Michigan Personal Injury Glossary

Compensatory damages – The actual economic losses for things like lost income, medical expenses, loss of future earning capacity, etc.

Damages – Monetary compensation that is awarded if the plaintiff wins a personal injury case

Deposition – A legal proceeding in which a defendant, witness, plaintiff or expert witness is questioned formally under oath by the lawyers representing all involved parties

Discovery – All parties involved in the lawsuit have the right to use particular formal procedures to discover vital evidence possessed by the other parties or by independent witnesses when a lawsuit has begun. These procedures include the use of interrogatories, depositions, demands for independent medical examinations, requests for production of documents and more.

Expert witnesses – People trained in some particular specialty, for example, accident reconstruction or medicine, are qualified to provide “expert testimony” or “expert opinions.”

General damages – Meant to compensate individuals for their emotional and physical pain. Also known as damages for pain and suffering.

Loss of consortium – Loss of the injured spouse’s assistance with things, such as caring for the home or children, as well as additional strain and stress that is placed on the marriage or loss of companionship

Product liability – A valid product liability lawsuit may exist if someone was injured or killed while properly using a product but the product somehow malfunctioned.

Punitive damages – Damages that are meant to punish a defendant in a case where severe misconduct was involved

Statute of limitations – A time limit, which varies by state, in which an injured person must act before it is too late to file a lawsuit.