A Guide to Personal Injury Terms in New Jersey

An attorney explaining some personal injury terms to their client.

When you meet with a New Jersey personal injury attorney to discuss your injury claim, you might encounter several unfamiliar terms. Your attorney will explain these personal injury terms to you during your meeting. However, it might be helpful and ease your mind somewhat, to know what attorneys mean when they use common personal injury terms to discuss a claim.

Ten Common Personal Injury Terms You Might Hear During Your Injury Claim

  1. Plaintiff and Defendant — These two terms refer to the parties of a lawsuit. In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff is the person filing the lawsuit or the victim. The defendant is the person being sued. A defendant in a personal injury lawsuit could be an individual, government agency, or business entity.
  2. At-Fault Party — The individual or party who caused the accident or injury is commonly referred to as the at-fault party. The at-fault party is typically the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. For example, a driver who causes an accident because the driver failed to yield the right of way would be the at-fault party.
  3. Insurance Claim — In most personal injury cases, the first step in recovering compensation for damages is to file a claim with the insurance provider for the at-fault party. In a car accident case, you would file an insurance claim with the insurance provider for the other driver.
  4. Catastrophic Injuries — Catastrophic injuries are typically defined as injuries that result in death or permanent disability. These injuries can result from any accident and may involve one or more body systems. Examples of catastrophic injuries include amputation, paralysis, severe scarring, vision loss, hearing loss, and traumatic brain injuries
  5. Medical Malpractice — Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers harm or injury because of a health care provider’s negligence, error, or mistake. For medical malpractice to occur, the patient must suffer harm as a result of the medical provider’s action or inaction. Examples of medical malpractice include diagnostic errors, surgical errors, medication mistakes, birth injuries, and anesthesia mistakes.
  6. Premises Liability — Premises liability refers to the duty of a property owner to protect persons who are on their property. Slip and fall claims, pool accidents, construction site accidents, and playground accidents are common premises liability claims. 
  7. Soft Tissue Injuries — Injuries to the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, and tendons) can occur in almost any type of accident. Whiplash and spinal disc injuries are two common types of soft tissue injuries. 
  8. Product Liability — Product liability refers to the duty parties who create, manufacture, distribute, and sell products have to protect consumers from injuries and death because of defects and hazards. Product liability claims include defects related to consumer products, medications, medical equipment, and other products used by or for consumers. 
  9. Alternative Dispute Resolution — ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to methods used to settle a disputed claim other than going to court. Examples of ADR include arbitration and mediation. The parties agree to settle the matter with the assistance of a third-party (arbitrator or mediator) through private negotiations. 
  10. Wrongful Death — A wrongful death is a death that occurs because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. A wrongful death claim can arise out of many different situations including accidents involving motor vehicles, medical malpractice, work injuries, falls, sports injuries, recreational activities, nursing home abuse or neglect, and defective products.

Contact Nagel Rice Today to Discuss Your Claim

You are likely to hear many terms as we work to recover the money you deserve after being injured by another party. Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey personal injury lawyers today to discuss your claim and learn how we can help you hold a negligent or reckless party responsible for your injuries and damages.

Posted in: Personal Injury