Common Personal Injury Legal Terms Defined

Posted by William Bibb | Oct 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

For accident injury victims and their families, one of the most frustrating aspects of pursuing a personal injury claim can be dealing with complex and often times confusing legal jargon. Having a basic understanding of fundamental legal terms can be incredibly helpful when talking to an attorney and/or other legal expert about one's case. The Law Offices of William C. Bibb is committed to informing clients of their legal rights and options, and helping them to understand the legal components of their case each step of the way.

Tort Law

The term “tort” is generally defined as an act or omission that results in harm or injury, and which can be addressed through civil liability. Consequently, tort law allows for an injured party to pursue compensation from a liable party for a tortuous act.


Compensation is defined as a monetary payment made by the liable party to the injured party for loss or damages.


Similar to compensation, damages is the amount of money that is awarded as financial compensation in tort law cases. The purpose of damages is to compensate the claimant for the tort act. There are several types of damages identified in tort law (compensatory, punitive, etc.), and some restrictions apply to the kind and amount of damages that a claimant may be awarded.

Duty of Care

Duty of care is a factor that comes into play when determining liability in a tort case. Negligence that causes harm or injury to a party is not necessarily linked to liability unless or until it is found that the party responsible for causing the tort act owed a duty of care to the injured party. Duty of care speaks to the legal obligation of one party to take reasonable steps to avoid causing injury or harm to another. For example, a driver has a duty of care to other motorists on the road. A physician also has a duty of care to his or her patients.

The legal terms described above are only a few examples of expressions that many personal injury claimants and their families are introduced to when beginning a case.

About the Author

William Bibb

Educational Background: B.A. Psychology UCLA, 1972 Juris Doctor, Southwestern University, School of Law 1977 Advocacy College, California Trial Lawyer's Association Birth Injury and the Law, Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center/Loyola University School of Law California Specialization Course for Workers Compensation, USC Law Center Use of MRI Scans in Proving Causation in Birth Injuries


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