Highlight words on this pageDefinitions
When producing or responding to claim documents, it is very important to know what the words mean in the context of injury claims. The following definitions are offered as a starting point for your better understanding of what you're being asked to do. If the word or phrase you need is not in our list, please let our Webmaster know. Our Definitions section will grow in response to your requests.

DEFAULT JUDGEMENT – A judgement obtained by a Plaintiff when the Defendant has not answered the Summons and Complaint; it can be obtained without notice to the Defendant unless he has served a Notice of Appearance in the case, or otherwise had certain contacts (i.e. a phone call about the lawsuit would be sufficient) with the Plaintiff.

FILE AND SERVE – A lawsuit is officially filed with the county clerk and a copy is personally served upon the defendant.

FILED AND SERVED – A lawsuit is officially filed with the county clerk and a copy is personally served upon the defendant.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS – The statutory time within which a lawsuit must be filed and served or it will be forever barred.

ACCIDENT – An unexpected and undesirable event.

ACCIDENT SCENE WITNESS – One who, being present, personally sees or perceives a thing or event; a beholder, spectator, or eyewitness.

ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE – A fact or situation that has actually been observed or known to exist, either by first-hand observation or through reports or records.

ADEQUATE DISCOVERY – "Discovery" refers to a series of tools used to discover the facts, opinions, and theories of the opposite side. The information obtained should allow both sides to better prepare their cases for trial. Frequently, the discovery process will expose a strength or weakness that will lead to settlement.

ANIMAL BITE – A bite by an animal, often resulting in a wound and/or injury.

ANIMAL BITES – A bite by an animal, often resulting in a wound and/or injury.

ARBITRATION – The process by which the parties to a dispute submit their differences to the judgment of an impartial person or group appointed by mutual consent or statutory provision.

AUTO INSURANCE SUBROGATION – Subrogation is the right of the first party insurance company to collect some part of its outlay paid on behalf of its insured (e.g., for medical bills or wage loss) from the third party insurance carrier when it pays out upon settlement or judgement.

AVAILABLE STATUTORY AND COMMON LAW DEFENSES – Statutory and common law defenses are used by the owner (defendant) to reduce the value of the victim's claim in proportion to her comparative negligence.

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU – A non-profit association of businesses that promotes an ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence. A link between consumer and business and NOT a government agency.

BITE LIABILITY – The responsibility of the owner of the biting animal to the victim.

BLACK LETTER LAW – Black Letter Law refers to the actual text of the statutes, ordinances, and case laws that govern any particular topic.

BLANKET MEDICAL AUTHORIZATION – Direction to your health care providers to provide all medical records, not just those that might concern this accident, or prior accidents, or similar injuries (all of which are legitimately the topic of inquiry by the adjuster).

BLENDED COMPUTATION – A way of compromising where the attorney excludes some of your medical subrogation when computing his fees.

BREACH OF DUTY – Failure to adhere to a standard of care owed to another by reason of their relationship, e.g. store owner vs. customer, animal owner vs. jogger, or driver vs. other motorists.

BUILDING CODE – Code adopted by municipality and state to govern construction. aka Universal Building Code (UBC).

BURDEN OF PROOF – Requirement that the plaintiff or the defendant (in a civil case) show by a "preponderance of evidence" or "weight of evidence" that all the facts necessary to win a judgment are presented and are probably true.

CASE LAW – The law established by judicial decisions in cases, as distinguished from law created by legislation.

CHANGE OF VENUE – To move a trial or arbitration to another jurisdiction.

CLAIM – To demand as one's own. To assert a demand for compensation.

CLAIM SUBROGATION RIGHTS – To claim the repayment for monies paid on your behalf for medical care or paid to you for lost wages (PIP).

CLAIMANT – The person who is making a claim for money damages from personal injury, property damage, or injury to other compensable interests..

CLAIMANT'S COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE – The degree of negligence that may exist (slight, ordinary, and gross) that is attributed to the claimant when negligence is compared to the one of the tortfeasor.

