It can be easy for legal professionals to forget that the average person does not deal with standard terms daily. For many clients, an injury case can be the first time they have dealt with attorneys, insurance companies, and the court system in a significant way. The entire process can seem long, confusing, and intimidating to people who have been injured due to negligence or poor judgment. If you are currently being represented, your legal representative should be able and happy to answer any questions and provide clarity if you are confused. We hope that this article can give more information to help understand standard legal terms for those who are doing online research.

Legal terms used in personal injury cases

Plaintiff: This is the person or entity filing a lawsuit in response to an accident or injury that has occurred.

Defendant: The person, entity, or party that is being sued by the Plaintiff.

Liability: The legal obligation that one party has about another party. For example, the person that caused or was deemed at fault in a car accident is liable for compensating Plaintiff for damages.

Damages: This is the legal term for the compensation that one part seeks from another as part of the personal injury civil case. Various kinds of damages can be pursued. Economic damages are financial compensations that have a direct number associated with their value. An example would be medical bills or quotes from autobody shops to repair a damaged vehicle. Non-economic damages do not have a direct number associated with them. They are damages that can be sought to compensate for things like pain and suffering associated with the injuries sustained from an accident. Finally, punitive damages are fines meant to punish a particular party for unacceptable behavior. An example could be wanton negligence and can only be sought after in certain situations.

Statute of Limitations: This is the length of time that someone can file a case. If the Statute of Limitations has passed, it is typically no longer possible to file a claim associated with that incident. Every state has different submissions lengths. You can find most civil statutes for Utah here.

Speak with an attorney

Please remember that these are not definitions taken directly out of a dictionary as you look at the terms above. If you have any questions about your case, it is best to contact the law firm representing you. If you or a loved one has been injured in Utah and is considering working with an attorney, consider calling The Law Offices of Roberto Hernandez.


The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. This website contains general information relating to areas of law familiar to our firm. The information should not be construed as legal advice or other professional advice. You should not rely on the contents of this website as such. Participation on this website does not create any kind of attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice or representation, please contact my office, and I would be pleased to discuss your case with you and see if my firm can help.