Glossary of terms
A list of terms and definitions used by the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC):
A B C D EF G H IJ K L MN OP Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Affidavit: This is a voluntary declaration of written facts that are sworn before a person that is authorized to administer an oath. The most common affidavit is an Affidavit of Service swearing that the Statement of Claim was served on the defendant.
Assignment of Judgment: This is a legal process and a document that, upon payment to the victim by MVAC, transfers the judgment to MVAC so it can collect from the defendant.
Bodily Injury Adjuster: The representative of the Administrator assigned to handle the claim file.
Certified: An authenticated or verified document, most commonly done for a certified copy of an original document.
Certificate: A written document in which a fact is formally attested. In this case, the Certificate confirms that your lawyer has explained that you have the right to have their bill reviewed by the Clerk of the Court.
Civil Claim: The document that is filed at Provincial Court that describes the plaintiff’s claim. Also used to refer generally to any lawsuit relating to civil matters.
Defendant: The person against whom the lawsuit is commenced.
Discontinuance of Claim: A document filed by a plaintiff ending the Court action or proceeding against a defendant.
Dispensing with Service: This is an order of the Court exempting a person from the requirement to deliver a legal document to another person involved in the lawsuit.
Dispute Note: The term used at Provincial Court for a document that gives the reasons that the plaintiff’s claim is disputed. See also: Statement of Claim.
Fault: When someone contributed to the accident (wholly or in part), they are said to be “at fault” for the accident and for any injuries, death or property damage that resulted.
File or Filing: Giving a legal document to the Court clerk to have it entered into the Court file.
Judgment: A determination made by a Judge or Court and set out in a document filed with the Court. A Consent Judgment is similar, except that is agreed to by the parties and then signed by a Judge or the Court and filed with the Court.
Liability: If a driver is at-fault for the accident, then he or she may have to pay the victim or their survivors for the injuries, deaths or property damage that were caused. This is referred to as liability. If the driver was not the owner of the vehicle, this liability may also extend to the owner if the driver possessed the vehicle with the owner’s consent.
Nominal Defendant: A defendant in name only. The Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act is considered to be a nominal efendant because the Administrator did not actually cause the accident.
Note in Default: A step taken by the plaintiff when the defendant does not file and serve a Statement of Defence or Dispute Note within the prescribed time limits.
Plaintiff: The person who begins the lawsuit and who is claiming damages.
Questioning: A pre-trial hearing at which a party or his or her lawyer can ask questions, under oath, of an opposing party to obtain evidence about liability, personal injuries, out of pocket losses, etc.
Represented: To have a person act on your behalf, either a lawyer at Queen’s Bench or as an agent in Provincial Court.
Service or Served: This is the delivery of a legal document, such as your Statement of Claim, usually to one of the other persons named in your lawsuit.
Statement of Claim: The document that is filed at the Court of Queen’s Bench that commences and describes the plaintiff’s claim.
Statement of Defence: The term used at Queen’s Bench for a document that gives the reasons that the plaintiff’s claim is disputed. See also Dispute Note.
Statutory Declaration: This is a voluntary declaration of written facts that are declared before a person that is authorized to give an oath. The most common affidavit is an Affidavit of Service swearing that the Statement of Claim was served on the defendant.
Substitutional Service: An order of the Court permitting an alternate means to deliver a legal document to one of the other persons named in your lawsuit.