Wrongful Death Legal Glossary S
Settlement Demand: The "settlement demand" is often the most important document prepared in a personal injury claim. If the case settles before a lawsuit is filed, it is usually as the result of a settlement demand that the attorney has prepared and delivered to the opposing insurance adjuster. And even if the case does not resolve after a settlement demand is prepared, the demand can often set the tone for continuing attempts at settlement as case goes forward into litigation. When an attorney prepares a settlement demand, they must carefully analyze all factors that relate to liability (how and why the other parties are responsible for the injuries or death that occurred) and damages, including the actual injuries that were suffered, past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, and general damages (often referred to as "pain and suffering"). There are a great many factors that can affect the value of a claim, and all of these must be carefully weighed in order to present a settlement demand that is high enough to achieve a full-value settlement for the client, but not so ridiculously high that the insurance adjuster dismisses it out of hand. Many people who attempt to resolve their own claims without knowing what the claim is worth will either present a demand that is either too low to get them what they deserve or too high to be taken seriously.
Settlement: A "settlement" refers to the resolution of a claim or lawsuit at any stage, prior to a jury verdict or a binding arbitration award. This simply means that the involved parties have decided to "settle" their dispute at some agreed upon value. This is done entirely at the discretion of the people involved. However, once a settlement agreement is entered into, it becomes binding upon the parties. An experienced attorney will always have two goals for settling a client's case: to do so efficiently (at the least cost to the client) and at a full and fair value.
Statute of Limitations: A statute of limitations is an established legal deadline that requires a person who has suffered a serious injury to file a lawsuit within a certain time after the date of injury or lose forever his or her rights to sue for compensation.
Strict Liability: In the past, "buyers beware" was the prevailing legal notion. Current law, however, imposes strict liability on corporations or individuals who make defective products. Strict liability makes everyone involved in the making of consumer products potentially accountable for any resultant personal injury. It assumes that manufacturers and sellers must reasonably try to protect consumers , whether they do so by providing warnings when potential hazards accompany specific products or by ensuring that defective or malfunctioning parts are not used in their wares. Failure to do so can result in their being slapped with a product liability lawsuit.
Subpoena Duces Tecum: If there are records which will help your defense such as medical records indicating back or leg problems that affected your ability to perform field sobriety tests, I will subpoena those records from your doctors so that they are part of the court record.
Surcharge: An extra charge added to the base price of something.
Suspended License: Your license will be suspended license after a drunk driving/ DUI / OUI arrest. You license is suspended for 180 days after a first offense arrest if you refuse to take a breath test, or 45 days if you take a breath test and fail (register over a .08 BAC). Higher license suspension penalties are applied if you are under 21.