A

Accident Benefits
Benefits extended to people who have sustained injuries from an accident, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. This may be in the form of cash or assistance and may include the following benefits: medical, maintenance, rehabilitation, attendant care, non-earner, income replacement, housekeeping, visitor expenses, and funeral expenses.
Accident Report
An initial report that is made soon after any accident or incident to record vital information, such as circumstances, witnesses, comments that were made and so on. This is usually completed within a business setting.
Accredited Specialist
A lawyer or attorney that is fully qualified and experienced in the field of personal injury.
Actuarial Expert
An expert who helps calculate a value for the injured person's future earnings which have been lost because of the injury.
Additur
An additional amount determined by the judge on top of the amount of damages awarded to a plaintiff by a jury.
Adjuster
A person who conducts an investigation of an incident on behalf of an insurance company and adjudicates the claims. The adjuster's primary obligation is to the insurance company, so it is important for you to obtain the needed information to ensure that you are awarded the compensation you deserve.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The process of mediating a claim in the early stages in an attempt to achieve an early settlement and avoid bringing a case to court.
Arbitration
The hearing of a claim dispute following the referral of the case to a third party in order to produce a final legally binding conclusion.
Assault
An intentional attempt to harm or threaten a person. This involves the capacity to injure that person, which elicits fear and apprehension from the victim.
Assault &Battery
A wilful action to physically harm another individual using violent force.
Assumption of the Risk
When an individual proceeds despite the knowledge of a known and obvious danger, he/she is said to assume the risk.
At-Fault Driver
The driver of the vehicle that was negligent, and thus to blame, for an accident or event that caused personal injury to another.
At-fault Party
The person/party responsible for causing the injury; also known as the defendant or the tort-feasor.
Attendant Care
The benefits that an individual may get if he or she has to have a personal aide or caregiver following a personal injury.
Automobile Accident
An event involving at least one vehicle that may or may not result in personal injury.

B

Bad Baby Case
Referring to the birth of a baby during which mother and/or baby was injured as a result of negligence on the part of a medical professional. This is often a term used in medical malpractice cases.
Bad faith
Refers to a wrongdoing that is committed with an intention to deceive or mislead. It denotes active ill will or a deliberate refusal to perform some duty. As opposed to negligence, bad faith suggests active ill will.
Battery
A person's unlawful use of extreme force resulting in another's injury.
Boating Accident
An incident involving a boat that could lead to personal injury.
Brain Injury
An injury that has impaired the functionality of the brain. In personal injury law, this usually occurs during the event that caused the personal injury initially.
Burden of Proof
The degree of evidence required for a personal injury case to prevail. The Plaintiff, for instance, has the "burden of proof" or the obligation to present evidence that he/she deserves compensation for his/her injuries.
Bystander
A person who happens to be injured by virtue of his being at the scene of the accident even as he/she is not directly involved in it. A bystander may then file a personal injury claim to cover losses due to his/her injury.

