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Settlement

Generally, the conclusive fixing or resolving of a matter; the arrangement of a final disposition of it. In other words, a settlement is a compromise achieved by the adverse parties in a civil suit before final judgment, whereby they agree between themselves upon their respective rights and obligations, thus eliminating the necessity of judicial resolution of the controversy. Although many people associate the act of suing someone with “taking them to court”, many types of claims (especially within personal injury) are settled before being brought to litigation. This means that the parties agree on a settlement amount between themselves.

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Standard of Care

The uniform standard of behavior upon which the theory of negligence is based. The standard of care requires the actor to do what the “reasonable person of ordinary prudence” would do in the actor’s place. If the actor’s conduct falls below the standard that a reasonable person would conform to under like circumstances, the actor may be liable for injuries or damages resulting from his or her conduct.

The standard of care is commonly applied to medical malpractice claims, in which doctors and other care givers are held to a certain standard within the medical field.

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Statement

A declaration of fact; an allegation by a witness. The main types of statements include:

Closing Statement – In litigation, a summation made by the attorney, at the end of the case, which sets forth that client’s case.

Opening Statement – In litigation, a statement made by the attorney for each party after the jury has been selected and before any evidence has been presented. A defendant may reserve an opening statement until after the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case. An opening statement outlines for the jury the evidence that each party intends to present and informs the jury of the party’s theory of the case.

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Statute of Limitations

A law which sets the maximum period in which one can wait before filing a lawsuit, depending on the type of case or claim. If the lawsuit or claim is not filed before the statutory deadline, the right to sue or make a claim is forever barred.

Sometimes statute of limitations run from the date of injury, no matter when the injury was said to be discovered by the victim.

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Statute of Repose

A law which sets an arbitrary time limit that a party can bring suit against another party who is liable for negligence expires.

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