COMMON LAW – Principles and rules relating to the security of persons and property based upon customs and precedent established in the Middle Ages, primarily in England.

COMMON LAW DEFENSES – Legal defenses based on custom and general principles embodied in case law and that serve as precedent or are applied to situations not covered by statutes.

COMMON LAW NEGLIGENCE – A violation of the duty to use reasonable care under the circumstances. It can be imposed by case law or by statute.

COMMON LAW RULE – The rule of law as generated by court decisions over time, as opposed to statutory law, which is a product of the legislature.

COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE – The doctrine in the law that allows the comparison of the degree of both parties negligence (slight, ordinary, and gross) and recovery is permitted when specific relationships exist. Varies from state to state.

COMPENSABLE DAMAGES – Physical changes resulting directly from a physical injury, as shown by medical evidence, including but not limited to: permanent physical damages, serious disfigurement, brain damage or severe emotional distress; also includes wages loss.

COMPENSABLE EMOTIONAL DISTRESS – Relates to the type of stress which is compensable being divided into two types: physical trauma causing a nervous injury; and mental stimulus causing a nervous injury. Usually a change in the human organism must result directly from a physical injury in order to be compensable. Requires medical evidences to be proven.

CONSULTATION – To confer, to seek advice or information.

CONSULTING ATTORNEY – Advises you on legal issues regarding your claim and may contact the insurer or other entity on your behalf, but does not represent you in a court or arbitration proceeding.

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE – Contributory negligence is a doctrine of common law that if a person was injured in part due to their own negligence (their negligence "contributed" to the accident), the injured party would not be entitled to collect any damages (money) from another party who supposedly caused the accident.

COSTS – The expenses of a lawsuit or action which may be recovered by law from the losing party, often defined by statute or by a court's rules, and in most cases not including attorney fees.

COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION – The court that has the power, right, or authority to interpret, apply, and declare the law (render a judgment). Refers to both subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction.

COURT OF GENERAL JURISDICTION – A court in which jurisdiction is not limited to a particular class of cases.

CPT – Medical codes for diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, that are increasingly important in evaluating and settling personal injury claims.

CURRENT PROCEDURAL TERMINOLOGY – Also abbreviated CPT, are medical codes for diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, that are increasingly important in evaluating and settling personal injury claims.

DAMAGE – The loss caused by one person to another or to his property, either with the design of injuring him, with negligence and carelessness, or by inevitable accident.

DAMAGES – The losses caused by one person to another or to his property, either with the design of injuring him, with negligence and carelessness, or by inevitable accident.

DAMAGES WITNESS – Someone whose testimony will help to prove your damages, such as pain and suffering, interference with enjoyment of life, lost wages, and the like. Most likely a spouse, friend, or co-worker.

DEFENDANT – The party against whom a criminal or civil action is brought.

DEMAND LETTER – A written letter to claim a need, requirement, entitlement, payment, performance or an action. This is the means by which we transmit our monetary demand and supporting exhibits to the insurance adjuster.

DERIVATIVE RIGHTS – Rights obtained only via the existence of rights held by another; hence a UIM derivative claim against the tortfeasor would die if the claimant settled it and signed a release of his right of action against the tortfeasor.

DIAGNOSIS ON CAUSATION – Analysis to identify the nature of the act which caused the injury.

DIRECT AND PROXIMATE CAUSE OF ONE'S INJURY – The action that sets in motion a train of events which brings about a result without the intervention of other force, and without which the result would not have occurred.

DIRECT AND PROXIMATE CAUSE OF YOUR INJURY – The action that sets in motion a train of events which brings about a result without the intervention of other force, and without which the result would not have occurred

DISCOVERY – Part of the pre-trial litigation process during which each party requests relevant information and documents from the other side in an attempt to "discover" pertinent facts. Generally discovery devices include depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, document production requests and requests for inspection.