C

CPP Disability Pension
The Canada Pension Plan that offers a disability benefit should an individual be rendered unable to work owing to a permanent disability. A written application is required to claim.
Capacity Defense
A Defendant's lack of some basic ability to be responsible for an action causing injury to others. A child below 7 years of age, for instance, is presumed to be incapable of negligence.
Caregiver
The individual that is responsible for the daily care of an individual that has been rendered incapable of looking after him or herself following a personal injury. In medical malpractice cases, this can also refer to the medical professional that is charged with looking after the health of his or her patient.
Case Manager
A person assigned to look after the coordination of rehabilitation services for a person who has sustained an injury.
Catastrophic Impairment
This is considered the most severe of personal injuries. Examples are quadriplegia, paraplegia, injuries resulting in 55% impairment of the whole person, and brain damage scoring 9 or below on the Glasgow Coma Scale. Most awarded catastrophic impairment claims are paid over the injured person's lifetime, to include rehabilitation and medical needs, plus attendant care.
Catastrophic Injuries
Severe injuries that have been sustained as a result of an accident and have altered the quality of life of the victim as a result. For example, severe brain injury is classed as catastrophic.
Causation
The initial action that ultimately produced the actual injury, whether immediately or at a later date.
Cause Of Action
The facts of any individual personal injury case that ensures the lawsuit can be taken to court for a settlement.
Civil Litigation
A lawsuit that has been actioned in order to gain compensation from the party at fault
Claim
A formally presented and processed declaration of the right to claim compensation for injuries.
Claim Petition
If a Notice of Denial has been issued by an employer after a workplace injury then a claim petition is served. It denotes the intent of legal action taken when benefits have been denied by the employer.
Claimant
The person requesting compensation for injuries to his/her person.
Class Action Lawsuit
A civil suit presented by one or more parties on behalf themselves and others who are in a similar situation. It requires a group of people with a common and well-defined interest in the merits of the case. An example of a Class Action Lawsuit is one that involves a group of people suing for injuries caused by a manufacturer's defective product.
Class Member
An individual that is claiming compensation as part of a class action.
Collaborative Dispute Resolution
The attempt by both parties to resolve a dispute between themselves, thus the plaintiff and defendant can negotiate a settlement agreeable to them both.
Collateral Source Rule
This rule is designed to ensure that the Plaintiff would not receive a reduced amount as compensation despite receiving compensation for the same injury from another source, such as insurance.
Collective Liability
The system by which several employers pay into a fund that will then be used to pay injured parties that make a claim.
Comparative Negligence
Consideration of the Plaintiff's own negligence in the incident or situation. A Comparative Negligence Statute rules that when the Plaintiff is found to commit contributory negligence which is less than the Defendant's negligence, the Plaintiff's compensation will be reduced.
Compensation
The amount of money that an injured party will receive from the negligent party to make up for a loss. This is often an amount agreed between the two parties and not awarded by the court. For example, in cases involving Workers' Compensation, it pertains to the amount paid to injured employees and their dependents.
Compromise and Release
In the context of Workers' Compensation, this refers to a lump sum payment given to an injured employee by the insurance company in order to resolve the case. This is paid instead of the weekly benefits the injured employee is receiving and it may or may not cover future expenses.
Contingent Fee Agreement
In personal injury cases, this refers to an agreement between the plaintiff and his/her attorney in which the attorney is not paid anything until the case is won. Aside from shouldering all the costs from data gathering and research to negotiations, court preparation, and the trial itself, the lawyer also pays for medical reports and other expenses pre-settlement. His/her compensation is usually based on a percentage of the amount recovered after winning the case.
Contributory Negligence
The legal ability to reduce the amount in damages awarded to any claimant based on the level of blame for a personal injury that can be apportioned to him or her.
Counterclaim
The action made by a defendant in a personal injury claim to bring their own claim against the plaintiff in response to the initial claim made.
Coverage
The extent of protection to which an insurance policyholder is entitled.
Cross-Claim
Claim brought by the Defendant in another lawsuit against a Co-Defendant in the original lawsuit.
Ct Scan/Computerized Axial Tomography
A series of x-rays taken at different levels of the brain that allows the direct visualization of intracranial structures. A scan is often taken soon after the injury to help decide if surgery is needed. The scan may be repeated later to see how the brain is recovering.

