Orange County Purcell Law Glossary



  • Action - A suit brought to court
  • Affidavit - A written statement of facts that has been confirmed under oath
  • Allegation - A courtroom claim that is backed up with evidence
  • Appeal - A request for a superior court to review the opinion of a lower court
  • Arbitration - An out-of-court method for solving legal disputes
  • Assumption of risk - An argument that the victim knew the dangers of an action they took, but chose to take the action regardless of the risk, making the defendant immune to lawsuit


  • Bad faith - The intentional will to deceive
  • Beneficiary -A person scheduled to receive benefits from a deceased person's will


  • Capacity defense - The argument that a person cannot be held liable for their actions because they are not mentally capable of intentionally or negligently putting someone in danger. This defense is most commonly used in cases involving the mentally impaired and children.
  • Case law - Laws based not on legislation, but on past courtroom decisions
  • Civil - Court cases that deal with disputes and remedies rather than crimes and punishments
  • Clear and convincing evidence -The legal standard used in civil lawsuits to prove a person acted negligently or recklessly. Your Orange County injury attorney will help you present evidence to meet this standard
  • Compensation - A method of making up for a loss, often involving financial solutions
  • Contingency fee - A common way to pay an Orange County injury lawyer that involves paying the representative a portion of your compensation when you win a case. When you lose a case, you pay nothing
  • Contempt of court - Violating a judge's orders
  • Countersuit - A lawsuit made by a defendant in response to claims by the plaintiff


  • Decree - A court order
  • Default judgment - A court decision made against someone who failed to respond to charges
  • Defendant - The person accused of wrongdoing
  • Deposition - An out-of-court testimony by a witness that is made under oath
  • Disability - The lost ability to perform basic acts
  • Disfigurement - Serious scarring on a person's body, particularly in highly visible areas
  • Dismemberment - The complete loss of a body part


  • Emotional distress - Serious worry and anguish
  • Evidence - A fact used in court to prove a truth
  • Exhibit - A document or object used as evidence in trial


  • Finding - A court ruling based on fact
  • Fraud - A dishonest statement made with the intent of deceiving a person or organization


  • Gait - A person's normal walk
  • Gross negligence - The failure to perform a very basic duty


  • Hit and run - When a driver leaves the scene of an accident without providing information


  • Inadmissible - Evidence that cannot be used in court
  • Insurance adjuster - An investigator hired by the insurance company to minimize the company's payout. The best way to fight this minimizing of your settlement is with the help of an Orange County injury attorney
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress - The purposeful causing of major mental anguish


  • Judgment - A court's official ruling


  • Liability - A person's responsibility to another party or thing
  • Litigation - The disagreement between two or more parties that is settled in court
  • Loss of consortium - Compensation for lost companionship


  • Manslaughter - The unintentional killing of another person


  • Negligence - The failure to provide an acceptable standard of care that would be rendered by any other reasonable person in the same situation


  • Pain and suffering - Physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Perjury - A lie told while under oath
  • Physical therapy - Therapy used to treat pain and lost mobility after a serious injury
  • Plaintiff - The party who started a legal action
  • Possessor of land - The person who is in control of a piece of property. Your Orange County injury lawyer can help you identify if this is the property renter or owner based on your situation
  • Premise liability - A property owner's responsibility to keep the premise safe
  • Product liability - The responsibility of a manufacturer to ensure their product is sage when it is released to the public
  • Punitive damages - Compensation that is intended to punish the defendant


  • Slip and fall - An injury caused by poor flooring
  • Sovereign immunity - The immunity a government experiences from lawsuits
  • Statute of limitations - The amount of time a plaintiff has to bring a lawsuit to court


  • Waiver - The voluntary surrender of rights
  • Willful negligence - The intentional disregard of risks that can lead to injury or death
  • Wrongful death - A person's death that has been caused by negligent or reckless actions of another party

If you have any questions or are ready to schedule an appointment with a skilled Orange County Personal Injury Attorney, please contact the offices of Purcell Law.