There are many kinds of personal injury cases. In fact, there is a wide variety of cases and fact patterns.
But since this is quite a large practice area, we thought that it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the most common types of personal injury cases. These fall into four categories, auto accidents, premises liability, product liability, and medical malpractice. However, these are far from the only types of personal injury cases. Dog bites and workplace injuries (such as construction accidents) are also fairly common, though we won’t be talking much about them here.
One thing worth noting before going further: each and every one of these types of personal injuries may result in wrongful death, which is when the victim of one of these cases passes away because of their injuries. In the event of death, family members bring the case on behalf of the deceased client. Every type of personal injury could result in a wrongful death. So while wrongful death is its own type of case, it is also an additional claim to a typical personal injury case such as one of those listed below.
What Are Auto Accidents?
Auto accidents are exactly what they sound like. These are accidents involving motor vehicles. They could involve passenger cars, taxis, buses, trucks, police vehicles, motorcycles, and electric bikes and scooters. It also includes pedestrian accidents. If you want to extend the definition to motor vehicles it also includes train, plane, and boat accidents, though these are obviously much rarer.
Auto accidents happen daily. Hundreds of thousands of them every year. Most auto accidents are minor, with only small amounts of property damage and some scrapes and bruises. But when they get serious, they are incredibly so.
Auto accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries and catastrophic injuries. The injuries inflicted may take years to properly heal and they can easily require additional medical treatments like physical therapy. Property damage is also usually pretty costly; in many instances a car is a total loss.
Most people think personal injury attorneys only help with taking the liable party to court. This is the whole story in that attorneys also assist in dealing with insurance companies to help make sure that you get the type of payout you deserve. Attorneys also secure for you insurance to cover your medical expenses and lost income. They may also obtain property damage. Hiring an attorney to help following your auto accident can also give you more time to rest and heal, since it allows you to delegate the investigative work to your attorney so you can focus on your recovery and leave the legal battle to the professionals.
What Is Premises Liability and Product Liability?
Premises liability is the term we use to describe accidents that happen due to the condition of another’s property. If these accidents occurred on our own property, we would only have ourselves to blame. But when a property is open to the public, it is expected that the owner or caretakers will keep the space up to a general standard. This means putting out signs when the floors are wet and marking off any dangerous electrical hazards or even posting a warning about uneven surfaces when a floor cracks.
The person in charge of the premise is expected to do these tasks while they work on getting the problem fixed. However, a failure to warn about such hazards means that they are also liable for any damages suffered by individuals due to these hazards. So say you walk into the grocery store and slip and fall because they never put out a sign to warn you that they just washed the floors. This slip and fall injury would fall under a premises liability case and you would have to prove that the premises were unsafe in order to win the case.
A product liability case arises when a product causes injury due to a failure of the packaging to warn about dangers, a failure in the manufacturing process that created a dangerous situation, or a failure in the design of the product itself that meant it would always be dangerous no matter what.
When injury arises in this nature, to win a product liability personal injury case you would have to demonstrate that the item in question was dangerous because of one of the reasons listed in the last paragraph. This is difficult to do without proper investigative work such as an attorney would conduct.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is what happens when you are injured due to a failure of a medical professional. This could mean waiting too long to see you, thus letting your condition worsen. Or it could be that you were prescribed the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication and this caused complications. Or it could be a failure to accurately read and advise after a cancer screening test.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between medical malpractice and a bad outcome. Sometimes the best actions to take still result in negative outcomes, even when no malpractice was committed. It is important to speak to an attorney about your situation to discover if your experience has the necessary ingredients to move forward with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Most definitely, YES.
You should hire an attorney soon after the accident so that proper investigation can be done while the scene and memories are “still fresh.”
The best way to ensure you have the maximum chance of winning is to work with an experienced attorney that understands how to build a case and speak to a courtroom. Hiring an attorney doesn’t mean you’ll win for sure, but it absolutely increases your chances a thousand-fold when compared to representing yourself.