D

DUI
(Driving Under the Influence) Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any prohibited substance which causes an impairment of mental faculties.
DWI
(Driving While Intoxicated) Driving a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol amounts that are enough to raise that person's blood alcohol levels above allowable limits.
Damages
The monetary amount that is awarded after a personal injury case goes to court and is successful.
Deductible
This refers to the amount which a Defendant, after the compensation for pain and suffering has been awarded to the Plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident case, has the right to deduct from the total award. This can also be applied to settlement negotiations.
Defamation
The deliberate ruination of an individual's or company's reputation.
Default Judgment
In a lawsuit, a judgment given against a party who does not show up in Court or respond to the charges filed against him.
Defective Products
A product that has been incorrectly manufactured or poorly made and may or may not have caused personal injury as a result.
Demand Letter
Also known as a settlement proposal, this document is given to the Defendant's counsel and provides a detailed statement of the Plaintiff's injuries. It also gives a comparison profile of similar court cases.
Disability
In the context of Workers' Compensation acts, it may refer to: a) physical impairment which may or may not incapacitate a worker and render him/her incapable of performing work; or b) actual incapacity to perform work-related tasks, resulting in wage loss.
Disbursements
Include the cost of medical reports, court fees, transcripts, and other incidental expenses which are either shouldered by the client or by his/her lawyer. This could amount to thousands of dollars, but is usually recovered after the case is won or if the client chooses to have an out-of-court settlement.
Discovery
The first stage in a lawsuit at which all information pertaining to the case is obtained, including any documentation available.
Disfigurement
In workers' compensation, this refers to a sizeable, permanent scar to the victim's face, neck, or head which causes an adverse effect on his/her physical appearance.
Diversion
The act of doing away with some minor traffic or criminal offense from the complete judicial process, provided that the accused will make a restitution for the offense or undergo some type of rehabilitation.
Doctrine of Avoidable Consequences or Mitigation of Damages
Holds the victims of a tort responsible for taking the necessary steps to minimize the damages after the injury has been inflicted on them.
Dog Owner's Liability
The level of responsibility legally assumed by a dog owner in ensuring that his or her dog will not harm other individuals. Falling below this standard would render a dog owner liable should the dog in question harm another person.
Dog Owner's Liability Act
The governmental act that established that a dog owner is responsible for any injuries caused if his or her dog bites another individual.
Duty
An obligation to observe a particular standard of caution. Failure to do so places him at risk of being responsible for injuries sustained by another due to his/her non-conformance to these standards.
Duty Of Care
The legal obligation to maintain and enforce a specific standard of care. Failing to do so will leave an individual liable for any resultant injuries.

E

Economic Loss
The financial losses that are incurred as a result of personal injury. They include, but are not limited to, current income, future salary payments and working benefits.
Elder Abuse
The failure to provide care of a legally established standard for seniors that are in the care of others. This is a common term in cases that involve a nursing home.
Election
The process of choosing to file a lawsuit against a negligent party.
Emotional Distress
A type of injury involving psychological or mental damage. In the past, damages for emotional distress were only awarded in conjunction with physical injuries, but Courts can now award damages for emotional distress alone. A sexual harassment case, for instance, may involve only emotional distress. Normally, a psychiatrist is required to provide a professional testimony on the patient to validate his/her condition.
Equitable Remedies
Pertain to injunctions, restraining orders or other remedies which do not involve monetary settlements.
Examination of Discovery
An integral part of the discovery stage of a claim. It is during this event that a plaintiff would have to take an oath and then answer questions from her or her attorney and the defence in order to establish the nature of the claim.
Exemplary Damages
Also known as Punitive Damages, this refers to compensation that is greater than is necessary to reimburse a Plaintiff for a loss. These are awarded to a Plaintiff because the loss was made worse by the Defendant's reprehensible conduct, demonstrating oppression, violence, or malice.

F

Financial Services Commission
The Ontario governmental body that effectively regulates the administration of pension plans and insurance.
Full Tort Option
An option for motor vehicle insurance buyers which gives them the unhampered right to claim compensation for all injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents caused by another party. This includes pain and suffering, economic loss, and other non-monetary damages.
Functional Limitations
The extent to which an individual's ability to carry out routine actions is impaired following the occurrence of personal injury.
Future Damages
Refers to the losses the Plaintiff is expected to suffer from in the future due to the injuries. Examples are loss of future earning capacity, loss of wages, future care expenses, and others.

G

General Damages
These are claimed by the Plaintiff and include pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life. It also covers the disruption of the Plaintiff's day-to-day activities and the inconvenience caused by the injuries suffered.
Glasgow Coma Scale
A test used to determine the degree of impairment suffered by a person due to injuries. Its scale ranges from 3 to 15, with a lower rating indicating more serious damage. Scores of 9 and below indicate that the person has suffered a catastrophic impairment.
Gross Negligence
Severely reckless actions that demonstrate a lack of regard for the safety of others. This can be applied to any personal law case should the situation merit it.

