PERSONAL INJURY LEGAL GLOSSARY
Glossary of Personal Injury Law Terms
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Fact Question: Issues in a trial or hearing concerning facts
and how they occurred, as opposed to questions of law. Fact
questions are for the jury to decide, unless the issues are
presented in a non-jury or bench trial, in which case the judge
would decide fact questions. Questions of law are decided by a
judge. Findings of fact are generally non-appealable, while rulings
on questions of law are subject to appeal.
Family Allowance: A small amount of money set aside from the
estate of the deceased. Its purpose is to provide for the surviving
family members during the administration of the estate.
Family Practitioner: A physician who has a general health
care practice and no specialization.
Felony: Crimes of a graver or more serious nature than
Fiduciary: A person having a legal relationship of trust
and confidence to another and having a duty to act primarily for the
others benefit, e.g., a guardian, trustee, or executor.
File: To place a paper in the official custody of the
clerk of court/court administrator to enter into the files or
records of a case.
Final Receipt: In a workers' compensation case, it's the form
presented by the insurance carrier for the injured employee's
signature so that benefits will stop upon return to work.
Final Judgment: The written ruling on a lawsuit by the judge
who presided at trial. This completes the case unless it is appealed
to a higher court. Also called a final decree or final decision.
Finding: Formal conclusion by a judge or regulatory agency
on issues of fact. Also, a conclusion by a jury regarding a fact.
First Appearance: The initial appearance of an arrested
person before a judge to determine whether or not there is probable
cause for his or her arrest. Generally the person comes before a
judge within hours of the arrest. Also called initial appearance.
First Party Benefits: In insurance law, first party benefits
include medical benefits, income loss benefits, accidental death
benefit, funeral benefit, and extraordinary medical benefits. In
Pennsylvania, the only required coverage is $5,000 in medical
Fracture: A break or crack in a bone.
Fraud: False and deceptive statement of fact intended to
induce another person to rely upon and, in reliance thereof, give up
a valuable thing he or she owns or a legal right he or she is
Full Tort Option: In Pennsylvania, purchasers of motor
vehicle insurance can choose "full tort," which gives the insured
the unrestricted right to seek money damages for all injuries
sustained in an accident caused by another driver, including
economic loss, pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages.
Compare with limited tort option.