Switch to ADA Accessible Theme Close Menu


A constant source of help for your family in times of need, we’re available 24/7 in person, by phone and video conference. Call us anytime for an always free consultation.

Free Initial Consultation
protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms

10 Personal Injury Terms You Need To Know


Sometimes, understanding some of the words or phrases personal injury attorneys use can be challenging, especially for someone with no law background. But, as much as clients can leave the technical parts of personal injury cases, including legal jargon, to personal injury attorneys, there are some terms and phrases personal injury victims should acquaint themselves with. Even though all personal injury cases are different, there are some commonalities that these types of cases share, and knowledge of some commonly used personal injury terms and phrases can help you help your case. After understating some of the commonly used personal injury legal terms and phrases, you will have a better foundation for understanding what you are up against and what you need to do to ensure your personal injury case succeeds.

The following are simple explanations of ten of the most common personal injury terms and phrases.


In personal injury cases, liability is the legal obligation of an individual to pay damages that have been awarded or agreed to.


Monetary payment recovered in a personal injury case for an injury or loss caused by another party’s negligence. In Florida, personal injury victims can recover three types of damages:

  • Economic damages
  • Non-economic damages
  • Punitive damages

Statute of Limitations

The law that sets the maximum amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim. Usually, the statute of limitations starts ticking immediately after an injury or damage occurs.

Burden of proof

The obligation to prove that one’s claim is true and accurate. In personal injury cases, plaintiffs have the burden of proof, and a plaintiff is required to prove liability on the defendant’s part by a preponderance of the evidence.

Comparative Negligence

This involves comparing a plaintiff’s contribution to their accident to the defendant’s contribution to the accident. Under Florida’s comparative fault law, a plaintiff can obtain compensation regardless of their percentage of fault, but the damages a plaintiff recovers are usually reduced by their percentage of fault.

Gross Negligence

Under Florida law, “gross negligence” means a defendant’s conduct was extremely reckless that it constituted a conscious disregard to the safety, life, or rights of the people exposed to such conduct.

Duty of Care

In negligence cases, “duty of care” refers to the obligation to act towards others with the attention, watchfulness, and prudence that a reasonable person in the same situation would use.


The process of taking legal action against a defendant and/or filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Out-of-Court Settlement

An agreement reached between a plaintiff and defendant or defendant’s insurance company that does not require the approval of a judge or court.

Expert Witness

An individual who testifies in a personal injury case because of their skills or special knowledge in a particular field that is relevant to the personal injury case.

An Orlando Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Hopefully, this quick glossary helps you understand some of the most common personal injury terms and phrases when working with a personal injury attorney. If you would like to discuss your personal injury case, feel free to contact one of our Orlando personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the West Palm Beach, Ocala, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Bradenton, and Daytona Beach areas.



Read What Others Have To Say About Us

  • “I'm very happy with this firm... Joel is an excellent attorney and Carolyn is an amazing paralegal, After been ditched from another law firm, Pendas took care of me and they won my case. I recommend them 100%...” - Jacksonville -

    Maria Pastor
  • “This law firm is amazing. I love how they always try to stay/keep in contact with you. It shows that they really care and want everything taken care of correctly, Thank You!...” - Orlando -

    Shantelle Blackwell
  • “I'm very thankful for all the attention of all the Pendas staff that took care of my case and helped me through the process, thanks for your patience, collaboration and comprehension!...” - Tampa -

    Carlos Guadalupe
  • “The Pendas Law Firm was amazing! They are very kind, professional, and hard-working! They always kept me informed. Larry Trias was great to work with! I always recommend Pendas to family and friends. Thank you for helping me with my case!” - Fort Myers -

    Heather Pepper
  • “Their attorneys are absolutely someone you want handling your car accident claim. They communicated with us promptly and thoroughly. I was very happy with our recovery. Their staff speaks Spanish and you feel like family.” - Orlando -

    Ian Brito
  • “I would definitely recommend this firm. The staff really helps you and they actually show you that they care, especially Siomara Roldan. She has been a great help for my family and myself, she is always helpful with any questions.” - Tampa -

    Wilmer D Santana Rodriguez
  • “5 stars for these guys! Hays Mathis got my case settled without going to court for a sum that dwarfed what the other guys were advising me to take. I highly recommend Hays not only because he does the work to get it done but he cares about the client and outcome as well!” - Jacksonville -

    Mike Reilly
  • “Pendas is the best! The paralegals are very attentive to your case, knowledgeable, and communicative! The attorney also won’t just be there the day of your sign up, but all throughout the process as needed. I truly recommend Pendas!” - Orlando -

    Ben Fitzgerald