H

HMO
(Health Maintenance Organization) A kind of managed healthcare system which deals with employers, hospitals, clinics, physicians - and sometimes, individuals - regarding the provision of medical care to their "members".
HMO Negligence
A kind of medical malpractice involving the negligence of an HMO and the physicians through which they act, when they make medical decisions for a member that result in injuries.
Harassment
The performance of acts or the statement of words, whether oral or written, directed at a particular person, causing alarm and emotional distress to that person.
Hazard
An object, condition or situation that has the potential to cause an accident or injury to any given person. In personal injury cases, the hazard is often crucial in proving claims of negligence.
Head Injury - Mild
Patients who have been unconscious for less than 20 minutes, have a Glasgow Coma Score of 13 to 15 at time of admission, are neurologically normal within 48 hours, are hospitalized for 48 hours or less and have no significant complicating multiple injury, and have normal CT scans. Also called "mild" head injury.
Head Injury - Moderate
A Glasgow Coma Score of 9 to 12 at the time of admission. Two-thirds of moderately injured persons remain moderately or severely disabled three months post injury.
Head Injury - Penetrating
Occurs when an object (for example a bullet) fractures the skull, enters the brain and rips the soft brain tissue in its path. Penetrating injuries tend to damage relatively localized areas of the brain, which result in fairly discrete and predictable disabilities.
Healthcare Expenses
A broad category of tort entitlement and benefits which an injured person requires. This may include medical and dental costs, drugs, prescription eyewear, including rehabilitation expenses and attendant care costs.

I

Ilpsilateral
Same side of the body.
Income Replacement
Largely concerning benefits that any injured party in a car accident is entitled to in order to live whilst recuperating.
Indemnify
To compensate a victim for a loss, either totally or partially, by payment in cash or restoration of the thing which was lost.
Inherent Defects
The faults that may cause personal injury existing within an item or product as an area of its integral makeup. This is primarily used in product liability cases.
Insurance Act
The Act governing claims in automobile accidents and other personal injury cases that stipulates what can and cannot be claimed for.
Insurance Coverage
The extent to which an individual or company is covered by an insurance policy in the event of an accident.
Intensive Care Unit
Hospital unit that utilizes highly sophisticated equipment and specially trained nurses to care for patients who are in such serious condition that they must be continuously monitored.
Intensive Rehabilitation
An active, multidisciplinary rehabilitation program provided for several hours daily, using a team approach. Focus is often on skill development, rather than on treatment of specific deficits.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Deliberately causing another person's severe distress by outrageous or extreme behavior.
Intercerebral
Between the cerebral hemispheres.
Intermittent Catheterization Program - ICP
Bladder training program where a catheter is inserted to empty the bladder at regular time intervals.
Intern - Medical
A physician who has finished medical training and is usually in the first year of specialty training. Interns work under the supervision of attending physicians and residents.
Intracranial Insults
Includes hematomas (intraparenchymal and extraparenchymal; immediate or delayed) elevations of intracranial pressure (ICP), brain swelling, edema, and vasospasm.
Intracranial Pressure - ICP
Cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) pressure measured from a needle or bolt introduced into the CSF space may be defined as the pressure which must be exerted just to prevent the escape of fluid. The ICP is thus defined as the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid.
Intracranial Pressure Monitor
An ICP monitor. A monitoring device to determine the pressure within the brain. It consists of a small tube (catheter) attached to the patient at the skull by either a Ventriculostomy, Subarachnoid Bolt, or Screw and is then connected to a transducer, which registers the pressure.
Ischemia
A severe reduction in the supply of blood to body tissue.

