In the US, approximately 39.5 million citizens a year suffer from some type of injury that requires medical attention. If you’ve been injured, are you confused about what is considered a personal injury case?
Our guide on personal injury cases has all the information you need. We cover everything from auto accidents and workplace injuries to personal injury attorney services and making a claim.
We’ll give you valuable insight into how each type of personal injury works so that if it happens to you, or someone in your life, you know exactly how to deal with it.
If you want to know what is considered a personal injury and are informed about how to deal with the differences, this article is for you. Read this to discover more.
What Is a Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury claim can be made when a person sustains harm due to another individual’s misbehavior. Usually, this conduct is negligence. Sometimes it can be an oversight that amounts to carelessness. In other cases, it could be caused by recklessness.
A small personal injury claim might amount to only a few hundred dollars. The very largest personal injury claims can run into hundreds of millions of dollars. These large cases can involve hundreds, or even thousands, of victims. Most personal injury claims, however, fall between these two extremes.
Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
There are seven major types of personal injury claims that you can classify into. Listed below are some of the reasons someone might make a personal injury claim. This is not considered an exhaustive list.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle mishaps are a prevalent source of personal injury cases and can be divided into the following subcategories:
- Automobile accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Uber/Lyft accidents
This category can also include lawsuits after drunk driving accidents. This can be from injury while being a passenger in a car, in another vehicle hit by a drunk driver, or a pedestrian.
When a medical professional, such as a physician, neglects to meet the standard of care when treating their patient, and results in injury or harm. This is referred to as medical malpractice. Some common examples include:
- Surgical error
- Failure to diagnose a serious condition
- Improper prescription
It’s worth noting that establishing a medical malpractice claim is often intricate and requires the testimony of an experienced medical expert. These are often complex cases.
Product liability lawsuits are less common among all personal injury claims. They come about when an unreasonably hazardous product causes injury to a user. It’s not even necessary for the injured party to be a purchaser of the item in question. Anyone can bring forth a claim against whoever is responsible.
To make a valid claim, you must demonstrate that the product was afflicted with one of three types of defects.
- A design defect
- A manufacturing defect
- Lack of warnings about the dangers of the product
You can legally prevail against a product manufacturer even if you cannot prove their fault. Other parties in the item’s supply chain must be proven liable to pursue legal action against them.
This varies state by state, for example, in Indiana, wrongful death cases can arise from any type of personal injury claim where the victim passes away as a result.
The process can be incredibly complex and requires skilled legal guidance to ensure that those entitled are recompensed for their loss. Generally speaking, the estate representative and certain family members may initiate a lawsuit against responsible parties seeking damages on behalf of the deceased individual.
Depending on the age of the victim, various forms of damages may be available. If an estate paid out any expenses such as burial or funeral costs then the court will cover those expenditures itself.
Workers’ compensation insurance will protect employees in the event of an occupation-related injury, and you don’t even have to prove that your employer was negligent. This makes workers’ compensation claims a preferred option should any unfortunate incidents arise!
The disadvantage is that you cannot receive non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. In some cases of workplace injury, however, you can exit the workers’ compensation system and sue for noneconomic damages.
To keep everyone safe, the proprietor of a public business or residential home must guarantee that their property is secure for visitors, postal carriers on official duty, and to some degree certain trespassers.
Businesses are the primary targets of premises liability claims, with slips and fall as one of the most frequent types. Personal injury lawsuits arise more often than any other type due to such incidents.
It’s the responsibility of the owner or operator of the premises to warn of any dangers. They then must repair or put in place something to prevent injury.
Animal Bites and Attacks
If you or a family member has been bitten by an animal, chances are it was a dog bite. Some states apply a “one-bite rule”. This absolves an owner from liability if no prior aggressive behavior has been demonstrated by the dog.
After that initial offense, owners can be held responsible and accountable for any potential injuries inflicted on another person by their pet.
Under the singular bite rule, anyone who was legally executing a responsibility when bitten, a mail worker, for instance, can still file a claim. This can be a successful suit even without any previous evidence of aggression from the dog.
You might be the keeper of an exotic animal. If you plan to keep this type of animal as a pet, you need to obtain the necessary permit to do so. Be aware that if your animal causes harm or injury to another person, then you may face civil liability.