DISCOVERY PROCESS – The means by which parties to litigation can discover the evidence and theories of other parties; common discovery tools are verbal and written questions, known as the use of depositions and interrogatories, respectively, together with the right to inspect or copy a thing or visit a premises.

DISCOVERY PROCESS IN LITIGATION – The investigative phase of the litigation process. It is the most important step in the litigation process,and if handled properly, the information obtained in discovery can go a long way toward winning the case.

EQUITABLE RIGHT – The right to be treated fairly, justly, and with right dealing.

EVIDENCE – Something that furnishes proof, as testimony, writings, or objects presented for the purpose of establishing the truth or falsity of an alleged matter of fact.

FAIR MARKET VALUE – The price determined by the marketplace. It is the price a willing and qualified buyer will pay to buy, at which a willing seller will sell. Note that the asking price of ads is not necessarily the market price.

FAIR, FULL AND FINAL – A phrase used in the insurance industry to imply that a settlement offer is the last and best possible.

FAULT – Responsibility for an act or omission that causes damage or injury to another.

FINAL – Coming at the end. Ultimate and definitive.

FIRST BITE – Some states have a strict liability rule on bites and no facts will release the owner from liability for the event.

FIRST BITE LIABILITY – Some states have a strict liability rule on bites and no facts will release the owner from liability for the event.

FIRST BITE LIABILITY STATE – As opposed in free bite states, the first bite liability states impose strict liability on the owner of a dog that bites a victim whether it is the dog's first bite or not. Depending on the state, there are some exceptions to this rule.

FIRST PARTIES RIGHTS TO DEPOSITION – Rights of the injured party to secure the testimony of a witness. This statement is made orally by a person on oath, before an examiner, commissioner, or officer of the court (but not in an open court), and reduced to writing and duly authenticated.

FIRST PARTY – The claimant (injured person) and all things directly related to the claimant such as their insurance company.

FIRST PARTY CARRIER – The insurance company of the injured person.

FIRST PARTY CARRIERS – When the injured person as more that one insurance provider.

FIRST PARTY CLAIM – A claim made to the resources of the insurance policy of the injured person.

FIRST PARTY CLAIMS – Those claims that are presented by more than one resource of the injured person.

FIRST PARTY COVERAGE – Any and all insurance coverage that the injured party has secured prior to the injury.

FIRST PARTY RIGHTS TO DEPOSITION – Rights of the injured party to secure the testimony of a witness. This statement is made orally by a person on oath, before an examiner, commissioner, or officer of the court (but not in an open court), and reduced to writing and duly authenticated.

FMV – Fair Market Value. The price determined by the marketplace. It is the price a willing and qualified buyer will pay to buy, at which a willing seller will sell. Note that the asking price of ads is not necessarily the market price.

FORENSIC – Belonging to a court of justice, generally all the branches of science required to enable a court of law to arrive at a proper conclusion on a contested question affecting life or property.

FREE BITE STATE – Many states have a dog bite law that allows "one free bite." In a one free bite state, the owner of the dog will not be held liable for damages caused the first time his dog bites a victim unless the owner knew or should have known that the dog had a propensity for violence.

FULL, FAIR AND FINAL – A phrase used in the insurance industry to imply that a settlement offer is the last and best possible.

GENERAL COMMON LAW – Principals and rules relating to the security of persons and property based on customs and precedent established in the middle ages primarily in England.

GENERAL DAMAGE – Compensation which may be recovered in the courts by a person who has suffered a loss or injury for the reason that the loss or injury are the immediate, direct, and proximate result of an unlawful act, omission, or negligence of another.

GENERAL DAMAGES – Compensation which may be recovered in the courts by a person who has suffered a loss or injury for the reason that the loss or injury are the immediate, direct, and proximate result of an unlawful act, omission, or negligence of another.

GUARDIAN AD LITEM – A person legally appointed by a court to represent in a particular lawsuit the interests of a minor, a person not yet born, or a person judged incompetent.

HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT – A written document which one party provides a promise to another to surrender the right to hold the other accountable for previous, current, or future behavior or actions of a specified nature.

HOLD HARMLESS LETTER – A written letter in which one party provides a promise to another to surrender the right to hold the other accountable for previous, current, or future behavior or actions of a specified nature.

HYDROPHOBIA – An acute viral disease of the nervous system of warm-blooded animals (usually transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal); rabies is fatal if the virus reaches the brain.

IME – An independent medical examination required by the insurance company with its contracted physician.

IME EXAM – An independent medical examination required by the insurance company with its contracted physician.

IMPUTED KNOWLEDGE – A fact or situation that is not actually known, but which is considered to be known (imputed) under the law because those facts and circumstances that are actually known lead inescapably to the conclusion that the imputed fact or situation must be true.

INCIDENT – The event(s) that caused the injury at issue.

INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAM – An independent medical examination required by the insurance company with its contracted physician.

INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATION – An independent medical examination required by the insurance company with its contracted physician.

INJURED CLAIMANT – The injured party pursuing a claim for monetary damages from personal injury.

INJURIES OR DAMAGE OTHER THAN BITES – Any injury which was due to the natural and probable consequence of the attack of a vicious animal. If the victim can prove that the owner's negligence was the direct and proximate cause of one's injuries, she should be able to recover for her injuries even though her injuries did not fit a specific statute.

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER – The elected or appointed official in each state responsible for compliance with state laws governing the insurance industry in that state.

INSURANCE SUBROGATION RECOVERY – Part of a settlement which is used to pay your insurance company to recover money paid on your behalf for medical expenses or lost wages in advance of the settlement.

INSURER PAYEE – The individual or other entity who receives funds from an insurance company.

INTERROGATORIES – Written questions created by one party in preparation for an interview or examination of a witness.

JURISDICTION – Usually defined as the power, right, or authority to interpret, apply, and declare the law; it is also interpreted as the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised.

LAY WITNESS – A lay witness is one who is not an expert witness in the field of testimony, for example a spouse, friend, or co-worker who testifies as to what they observed in pain and suffering of the injured claimant.

LEVERAGE – Refers to the use of timing and conditions favorable to your side to initiate settlement negotiations. Examples are end of year reserve requirements (e.g. if the insurer has to set reserves, they will want to settle as many cases as possible in the weeks before the deadline), uncertainty about results (e.g. settle now or an attorney will take the case), and the use of good news (e.g. an IME result is favorable).

LIABILITY – Accountability and responsibility to another, enforceable by civil remedies or criminal sanctions.

LIABILITY WITNESS – Someone whose testimony will help to prove liability in your claim, such as someone who was at the scene of the accident and has observations relevant to who is at fault in the incident. May be a stranger or someone close to you.

LICENSEE – A person who holds a license, including a person entering or using premises by permission or by operation of law but without express or implied invitation; entering for purpose not connected with business conducted on premises, but with permission or toleration.

LIEN – A claim on property for payment of a debt, obligation, or duty, as when a doctor accepts a lien against a forthcoming insurance claim settlement instead of requiring cash payment for services.

LOCAL LAW – Cities and counties often have local laws regarding animals, property, etc. that may be applicable in a specific case.

LOST WAGES – Wages not earned due to the claimant's inability to work as the result of an injury.

LOW IMPACT – Events when the collision is at a relatively low speed which are generally regarded as minor, and little to no damage generally occurs.

LOW IMPACT ACCIDENT – Collisions which occurred at a relatively low speed and are generally regarded as minor. Serious injury can occur in these accidents.

MAXIMUM MEDICAL IMPROVEMENT – The condition where the injured person has healed as much as she is going to heal, and further medical treatments will not improve her condition or her chances of avoiding further pain and suffering. The claimants use the term to show the fact that injuries are so severe and chronic that they will continue to cause pain and suffering irrespective of any further treatment.

