Glossary Of Personal Injury Terms

Catastrophic injuries — Catastrophic injuries are severe physical injuries that require extensive medical treatment and are often long-lasting or permanent. These injuries may result from any kind of accident and may affect all body systems.

Exploitation of a nursing home resident — Exploitation takes place when an individual misuses a resident's personal property or funds for his or her own benefit. Often, this is done without the owner's consent, through threats, coercion, deception or undue influence. Thus, the resident is taken advantage of.

Licensee — The term licensee is often used in slip-and-fall cases. A licensee is someone who enters the property of another with the owner's consent. The owner owes such a person a duty to keep the property safe and to warn the licensee of any known dangers. If the landowner fails in this duty and the licensee is injured, he or she may have a claim against the owner for those injuries.

Medical malpractice — Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, dentist or other medical/health care worker performs his or her duties in a negligent manner. This means the worker's action or non-action does not meet the industry standard of care and, as a result, the patient suffers injury.

Soft tissue injuries — Soft tissue injuries may be caused from a single event or over time (repetitive activity). Generally, soft tissue injuries are bruises, sprains or strains to the muscles, ligaments or tendons. Injuries to internal organs or bones are not considered soft tissue injuries.

Third-party claim — If you are injured in the course of employment as a result of the negligence of someone who is not a coworker or your employer, you can file a workers' compensation claim but also a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is called a third-party claim.

Workers' compensation — Workers' compensation refers to benefits given to workers who have been injured during the course of their employment. Employees may receive compensation for costs such as lost salary, medical treatment, job rehabilitation and other types of compensation, depending on the situation. In return, the employer and coworkers cannot be sued by the employee for the same injuries/incident; however, the worker may have a third-party claim against the at-fault party. Such benefits are required for all U.S. workers by state and federal law.

Wrongful death — A wrongful death claim is a legal action by survivors of a deceased individual. To have such a claim, the loved one's death must have been caused by the wrongful actions of another party. The decedent's loved ones bringing the claim may receive monetary compensation for their losses, as determined by the court. Every state, including Washington, has a wrongful death statute; however, the laws may differ greatly.

Contact Putnam Lieb Potvin Dailey in Olympia, Washington, to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Call 360-596-9539 or 877-551-2871 or send us an email online to discuss the details of your case in a free initial consultation.

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