Shows like Suits and Law and Order have familiarized their audiences with the language of lawyers, yet navigating legal jargon in practical situations still presents real difficulty. Unfamiliar terminology can make it difficult to comprehend a particular situation. Not understanding certain words can lead to unnecessary confusion and potentially harmful misunderstandings. No situation in which you need a lawyer should be further complicated by confusing language.

Anyone can access the tools to understanding legal jargon, even if they’re not a lawyer. In this digital age, we have access to information across all different industries at the click of a button. Let’s start here with a crash course in defining some general terms as well as language specific to personal injury law.


Liability is the state of being responsible for something, especially by law. And when someone fails to take proper care in doing something, they are guilty of negligence. One of our recent blog posts discusses negligence in terms of rear-end collisions, but you can it in an infinite variety of situations.

A subpoena is merely a writ (a legal document written by a judge or other judicial/administrative body) ordering a person to attend a court.

Incrimination is another general law term, defined as accusing or presenting proof of a crime or fault. When an official agreement intended to resolve a dispute or conflict is reached, it’s referred to as a settlement.

Medical malpractice is another term related to personal injury cases. This is an umbrella term to relate to any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes injury to the patient.

The material that provides information or evidence that serves as a record is referred to as documentation. The act of submitting a document to court is called filing.

Suit is a vernacular term that refers to any action or cause instituted between two private persons in the courts of law.

A recoverable is any amount of money to which a plaintiff is entitled in a lawsuit and compensation is the action or process of awarding someone money as a recompense for loss, injury or suffering.

These are only a few terms, defined here to provide your first step towards becoming more comfortable with legal jargon. However, having an understanding of the language doesn’t necessarily equal expertise. If you find yourself in a situation needing legal advice, don’t go scouring Google for answers. Just give us a call.

Definitions found via NCBI, Legal Dictionary, and Merriam Webster.



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