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A Guide to Personal Injury Law Terms and Meanings


If you have been hurt in an car collision, or have suffered an injury due to the negligent actions or inactions of another, our Las VegasNevada personal injury attorneys will provide you with a clear understanding of your claim, so you can gain the confidence you need to pursue the proper financial recovery.

At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, our committed Clark County lawyers focus on removing any confusion about when you should hire a personal injury lawyer, and provide clear information on what to expect from the legal process.

To follow is a quick guide to help understand common personal injury terms and meanings that will help with your legal journey.

What Is Personal Injury?

Personal injury and personal injury law are a remedy for pursuing damages that were caused by another’s negligent, careless, or intentional behavior that led to physical, emotional, and financial losses.

When someone fails to use reasonable care, and another person is hurt as a result, our attorneys can pursue a claim in civil court to recover the necessary damages.

What Is Negligence?

Negligence is a wrongful act or tort that results in an injury. In order to establish negligence, we must be able to prove that the defendant had a duty to the injured, that they neglected that duty, and that their negligence caused damages.

What Is a Tort?

A tort is a wrongful act that allows a civil lawsuit to be filed to recover losses. A tort can be unintentional, which could include a vehicle crash, or intentional, which could include an assault.

What Is a Complaint?

A complaint is the formal filing issued with the court that states your exact personal injury.

Who Is the Plaintiff?

If you are the one filing the complaint, you are the plaintiff.

Who Is the Defendant?

The defendant is the person, party, or company you believe to be responsible for your injuries.

What Are Damages?

Damages outline and define what you hope to recover through your lawsuit.

When it comes to personal injury, these damages are always going to be financial, and listed in monetary amounts that cover your losses, which can include:

  • Medical expenses, including prescriptions and medical device rentals/purchases
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning power
  • Property repair or replacement costs

What Is an Answer?

When your legal complaint is filed with the defendant, he, she, or they will file an answer, which serves as the official response to your personal injury claim.

What Is Contributory Negligence?

Contributory negligence is used to shift some of the injury’s blame to the plaintiff to deem them partially at fault for the incident that occurred, so they are only entitled to receive partial damages – or none at all.

What Is Strict Liability?

Strict liability typically applies to defendants in product liability claims and does not depend on actual negligence or intent to harm for a lawsuit to proceed. Strict liability is applied in situations where defective products are designed, manufactured, or distributed when they are deemed fundamentally dangerous.

What Is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is a type of tort that allows our firm to pursue a home or property owner for the unsafe or defective condition of their premises. Common premises liability claims can include dog bite or slip and fall injuries.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or other health care professional causes an injury to a patient through a negligent action or inaction. Common medical malpractice cases can include birth injuriescancer misdiagnosis, and anesthesia errors.

While these are certainly not all of the personal injury terms and meanings used by our law firm, it is a great starting point to familiarize yourself with the immediate labels we will use to outline your case.

If you have suffered a personal injury, and wish to pursue a claim against the negligent party who caused you harm, contact our experienced attorneys at Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen today by calling (702) 505-8115 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you pursue the financial recovery you deserve for your unique case.

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