Important Legal Terms
Common legal and personal injury terms
A person or entity who is not named within an insurance policy, but who is covered under the policy by being added through an attachment, known as an endorsement. Depending on the terms of the policy and the endorsement, an additional insured party may have a different level of coverage than the parties specifically named in the policy itself
A procedure in which a neutral third party (the arbitrator) reviews arguments from two sides of a conflict and makes a decision. Both sides have the opportunity to make presentations to the arbitrator which could include testimony from witnesses and the review of documents related to the case. Arbitration can be binding or non-binding. In non-binding arbitration, if a party is not satisfied with the arbitrator’s decision they have the option to seek another resolution to the matter such as going to trial. If the arbitration is binding, the decision of the arbitrator is final and usually cannot be challenged. Arbitration is one of many “alternative dispute resolution” procedures, i.e. alternatives to filing a lawsuit, or if a suit has already been filed, they are alternatives to trial.
Amount charged to a client by an attorney for legal services. Attorney fees are typically charged hourly, as a flat fee, or on Contingency.
That portion of an automobile insurance policy which covers injuries the policyholder causes to someone else. Bodily injury liability coverage will also provide payments for legal defense costs after an accident.
The fact or facts which give a person the right to judicial redress or relief against another person. A cause of action is the basis for filing a lawsuit and the elements of each cause of action will be explained in a party’s papers submitted to the court. For example, in a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff may have a “cause of action” based on another party’s negligence or defective product.
In the insurance industry, a claim is a request from a policyholder to his or her insurance company seeking to recover for a loss covered under their insurance policy.
Coverage under an insurance policy which pays for damage to the driver’s own vehicle after a collision. Collision insurance does not cover bodily injuries to any driver and may not cover damage to other property resulting from a traffic collision.
A common carrier is one that regularly transports people or goods for a fee and offers their service to the general public. Examples of common carriers include Public Bus Lines, Airlines, Trains, cruise ships and some freight companies.
In states with comparative negligence statutes or doctrines, like California, negligence is measured in terms of a percentage. If a judge or jury determines that the person seeking damages (the plaintiff) is partially at fault for causing his own injuries, the damages he may recover from other responsible parties will be reduced proportionally. For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault in the accident, the other responsible party or parties will only have to pay 80% of the plaintiff’s damages.
An arrangement between an attorney and a client where the attorney represents the client and is compensated based on a percentage of the amount recovered. Learn more about The Scranton Law Firm’s Fees.
The amount of loss paid by the policyholder before the insurance company will begin paying for a covered event. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and you have been in an accident which caused $5,000 worth of damage, you must pay the first $1,000 and the insurance company will pay the other $4,000. A deductible is typically either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the claim amount.http://scrantonlawfirm.com/?post_type=legal_terms&p=20172&preview=true
A term used to describe compensation you receive under your own insurance policy rather than someone else’s. An example of first-party coverage is “collision insurance” in which your own insurance company pays for damages to your car after a collision.
Insurance coverage which pays for bodily injury or property damage caused by the policyholder to another person.
The maximum amount of insurance that can be paid for a covered loss.
Loss is the basis for an insurance claim, such as damage to a vehicle. Insurance companies also use the term loss when referring to their payment of a legal liability on behalf of an insured person.
A non-binding procedure in which a neutral third party (the mediator) attempts to resolve a conflict between two parties by facilitating their discussions and negotiations. The mediator has no power to decide the case for the parties. Rather, the parties themselves must agree on a resolution to the conflict. If an agreement cannot be reached, the parties may seek to resolve their dispute in other ways. Mediation is one of many “alternative dispute resolution” procedures, i.e. alternatives to filing a lawsuit, or if a suit has already been filed, they are alternatives to trial.
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Important Legal Terms
Legal definitions and explanations of various topics related to personal injury claims and insurance issues.
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