One fact you need to know if you are involved in an accident and have to talk with an attorney regarding your motorcycle accident and/or eventual motorcycle settlement: personal injury lawyers speak their own language.
This can have serious repercussions as we work together towards your motorcycle settlement.
Personal injury cases require you to make important decisions that have a bearing on the outcome of your claim.
Over my career as a PA motorcycle accident attorney, I have made bridging this linguistic gap a cornerstone of my practice.
5 Legal Terms You Should Understand Before Pursuing Motorcycle Settlements
Personal injury terms often have completely different definitions outside the legal profession, which can make this jargon even more confusing to the lay person.
With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to provide short definitions of 5 of the most important legal terms you will hear.
- Plaintiff – Also known as the “Claimant,” the Plaintiff is the person who brings a lawsuit. They are the one seeking to recover damages for a wrong committed by a Defendant. In short, if you are talking to me about a motorcycle settlement, personal injury matters, or recovering damages for example, you are the Plaintiff.
- Defendant – The Defendant is the person being sued. While a Defendant can bring a counterclaim against the Plaintiff, generally, a Defendant has been accused of wrongdoing. If you were hit by a car while riding your motorcycle and are suing the driver, the driver is the Defendant.
- Negligence – When a party has a duty to another party, and breaks or violates that duty, and that violation causes an injury for which the victim is eligible for compensation, this is negligence. A driver has a duty to stay on the correct side of the yellow line. If they cross that line and strike a motorcycle rider, they may be guilty of negligence.
- Liability – Liability means that a Defendant has been held responsible for damages. When you hire me as your Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer my job is to demonstrate that the other party, or parties, are liable for the injuries sustained by the Plaintiff.
- Structured Settlement – A structured settlement may be used as an alternative financial tool to allow for a higher rate of return on a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Damages that would otherwise be awarded as a lump sum are invested so that there is a stream of tax-free payments paid out over an agreed upon period of time. They are usually funded by the Defendant buying annuities from highly-rated insurance companies.
All of these terms are commonly used in motorcycle accident claims, and you will hear them repeatedly throughout the process. My sincere hope is that by defining these terms here, you will gain a better understanding of what is happening with your claim.
If you have any further questions regarding legal terms that you may have heard in the media or elsewhere, feel free to call Pennsylvania motorcycle crash attorney Lee Gaber at 1-888-292-5352 (1-888-cycle-law).