J

Joint And Several Liability
Two or more individuals can be found to be negligent and all of the parties are thus liable for the full amount of the damages or compensation awarded. As such, they all have to pay full damages.
Joint Tortfeasors
Two or more individuals that have wronged another with a shared or related purpose in mind.
Jones Act
A federal maritime law that entitles an employed seaperson to claim damages on injuries or for his/her heirs to claim damages on the victim's death arising from the employer's negligence.
Judgement of Safety
The extent to which an individual can correctly judge the dangers and risks in a variety of situations. A patient with poor judgement may smoke in bed late at night, touch a red hot stove burner, or show extreme friendliness to complete strangers. Brain-injured persons with poor insight regarding their impairments are also likely to show poor judgement of safety.
Judicial Economy
Referring to a class action, this is the practice of claiming n the behalf of several individuals or families that sustained a personal injury as a result of a single event or occurrence.

K

Kinesthesia
The sensory awareness of body parts with movement.

L

Lability
State of having notable shifts in emotional responses (e.g., uncontrolled laughing or crying).
Laceration
A ragged tear.
Liable
To be legally responsible for personal injury and thus being expected to pay legal compensation or damages to the injured party.
Limitation Period
The period of time following an accident or event in which legal proceedings can be commenced. Any action that is sought after that period cannot legally proceed.
Limitations Act
The legislation governing the duration of the period of time in which the injured party can respond to an accident or occurrence with legal action.
Limited Tort Option
An option for motor vehicle insurance buyers which gives them limited rights to claim compensation for a motor vehicle accident caused by another party. Under this coverage, the insured can only request for damages involving medical bills or economic loss. He/She cannot file for compensation for pain and suffering, except for special cases.
Logical Ability
Ability to formulate a general rule or principle which one can use to objectively solve a problem. Also the ability to plan, regulate and control one's own activities.
Loss of Consciousness
The loss of the capacity to perceive and react to the things around him, and this may range from a modified sense of awareness to remaining alive but being totally unconscious, such as when in a coma.
Lost Wages
Expected salary that a Plaintiff has been unable to earn due to injuries caused by another party's negligence.
Lower Extremities
An umbrella term for injuries to the lower half of the body, meaning from the pelvis down.
Lucid Interval
A period shortly after injury when the patient was reported to have talked.

M

Malpractice
Negligence on the part of a professional in the performance of his/her profession, resulting in injuries or death.
Manslaughter
The unintentional killing of a person. Manslaughter can be voluntary - committed on a sudden impulse; or involuntary - with no intention to kill, but where death resulted from the commission of an unlawful act not expected to result in extreme and lethal bodily harm.
Mass Tort
The prosecuting of more than one claim with a common purpose. This most often occurs in the case of one large-scale accident or several separate incidents that have been caused by a common defect.
Mediation
In dispute resolution, mediation is the process of negotiating. Both parties negotiate in order to achieve a legally binding settlement and if one is not achieved then arbitration is the next step.
Medical Malpractice
A charge involving the negligence of a medical professional. Broadly, in medical malpractice, the medical practitioner fails to apply the appropriate standards of care, resulting in injury to a patient.
Mesothelioma
A cancerous tumor developing on the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart; known to be caused by exposure to asbestos.
Minor Injury Cap
A maximum amount to compensate people who have sustained minor injuries in an accident. In Nova Scotia, for example, the Minor Injury Cap is $2,500. Essentially, if a person is determined to have only minor injuries, then he/she cannot be awarded more than this amount for the pain, suffering, and inconvenience resulting from the injuries.
Misfeasance
Performing a legal act or requirement incorrectly, which could then lead to personal injury.
Mitigation of Damages
The legal duty of the victim of an accident that led to personal injury to reduce any possible damages by taking appropriate action. For example, an injured party should return to work as soon as he or she is medically fit.
Myelography
A medical test involving injection of dye into the spinal subarachnoid space so that an x-ray of the spinal cord can be taken. Used to detect spinal cord tumors, anatomical defects and disc problems.

