Below is a list of commonly used legal terms you will hear when dealing with an attorney. If you’re ever confused by what your lawyer is telling, make sure to ask them to explain it to you in simpler terms. The Law Office of Brian Brunson is here to help you every step of the way, and we want to make sure you understand every step of the process.
Glossary of Terms
Adjuster: An employee of an insurance company whose primary duty involves assessing and evaluating claims submitted to the company. Their goal is to accurately determine the extent of the company’s financial obligation to cover damages caused by an insured event.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: A selection of methods used for resolving conflicts without resorting to formal court proceedings. The most common forms of ADR include arbitration and mediation, both of which typically provide swifter resolutions and more opportunity for direct communication between the disputing parties as compared to traditional litigation.
Arbitration: A dispute resolution method in which a neutral arbitrator is mutually selected by the parties involved to review all evidence and hear both sides of the argument before reaching a binding decision. This process takes place outside of a courtroom setting and is considered a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Claim: A formal request submitted to an insurance company seeking financial compensation for damages that have arisen due to the negligent actions or omissions of the insured party.
Complaint: A legal document filed with a court, which commences a lawsuit. The complaint is submitted by the plaintiff against the defendant, setting forth their grievances and allegations.
Contingency Fee: An agreed-upon percentage of any monetary award or settlement received by the client, which serves as payment for an attorney’s services rendered during a legal case. Contingency fee arrangements are typically established before an attorney is retained for representation.
Damages: Any losses, whether economic or otherwise, that have been sustained as a direct result of an injury or harm sustained, as well as any subsequent monetary compensation designated for the afflicted party.
Defendant: The person or entity facing legal action initiated against them in court, typically due to allegations of wrongdoing or liability.
Demand Letter: A comprehensive written document sent to an insurance provider outlining damages incurred and specifying a precise monetary amount being sought to address those damages. Such letters often serve as the foundation for any subsequent negotiations towards achieving a settlement.
Deposition: A formal process in which sworn testimony is provided by witnesses through a question-and-answer format before a certified court reporter.
Expert Witness: A professionally qualified individual who possesses extensive knowledge and expertise within a specific subject matter and provides testimony or consultation in legal proceedings based on their understanding and experience.
Letter of Representation: This is a formal document sent to an insurance company, notifying them of an attorney’s involvement in representing a client. The notice is typically sent after the client has officially retained the attorney.
Litigation: This refers to the legal procedure involved in settling disputes through a court of law, usually initiated by filing a lawsuit against another party.
Mediation: A form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which a professional, neutral mediator assists disputing parties with reaching a settlement without resorting to filing a lawsuit. It is distinct from arbitration, as the mediator does not have the authority to impose a decision on the parties.
Negligence: This term is used to describe when an individual’s action or lack of action violates their duty of care, causing harm or injury to another person.
Pain and Suffering: This broad expression encompasses various types of non-economic damages, including but not limited to emotional distress, loss of consortium, and disfigurement resulting from an injury or accident.
Personal Injury Protection: This form of insurance coverage compensates the insured for specific medical expenses and lost wages up to a predefined limit, irrespective of who is at fault for the incident.
Plaintiff: This term refers to the party who initiates legal action, such as filing a lawsuit against another individual or entity.
Settlement: An out-of-court agreement reached by both parties involved in a dispute that brings the matter to a close. It is crucial not to settle prematurely, as it is almost impossible to revisit an accepted offer.
Statute of Limitations: This legal rule establishes a time frame within which affected parties must initiate legal proceedings following an incident. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a claim is two years.
Tort: A wrongful act that results in injury or harm to another person, rendering the perpetrator legally liable for damages incurred.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage: A supplementary first-party insurance policy that can be accessed when the at-fault party’s liability coverage is inadequate to fully compensate for the injuries and losses sustained in an accident.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Another form of first-party insurance coverage, providing protection for an insured individual when the at-fault driver responsible for a collision lacks proper insurance.
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Named one of the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Dallas” by Expertise.com, Brian Brunson is Dallas personal injury attorney who is dedicated to helping clients who have suffered a car, truck, or motorcycle injury through the negligent or wrongful conduct of other drivers. In addition, his professionalism is unmatched and the firms’ client reviews speak for themselves.
We proudly serve the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and surrounding areas, our office supports the legal needs of a wide variety of clients. Let the Law Office of Brian Brunson be your advocate in your time of need and help you put your life back together. If we can’t win or settle your case, you don’t pay a dime! We know it can be daunting to take that first step after you’ve been hurt. Contact Brian Brunson today via email or call us toll-free at 1-844-41-WRECK. We can help, when no one else will.