Law Offices of Thomas F Tobin, III

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Chicago, IL 60603
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De-Mystifying Legal Terms in Plain English

De-Mystifying Legal Terms in Plain English

Chicago legal terms

I would like to discuss certain legal terms that you may or may not have heard used. I really want to de-mystify some of the terms used and explain their real meanings in plain English. However, it is important to remember that these are not the definitive legal definitions of these words.

Legal Definitions
Liability
typically this means legal fault. It can be more complicated than just fault depending on the case. There can be situations where there is liability without fault but in most instances some wrongdoing has to be proven on the part of the defendant. For example, if D ran the red light and struck P, then D is likely to be found liable for P’s damages.
Damages
are usually awarded to the winning party in a lawsuit. Damages can include the following: pain and suffering; medical expenses; lost wages; permanent injuries; loss of a normal life; lost profits in a commercial case, etc. Damages are adapted to the context of the dispute. For example, the damages for auto property damage case might just involve the expense of having the car repaired.
Specials
this is a term most often used by insurance adjustors. Specials are obtained by adding the amount of your medical bills to the amount of your lost wages claim.
*** I know, I know, this blog is entitled "Straight Talk From A Lawyer," yet here I am saying that my definitions of these words is not set in stone. The definitions of these words can vary somewhat depending on the context and in what state or district they are used in. My definitions are the general interpretation of the meaning of these words.
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