Jones & Swanson

Common Legal Terms and their Meanings

At Jones & Swanson, we speak with victims of serious personal injury incidents every day. Most have never been in a situation where a personal injury attorney’s services were needed, so it is easy to become confused or overwhelmed. It is our goal to not only represent injured victims to the best of our abilities, but to educate them along the way. We aspire to answer any and all questions our clients have so that they never leave our office or end a call confused about their case.

The first step towards fully understanding a personal injury claim is to have a basic knowledge of commonly used word, terms, and phrases. Conversations and explanations can be much simpler to understand when you understand the complicated words lawyers tend to use.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the legal terms our office uses on a frequent basis and provided simple descriptions of each:

  • Contingency: one of the first questions we receive is about fees and payments to our office. Most areas of law work on a retainer or hourly fee basis. In an effort to offer fair representation, Jones & Swanson works on a contingency fee basis. This essentially means we collect our payment as a percentage of the successful resolution of your claim. So if you do not collect damages, we do not collect a fee.
  • Plaintiff: the individuals Jones & Swanson represents are considered plaintiffs, as they are injured as a result of another person’s actions.
  • Defendant: this is the opposing party to the plaintiff. They are the party or parties being accused of wrongdoing in the personal injury case.
  • Damages: the potential money that we are fighting for on your behalf. This compensation directly correlates to the extent of your injuries, medical expenses, loss of ability to work and earn money, and pain and suffering.
  • Liability: Proving who was liable, or at fault, for an incident is key in successfully resolving a personal injury case.
  • Lien: this is a document filed when a party who paid for a victim’s medical treatment following an accident wants to collect from the settlement or verdict amount. This collection typically occurs before a victim receives their compensation following the resolution of a case.

While these may not be all of the confusing or unusual terms used at Jones & Swanson, it is a good start to better understanding the personal injury claim process. We are always happy to take the time to provide detailed explanations to questions when people contact our office. So give us a call at (770) 427-5498 today if you believe you may have a case, or even if you’re simply seeking legal advice.

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