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Damages

The monetary losses an injured party has suffered as a result of another’s negligence. In a personal injury claim, damages can be awarded to the injured party in the form of financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages and property damage.

Damages include physical, financial and emotional injuries.

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Defendant

In a lawsuit, this is the person, corporation or other entity that is sued and called upon to make satisfaction for a wrong complained of by another. In a personal injury claim, there are often multiple defendants, such as with a product liability case in which more than one entity may be responsible for injuries a person receives due to a faulty product.

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Defense

A denial, answer or plea made by the defendant that opposes the truth or validity of the plaintiff’s case. The defendant may make their defense during a cross-examination or by demurrer. It is more often done by introduction of testimony or other evidence designed to refute all or part of the allegations of the plaintiff’s case.

Affirmative Defense – A plea of defense which serves as a basis for proving some new fact; in such a defense, a defendant does not simply deny a charge, but offers new evidence to avoid judgment against him. If the defendant raises an affirmative defense, he must raise it in his answer and bears the burden of proof on it.

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Deposition

A method of pre-trial discovery which consists of maintaining a witness statement that is taken under oath in a question-and-answer type form (as it would be in court), while also giving an opportunity to the adversary to be present and cross-examined. All of the events during a deposition are reported and transcribed steno-graphically, called an oral deposition.

Often, statements received during a deposition serve as the most common form of discovery, and may be taken of any witness (whether or not they are a party to the action).

Depositions may also be taken upon written interrogatories where the questions are propounded to the witness by the officer who is taking the deposition, called depositions on written interrogatories.

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Design Defect

A defect in the design (or blueprints) of a product that makes it unsafe to use. Evidence of a design defect can become critical during a product liability case, when the plaintiff is seeking compensation for damages they received from the product.

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