Glossary of Car Accidents Law Terms “D” 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #


Damages: Compensation recovered in the courts by a person who has suffered loss, detriment or injury to his/her person, property or rights, through the unlawful act or negligence of another.

De novo: “Anew.” A trial de novo is a completely new trial held in a higher or appellate court as if the original trial had never taken place.

Declamatory judgment: A judgment that declares the rights of the parties on a question of law.

Decree: Decision or order of the court. A final decree completes the suit; an interlocutory decree is a provisional or preliminary decree which is not final.

Deductible: The amount an insured person must pay before the insurance company pays the remainder of each covered loss, up to the policy limits.

Default: A failure of a party to respond in a timely manner to a pleading; a failure to appear for trial.

Defendant: In a civil case, such as an car accident lawsuit, the defendant is the person against whom a civil action is brought.

Defense attorney: The attorney who represents the defendant.

Deposition: Sworn testimony taken and recorded in an authorized place outside of the courtroom, according to the rules of the court.

Direct examination: The questioning of a witness by the party who produced the witness.

Discovery: A pretrial proceeding where a party to an action may be informed about (or “discover”) the facts known by other parties or witnesses.

Dismissal with prejudice: Dismissal of a case by a judge which bars the losing party from raising the issue again in another lawsuit.

Dismissal without prejudice: The losing party is permitted to sue again with the same cause of action.

Disposition: Determination of a charge; termination of any legal action.

Dissent: The disagreement of one or more judges of a court with the decision of the majority.

Docket: Book containing entries of all proceedings in a court.

Due process: Constitutional guarantee that an accused person receive a fair and impartial trial..