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Legal Dictionary - Glossary of Legal Terms

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Negligence. In its broadest sense, carelessness. More precisely, conduct which falls below the standard of care established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risks of harm. In order to prevail in a negligence action, the plaintiff must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, the following four elements: (1) that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; (2) that the defendant breached that duty; (3) that the defendant's breach of his or her duty of care caused the plaintiff's injury; (4) that the plaintiff suffered injury.

Negligence Per Se. Conduct, either by act or omission, that may be declared and treated as negligence without argument or proof of negligence, usually because the conduct violates a statute. A finding of negligence per se satisfies the plaintiff's burden of proof that the defendant's conduct was negligent. However, the burden remains on the plaintiff to establish that his injuries were proximately caused by the statutory violation.

Nisi Decree. Interim decree or order that will eventually become final unless something changes or an event takes place.

Nonfeasance. Failure to perform some act which should have been performed.

Non-Jury Trial or Bench Trial. Trial before a judge and without a jury. In a bench trial, the judge decides questions of law and questions of fact.

Non-Moving Party. The party to a lawsuit that is not presenting a motion to the court. A non-moving party may or may not contest or oppose the motion. Compare with moving party.

Notice of Compensation Payable. Acceptance of liability for a work-related injury filed by the employer or the employer's insurance carrier. Once a notice of compensation payable is filed, benefits would begin to be paid, and must begin to be paid, no later than 21 days after the employer receives notice of an employee's injury.

Notice of Injury. When a worker is injured on the job, the worker is required by law to report the injury to the employer within 21 days. If the injury is not reported within 120 days from the date of the injury or having knowledge of a work-related disease, no compensation is allowed, except in cases involving progressive disease.

Notice of Workers Compensation Denial. Notice of denial of a work-related injury filed by the employer or the employer's insurance company. After a notice of workers compensation denial is filed, an injured employee has three years from the date of injury to file a claim petition.

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