MEDICAL ASSISTANT – A health professional trained in multiple tasks. They are usually employed in ambulatory settings, such as medical offices. They perform both administrative and clinical tasks. Certification or registration is possible through several professional organizations.

MEDICAL BLANKET AUTHORIZATION – Blanket medical authorization is a direction to your health care providers to provide ALL of your medical records, not just those that might concern this accident, or prior accidents, or similar injuries (all of which are legitimately the topic of inquiry by the adjuster).

MEDICAL CARE – All types of healing services which require a license to administer.

MEDICAL TREATMENT THROUGH LIEN – If there is no insurance whatsoever to pay for medical treatment, you can try to get treatment by asking your doctor to accept a lien on your settlement proceeds as security for payment for her services.

MINOR CLAIMS – Minors are generally defined under eighteen. It is the claim brought on behalf of a minor to recover for injuries sustained as a result of negligence. Usually a parent will bring the claim, unless she is negligent in which case a guardian will be appointed for the claim.

MITIGATION – Sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects.

MMI – The condition where the injured person has healed as much as she is going to heal, and further medical treatments will not improve her condition or her chances of avoiding further pain and suffering. The claimants use the term to show the fact that injuries are so severe and chronic that they will continue to cause pain and suffering irrespective of any further treatment.

MULTIPLIER EFFECT – The practice of insurance companies to value claims as a multiple of the cost of medical treatment. For example, depending on a number of factors, they may value claims at one to five times the medical special damages.

NEGLIGENCE – Carelessness that causes injury or harm, whether by doing something, or by failing to do something that an ordinary person would do under similar circumstances.

NEGLIGENCE PER SE – In most jurisdictions, negligence per se is a violation of a statute or ordinance adopted for the public's safety and can establish the violators civil liability.

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT – Settlement which has been processed through conference, discussion and exchange of interest and information.

NIBBLING – It is the act of renegotiating a part of an agreement. For example you can renegotiate with your attorney his attorney fees or with your insurer a reduction in subrogation.

NO FAULT – Type of automobile insurance in which the accident victims are compensated by their insurance companies without assignment of blame.

NO-FAULT – Type of automobile insurance in which the accident victims are compensated by their insurance companies without assignment of blame.

NON-OEM – Anything that is not manufacturer's original equipment. Sometimes referred as "after market" products.

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer. For example, OEM parts are replacement parts from the original manufacturer.

PAIN AND SUFFERING – Mental or especially physical distress for which one may seek damages in a tort action.

PASSENGER CLAIMS – Claim made by the passenger(s) of the vehicule(s) involved in the accident.

PEDESTRIAN – Person traveling on foot.

PHANTOM CAR – An unidentified car which is the main cause of the accident.

PIP – Personal injury protection or insurance specific to bodily injury, loss of wages, or death.

PIP CLAIM – Claims agains a personal injury insurance policy also known as a first party claim.

PIP COVERAGE – Covers the insured while in another vehicle, including exiting and entering a vehicle.

PIP LOST WAGES – Wages not earned due to claimant's inability to work as the result of an injury that are covered under the personal injury insurance policy.

PIP POLICY – Specific insurance provisions covering personal injury, generally including "reasonable and necessary" medical care, a death benefit and a set amount or percentage of wages lost after a predetermined time off the job.

PIP/MED COVERAGE – Personal injury protection or insurance specific to bodily injury, loss of wages, or death.

PIP/MEDPAY – Payment that the insurer determines is "reasonable and necessary" as a result of the accident.

PIP/MEDPAY SUBROGATION CLAUSE – By policy terms the first party insurer is entitled to full repayment of all sums paid, upon settlement of third parties tortfeasor's carrier.

POLICY LIMITS – This is the maximum amount of money the insurance company is contractually liable to pay out; sold in specified combinations of an amount per person, per accident, per vehicle, etc..

POSSESSORY LIEN – Lien on property that is already in the possession of the creditor. For example, if you take your automobile to a repair shop, the shop has a possessory lien on your car to secure payment of the repair bill.