Different Types of Personal Injury Cases
It is next to impossible to count the sheer number of types of personal injury claims and injuries that exist. To name a few, these include:
- Burn injuries
- Head injuries, whiplash, or spinal cord injuries
- Civil battery
- Food poisoning
- Dram shop cases
- Injuries from other vehicles including aviation and boating accidents
- Exposure to chemicals or harmful products such as asbestos
What Can I Claim For?
When you seek compensation for a personal injury, the core aim is to be recompensed fully for any damage suffered due to another person’s negligence. In certain cases, further payments may also be awarded.
If you have been wronged by an individual or party, several types of compensation may be available to you.
If you’ve been wronged by another person, the economic damages awarded to you are intended to reimburse your financial losses. Calculating these damages is usually straightforward since all that needs to be done is to add up how much money has been lost.
Economic damages refer to payment for
- Medical bills incurred as a direct result of the injury
- Future medical costs if the injuries are permanent
- Ongoing care after your case is resolved
- Loss of wages due to time off due to the injury
- Any future lost earnings if you can no longer work after your injury
- Damages and loss of your property if it’s directly liked to your injury
- Any other financial loss experienced due to the defendant’s negligence
You can estimate your losses by examining any medical invoices, and pay stubs, and consulting with experts who specialize in gauging future care requirements and lost income. It’s a good idea to keep any paperwork, screenshots of conversations, or evidence for making a claim.
You’re eligible to receive reimbursement for other losses that don’t have a direct financial consequence, yet still, negatively influence your well-being.
Your injuries could cause you physical and emotional distress, This may prevent you from engaging in activities that previously brought joy (i.e., riding a bike with an injured leg). In this case, you are eligible to receive compensation for such losses due to your injury.
Non-economic damages can include reimbursement for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, including mental anguish
- Loss of companionship if you cannot interact with loved ones in the same way
- Loss of enjoyment in life
Estimating the worth of a case can be quite tricky. Insurers generally use per diem or multiplier methodologies to come up with an appropriate settlement amount.
Instead of paying out a single day’s wages, the per diem method compensates you for both past and future days with unbearable pain. With the multiplier system in place, your economic damages can be multiplied by 1.5 to 5 times according to how serious your injury is. This means greater recompense for devastating injuries.
Seeking the assistance of a personal injury lawyer allows you to assess and document any losses sustained so that you can receive the highest possible compensation.
If found liable, the defendant’s behavior must exceed negligence to receive punitive damages. Penalties can be awarded if it is established that the individual was either deliberately injurious or had a reckless disregard for her health and safety.
Rather than compensating you for your losses, punitive damages serve to reprimand the defendant for their wrongdoing. The court decides upon an appropriate amount of punishment depending on how serious the violation was.
Wrongful Death Damages
The family of a deceased individual may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. This can happen if the person was killed due to someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct. If so, then either the estate of the decedent or their closest relatives, including spouses, can seek proper damages for this tragedy.
In wrongful death cases, compensatory damages can include monetary reimbursement for:
- Medical bills incurred before death
- Pain and suffering caused by the injury before death
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of the financial contribution from the deceased
- Emotional distress surviving family members may experience
- Loss of companionship
To quantify more intangible damages, like the worth of lost companionship, it is best to consult with a personal injury lawyer who can assess the level of closeness between those involved and accurately gauge how severe the experience has been.
How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You?
After experiencing a personal injury, the most effective path to obtaining justice is to contact an accomplished legal professional specialized in insurance law.
Skilled attorneys are knowledgeable about insurance companies’ rules, processes, and precedents. This enables them to ensure that insurers carefully evaluate claims and provide appropriate compensation.
Additionally, experienced personal injury attorneys can test potential insurance settlements. They also understand legal procedures such as filing documents and negotiation tactics.
What Happens During A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Unforeseen accidents and incidents that lead to physical, emotional, or financial damage can often result in a personal injury lawsuit.
For instance, if a person suffers an injury caused by someone else’s negligence from using a faulty product, they may opt to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you’re looking to begin and pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you must seek the counsel of an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer.
Need to Now More About a Making a Personal Injury Claim?
From personal injury cases to wrongful death damages, this article has outlined the various types of personal injury claims and what you need to do if you want to make a claim. While it can be tricky for insurers to come up with an appropriate settlement amount, having a personal injury lawyer by your side can help ensure that you receive proper compensation.
If you’ve experienced physical or emotional harm due to someone else’s negligence, contact a qualified personal injury attorney today. They’ll provide you with all the advice you need as well as guide and support you through every step of the process.
If you’re interested in more articles about legal issues, check out the rest of the blog.