A Guide to Personal Injury Terminology

What are we talking about: a plain English guide to solicitor-speak


A list of terms we may use when you instruct us with regard to claiming compensation on your behalf as a result of a accident such as a road traffic accident, slip or trip in a public place or an accident at work.


When an offer is accepted unconditionally a legally binding agreement is created.

Acceptance of service

When a solicitor accepts court proceedings on behalf of a client.


Postponing a court hearing.


One side in a case agreeing that something the other side has alleged is true.


The person asking a court to do something.


Money paid to make up for damage, injury or loss caused.

Conditional fee agreement (CFA)

Also known as a no win, no fee agreement.  If you lose you will not, in most circumstances, have to pay your solicitor’s fees.  You may need to pay any monies the solicitor has paid out on your behalf such as medical report fees.

Consent Order

Court order agreed between both sides.

Contributory negligence

Ones own carelessness contributing to the damage done to you or your property.


Financial compensation ordered by a court to offset losses or suffering caused by another person's action or inaction.

Damages based agreements

This is a method of funding a case where the solicitor receives a percentage of the damages they recover if they win your case.   For personal injury cases, the amount a solicitor can charge from your damages is capped at 25%.


A person who goes to court to defend a claim

General damages

Damages a court will give to compensate for a wrong done.


The matter to be decided in a court action.


A person involved in a lawsuit.


Taking legal action through the courts.




Lacking proper care to do a duty properly.

Personal injury

An injury caused to a person.


Now usually known as ‘the claimant’. The person who goes to court to make a claim against someone else.


A road traffic accident.

Statute of limitations

A statute which sets out the time limits within which a court action must take place.


To start legal proceedings in the civil court against someone.


Proceedings brought by one person against another in a civil court.

Summary judgement

Obtaining judgement without a Trial


Doing something which harms someone else. Torts include wrongs such as:

_ negligence,

_ nuisance,

Vicarious liability

Where someone becomes responsible under the law for wrongs done by someone else.

Stephanie Howard
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30 Hoghton Street
01704 532890

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