Below are common explanations for some of the most common terms and words that are used during personal injury cases. To learn more about these terms and others, speak to your local personal injury attorney.


You have likely heard the term “assault and battery” said together, but the reality is that they are two separate things. Assault is when a person is put into immediate fear or apprehension of physical injury. There does not have to actually be physical contact in order to an assault to have occurred.


Battery is the actual use of force against another person. This is defined as unlawful offense physical contact with another person, usually without the other person’s consent. Battery can only be a crime if physical contact occurred.

Birth Injuries

The term “birth injury” encompasses a wide range of things that can happen to a child that impair the newborn’s bodily functions or structure due to an adverse event at birth. Birth injuries can be caused by the careless or negligent actions medical staff participating in the labor or delivery process, as well as events immediately after a child’s birth. Some of the most common birth injuries include:

  • cerebral palsy
  • bone fractures
  • meconium aspiration
  • fetal oxygen deprivation
  • brain bleeds
  • nerve damage
  • and more

Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries are typically the most severe injuries that can occur to a person, and they frequently result in permanent disability, disfigurement, or death. This type of injury can include:

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can occur in a variety of ways, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, financial abuse, and more. Perpetrators of elder abuse can be family members, friends of the elderly person, in-home care aides, nursing home staff, and more. Neglect of the elderly occurs when caregivers failed to provide for an elderly person’s basic needs, such as clothing, food, water, shelter, medication, and medical care.

Elder Negligence

Nursing home employees and other elder caretakers do not necessarily have to be abusive in order to be negligent. Nursing homes that failed to properly higher, train, and supervise employees could be held accountable for negligent actions that cause harm to elderly residents.

Medical Malpractice

Anytime a medical mistake is made due to the carelessness or negligence of a healthcare provider, they could be held accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Common types of medical malpractice include medication mistakes, surgical errors, failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, failure to treat, and more.

Medical Negligence

Most cases of medical malpractice occur due to medical negligence on the part of a healthcare provider. There are various ways in which a medical provider can be negligent. Medical negligence revolves around establishing that the healthcare provider failed to provide the appropriate standard of care for their patient.


Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops when tiny asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested and become embedded inside of a person’s body. Over time, these asbestos fibers disrupt normal cell replication and cause the formation of cancer cells. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but there are several funds available for those exposed to asbestos who are later diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Premises Liability

Premises liability is the legal concept that applies to personal injury cases that happen due to the careless or negligent actions have a property owner, such as poor property maintenance and hazardous property conditions.


Tort law refers to cases in which an injured party seeks compensation in a civil case from a person who has caused them harm. Mass tort cases arise when large groups of people have been harmed due to the actions of a single defendant. These cases consolidate all of the separate lawsuits into one action. Federal torts cases are highly complex and allow certain lawsuits against the federal government and federal employees who have caused injuries to someone while acting within the scope of their employment.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a term used to describe the insurance available to employees who are injured in the workplace. This is a no-fault system that covers the injured workers’ medical bills end most of their lost income that occurs due to the injury.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death cases are brought by family members who have lost a loved one due to the carelessness or negligence of another person, company, or entity. Various types of compensation are available in these cases.