Legal Terms for Personal Injury Cases in Buffalo, New York: Letters A - K


See Summons and Complaint.

A defendant’s answer is a response to each allegation in the plaintiff’s formal Complaint. The defendant can:

  1. Admit the allegation;
  2. Partially admit the allegation;
  3. Deny the allegation; or
  4. Deny the allegation in part.

Example: Our client initiated a lawsuit against her neighbor. We alleged in her Complaint that she fell as a result of a negligently maintained concrete walkway outside of the defendant’s property. We alleged that the defendant was responsible for her injuries. The defendant answered and denied these allegations in full.


An arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It is meant to resolve a dispute without the use of litigation. In an arbitration, a dispute is settled outside of the court by a neutral party called an “arbitrator.” The decision rendered is legally binding.

Example: Our attorneys felt that the plaintiff deserved to recover a certain amount. The defense attorneys argued that the plaintiff deserved a significantly lower amount. To resolve this issue, we drafted a document outlining the plaintiff’s medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life to present to the arbitrator, an uninvolved attorney. After hearing both sides, the arbitrator decided in favor of the plaintiff.

In the event that your case goes to arbitration, Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team of lawyers and paralegals will prepare you for the best possible result.

Bill of Particulars

In a lawsuit, it is common for the defendant’s attorney to file a Demand for a Bill of Particulars, or a request for a statement outlining the reasons the plaintiff is suing the defendant.

The Bill of Particulars that the plaintiff submits includes:

  1. The plaintiff’s personal background;
  2. Information regarding where and when the incident occurred;
  3. The plaintiff’s employment history and lost wage information;
  4. The plaintiff’s medical treatment and injuries; and
  5. The expenses the plaintiff has incurred as a result of the injuries.

Example: The defense attorney for a case sent us a demand for a Verified Bill of Particulars specifying and stating questions arising from the Complaint such as “the date and time of day of the occurrence described in the Complaint.” In response, we drafted a document answering all of their questions. The document was verified by our client and submitted to defense.


Causation is an essential element to every personal injury claim. In order to receive compensation for injuries, the plaintiff must prove that a defendant caused the injury that the plaintiff sustained.

Example: Our client was involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustained a serious head injury. In order to compensate the plaintiff, we needed medical documentation to prove that the cause of the head injury was the accident.


With litigation, there are costs associated with preparing a client’s case. The attorney pays for these costs while the case is open. Once a case is settled, the attorney is reimbursed for those costs from the settlement.

Some examples of costs that would be disbursements are:

  1. Court filing fees;
  2. Copying costs for medical records;
  3. Paying an expert for an opinion on the case;
  4. Paying court reporters for transcripts from a deposition;
  5. Paying an arbitrator and/or mediator;
  6. Motor vehicle licensing checks; and
  7. Paying an accident reconstructionist for a review of the matter and a report.

Example: To begin our client’s civil suit, we had to pay a filing fee to the Court. After the case was settled, the client’s share of the settlement was decreased by the court filing fee amount.


See Interrogatories and Examination Before Trial (EBT).

The process of discovery is a pre-trial procedure in which both parties in a case attempt to learn all of the important facts before going to trial.

One party can request the following, or more, from the other:

  1. Answers to interrogatories;
  2. Production of medical documents;
  3. Production of accident and police reports; and
  4. Examination(s) Before Trial (EBT).

Example: The attorney for the defendant sent an Omnibus Discovery Demand document requesting that the plaintiff send copies of the police report and any other reports of the accident at issue. We sent the defense a copy of the report that they were requesting.

Economic Loss

Economic loss is defined as the monetary damage that a plaintiff incurred as a result of the injury.

Economic losses may include:

  1. Medical bills;
  2. Lost wages;
  3. Money for household service help;
  4. Money for future lost compensation;
  5. Money for lost pension benefits; and
  6. Money for lost social security benefits.

Example: In a jury trial, we hired an economic expert witness to testify on behalf of our client. He reviewed all of our client’s documentation and presented his opinion, in court, of the total economic damages our client incurred as a result of the car accident.

Examination Before Trial (EBT)

Also known as a Deposition.

An Examination Before Trial (EBT) is a questioning under oath by an attorney to find out the particulars of a case.

The lawyers for each side ask questions regarding the following topics:

  1. Educational information;
  2. Employment history;
  3. Residential history;
  4. Medical treatment;
  5. Injuries;
  6. Prior injuries;
  7. Previous legal actions; and
  8. Insurance policies.

Example: The defense attorney sent us a Notice of Examination Before Trial stating that the testimony of the plaintiff would take place at a mutually agreeable date, time and location. At the deposition, the defendant’s attorney asked the plaintiff questions about how the injury occurred as the court stenographer transcribed all of the answers.

Independent Medical Examination (IME)

Aka. No-Fault Medical Exam. See No Fault Insurance.

An independent medical examination is an exam performed by a doctor employed by a No-Fault Insurance carrier. The goal of an IME is to evaluate current treatment and limit future treatment. There is usually a nurse or another person present in the room to ensure the exam is completed properly.

Example: Our client’s No-Fault insurance carrier sent a notice in the mail that the plaintiff had been scheduled for an orthopedic Independent Medical Examination. The plaintiff attended the IME and brought identification and all current orthopedic medical records and diagnostics.

The IME doctor wrote a report stating that after reviewing the records and performing the IME, the client has no need for further orthopedic care. The No-Fault insurance carrier therefore denied all future orthopedic-care-related bills.

In the event that our clients receive a negative IME report, we may try to help appeal the decision. We will contact our client’s physicians and ask them to make an argument as to why our client requires further specialized care.


Also known as Suit Papers. See Discovery.

Interrogatories are a part of the discovery process. They are documents that are sent back and forth from one party to another with a list of questions for the other party to answer. Interrogatories are drafted based on the specific information the party wishes to gain.

Example: During a new case, we sent an interrogatory to the defense requesting to know: “the identity of each and every witness that the defendant will call at trial, stating each individual’s full name, address, current employment and the substance of the expected testimony.” The defendant sent the document back with the answer, “we have not determined what experts that will be called at trial. As soon as a decision has been made, we will advise you of the same.”

For more Legal Terms for Personal Injury Cases in Buffalo, New York, click here.

Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 716-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

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