7 Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘personal injury lawyer’ before and not known what cases they handle. Here are the 7 common types of personal injury cases.
Life isn’t always fair, and it’s rarely predictable. Sometimes, things happen outside of our control that have the ability to affect us on a profound level. Sometimes, these things are good.
Unfortunately, sometimes, these things are bad. For example, if you get into a car accident because the other driver was distracted, it could result in physical injuries, mental trauma, and expensive medical bills. This is an example of one of the most common types of personal injury cases.
If you come to harm because of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t be held responsible for your costs. Furthermore, you deserve restitution for your pain and suffering, not to mention lost wages, lost jobs, and any other expenses the accident causes.
Do you need to file a personal injury claim? Does your situation fall under this type of lawsuit? What is a personal injury?
Keep reading for seven common types of personal injury cases to help you decide if you need to reach out for legal assistance.
1. Slips and Falls
Slips and falls are common accidents that take place on both commercial and residential properties. Slips and falls can result from wet floors, loose or missing handrails, ice, obstructed pathways, and more.
A victim can press personal injury charges against the property owner if their negligence played a factor in the accident. For example, if a retail store mops without putting up a caution sign, a patron could lose their footing and injure themselves falling on the hard ground. It was the store owner’s obligation to warn people of the potentially slippery surface.
The same can be said if property owners don’t de-ice outdoor stairs and walkways, if they don’t take care of tripping hazards, etc.
2. Auto Accidents
Auto accidents are perhaps some of the most common types of personal injury cases, with over 6 million car accidents occurring each year. However, what you might not realize is that these lawsuits are typically directed at insurance companies, not drivers.
If a person is covered by insurance, they expect the expenses of damages, injuries, and future medical bills to be paid for based on their policy. However, insurance companies don’t always play ball as they should. They might offer a low settlement or refuse the claim entirely.
In this case, the victim needs to hire a lawyer to pursue personal injury charges against the insurance provider. These cases rarely go to court. Insurance companies usually end up settling.
3. Product Defects
When you purchase a product from a manufacturer, you’re entitled to a certain degree of safety, assuming you’re using the product correctly and for its intended prusposes. If the product is inherently dangerous (as with power tools), it should come with a disclaimer.
However, if there is a defect in the function or structure of the product that causes the consumer harm, they can file a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, where an entire line of products is defective, a class-action lawsuit takes place with hundreds/thousands of plaintiffs.
If you’re worried about lawyer fees, most personal injury lawyers charge a contingent fee. A contingent fee implies that they only get paid if you win your case. You agree on a percentage (usually about 33%) that they are entitled to if they help you win your case.
4. Dog Bites
Like life, animals can be unpredictable. A neighbor’s pet with whom you’ve interacted hundreds of times may randomly decide to attack. It could be because you pet it the wrong way or because you did something that startled it.
Dog attacks can lead to serious injuries, sometimes resulting in lasting nerve damage and visual scars. These types of personal injury cases are viable as long as you weren’t provoking the animal or trespassing on the pet owner’s property. For example, if you got bit reaching into the dog’s fenced yard, your case might not be valid.
However, if you were bitten on the street, in someone’s home, or in a business by someone’s dog, you can file personal injury charges.
5. Medical Malpractice
When we visit a medical professional, we put our faith in their knowledge, discretion, and unique certifications. However, even the most qualified professionals can make mistakes. If a medical error causes you harm or suffering, you might be able to pursue a case against the medical practitioner.
Common medical malpractice personal injury cases include:
- Misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose
- Childbirth incidents
- Surgical accidents
- Prescription errors
- Anesthesia errors
When you place your trust in a medical expert, that trust must be honored. If you suffer physically, emotionally, or mentally because of their mistakes, you deserve restitution.
6. Premises Liability
Premises liability claims are some of the most common types of personal injury cases. This is because they encompass many of the other types of claims. For example, a dog bite claim or slip and fall case can be considered a premises liability case.
However, premises liability includes several other circumstances. For example, if a young child drowns because a homeowner with a pool in their backyard left the gate open, they could be sued for the loss of that child. It was their responsibility to secure their property.
Other premises liability cases include:
- Inadequate property maintenance resulting in injuries
- Toxic exposure cases (asbestos, toxic mold, lead paint, etc.)
- Elevator/escalator accidents
- Construction zone hazards
- And more
It’s a property owner’s obligation to maintain a safe environment. If an environment is inherently dangerous, they must post the proper warnings, put up barriers, and more to prevent people from being injured.
7. Wrongful Death
Finally, when someone’s life is cut short prematurely due to someone else’s error, negligence, or willful intent, the surviving family members have the right to seek compensation. These cases often fall under car accident cases and malpractice cases.
The lawsuit settlement depends on the role of the victim. For example, if they were the husband and father of a family, the family can sue for:
- Their own pain and suffering
- Lost wages (based on projected earnings, including retirement benefits)
- Funeral and burial costs
- And more
No amount of money can replace what was lost in these types of personal injury cases. However, the surviving family members shouldn’t have to carry the financial burdens of their loss. Furthermore, they deserve compensation for the emotional suffering they experience.
Looking for Funding for Personal Injury Cases?
Personal injury cases can take months, and sometimes, years to resolve. Unfortunately, you may not have the luxury of waiting for these funds to come in. Your livelihood may depend on getting the compensation you deserve now, rather than months down the road.