Glossary

Crocker law firm

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Motor Vehicle

A vehicle that is self-propelled (not manually propelled like a bicycle).
Most states define “motor vehicle” more precisely by statute. The definition will determine how various laws apply. This may include laws regarding traffic safety, insurance, licensing, and registration.
Kentucky defines a “motor vehicle” as any vehicle that transports persons or property on the public highways of the Commonwealth, excluding certain construction equipment and farm machinery. The statue also excludes mopeds, which are also precisely defined. See KRS 304.39-020.
Tennessee defines a motor vehicle as every vehicle that is self-propelled, excluding motorized bicycles, and including trolley cars that are not operated on rails. See Tennessee Code 55-8-101.

Motor Vehicle Accident

A traffic accident. It may involve two cars colliding (a car crash), or a collision between any motor vehicle and a person, animal, building, or object.
In Kentucky term “motor vehicle” is defined by statute to mean any vehicle which transports people or property on the public highways, propelled by power other than “muscular power” (a bicycle is not a motor vehicle). The definition also excludes certain construction equipment, farm equipment, and mopeds. See KRS 304.39.020. This is important because whether a vehicle is a motor vehicle can affect the laws that apply to a crash, including the state of limitations (time limit to bring a claim).
Motor Vehicle Accident is often abbreviated to MVA. Various police departments, governments and other organizations use different terms for motor vehicle accident, including motor vehicle collision (MVC), traffic collision, motor vehicle traffic collision, road traffic accident (RTI), or personal injury collision.
In regular conversation people often refer to a motor vehicle accident as a car wreck or car crash, even if the wreck involved a semi truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian.

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Personal Injury Lawyer

A lawyer who represents people who have been injured physically, mentally, or emotionally as a result of the negligence or deliberate act of another person or entity.
The word “injury” has a broader meaning in the law than it does in regular use. As a legal term, “injury” means any harm done to another, including to his rights, reputation or property. In a legal proceeding we would say the breach of a contract causes “injury” to business interests of the wronged party.
The term “personal injury” distinguishes harm to person’s body, mind or emotions from other types of harm.
Because “injury” and “personal injury” mean the same thing to most people who are not lawyers, many attorneys just refer to themselves as injury lawyers.
Attorneys identifying as Injury lawyers or personal injury lawyers commonly represent people in claims arising from car accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, or defective products.

Plaintiff

The person or who has a lawsuit against another person or entity.
The plaintiff is the person who claims to have been harmed. The person against whom a legal claim is brought is the defendant.
If my client is rear-ended by another driver and we sue that driver, my client is the plaintiff and the other driver is the defendant.

Plaintiff Personal Injury Lawyer

A common term to describe an attorney who represents an injured person in claims against an at-fault party. While the term “plaintiff” refers to a person who brought a lawsuit, most personal injury cases are settled without a suit being filed. Your “plaintiff’s attorney” may resolve your injury claim without actually making you a plaintiff.
In the United States lawyers can practice in multiple areas of law. For example, a general practice attorney can handle divorces, accident claims, and criminal cases. Lawyers and law firms can represent plaintiffs, defendants (the party against whom a claim is brought), and insurance companies in different cases.
When an attorney identifies as a plaintiff personal injury attorney, a plaintiff’s lawyer, or a personal injury lawyer, that can be an indication that his or her practice is narrowed to representing only injured parties who are bringing claims.

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