Legal Dictionary


The formal document you file with the court to initiate a lawsuit against the defendants. The defendants must be served a copy of the complaint along with a summons to respond. The response filed by the defendant is the Answer.


Money owed the plaintiff by the defendant for compensation for the harm suffered by the plaintiff. Damages include compensation for economic losses, such as medical expenses, and non-economic damages, such as a permanent impairment caused by an accident. Read more about Damages.


The person or party named in a civil lawsuit as liable for damages. Often more than one defendant will be named in a lawsuit.


The legal responsibility owed by a party for paying money for damage or injury. A party is liable for injuries caused by failing to act in accordance with the law. Liability may be absolved if a waiver or release exists, read more about Waivers

Personal Injury

A legal claim arising from tort law, allowing you to seek compensation if you or your property is injured or harmed because of someone else’s act or failure to act. 


The person who files a lawsuit in civil court. More than one person may be named as a plaintiff in the same claim.