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Glossary of Personal Injury Law Terms

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Garnishment: A legal proceeding in which a debtor’s money, in the possession of another (called the garnishee), is applied to the debts of the debtor, such as when an employer garnishes a debtor’s wages.

General Jurisdiction: Refers to courts that have no limit on the types of criminal and civil cases they may hear.

Good Time: A reduction in sentenced time in prison as a reward for good behavior. It usually is one third to one half off the maximum sentence.

Grand Jury: A body of persons sworn to inquire into crime and if appropriate, bring accusations (indictments) against the suspected criminals.

Grantor or Settlor: The person who sets up a trust.

Gross Negligence: Intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences to another person’s life or property. There is no clear distinction between gross negligence and willful negligence.

Guardian: A person appointed by will or by law to assume responsibility for incompetent adults or minor children. If a parent dies, this will usually be the other parent. If both die, it probably will be a close relative.

Guardianship: Legal right given to a person to be responsible for the food, housing, health care, and other necessities of a person deemed incapable of providing these necessities for himself or herself. A guardian also may be given responsibility for the person’s financial affairs, and thus perform additionally as a conservator. (See also conservatorship.)