N

Negligence
Conduct which does not meet the standard of care determined by law for the safety of others. It is generally unintentional, as opposed to intentional crimes.
Neuropsychologist
A psychologist who is an expert in working with patients who have experienced brain injuries. Neuropsychologists often carry out special tests of brain function, may provide cognitive rehabilitation and work very closely with the rehabilitation team.
Neurosurgeon
A surgeon who is an expert in nervous systems diseases. Neurosurgeons operate on the brain and spinal cord and are often attending physicians for patients with brain injuries.
No Fault
A personal injury claim that may not result in blame being laid squarely with one party. This may be because both parties were to blame
No Win No Fee
If a lawyer or attorney cannot achieve an acceptable settlement for the client during a personal injury case then the client does not have to pay any fees.
No-Fault Proceedings
A case in which parties resolve their differences without the need for a formal resolution regarding a fault or an error.
Non-earner Benefit
An accident benefit that can be claimed by unemployed individuals following a claim for personal injury. This is generally for the benefit of students, the retired and those individuals that have not had a job prior to the accident.
Non-monetary Damages
Awarded for losses that could not be assigned dollar values, such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.
Nonfeasance
The instance in which an individual neglects to do something that he or she has a legal obligation to do. This may lead directly to the harm of others.
Notice of Claim
The formal notification that is given to one individual on behalf of another after the decision has been made to take legal action against him or her for personal injuries that have been sustained.

O

Obtunded
Mental blunting; mild to moderate reduction in alertness.
Occipital Lobe
Area in the back of the brain whose primary function is processing visual information. Damage to this area call cause visual deficits.
Occupational Disease
An illness or disease due to long-term employment in a certain kind of job, such as silicosis, which is caused by long-term exposure to silica dust.
Occupational Therapy
Treatment involving promotion of self-care and the use of work and recreational pursuits to prevent disability and encourage independence. This may involve a re-learning of tasks to help a person adapt to his/her environment, achieve a great deal of independence, and experience the best quality of life possible.
Occupiers' Liability Claims
A claim that is made against the owner(s) of property in which another individual has sustained a personal injury.
Out-of-Court Settlement
An agreement between the defendant and the plaintiff to come to a resolution in private, without the need for a judge's approval.
Out-of-pocket Expenses
Money that the injured has spent, out of his own funds, to pay for expenses incurred due to the injury.

P

Pain and Suffering
The physical and emotional difficulties a person experiences, for which claims can be made in a personal injury case. It may mean the loss of use of limbs or severe backaches; or it may involve emotional pain such as anxiety, fear, embarrassment, and the inability to enjoy life's pleasures. This is often the basis of any financial settlement.
Paralegal
In Ontario, paralegals are licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada (just as lawyers are). In fact, they can represent you in many situations that previously required the services of a lawyer. Paralegals can represent you in Small Claims Court, the Ontario Court of Justice, and most of the tribunals that have been established by the provincial and federal governments. For serious injuries and matters before higher courts such as the Supreme Court of Canada you should always seek the services of a Lawyer. At Dietrich Law, Lina Scarfone is a licenced paralegal in our Kitchener office.
Partial Disability
When used in the context of worker's compensation, it pertains to any disability which is less than total disability.
Pedestrian
An individual that was involved in or was hurt as a result of an automobile accident but was on foot rather than in a vehicle.
Persistent Vegetative State
A state in which the patient is awake but unaware. There is no cognitive content. There is a return of vegetative (autonomic) function, including control of respiration, digestion, and normal sleep/wake cycle.
Physical Therapy - PT
The method of treating injury, pain, or disease by physical means, as opposed to medical, radiological, or surgical methods. It aims to promote the person's health and prevent physical disabilities which may arise from the injury or disease.
Plaintiff
The person that has made the initial complaint in order to begin a claim against a party that has been alleged to have caused personal injury.
Pre-claim Examination
An assessment arranged by the insurance company tasked to pay the claims of an injured person. The company assigns a healthcare professional of its choice, and this examination may be refused by the injured without penalty.
Product Liability
The extent of the law that governs the responsibility of manufacturers should they produce and sell defective and/or dangerous items or products.
Professional Liability
The level of care that professional individuals, such as doctors, are required to maintain by law. Falling below that standard will result in negligence.
Psychological Injuries
Emotional and psychological damage that has occurred as a result of a personal injury and affects the ongoing well being of the injured party.
Public Liability
The standard of care that businesses legally have to maintain on their premises to prevent harm to other individuals. If standards slip then the business is negligent in the maintenance and care level within the property.
Punitive Damages
The damage amount payable is in excess of the amount usually awarded for a similar personal injury as a direct result of an exacerbating action such as fraud, malice or unwarranted violence.

