The dense, specialized dialect of the law can be a challenge to understand. But it’s important. Most people seeking help don’t have the specific education or background to understand some of the words used in their cases. Let a personal injury lawyer unveil the jargon.
Sometimes legal jargon is unavoidable. Clients who wish to be involved in their own cases can help their cause my learning to understand terms used in the legal process.
- An affidavit is a written declaration taken under oath.
- Best evidence is the most important factor to be used in your case.
- If you’re involved in a car accident lawsuit, you may hear the term comparative negligence, a legal tool used to determine how much your own actions contributed to the accident and what percentage of the accident was caused by the other driver. This may impact your settlement.
- Damages are the amount a person may recover from a legal case. If you’re suing someone for damages, you’re suing to recover compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages and many other expenses you would not have to pay if you were not involved in an accident in the first place.
The list is long. Some of the terms used are Latin. Subpoena duces tecum, for example, is harder to say than understand. Essentially it commands a person to appear and/or produce documents.
The legal system isn’t trying to be obscure. It relies on reproducible language and terms so cases are decided on logical, defensible grounds. This way everyone, at least in theory, is treated fairly under the law.
You can’t let the jargon of the legal system intimidate you. Look to an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the daunting task facing someone new to the legal system. Choosing an attorney whose clients provide testimonials is one way to select a lawyer with your best interests in mind.