Hiring the right attorney is essential in any lawsuit. They can make or break a case. A highly-qualified personal injury attorney can help someone who has been harmed by the negligence of another person or entity. This article will learn the types of cases a personal injury lawyer accepts.
For starters, how do the courts define an injury?
According to the Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell Law School, the courts define an injury as harm suffered by a person due to some act or omission done by another; this can generally give rise to a civil tort claim or a criminal prosecution.
What is a personal injury claim?
A personal injury claim can include a variety of injuries to a person’s body, emotions, or reputation. Personal injury law helps and defends those injured or hurt because of the negligence of another person or entity.
What are the most common types of personal injury cases?
The opportunities for someone to suffer an injury due to negligence are almost infinite, but most cases fall under one of the six types listed below.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
Vehicle accidents are also referred to as traffic or car accidents. They are a collision between a vehicle and another object, including a passenger vehicle, commercial vehicle, bicycle, horse and buggy, livestock, or pedestrian.
- Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a physician or other medical provider acts in a way that is different from acceptable standards of procedure and causes injury or death to the patient. Medical malpractice is a specific subset of tort law that deals with professional negligence.
- Product Liability
Product liability is the liability (responsible by law) of any or all parties along the chain of manufacture for damage or harm caused by a product, including the manufacturer of components (predominantly), an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retail store owner (less frequently). Products containing inherent defects that cause harm to a consumer or other end-user could be the subjects of products liability suits.
- Premises Liability
Premises liability is a personal injury case caused by an unsafe or defective condition in someone’s property.
A brain injury can be as simple as a mild concussion to as severe as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which usually has long-lasting or permanent effects on an individual. A brain injury can also have a significant negative financial impact on the victim and their family due to the high costs of medical care and loss of income.
- Wrongful Death
A wrongful death suit is a specific type of legal action arising from a personal injury case that resulted in death and can occur as part of any suit where negligence leads to death. A decedent’s loved ones usually file the claim to seek financial compensation for potential damages incurred from the loss. Wrongful death is when someone’s negligence or misconduct leads to the death of another.
What different types of accidents lead to a personal injury case?
Let’s take a more specific look at the most frequently involved incidences in personal injury claims.
Motor vehicle accidents can occur by two main factors, human behavior, and external conditions. Some examples of human behavior that can cause a motor vehicle accident include distracted driving (using a cellphone, eating or drinking), driving under the influence (alcohol and drugs), and speeding.
Some external conditions are heavy rain, snow, unsafe highway conditions, such as poorly marked construction zones, or another driver behaving unexpectedly.
Medical malpractice is also one of the main types of cases for personal injury; some of the most common occurrences include:
- Misdiagnosis: Neglect to properly diagnose an illness is a common medical error. The neglect to diagnose a life-threatening condition can have severe consequences and cause injuries or death.
- Failure to treat: This mistake can occur when a doctor accurately diagnoses a condition but fails to treat it according to a sufficient standard of care. Discharging a patient too soon or failing to provide appropriate follow-up care can worsen the condition and cause additional injuries.
- Surgical errors: Tools or other materials left inside the body after surgery are considered surgical errors. They can also include performing the wrong procedure on a patient.
- Prescription drug errors: Wrong medication, incorrect dosing, or drug prescription administration can be common mistakes leading to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Birth injuries: A significant part of medical malpractice claims is childbirth-related medical mistakes. Conditions such as shoulder dystocia or other nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, and cephalohematoma (the collection of blood between a newborn’s scalp and skull) are common birth injuries caused by medical errors.
Product liability cases are less frequent, but the courts generally divide them into three main categories. These are defective design, defective manufacture, and defects in marketing.
Accidents in premises include slips and falls due to spills, being harmed by an unsafe construction zone, defective building or sidewalk, lack of building security, toxic fumes or chemicals.
Wrongful death can occur in all the personal injury cases mentioned above.
- Traffic accidents that include a fatality.
- Medical malpractice cases where a patient’s death occurs due to procedural negligence or medical incompetence.
- Originated from dangerous and defective products, when a victim dies from using a defective product due to the negligence of a manufacturer or seller.
- When dangerous and unsafe premises, cause death due to hazardous conditions or otherwise unsafe environmental conditions.
- Death due to unsafe construction zones without proper signage, visibility, and common safety practices. Dangerous conditions in construction zones can affect construction workers, drivers, and pedestrians.
What kind of injuries does a personal injury law include?
Some of the most common types of injuries from personal injury cases mentioned above include:
- Soft tissue injuries are bruises, sprains, strains, or damages to muscles. These injuries can become long-term and significantly inhibiting depending on the severity.
- Burns happen when soft tissue comes into contact with a hot surface or certain chemicals. Severe burns, third degree, require painful debriding, surgery, or skin grafting.
- Fractures and broken bones that come from the impact of a vehicle collision or a fall may cause broken legs, ribs, arms, ankles, or wrists. Broken bones may heal by setting the bone and applying a cast, but they can also require surgery.
- Internal injuries occur when the force from an impact damages blood vessels, causing internal bleeding and blood clots or injuries to internal organs.
- Concussions occur when a sudden impact causes the brain to move inside the skull and hit the interior of the cranial cavity.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are more severe forms of concussions that usually cause long-term or permanent damage. They can affect how the brain functions and handles information.
- Injuries to the spinal cord or central nervous system are severe, likely permanent, and often life-threatening.
- Limb loss and amputation, a part of the body, can be severely damaged during a collision. It might need surgical amputation, leaving a person with a permanent disability.
What is a personal injury lawyer?
A personal injury attorney is a civil litigator who provides representation for people who believe they have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another person or entity.
What can personal injury attorneys do for me?
A lawyer with the expertise in handling personal injury claims is essential because they have the skills necessary to reach the best possible outcome for their clients. An experienced attorney will stay on top of and be attentive throughout the process. They will also provide you with a realistic and objective outlook for your case.
Navigating the intricacies of a personal injury claim can be difficult, stressful, and anxiety-inducing. However, a personal injury attorney can help you receive compensation for your losses. It is vital to find the right personal injury attorney for your case.
Why is it important for injured individuals to have legal representation?
Often, insurance companies want to settle for the least possible compensation for the injured person and not consider the full scope of the damages. A personal injury lawyer can grant you results in court and, with their experience, give you the best possible legal advice.
Personal injury is part of tort law which can be very difficult for the inexperienced to navigate. Experts in personal injury law can maximize your claim results.
How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?
Being injured is not enough to file for a personal injury claim. There is an essential component, negligence. The LII (Cornell) defines negligence as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.”
Under the law, a person guilty of negligence can be forced to compensate the injured party.
A strong negligence claim includes the following key elements.
- Duty of care: A legal term that refers to the responsibility one person has to prevent causing harm to another. The defendant must prove that the person acting with negligence had responsibility in a duty of care, and they violated that duty.
- Breach of duty: The injured person will need to attest precisely how the other party failed to meet that duty or how their conduct breached the duty of care. It involves a causal connection between the injured and the other party.
- Economic and non-economic damages: The injured party must have proven damages caused by the injury, such as medical expenses, emotional trauma, or other pain and suffering losses.
If you can prove the existence of these elements, you may have a personal injury claim.
At Trent Law, we are committed to securing you every dollar you deserve for your personal injury case. We’re a passionate Chicago law firm that will ensure you receive the maximum compensation to the full extent the law allows.
If you live in the Chicago area and you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury due to negligence, please get in touch with Trent Law Firm. Discuss your case with us and learn how our experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to get you the compensation you deserve. Call (866) 599-8601 for a confidential consultation.