Glossary of Terms

Compensatory Damages: Intended to compensate the plaintiff of a lawsuit with enough money to cover the actual amount of the injury or loss. There are two basic types of Compensatory Damages: Actual and General. Read more about Compensatory Damages 

Defendant: Also known as Respondent. The person complained against or accused of a crime. 

Feres Doctrine: A legal doctrine that prevents people who are injured as a result of military service from successfully suing the federal government. (A revision is in progress). Read more about Feres Doctrine 

Iatrogenic: Due to the action of or induced inadvertently by a physician, surgeon, medical treatment, or diagnostic procedure. 

Loss of Consortium: A claim that one is either temporarily or permanently unable to participate in standard marital relations due to interference from the physical or emotional damage sustained by an injured spouse. Read more about the Loss of Consortium

Medical Negligence: Failure of a physician, or other medical personnel, to meet the standards of conduct for duties relating to the medical profession.

National Board of Legal Specialty Certification: Accredited by the American Bar Association to certify lawyers in several different specialty areas. Read more about the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification

Negligence: A legal concept in common law legal systems usually used to achieve compensation for injuries. Negligence is considered a type of Tort.

NHRA: Nursing Home Reform Act

Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a lawsuit. 

Punitive Damages: Also known as Exemplary Damages. They are awarded in addition to Compensatory Damages as a way to help compensate the plaintiff for intangible losses. Read more about Punitive Damages

Sepsis: A life-threatening illness in which the immune system has developed an increased response to infection. Read more about Sepsis

Standard of Care: A level of expertise held across a community of medical experts in a particular field. Read more about Standard of Care

Statute: A law passed by legislature. 

Statute of Limitations: A law that bars claims after a certain period of time passes. 

Strict Liability: Also known as Absolute Liability. The legal doctrine that assigns responsibility for damages or injuries to a person or company. Read more about Strict Liability

Swallowing Difficulties: A condition that carries a higher risk of pneumonia and is an independent predictor of death. Read more about Swallowing Difficulties

Tort Law: Defines what constitutes a legal injury and establishes the circumstances under which one person may be held liable for another's injury. Torts cover both intentional and accidental acts.

Unauthorized Treatment: Also known as Lack of Informed Consent. Includes any medical procedure given without first providing all of the relevant information to the patient. Read more about Unauthorized Treatment

Vicarious Liability: Imposes responsibility upon one person for the failure of another. Read more about Vicarious Liability

Wrongful Death: A death that occurs because of someone else's malice, negligence, or recklessness.