PREMISES CLAIMS – Any claim pertaining to the liability of an occupier or owner's land or building.

PREMISES LIABILITIES INTERROGATORIES – Your individual efforts to gather evidence on liability for the premises where the accident happened. Depending on the type of case, different types of proof will be required.

PREMISES LIABILITY – Liability of one who owns or has control of land or a building to one who is injured thereon because of the negligence of the owner or one in control. Does NOT imply any duty of owner to insure the safety of another on her premises.

PRO SE DEMAND – Proceeding on your own, without an attorney. In this instance, making your own demand letter.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE PROVIDER – An experienced and competent professional legal assistant, medical assistant, chiropractic assistant or former insurance adjuster.

PROVOCATION DEFENSE – A defense commonly raised in animal bite cases to the effect that the victim cannot make a claim if he provoked the animal in any way, such as teasing it, pulling its chain, poking it with a stick or even jumping out and surprising it.

PROXIMATE CAUSE – A cause that sets in motion a sequence of events uninterrupted by any superseding cause results in an injury which would not otherwise have occurred.

PSP – Professional Service Providers (PSP) are experienced and competent professional legal assistants, medical assistants, chiropractic assistants, and former insurance adjusters.

REASONABLE AND NECESSARY – Standard medical care and procedures that are required by the nature of a specific injury.

RECORDED STATEMENT – Verbal statement that is recorded as it is given.

RECORDED STATEMENTS – Verbal statements that are recorded as they are given.

REDUCED SUBROGATION – A reduction of the subrogation's amount owing to your insurance company. For example, you may be able to negotiate a reduction by arguing that your insurer should pay its share of costs of collecting from the tortfeasors' insurer.

REFERRAL FEE – Sometimes you will contract with an attorney who will then refer much of the work to a specialist and split the fee with him, which is called the "referral fee". Bottom line, you will only pay a fee to the attorney you have contracted.

RENTER'S LIABILITY INSURANCE – A renter-or many times a landlord-may purchase liability insurance to cover any acts of negligence of the renter or members of his household (including animal attacks). Some policies cover the acts of insured parties off the premises (motor vehicles excluded).

RENTERS LIABLITY INSURANCE – Covers your personal property (both on-site and off-site), on-site medical expenses for you and guests on-site, and liability coverage for your negligent acts.

REPRESENTING ATTORNEY – Advises you on legal issues regarding your claim and may contact the insurer or other entity on your behalf, and may represent you in a court or arbitration proceeding.

RESERVES – Refers to the amount of money an insurance company has allocated for resolution of a claim, consisting of the estimated amount to be paid to the claimant and, in some cases, the estimated costs of defense. The "reserve" for each case is supposed to be held in short term investments-readily available for payment. The Insurance Commissioner of each state is required to make a determination of the financial condition of an insurer, and a company's "reserves" on claims are a liability to be charged against its assets.

RESPONDENT – The person who answers or defends in various proceedings.

SCREEN OF ANXIETY – Your fear of not being fairly compensated.

SETTLEMENT – Resolution of a dispute, in which all parties to the dispute agree specifically as to the amount and method of payment, usually of insurance policy benefits.

SETTLEMENT LEVERAGE – Refers to the use of timing and conditions favorable to your side to initiate settlement negotiations. Examples are end of year reserve requirements (e.g. if the insurer has to set reserves, they will want to settle as many cases as possible in the weeks before the deadline), uncertainty about results (e.g. settle now or an attorney will take the case), and the use of good news (e.g. an IME result is favorable).

SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATION – The exchange of information and interests when conferring to reach an agreement.

SHARE OF THE COSTS – Costs shared between your insurer and yourself which usually includes attorney fees, general damages, and wages lost.

SLIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENT – Slip and fall describes the type of injury suffered on someone else's property as a result of a defect, slippery substance, or other dangerous condition.

