The Main Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injuries can be some of the most heartbreaking cases to make it into a courtroom. Survivors often face not just medical bills and disabilities but also trauma. In some cases, the incident they survived may have led to the wrongful death of family, friends and strangers. These instances can affect people for a lifetime and severely impact their quality of life.
What Is Personal Injury?
As the term implies, personal injury refers to any harm suffered by an individual, which can include psychological harm. Personal injury law is also commonly known as tort law. It provides victims with the opportunity to seek compensation from the responsible parties after they suffer injuries caused intentionally or due to negligence.
What Are the Main Types of Personal Injury?
There are several different ways to categorize personal injury claims. In fact, some attorneys only handle some of the following personal injury cases.
Some attorneys only take on car accident cases under the header of “motor vehicle.” Others extend this to include accidents involving the following factors:
Regardless of how attorneys decide to categorize them for their own law offices, these remain the most popular type of personal injury case. Unfortunately, many of these cases also involve wrongful death.
Dog attacks are on the rise, and children make up more than half of the victims. Because children are smaller and less able to defend themselves, dog bites tend to have gruesome outcomes for everyone involved. Children can suffer severe injuries or even die. Dog owners might need to put down their pets.
Adults suffer from dog bites, too. When the dog is large and aggressive or the person is attacked by more than one animal, the chance of survival dips. Because of this, dog-bite personal injury cases may also become or involve wrongful death claims.
Attorneys who handle workplace accidents tend to absorb this into workers’ compensation claims. All states have some form of compensation in place for workers, whereby workers give up the right to sue employers and employers become responsible for the injuries they suffer on the job. Workers’ compensation only applies when the person injured on the premises is an employee.
Sometimes called “slip-trip-and-fall” accidents, this tends to refer to a number of examples of injury incidents. Common ones include slipping on ice in the winter or falling from the roof of a building during construction. Unlike workplace accidents, this type of personal injury case does not specify whether the person affected is an employee, independent contractor, guest, visitor or even a trespasser.
People sometimes turn to doctors and health care facilities to heal them but end up leaving with bigger problems than when they checked in. This may result from medical errors committed by the staff, such as forgetting to remove a surgical tool from someone’s body before suturing the wound or applying too much pressure to a baby’s head during delivery. Unfortunately, these cases often also include wrongful death.
Every manufacturer in America or selling goods to Americans has an ethical and legal responsibility to ensure they sell safe products or provide safe services. Unfortunately, companies often do not take this seriously and cut corners. Even companies that do prioritize safety may rush to bring products or services to market and create defective medication, vehicles, foods and devices.
How Does Personal Injury Differ From Wrongful Death?
It is not uncommon for someone to give an attorney the authority to proceed with a personal injury claim on his or her behalf while in recovery. If the person passes during this time, the case is no longer a personal injury case. Instead, the victim’s survivors may need to file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for the loss of their loved one. They can use the money received to pay for medical bills and other debts the person left behind and ensure dependents receive proper care.
What Is the Process for Filing a Personal Injury Claim?
How your attorney proceeds with a personal injury claim depends on a number of factors. These include who the responsible party is, whether there is an insurance company involved and what process is determined by the laws in your state. Here are some general steps.
1. Gather Evidence
The more evidence your attorney has when filing a claim, the better the chances of getting compensation. Evidence depends on the type of case but can include eyewitness statements, medical records and video footage.
2. File a Claim
States tend to give victims a limited time-frame in which they can file claims for personal injury. Your attorney can better advise you on how much time you have before moving forward. Your state also determines the exact process of filing. Note that sometimes you may file a case with an insurance company first and not the court. It is possible that you could settle without litigation.
3. Present the Case in Court
If the responsible party does not settle or you chose to go straight to the court for compensation, then you need to present a strong case. Depending on the state and the specifics of the case, you may receive economic damages, non-economic damages and/or punitive damages.
Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Case?
Some people who suffer personal injuries decide not to hire an attorney because they believe their case is straightforward. However, you may be surprised at what length drivers, business owners, doctors, hospitals, car manufacturers and other responsible parties can go to when they want to avoid blame and financial responsibility.
The accused parties could drag out the settlement process so you miss the ability to file a claim in court. You may also encounter blatant lies in the courtroom or see them drag up details from your past to use as circumstantial evidence, such as past speeding tickets in a car accident case.
An experienced attorney can help prepare you for these instances, so you are not blindsided. We can help connect you with the right one. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!