As was discussed in an earlier post, there are many legal terms that injury victims and their families are only introduced to when they begin the process of pursuing a tort claim in California. The Law Offices of William C. Bibb serves as a legal resource for prospective and current clients, and is committed to providing clients with the expert knowledge necessary to achieve adequate damages in their case. Knowing the definitions of some common legal terms is an important step to understanding the various aspects of any tort claim, and can help a claimant navigate the specific factors of his or her own case.
In tort law, negligence is defined as conduct that fails to meet standards of behavior for protecting others against unreasonable harm. Therefore, determining whether or not someone has acted negligently under the law depends largely upon proving that he or she failed to abide by the conduct of a reasonably careful person under similar circumstances. It is the duty of the plaintiff in a tort action to prove that the defendant in the case failed to meet the established duty of care to the plaintiff, and therefore acted negligently. Actionable negligent conduct also depends upon proving that actual damage or harm was done by the defendant in the case.
Liability is a key factor in any tort law case, and must be proven by the plaintiff in order to hold a defendant responsible for damages. In legal terms, liability is defined as the responsibility for a tort action or omission. Negligence on the part of an entity or person can leave that party open to legal action, in which liability for resulting damages may be proven by the plaintiff in the case.
Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations are defense mechanisms intended to prevent against outdated and/or fraudulent claims. Statutes of limitations are established by the legislature, and can be reduced or extended under certain circumstances. The amount of time stipulated for pursuing a civil claim depends upon the specific cause of action that is identified. For instance, the statute of limitations for pursuing a car accident claim can differ from the statute of limitations for pursuing a medical malpractice claim.
The definitions provided here are by no means exhaustive, but they do serve as an introduction to common legal jargon relevant to many tort claims.