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Negligence Glossary

Damages
The term, “damages,” refers to the loss the injured person has suffered.  Special damages are actual pecuniary losses suffered such as lost wages, medical bills, and property damage.  “General damages” is compensation for a loss that can’t be quantified by a dollar amount such as pain and suffering.  “Punitive damages” refers to an amount of money awarded to an injured person to punish the defendant whose actions were particularly egregious.

Loss of Consortium
“Loss of consortium” refers to a loss sustained by the spouse of an injured person.   Specifically, the loss may be loss of sexual relations, love and services due to the injury, caused by the negligent act of another individual (or company.) 

Tort
A “tort” is a civil wrong, other than a contract, for which there is a remedy.  Much of tort law is based upon a negligence theory.  Other theories of liability include strict liability and intentional torts.

Tortfeasor
An individual (or company) that commits a civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, for which there is a remedy.  The tortfeasor’s actions or inactions and the resulting harm are often negligence based and a result of carelessness.  Sometimes, intentional acts, or strict liability, are the basis for torts.

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