Glossary of Car Accidents Law Terms “D”
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..