Definition of Legal Terms

I am frequently asked by clients to define the meaning of certain legal terms and concepts. In the law, there are many things that we, as lawyers, refer to that are foreign to the layperson.

  • One of the more important concepts to be aware of is the Statute of Limitations. Virtually every legal claim is governed by the statute of limitations, which is defined as the time in which a case must be either settled or a lawsuit filed. The time limitation varies by state and by the type of case. If the statute of limitations has run on a claim, it is likely you will be forever barred from making any recovery.
  • My practice tends to focus on personal injuries,which is defined as an injury to a person caused through the negligence of another party. Personal injuries can be the result of product liability or medical negligence claims. In a product liability claim, the injured party brings suit against the manufacturer for a defective or unreasonably dangerous product. Medical negligence is a claim against a medical professional for injuries negligently caused during treatment.
  • Wrongful death is a term used to define those claims brought by the estate of a deceased person on behalf of the heirs. If someone is negligently killed, the wrongful death statute permits heirs-defined in Oregon as the spouse, children, and parents of the deceased-to bring a claim for damages they have suffered.
  • A lawsuit is a legal action by one person against another, to be decided in court by either a judge or jury.
  • Oftentimes, lawsuits are resolved through mediation.¬†Mediation is a voluntary process in which all parties in a dispute work to resolve their differences with the help of a neutral, disinterested third party known as a mediator.

I hope you find these definitions helpful.