Q

Quadriplegia
Paralysis of all four limbs (from the neck down), British authors often use the prefix "tetra" to mean four, so they may describe a patient as having tetraplegia.
Quality of Life
A rating of what kind of existence a person experiences. In estimating the quality of life the following items should be considered 1) activities of daily life; 2) mobility and organization; 3) social relationships; 4) work or leisure activities; 5) present satisfaction; and 6) future prospects.
Quantum of Damages
The level of compensation that has been agreed in response to a specific claim that has been made.

R

Ranchos Los Amigos Scale
An assessment tool used to determine the degree of the loss of function in a person's cognitive abilities after an injury. The classifications range from Level 1 (no response) to Level 8 (appropriate, purposeful).
Reasonable Care
The human obligation to act properly and within accepted boundaries so as to avoid harming other individuals.
Rehabilitation
Comprehensive program to reduce/overcome deficits following injury or illness, and to assist the individual to attain the optimal level of mental and physical ability.
Retrograde Amnesia
Inability to recall events prior to the accident; may be a specific span of time or type of information.
Rules of Civil Procedure
The process by which an individual's claim for personal injury will proceed. The rules define the steps to take and the order to take them in.

S

Settlement
The final agreement that is made to draw a personal injury lawsuit to a close. This is commonly thought of in financial terms but may include non-financial details as well.
Slips &Falls
Occurrences that can cause personal injury as a result of one of any number of hazards, all of which could cause an individual to slip, trip or fall.
Small Claims Court
A court that handles compensation claims for small financial amounts. In some cases the amount sought is so small that the plaintiff will represent his or herself.
Standard of Care
The acceptable level of care that all individuals and companies are required to take by law in order to promote and protect the safety and well being of themselves and others.
Standard of Practice
In medical malpractice case, the standard at which a medical professional is legally obliged to fulfil the health requirements of his or her patients.
Statement of Claim
Commonly prepared by the lawyer of the Plaintiff, it is a document which initiates a lawsuit and states the damages being claimed by the Plaintiff from the Defendant. This claim is drawn based on the Defendant's negligent act which has caused injury to the Plaintiff.
Statement of Defense
The response of the Defendant to a Statement of Claim. This is usually drawn up by the lawyer of the defendant, and more often than not, it will repudiate the allegations written on the Statement of Claim.
Statute of Limitations
Also known as Limitation of Actions, refers to the time period a person may file a lawsuit or a claim. This is commonly implemented in personal injury lawsuits in order to urge claimants to file a suit or a claim in a timely manner.
Strict Liability
A rule that holds a defendant responsible for harm due to their action or their inaction, regardless of their intentions. In personal injury cases, this is usually applied to sellers of defective products.
Strict Liability Offence
In the product liability area of personal injury law, blame for the injuries cause by defective products represent sole fault on the part of the manufacturer and none is apportioned to the consumer.
Stroke
A reduction or stoppage in normal blood flow which may arise from a blocked vessel or a burst vessel in the brain. The part of the body which is deprived of blood supply may consequently stop functioning and die.
Structured Settlement
Awarded to a plaintiff not in a single lump sum but in the form of regular payments over a certain period. The amount and the duration are outlined in the document proposing a structured settlement.
Subornation of Perjury
Asking an individual to give a false statement under oath in an attempt to pervert the results of the case.
Subrogation
Refers to the substitution of a person for another entity, providing that substitute with the same rights which the original party has enjoyed. For instance, an insurance company may have a subrogation right to sue another party whom the client it has compensated for injuries, has legal grounds to sue.
Survival Statute
A constitutional law that allows a legal action to proceed even after the person involved in the legal action had died.

