Legal-Ease Glossary: B to C

May 18, 2020

Think of the last time you listened to a doctor, lawyer or insurance adjuster talk. Their lips were moving…sound was coming out…but more likely than not you couldn’t understand a word they were saying.

You need our alphabetical “Legal-Ease” glossary. This installment covers terms beginning with ‘B’ and ‘C.’

Bad Faith: An act performed by someone with the intention to deceive, for example, when an insurance company intentionally delays paying reasonable benefits to an injured party.

Brief: A written document outlining a party’s legal arguments in a case.

Caregiver Benefit: An accident benefit that compensates an injured person for expenses incurred if they’re no longer able to provide care to dependents, such as children under 16, for whom they were primarily responsible at the time of the accident. This benefit is only available to those who are catastrophically injured and those who purchased it as an optional benefit under their auto insurance policy.

Case Law: Reported decisions of appeal courts and other courts that make new interpretations of the law and can therefore be cited as precedents during settlement negotiations.

Catastrophic Impairment: Under the Statutory Accident Benefit regulation, a catastrophic impairment is defined as paraplegia, quadriplegia, an amputation, impairments causing total and permanent loss of one or more arm(s) or leg(s), complete loss of vision, certain severe brain injuries, extreme or significant mental and/or behavioural disorders, and impairments that have an impact on 55 per cent or more of the whole person. When defined by a medical expert, a catastrophically injured person has access to more medical and rehabilitation benefits throughout their lifetime.

Contingency Fee/Agreement: An agreement made between a plaintiff and a lawyer where a fee is only payable if there is a settlement of the case in favour of the plaintiff.

Contributory Negligence: A defence in personal injury lawsuits that states the plaintiff’s injury was due, at least in part, to his or her own negligence (in other words, his or her negligence “contributed” to the accident). Blame is assigned to each party on a percentage basis and the injured party will only be eligible for a portion of the damages.

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