), sexual abuse, and/or emotional abuse by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation.
Electronic Monitoring – an electronic system that provides the probation officer or bail commissioner a report about whether the offender was available at home when the offender was required to remain at his/her home.
DUI Evaluation – A DUI evaluation consists of an interview, a multiple-choice test, and a review of the defendant’s driving history.
Evidence in Facts – a fact that will, or will not clearly appear to be material in the progress of the cause.
Harassment – as knowingly and without lawful reason following or watching another person on two or more separate occasions and either threatens or causes reasonable apprehension to another.
House Arrest – sentencing that requires an offender to remain at home. It includes the use of an electronic system that provides the probation officer or bail commissioner a report about whether the offender was at home.
Indigent – Person deemed to be unable to pay for legal defense or services by a court of law.
Legal Limit – Refers to laws defining it as a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of a certain amount. In Illinois the legal limit is .08; however, you are not considered “under the limit” unless your BAC is under .04.
Libel or Slander – civil wrongs that harm a reputation; decrease respect, regard, or confidence; or induce disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against an individual or entity.
Look Back Period – This is a period of time when a prior offense can be applied to and enhance the penalties of a new offense. In Illinois, the standard “Look Back Period” for all first offenses is usually 5 years. Subsequent convictions usually result in a Look Back Period of 10 years.
Loss of Consortium – the inability of one’s spouse to have normal marital relations (sexual intercourse). Such loss arises as a claim for damages when a spouse has been injured and cannot participate in sexual relations for a period of time or permanently due to the injury, or suffers from mental distress, due to a defendant’s wrongdoing, which interferes with usual sexual activity. Thus, the uninjured spouse can join in the injured mate’s lawsuit on a claim of loss of consortium, the value of which is speculative, but can be awarded if the jury (or judge sitting as the trier of fact) is sufficiently impressed by the deprivation.
Medical Malpractice – Is known as medical professional negligence whereby a health care provider by his or her actions or omissions while treating a patient fails to meet the accepted standard of care for similar treatment in the medical community and in so doing causes injury to the patient.
Misdemeanor – a crime less serious than a felony and resulting in a less severe punishment.
Negligence – Conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm.
Negotiated Plea – an agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor.
Notice of Loss – written information from the sender stating the particulars of the stated loss. An example would be a letter from an employer to an employee relaying discontinuance of insurance coverage.
Pain and Suffering – Illinois law defines pain and suffering as both mental and physical, and shall include all subjective non-monetary losses, including but not limited to, inconvenience, mental anguish, and emotional distress, which has been experienced and with reasonable probability to be experienced in the future.
Patent Danger Rule – refers to specific types of prohibited behavior engaged in by the owner of the patent rights.
Petition to Rescind – a hearing on the summary suspension of a defendant’s driver’s license in which they (or their attorney) can argue the validity of the charges against them (or their client).
Plea/Plea Option – – an agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor
Preliminary Hearing – Under Illinois law, 725 ILCS 5/109, a preliminary hearing is required to take place before the defendant is formally charged with a felony. The preliminary hearing must take place within 30 days of the arrest if the defendant is not on bond, and 60 days if he/she is free on bond.
Preponderance of the evidence – the standard of proof in most civil cases in which the party bearing the burden of proof must present evidence that is more credible and convincing than that presented by the other party or which shows that the fact to be proven is more probable than not.
Probable Cause – is the standard by which an officer or agent of the law has the grounds to make an arrest, to conduct a personal or property search, or to obtain a warrant for arrest, etc.
Probation – a method of dealing with offenders, especially young person’s guilty of minor crimes or first offenses, by allowing them to go at large under the supervision of a probation officer.
Probation Officer – an officer of a court who supervises and assists offenders placed on probation.
Public Defender – an attorney appointed by the courts to protect the rights, liberties, and dignity of a defendant that cannot afford to hire a private lawyer.
