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Legal Dictionary - Glossary of Legal Terms

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Waiver. Knowing and voluntary relinquishment of a right. Compare with release.

Willful Negligence. Intentional performance of an unreasonable act in disregard of a known risk, making it highly probable that harm will be caused. Willful negligence usually involves a conscious indifference to the consequences. There is no clear distinction between willful negligence and gross negligence.

Workers Compensation. Insurance required of almost all employers to help cover their employees' economic loss due to a job-related injury or illness.

Writ. Broadly, a court order requiring the performance of some act or giving authority to have the act done.

Wrongful Death Action. An action brought to recover damages for the death of a person caused by a wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another; provided that no recovery for the same damages claimed in the wrongful death action was obtained by the deceased during his lifetime. In Pennsylvania, the action may be brought by the decedent's spouse, children, or parents. If the decedent has no spouse, children or parents, the action may be brought by a personal representative in order to recover damages for hospital, nursing, medical, funeral and estate administration costs.

Wrongful Death Statute. Statutory law that provides the means for the representative of a decedent to bring suit alleging that the decedent's death was caused by someone's willful or negligent act and to seek compensation for monetary loss suffered because of the decedent's death.

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