SMALL CLAIMS COURT – A division of most municipal, city or other lower local courts which hear cases involving relatively small amounts of money. The amount that can be considered in small claims court varies by state, but is usually under $10,000. Small claims court is a quick, inexpensive way to settle lesser legal disputes without an attorney.

SOFT TISSUE INJURIES – Injuries to any muscles, tendons, ligaments, intervertebral disks and/or nerves, such as can be caused by unnecessary stress to the spine. Whiplash commonly causes soft tissue injury.

SPECIAL DAMAGE – May include, but is not limited to, medical costs, transportation, lost wages, prospects for future medical treatment and wages lost.

SPECIAL DAMAGES – May include, but is not limited to, medical costs, transportation, lost wages, prospects for future medical treatment and wages lost.

STATUTE – A federal or state written law enacted by the Congress or state legislature, respectively. Local statutes or laws are usually called "ordinances." Regulations, rulings, opinions, executive orders and proclamations are not statutes.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS – A law which sets the limits to the right of action. A lawsuit must be brought within a specified time period after the right accrued, with certain exceptions.

STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS – A law which sets the limits to the right of action. A lawsuit must be brought within a specified time period after the right accrued, with certain exceptions.

STATUTORY – Enacted, created, regulated, or defined by statute.

STATUTORY DEFENSES – Legal defenses enacted, created, regulated or defined by a statute.

STRICT LIABILITY – The automatic responsibility that holds defendants liable for damages caused by their actions or due to possession and/or use of equipment, materials or possessions which are inherently dangerous; liability without fault (no level of care, knowledge, or good faith intention will save the defendant). Strict liability laws are state laws and vary widely from state to state.

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT – Under a structured settlement, a plaintiff will not receive compensation in one lump sum but will receive a periodic stream of payments according to the terms of the structured settlement.

SUBROGATE – To substitute (as a second creditor) for another on a legal right or claim, nearly always by paying expenses in advance of a settlement from a third party.

SUBROGATED INTERESTS – Right of your insurance carrier for reimbursement of payments for the medical care you needed. This is to be re-paid following the settlement from the tortfeasor's insurance company.

SUBROGATION – A taking on of the legal rights of someone whose debts or expenses have been paid. Subrogation occurs when an insurance company that has paid off its injured claimant, then takes the legal rights the claimant has against a third party that caused the injury, and sues the third party.

SUBROGATION CLAUSE – Gives an insurer the right to pursue any course of action, in its own name or the name of its insured, against a third party that is liable for a loss paid by the insurer. This clause prevents an insured from collecting the same damages from both his insurer and a third party.

SUBROGATION REPAYMENT – Part of a settlement or judgment that must be used to repay amounts paid by another party, as when the claimant's own insurer has paid medical expenses or lost wages in advance of the settlement.

SUBROGATION RIGHTS – The rights to subrogation (to collect debt) by the first party insurer.

SUBROGEE – A party who has a claim of subrogation (like a lien) against the claimant's insurance award, usually based upon something furnished to the claimant, such as advance payment of medical expenses or wage loss as incurred.

TAPE RECORDED STATEMENT – Verbal statement that is recorded as it is given.

TEMPORAL MANDIBULAR JOINT DYSFUNCTION – Often abbreviated TMJ, it is a group of problems that results from a faulty joint between the jaw, or mandible, and the skull, or temporal bone. Usually caused by trauma or disease. For example, a whiplash injury sustained during a car accident can stretch or tear tissues and ligaments, displace the disks, or results in the formation of scar tissue, thereby decreasing mobility and causing pain.

TEMPORALMANDIBULAR JOINT DYSFUNCTION – Often abbreviated TMJ, it is a group of problems that results from a faulty joint between the jaw, or mandible, and the skull, or temporal bone. Usually caused by trauma or disease. For example, a whiplash injury sustained during a car accident can stretch or tear tissues and ligaments, displace the disks, or results in the formation of scar tissue, thereby decreasing mobility and causing pain.

TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT – Often abbreviated TMJ, it is a group of problems that results from a faulty joint between the jaw, or mandible, and the skull, or temporal bone. Usually caused by trauma or disease. For example, a whiplash injury sustained during a car accident can stretch or tear tissues and ligaments, displace the disks, or results in the formation of scar tissue, thereby decreasing mobility and causing pain.

TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DYSFUNCTION – Often abbreviated TMJ, it is a group of problems that results from a faulty joint between the jaw, or mandible, and the skull, or temporal bone. Usually caused by trauma or disease. For example, a whiplash injury sustained during a car accident can stretch or tear tissues and ligaments, displace the disks, or results in the formation of scar tissue, thereby decreasing mobility and causing pain.

TESTIMONY CREDIBILITY FOOD CHAIN – Hierarchy of credibility as according to jury or judges, specialists at the top, massage therapists at the bottom.

THIRD PARTY – In general use refers to the person who caused the accident or injury while more accurately refers to the insurance of the tortfeasor

THIRD PARTY CARRIER – The insurance company of the person who caused the injury/accident.

THIRD PARTY CLAIM – Claims made by the tortfeasor's insurance company contesting the extent of injury or treatment costs.

THIRD PARTY DISPUTES – When the tortfeasor's insurance company is questioning your physician's medical findings.

THIRD PARTY INSURER – The insurance company of the person who caused the injury/accident (tortfeasor).

THIRD PARTY MED PAY – Medical expenses payed by the insurance company of the one who caused the injury/accident (tortfeasor).

TMD – Also abbreviated TMJ, it is a group of problems that results from a faulty joint between the jaw, or mandible, and the skull, or temporal bone. Usually caused by trauma or disease. For example, a whiplash injury sustained during a car accident can stretch or tear tissues and ligaments, displace the disks, or results in the formation of scar tissue, thereby decreasing mobility and causing pain.

TMJ – It is a group of problems that results from a faulty joint between the jaw, or mandible, and the skull, or temporal bone. Usually caused by trauma or disease. For example, a whiplash injury sustained during a car accident can stretch or tear tissues and ligaments, displace the disks, or results in the formation of scar tissue, thereby decreasing mobility and causing pain.

TORT – A violation of another person's rights, usually due to negligence.An injury to one person for which the person who caused the injury is legally responsible. A tort is subject to civil action and subsequent judgment for damages payable to the wronged party.

TORTFEASOR'S CARRIER – The tortfeasor's insurance company.

TORTFEASOR'S INSURANCE – The tortfeasor's insurance company.

TORTFEASOR'S INSURER – The tortfeasor's insurance company.

TOTALED – A vehicle is generally declared a total loss when the estimated cost to repair the vehicle is equal to at least 80% of the retail market value of the vehicle prior to the damage. Or a stolen vehicle that is not recovered within thirty days of the date that it is stolen.

UIM – Common abbreviation for Under Insured Motorist. Sometimes also abbreviated as UM. Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other general damages when policyholders, authorized drivers, or passengers are injured in an accident caused by a driver who has insufficient coverage. Underinsured motorist definition varies significantly from state to state.

UIM CLAIM – Is a claim against an underinsured motorist policy.

UIM MOTORIST – A motorist whose insurance policy limit is exceeded by the monetary amount of the damages.

UNDERINSURED – Having insufficient insurance to cover losses or damages.

UNINSURED MOTORIST – Is a driver who has no insurance coverage.

UNINSURED MOTORIST INSURANCE – Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage is an important part of your auto insurance policy. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other general damages when auto insurance policyholders, authorized drivers, or passengers are injured in an accident caused by a driver who has no insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage may also pay for injuries sustained in hit-and-run accidents.

VALUE OF THE CLAIM – The total monetary amount of the claim.

VENUE – The place where a proceeding (such as a trial or an arbitration) will be held. In civil actions, it is usually the county where the accident occurred, where the defendant resides or, if a corporation, any county in which the corporation maintains an office.