legal book open on table with scales of justice and gavelAfter a car crash, you may hear unfamiliar terms from insurance adjusters, attorneys, and court personnel. In the moment, it may be difficult to understand what these terms mean. However, it is important for you to understand the words that could impact the outcome of your case.

Eight Car Accident Legal Words Defined

Some of the terms you might hear include:

Burden of Proof

As an injured person seeking a legal recovery, you have the burden of proof. This means that it is up to you to convince the court that someone else is legally responsible for your injuries. In most car crash cases, this means that you will need to prove to the court that someone else’s negligence caused the accident that resulted in your injuries.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is the amount of negligence, if any, that is attributed to you. If you are found to have also been negligent (as defined below), your recovery may be reduced by the percentage of negligence attributed to you.


The initial formal pleading you file in court to begin your car accident case.


The amount of money you might recover as compensation for your accident injuries.


The party (or parties) legally responsible for your accident and for paying the damages caused by the accident.

Lost Income

This includes all of the past and future income that you could not earn because of your accident injuries. It is not limited to wages. In addition to wages, it could include bonuses, pay increases, benefits, and income from self-employment.


After a car crash, negligence has a very specific meaning. A driver is negligent if: (1) the other driver owed you a duty of care; (2) the other driver breached that duty of care by failing to act like a reasonable person; (3) you were hurt because of the driver’s breach of the duty of care; and (4) you are legally entitled to damages.

Statute of Limitations

The Kentucky Statute of Limitations law sets forth the time by which you must file a complaint in court to start your car accident case. If you don’t file within this time and try to file a case later, the defense will motion the court to dismiss your case, and the court will grant that motion without any financial recovery for you.

Please contact our experienced lawyers today for more information about how these words apply to your case, your legal rights, and your potential financial recovery. We welcome your call any time, 24/7/365 at 888.450.4456.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky
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