Glossary of Personal Injury Law Terms
Fact Question: Issues in a trial or hearing concerning facts and how they occurred, as opposed to questions of law. Fact questions are for the jury to decide, unless the issues are presented in a non-jury or bench trial, in which case the judge would decide fact questions. Questions of law are decided by a judge. Findings of fact are generally non-appealable, while rulings on questions of law are subject to appeal.
Family Allowance: A small amount of money set aside from the estate of the deceased. Its purpose is to provide for the surviving family members during the administration of the estate.
Family Practitioner: A physician who has a general health care practice and no specialization.
Felony: Crimes of a graver or more serious nature than misdemeanors.
Fiduciary: A person having a legal relationship of trust and confidence to another and having a duty to act primarily for the others benefit, e.g., a guardian, trustee, or executor.
File: To place a paper in the official custody of the clerk of court/court administrator to enter into the files or records of a case.
Final Receipt: In a workers’ compensation case, it’s the form presented by the insurance carrier for the injured employee’s signature so that benefits will stop upon return to work.
Final Judgment: The written ruling on a lawsuit by the judge who presided at trial. This completes the case unless it is appealed to a higher court. Also called a final decree or final decision.
Finding: Formal conclusion by a judge or regulatory agency on issues of fact. Also, a conclusion by a jury regarding a fact.
First Appearance: The initial appearance of an arrested person before a judge to determine whether or not there is probable cause for his or her arrest. Generally the person comes before a judge within hours of the arrest. Also called initial appearance.
First Party Benefits: In insurance law, first party benefits include medical benefits, income loss benefits, accidental death benefit, funeral benefit, and extraordinary medical benefits. In Pennsylvania, the only required coverage is $5,000 in medical benefits.
Fracture: A break or crack in a bone.
Fraud: False and deceptive statement of fact intended to induce another person to rely upon and, in reliance thereof, give up a valuable thing he or she owns or a legal right he or she is entitled to.
Full Tort Option: In Pennsylvania, purchasers of motor vehicle insurance can choose “full tort,” which gives the insured the unrestricted right to seek money damages for all injuries sustained in an accident caused by another driver, including economic loss, pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages. Compare with limited tort option.