General Legal Terminology


An individual licensed to practices law.


Asserting a right in federal or state court that is the result of certain occurrences or facts which give rise to an action enforceable at law.

Contingency Fees

Payment based upon or dependent upon a party's successful resolution of the matter. These fees are generally based upon a certain percentage of the gross recovery.


A person, company or entity against whom someone brings a lawsuit.


The process by which parties learn or uncover information regarding a lawsuit through written questions, "interrogatories" and oral depositions before trial.


The finding of a parties fault.


A lawsuit or the process by which a lawsuit is carried out, generally in a court of law.

Medical Malpractice

A physician's deviation from the applicable standard of care which a similar physician would exercise under the same circumstances.


A deviation from the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised under the same circumstances.

Personal Injury

When a person is wrongfully injured by the negligent or intentional conduct of a wrongdoer.


The person or family, estate or guardian of a person injured who brings a lawsuit against a defendant.

Premises Liability

Liability of landowners or those who are responsible for maintaining the property for activities or conditions occurring on the land.

Product Liability

Liability of a manufacturer or seller of a defective product for any injuries or damages suffered as a result of the defective product.


Prior to a verdict at trial, all parties agree to "settle" the lawsuit in favor of accepting an agreement made outside of court, usually in the form of money.

Tort Law

An area of law that provides a remedy to all parties who are injured as a result of a civil wrong.


Latin for a true declaration. The formal decision or finding of a jury or a judge. A verdict, if in favor of the plaintiff, also includes the amount to which the plaintiff is entitled.

Wrongful Death

When a person's death is caused by the negligent or intentional act of a wrongdoer.

The law firm of Holman & Stefanowicz represents injured people throughout Illinois, including Cook County - Arlington Heights, Chicago, Cicero, Norridge and Park Ridge and Barrington; DuPage County including Wheaton; Kane County including Aurora and Elgin; Lake County including Lake Barrington and Waukegan; Macon County including Decatur; Peoria County including Peoria; Sangamon County including Springfield; Will County including Bolingbrook, Joliet, and Naperville; and Winnebago County including Loves Park, Machesney Park, Rockford, and Roscoe.
The contents of this website consist of advertising and promotional materials Holman & Stefanowicz, LLC, does not represent and cannot promise that it can obtain the same results as reported in cases on this brochure in other legal matters This information provided in this website is not intended to be a source of solicitation or legal advice nor should it be the basis of a legal-hiring decision Thus, the readers should not rely on information and definitions provided herein for legal advice of any kind, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel. The information in this website is drawn from general firm information and each individual attorney's background. The information contained herein is intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete, or up-to-date.