Know the Lingo: The Terminology of Your Personal Injury Claim

dictionary-1799_640-300x200We’ve been working with people suffering from personal injuries in the Atlanta area and across the state of Georgia since 1992. At Slappey & Sadd, we never lose sight of the fact that this is your case. We’re here to give you advice and help you make an informed decision. That said, it’s easy to slip into the jargon we commonly use every day, without realizing that our clients perhaps aren’t as familiar with these terms as we are. 

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, the Georgia personal injury attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can help you get the compensation you deserve. We handle all types of personal injury claims – from medical malpractice to car accidents to premises liability. If you’ve been injured and need help, call us at 888-474-9616 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation.   


The plaintiff is the person making a claim by filing a lawsuit against another party. 


The defendant is the party being sued in a lawsuit.


An insurance adjuster is an employee of the insurance company who is handling your claim. The adjuster is responsible for investigating the claim and figuring out how much the claim is worth. 


Liability is a legal obligation one party has to another party. In the context of a car accident case, for example, the question is whether one driver has a legal obligation to compensate the other driver for their injuries. 

Strict Liability

Strict liability refers to cases where liability is imposed on the defendant regardless of whether or not they were at fault. Product liability cases are typically strict liability cases. If you can prove that you were harmed by a defective product, you do not need to prove that the product’s manufacturer, retailer, or other distributor was somehow at fault. 


Negligence is when someone fails to act with the same level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same or very similar circumstances. Whether or not someone was negligent is typically the fundamental issue in a personal injury case. “Gross negligence” is considered to be a significant departure from the standard of care. The vast majority of personal injury cases we handle are negligence cases. 


“Damages” is the legal term for the compensation you are seeking in your claim. For this reason, they are often referred to as “compensatory” damages. Generally speaking, the damages you are seeking is the money value of your case. Economic Damages are those damages that have a specific monetary value, such as your medical bills or lost wages. Non-Economic Damages are those losses that do not have a specific economic value such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages are damages intended to punish the defendant for egregious behavior and are available in only certain situations.

Contact the Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys at Slappey & Sadd

The personal injury attorneys at Slappey & Sadd have helped injured Georgians recover millions of dollars in compensation. If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, we have the knowledge and experience you need. Contact us today at 888-474-9616 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

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