Property Damage Claim – In most car crashes, claims there are claims for various damages under the insurance policies. These may include medical payments, personal injury, and property damage. The property damage claim is limited to the damage to personal and real property. If you had comprehensive coverage, you can claim the property damage claim against your own insurance carrier. You will be required to pay your deductible, so be sure to follow up with your carrier to ensure that you get your deductible back when they collect it from the at-fault driver’s company.
Punitive Damages – Monetary compensation awarded to an injured party that goes beyond that which is necessary to compensate the individual for losses and that is intended to punish the wrongdoer; also known as Exemplary Damages.
Res Ipsa Loquitur – A presumption or inference that the defendant was negligent, claiming the injury was in the defendant’s exclusive control and that the accident was one that ordinarily does not occur in the absence of negligence.
Respondent Superior – A common-law doctrine that makes an employer liable for the actions of an employee when the actions take place within the scope of employment.
Restitution – programs under which an offender is required, as a condition of his or her sentence, to repay money or donate services to the victim or society.
Secretary of State – a governing body that creates and enforces policies, laws, and statutes.
Serious Injury – Any injury that results in death, significant dismemberment, fracture, loss of a fetus, permanent loss of use, or limitation of use, of a part of the body or organ, member, function or system, and any non-permanent injury which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of their usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
Settlement Calculator – Often found on the internet, an online calculator that determines how much money one should request from the insurance company or to find out if the insurance company has made a fair offer in their case. Warning about settlement calculators
Settlement Formula – Similar to a Settlement Calculator, these formulas are often found on the internet to determine how much money one should request from the insurance company or to find out if the insurance company has made a fair offer in their case. Warning about settlement calculators
Sexual Assault – a serious offense involving abuse, attack, force, and/or injury of a sexual nature.
Stalking – knowingly and without lawful reason following or watching another person on two or more separate occasions and either threatens or causes reasonable apprehension to another.
State of The Art Defense – a strategy of defense that utilizes the latest technology and cutting-edge testing to disprove the charges brought against an individual.
Statute of Limitations – a legislative enactment prescribing the period of time within which proceedings must be instituted to enforce a right or bring an action at law. Statutes of limitations vary considerably depending upon the situation; therefore it is always better to act sooner than later because once the Statute of Limitations has expired you will be barred forever from pursuing an incident.
Statute of Repose – Similar to The Statute of Limitations which is triggered by an injury, a statute of repose is triggered by the completion of an act. An example of when the statute of repose is used instead is when a construction project is completed not when it began.
Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS) – a temporary loss of driving privileges for a designated period of time or until you meet certain reinstatement requirements.
Structured Settlement – A financial agreement in which a claimant accepts periodic payments in a specified amount to resolve a personal injury case. Under-Insured_Driver UMBI
Survival Action – A survival action or claim is brought by the administrator of a deceased person’s estate to recover the losses to the estate resulting from the wrongful acts or inactions of another.
Tortfeasor – A wrongdoer; an individual who commits a wrongful act that injures another and for which the law provides a legal right to seek relief. Under-Insured Driver
UMBI –Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Uninsured Motorist
Under-Insured Driver – An under-insured driver is someone who met minimum legal financial responsibility requirements, but did not have payment limits high enough to cover the damage they caused. Vicarious_Liability
Uninsured Motorist – A driver who does not have a current automobile insurance policy or a policy that will not payout. A hit and run driver is assumed to be uninsured. Wobbler
Vicarious Liability – The responsibility of any third party that had the “right, ability or duty to control” the activities of a violator; an example would be an employer who has “Vicarious Liability” over the actions of their employee. Work_Release
Wobbler – A term pertaining to an incident that borders on two offenses yet not really fitting into either one.
Work Release – A program allowing a prisoner who is sufficiently trusted or can be sufficiently monitored to leave confinement to continue working at his or her current place of employment, returning to prison when his/her shift is complete.
Wrongful Death Claim – If death results from the wrongful actions of someone, the Wrongful Death Act creates a cause of action in the name of the personal representative for the benefit of the widow and next-of-kin for their “pecuniary injuries.”