accidents and injuries

Able to Work


Capable of employment.  A person who is able to work is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits on the basis of illness or injury. 

Illustrative case law

See, e.g. International Union, et al. v. Johnson Controls, Inc...

Admissible Evidence


Evidence that is formally presented before the trier of fact (i.e., the judge or jury) to consider in deciding the case. The trial court judge determines whether or not the evidence may be proffered. To be admissible in court, the...



1) A person's, in particular a party's, statement acknowledging that a certain fact is true or silence after another party's assertion of a fact that, if false, would typically elicit a denial. 2) Admission by a party-opponent: an out-of-...

Allen Charge


An instruction given by a court to a deadlocked jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. Some states prohibit Allen charges, because they deem them coercive, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their use in...

Attractive Nuisance


A dangerous condition on a landowner’s property that may attract children onto the land and may involve risk or harm to their safety. Because child trespassers may not appreciate the risks that the dangerous condition poses, landowners...



A final judgment or decision.  The centerpiece of an award is usually a declaration that one party owes another a certain amount of money.  Although the term often refers to the decisions of arbitrators and juries, it can also refer...

Cargo Insurance


An insurance agreement to pay for freight that has been lost or damaged in transit, whether by land, air, or sea.



In tort law, a remedy in the form of monetary compensation to the harmed party.

Damages: An Overview

Damages refers to the sum of money the law imposes for a breach of some duty or violation of some right. Generally, there are two types...

Health - State statutes

Alabama (see Title 22) Alaska- Title 18 Arizona- Title 36 Arkansas (see Title 20) California Colorado (searchable index, see Title 25) Connecticut- Title 19 Delaware- Title 16 District of Columbia (see Title 6) Florida (see Title XI)...


Generally, freedom from legal obligation to perform actions or to suffer penalties, as in "immunity from prosecution". Specific types of immunity are separately defined and discussed.

See also:Diplomatic immunityFederal Tort Claims...

Joint and Several Liability


When two or more parties are jointly and severally liable for a tortious act, each party is independently liable for the full extent of the injuries stemming from the tortious act. Thus, if a plaintiff wins a money judgment against the parties...

Jones Act

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, known as the Jones Act, is a federal statute establishing support for the development and maintenance of a merchant marine in order to support commercial activity and serve as a naval auxiliary in times of war or...


People are judgment-proof if they lack the resources or insurance to pay a court judgment against them. For example, suppose that a thief steals your car, sells it, and then burns all of his worldly possessions. Even if you sued him and won, you could...



A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.  The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to...

one-bite rule


A rule that says that the owner of a domesticated animal (e.g., a dog) will be held strictly liable for injuries caused by the animal only if the owner knew or should have known about the animal’s dangerous or vicious propensities,...

res gestae


[Latin: “things done” or “thing transacted”] The events or circumstances at issue, as well as other events that are contemporaneous with or related to them. Courts previously employed this term in order to admit otherwise inadmissible...

Shotgun charge


An instruction given by a court to a deadlocked jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. Also called Allen charge, dynamite charge, nitroglycerine charge, and third-degree instruction.

Illustrative caselaw...

Third-degree instruction


An instruction given by a court to a deadlocked jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. Also called Allen charge, dynamite charge, nitroglycerine charge, and shotgun charge.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g...



A tort is an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability. In the context of torts, "injury" describes the invasion of any legal right, whereas "...

Vehicular homicide


A crime in which the defendant's unlawful or negligent operation of a motor vehicle results in the death of another person.  Also called automobile homicide and vehicular manslaughter.  Such laws vary by jurisdiction, but vehicular...

Workers compensation


Workers' compensation laws protect people who become injured or disabled while working at their jobs. The laws provide the injured workers with fixed monetary awards, in an attempt to eliminate the need for litigation. These laws also provide...

Zone of danger rule


A doctrine that limits the liability of persons accused of negligent infliction of emotional distress ("NIED").  If the zone of danger rule applies, plaintiffs suing for NIED may only recover damages if they were (1) "placed in immediate...