Legal-Ease Glossary: D to F

May 18, 2020

Ever wondered what “disbursements” were? How about “future damages”? Next up in our series of “legal-ease” glossary posts are terms beginning with the letters D to F.

Damages: The financial compensation that a plaintiff (the person suing) may be awarded in a lawsuit.

Deductible: The amount of money that an insured injured party is required to deduct from an award of damages. For example, in Ontario a $30,000 deductible applies to an award of pain and suffering damages that is below $100,000.

Defendant: A person or corporation who is being sued by a plaintiff.

Death and Funeral Benefit: An accident benefit that is a lump sum payment payable to the spouse and/or dependants of a person who has died as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

Disbursements: Legal expenses incurred by a lawyer in the course of a client’s lawsuit. Some examples include: clinical notes and records from medical professionals, expert medical reports, court fees for filing a claim, photocopying, scanning and courier expenses.

Examination for Discovery: A recorded oral examination during which both parties (the plaintiff and the defendant) question one another while under oath to obtain admissions or discover pertinent facts.

Expert Witness: A person who has specialized knowledge of a certain subject and presents his or her expert opinion in relation to a lawsuit. The expert witness’s opinion helps substantiate a claim and reach a settlement

Family Law Act Claim: A claim that is made by the injured person’s family to compensate them for the loss of care, guidance and companionship they received from the injured person prior to the accident. In Ontario, a $15,000 deductible applies to any damages awarded under the Family Law Act.

Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO): A regulatory agency of the Ministry of Finance. The FSCO regulates and monitors financial institutions and financial services, including auto insurance.

Functional Limitations: Limitations in physical and mental capabilities that occur permanently or temporarily as a result of a serious injury or accident.

Future Damages: Losses that an injured person is anticipated to suffer in the future as a result of an accident, including lost income and expenses associated with medical care, housekeeping and personal care.

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