T

Threshold
Standards used to determine whether a person's injuries qualify for a certain claim. For instance, a type of threshold test requires that the injury sustained must be a serious and permanent disfigurement, such a facial scar, or a serious and permanent impairment of an important physical, psychological, or mental function, such as loss of eyesight or memory. A plaintiff's personal injury lawyer, therefore, should be prepared to advise his/her client whether the injuries "meet the threshold."
Threshold Test
The medical examination that will determine the level of injuries sustained in order to determine the severity of the case and level of compensation. There is a certain level that injuries must exceed to commence a tort claim.
Thrombotic Stroke
A condition where a blood clot is formed in a blood vessel and restricts or prevents normal blood flow to the brain.
Tort
Refers to an injury or wrong committed by a person against another, resulting in injury or harm and a suit being filed by the aggrieved party.
Tort Claim
A claim lodged against a person that has wronged another and caused personal injury as a direct result, except in cases in which a breach of contract has occurred.
Tortfeasor
The individual that has committed the act that has wronged another individual, thus causing the personal injury sustained.
Tortious
In Civil Law, a word used to refer to something involving a tort.
Total Disability
Compensation paid to an employee whose work-related injuries result in total impairment, making him/her unable to perform the work he used to do.
Toxic Tort
A wrong or injury caused by exposure to a dangerous chemical substance. Cases such as these are generally brought against the manufacturer of the toxic chemicals or the company responsible for exposing its employees to these chemicals.
Traction
A weighted traction set-up composed of pulleys and lines used in the care of the patient with broken legs or spine. After the repair of the fractures and application of the appropriate casts, weights are used to keep the bones correctly aligned.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Injury to the brain brought about by an external physical force that could cause an altered state of consciousness. It can also result in an impairment of a person's cognitive abilities or proper emotional functions.

U

Underinsured Motorist Coverage
A type of insurance coverage that compensates a victim of personal injury, resulting from an accident involving a driver who is responsible for the injuries but whose liability insurance is insufficient to compensate for the injuries in full.
Uninsured
Meaning that an individual or company had no insurance when a personal injury occurred.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
A type of insurance coverage that compensates a victim of personal injury, resulting from an accident involving a driver who is responsible for the injuries but who is not covered by liability insurance.

V

Vegetative State
Return of wakefulness but not accompanied by cognitive function; eyes open to verbal stimuli; does not localize motor responses; autonomic function preserved. Sleep-wake cycles exist.
Ventriculostomy
A procedure for measuring intracranial pressure by placing a measuring device within one of the fluid filled, hollow chambers of the brain.
Verbal Apraxia
Impaired control of proper sequencing of muscles used in speech (tongue, lips, jaw muscles, vocal cords). These muscles are not weak but their control is defective. Speech is labored and characterized by sound reversals, additions and word approximations.

W

WSIB
Short for Workplace Safety And Insurance Board, this is the body that regulates the standards of care that should be maintained in the workplace in order to prevent personal injury occurring.
Willful Negligence
A deliberate act that was specifically designed to injure another individual, despite the fact that the perpetrator was aware of the risks involved and the likely results.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
A type of insurance required of all employers. It intends to cover an employee's economic loss arising from a work-related injury or ailment.
Workplace Injury
An injury that occurs as the direct result of an accident in the victim's place of work.
Wrongful Death
The death of one individual that was the direct result of negligence on the part of another.
Wrongful Death Action
A step brought to claim damages for an individual's death due to another person's negligence, unlawful violence, or wrongful act; provided that no claim has been made for the same injuries by the deceased while he was still living.
Wrongful Death Statute
Law that gives heirs of a deceased person or an authorized representative the right to sue any party deemed responsible for the decedent's death.

X

There are no terms beginning with X in our glossary.

Y

There are no terms beginning with Y in our glossary.

Z

There are no terms beginning with Z in our glossary.