Actual Cash Value: Or Market Value, the cost a vehicle is valued at if damaged or destroyed in an accident. Insurance companies pay the owners the actual cash value if the bus, truck or car is considered a total loss.
Additional Insured: This is another party other than the protected person or entity named in a vehicle's insurance policy.
Automobile Insurance: Insurance protects the owner against losses to his or her vehicle. Types of coverage include medical payments, bodily injury, property damage, collision and comprehensive physical vehicle damage.
The Burden of Proof: The plaintiff, known as the individual who initiates a claim or lawsuit. The plaintiff must prove what occurred in the case. In a motor vehicle accident, the plaintiff establishes the burden of proof that the other party involved caused the accident.
Case: Any action, cause, lawsuit, proceeding or controversy initiated through the court system by filing a petition, indictment or complaint.
Cause of Action: Synonymous with a legal claim.
Claim: An assertion of a right to property or money.
Comparative/Contributory Negligence: When more than one party is at fault in an accident, the fault will be determined by an insurance company or the court. The total damages will be calculated by subtracting the percentage of plaintiff’s negligence compared to that of the defendant’s negligence.
Damages: Monetary, physical, and mental costs caused by the unlawful act or negligence of another party and include income, emotional distress, pain and suffering, medical treatment, and property loss.
Deductible: The amount an insured individual required to pay before the insurance company pays the remainder of each covered loss, to the limits of the policy.
Defendant: In car accident lawsuits, known as civil cases, a defendant is an individual or entity that subject to a civil action or sued.
Estimated Future Medical Expenses: It is a factor in calculating "special damages" it would be the cost of required ongoing medical treatment for your injuries.
Evidence: During the trial, the legally presented proof including documents, records, witnesses, photos, and more.
Hearing: An in-court proceeding before a judge that typically allows the public to attend.
Future Lost Income: A component of settlement or awards this is lost income due to missing work because of treatments or an inability to working at your present job during your recovery.
Hit and Run: When an individual causes an accident but does not stop to help or cooperate by sharing information.
Injure: To violate the legal rights of an individual by causing harm.
Judgment: The ultimate determination by a court of the rights and claims of the parties in an action.
A Lapse in Coverage/Policy Lapse: A specific date when a policy is terminated due to a failure to pay the premium, or when the policy contract is void for other reasons.
Property Damage: a component in the calculation of a settlement or award it is the property to be repaired or replaced so that it is again worth the same fair market value it had before the damage occurred.
Liability: Liability in a car accident is determined who is at fault and responsible for damages to others. Assessment criteria include vehicle damage, evidence at the scene, witness statements, and police reports.
Lost Income: a factor in the calculation of a settlement or award such as the work missed because of your injuries Paid Time Off (PTO).Medical Expenses: the costs incurred in the treatment of injury or disease. It is included in "special damages" when calculating settlements and awards.
The Multiplier for General Damages: The multiplier is used to estimate your general damages -- your "pain and suffering". The more serious, long-lasting, and painful the injuries, the higher the multiplier. It is usually in the range of 1.6 to 5 times the general damages plus special damages is a potential settlement or award amount.
Negligence: when a driver is negligent when breaches the duty of care and fails to operate a vehicle safely. Parties: Individuals, organizations, or corporations who initiated a lawsuit or who are defendants.
Nuisance Value Settlement: It is an amount which an adjuster will use to settle small claims to resolve where a prospective plaintiff filing the claim may not be able to show significant injuries -- small medical bills, a symptom that no doctor has been able to diagnose.
Personal Auto Policy: Auto insurance policy referred to as PAP and providing coverage for physical damage protection, liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and medical payments.
Physical Damage: Collision, crash, fire, theft, vandalism, or other objects that damage a vehicle.
Plaintiff: The party who initiates an action, sues or complains is named a plaintiff or petitioner by the court.
Policy: The written documents of an insurance contract between the insurance company and the insured individual. Documents may be attachments, riders, forms, and endorsements.
Settlement: A monetary payment in a car accident is known as a settlement. It is used to resolve claims of individual injury and vehicular damage. Legal rights are forfeited by signing a settlement release, so a future lawsuit would not be allowed.
Total Loss: A vehicle is declared a total loss if it is damaged beyond repair or the costs to repair surpasses the value of the vehicle.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UIM): This is coverage for individuals who have been hit by a driver who does not have insurance or inadequate insurance to cover damages caused by the car accident.
Witness: An individual who testifies under oath before a court, about what he or she observed, heard or saw.