PERSONAL INJURY LEGAL GLOSSARY
Glossary of Personal Injury Law Terms
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Waiver: Knowing and voluntary relinquishment of a right.
Compare with release.
Waiver of Immunity: A means authorized by statute by which
a witness, before testifying or producing evidence, may relinquish
the right to refuse to testify against himself or herself, thereby
making it possible for his or her testimony to be used against him
or her in future proceedings.
Warrant: Most commonly, a court order authorizing law
enforcement officers to make an arrest or conduct a search. An
affidavit seeking a warrant must establish probable cause by
detailing the facts upon which the request is based.
Will: A legal declaration that disposes of a person's
property when that person dies.
Willful Negligence: Intentional performance of an
unreasonable act in disregard of a known risk, making it highly
probable that harm will be caused. Willful negligence usually
involves a conscious indifference to the consequences. There is no
clear distinction between willful negligence and gross negligence.
Without Prejudice: A claim or cause dismissed without
prejudice may be the subject of a new lawsuit.
With Prejudice: Applied to orders of judgment dismissing a
case, meaning that the plaintiff is forever barred from bringing a
lawsuit on the same claim or cause.
Witness: A person who testifies to what he or she has
seen, heard. or otherwise experienced. Also, a person who observes
the signing of a will and is competent to testify that it is the
will-maker's intended last will and testament.
Workers' Compensation: Insurance required of almost all
employers to help cover their employees' economic loss due to a
job-related injury or illness.
Writ: Broadly, a court order requiring the performance of
some act or giving authority to have the act done.
Writ of Certiorari: An order issued by the Supreme Court
directing the lower court to transmit records for a case for which
it will hear on appeal.
Wrongful Death Action: An action brought to recover damages
for the death of a person caused by a wrongful act or neglect or
unlawful violence or negligence of another; provided that no
recovery for the same damages claimed in the wrongful death action
was obtained by the deceased during his lifetime. In Pennsylvania,
the action may be brought by the decedent's spouse, children, or
parents. If the decedent has no spouse, children or parents, the
action may be brought by a personal representative in order to
recover damages for hospital, nursing, medical, funeral and estate
Wrongful Death Statute: Statutory law that provides the
means for the representative of a decedent to bring suit alleging
that the decedent's death was caused by someone's willful or
negligent act and to seek compensation for monetary loss suffered
because of the decedent's death.
Wrongful Death Statutes: Laws giving the family members of a
deceased a cause of action if the death of their loved one resulted
because of anotherís negligence.