Dealing with any dispute is stressful and worrying. We do not want the legal process and the wording we use to make the situation worse so we strive to keep legal jargon to a minimum. We appreciate you will come across terms you may not understand so we have tried to explain these as clearly as possible in the definitions below, so that you fully understand the process you are going through.
If you need further explanation then please do contact us.
A sum of money awarded to a party by the Court as compensation as a result of a Court case.
The document served by the Defendant setting out which part of the Particulars of Claim and the Claim Form the Defendant admits, which parts are disputed and which parts the Defendant requires the Claimant to prove at trial. The Defence will also include any alternative case that the Defendant wishes to put forward.
A person, company, other legal entity defending a court action which has been taken against them.
In medical negligence cases this is usually an NHS Trust (link to NHS negligence) or GP (link to GP negligence) and their insurance companies will deal with the claim and appoint solicitors if the case is issued at Court.
Any expenditure or costs which your solicitor incurs on your behalf and is payable to a third party (for example the Court, Tribunal, Land Registry or expert).
The formal process where parties provide the other side with relevant, material documents to the other side provided they are not protected by legal privilege (in which case they are permitted to be kept from the other side).
The process of explaining your witness statement to the Court in person at a court hearing. Normally a witness statement will provide the basis for this although your solicitor or barrister may seek to ask some further questions.
Damages awarded in excess of the Claimant’s loss to punish the Defendant rather than to compensate the Claimant. Only available in specific and limited circumstances.
Someone appointed to advise the court about a matter requiring specific expertise (such as medical evidence). They can be appointed by one party or jointly by both parties.
In medical negligence and personal injury cases, general damages are an element of the overall compensation awarded which cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
A form of guarantee where one party agrees they will pay the other for any specific loss or damage that occurs if the first party fails to do something.