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The basics of personal injury case terminology

There are several outstanding personal injury attorneys in the greater Portland area.  Many are highly skilled and eminently qualified to take on a variety of cases and obtain a maximum settlement on their client’s behalf.

Part of what makes an excellent attorney is how well they can impart knowledge onto their clients during the legal proceedings.  One of the basic tenets of being a good lawyer is in also being a good communicator.  However, a client has a certain level of responsibility to do their homework as well.

If you’re involved in a personal injury case, there are some basics you should be familiar with before you delve too deeply into your case.  Here are a few terms and strategies you may encounter as you work through your case, so it is probably in your best interests to have a basic grasp of the following legal terms:

Torts and Intentional Torts.  A tort is the act of committing a wrongful act but one that does not rise to the level of being a crime.  Torts are common in civil cases which most personal injury cases are: this can include acts such as negligence, trespassing, slander, libel or other related actions.  An intentional tort is a wrongful act that is committed on purpose.  An understanding of torts is essential because they form the foundation of a civil lawsuit, and give a party the ammunition they need to seek damages from another party.

Strict Liability.  This is a legal theory that says a particular party retains responsibility for an act regardless of if there is fault or wrongdoing.  This is often applied to cases involving dog attacks, where an owner is responsible for the dog’s actions at all times.  It may also be applied to cases involving defective products.  In cases where strict liability is applied, the burden shifts from the plaintiff to the defendant to prove they are not liable for their actions or their products.

No-fault Laws.  In this situation, which applies in some states, if you are injured in an auto accident, then you collect damages from your own insurance company instead of from the company of the party who is at fault.  Everyone is responsible for themselves unless specified monetary thresholds are met.

Dawson Law Group serves Portland and surrounding Oregon communities.