What are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims?
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- What are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims?
Personal injury law provides a way for victims to seek justice for bodily and non-bodily injuries sustained as a result of negligence or intentional wrongdoing of another party. You should never face damaging financial losses in an avoidable incident, and personal injury laws allow you to use the civil court to seek the compensation you deserve. The types of cases that fall under personal injury are extensive, but a personal injury attorney would tell you certain ones come up far more frequently.
What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims?
Personal injuries caused by another party’s negligence are the most common type. For example, auto accident cases involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, or bicyclists are what attorneys see most often. Typically, these cases arise when one driver acts carelessly on the road or disregards basic road laws. In an at-fault state, the driver responsible for the accident is responsible for paying for the resulting damages, typically through their insurance. Unfortunately, insurance companies are known to fight against these claims, often leading to lawsuits. In a no-fault state, negligence does not play a role, and both parties must turn to their own personal injury protection insurance to cover damages.
Other common types of personal injury claims include:
- Slip and fall accidents. A slip and fall case is under the umbrella of premises liability laws. Premises liability is a type of personal injury case referring to a property owner’s responsibility to maintain safe conditions for visitors on their property. For example, if you slip and fall in a restaurant because the owner failed to fix broken or worn tiles on the floor, you could file a personal injury case against the owner to seek damages for injuries.
- Product liability. If you suffer an injury due to a defective product, you can sue the manufacturer for damages. However, this type of case is often challenging to prove, especially without the help of a personal injury attorney.
- Medical malpractice. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have a duty to provide medical treatment safely and to the best of their ability. However, when they either negligently or intentionally fail to do so and cause injury to the patient, the patient has a right to sue for damages. Common examples of medical malpractice include birth or surgical injuries, failure to diagnose, and improper administering of medication.
- Wrongful death. Wrongful death refers to any case in which the plaintiff’s loved one died due to someone else’s negligence. The court allows immediate family members to seek compensation for losses in any personal injury case resulting in the injured party’s death.
Some non-bodily injury types of personal injury cases include defamation, such as slander and libel, and intentional infliction of emotional or psychological pain. Additionally, some bodily injury cases involve intentional torts rather than negligence. For example, assault and battery cases fall under personal injury but typically have harsher consequences for the defendant because they intentionally caused harm to the plaintiff.
What Is the Process of a Personal Injury Case?
The typical personal injury lawsuit occurs in the following sequence of events:
- Medical treatment for your injuries. You should see a doctor immediately following your incident, whether you feel okay or not. It ensures you get the necessary care and establishes a medical record of your injuries.
- Schedule a consultation. Talk to a personal injury attorney about your case, even if you feel the accident was only minor. A consultation is free. If the attorney takes your case, they will get started immediately.
- The investigation begins. Your attorney will start the investigation process with a thorough interview. They ask questions about the accident and your injuries before collecting all the necessary documentation to prove your claim. This is easily the longest part of the process. Depending on the case, it can take several months.
- Negotiations can begin. Most personal injury cases settle during negotiations before ever going to trial. Your attorney may wait until you completely recover and return to work before making any demands to ensure all your medical bills and lost wages are included in the claim.
- You can file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is around three years. You must file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. Your attorney will handle all the paperwork for you.
- Discovery begins. Once the court notifies the defendant of your claim and they have time to prepare, the defense will retort with a claim of their own. It could be a claim of shared fault or innocence. Either way, you will have the chance to review their claim and prepare questions. The other side will do the same.
- Negotiations will take off. Now that both sides have all available information and have conducted their own investigations, your attorney will start talking to the defense and trying to obtain a fair settlement. Settling outside of court is typically ideal because the trial process can be lengthy and expensive.
Some personal injury cases, such as slip and fall accidents and car crashes, nearly always settle outside court. If negotiations halt, the attorneys may attempt mediation rather than going directly to trial. This is typically successful, but you move on to the trial phase when mediation fails.
There is no definitive time frame for a trial. You could be in and out in a day, or it could take weeks or months. Delays are usually a result of the judge pushing it back to accommodate their schedule. However, when you make it to the courtroom, the final decision belongs to the judge or jury. Thankfully, an experienced personal injury attorney likely began preparing your case for trial long before that phase began.
Should You Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Everyone has the right to represent themselves in court, but that does not mean it is always the best idea. Personal injury cases vary in difficulty and complexity. Having a legal professional to guide you through the process, protecting your rights at the same time, is an asset to anyone filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you suffered a personal injury or lost someone you love in an avoidable accident, consider the following reasons for hiring a personal injury attorney:
- Insurance companies are often challenging and abrasive, but your attorney will handle all communications.
- Personal injuries often result in significant financial damages, but personal injury attorneys typically work on contingency, requiring no upfront fees for their services.
- Personal injury cases require extensive investigation and evidence collection, which can be difficult for someone with limited experience.
- As the victim of a personal injury incident, you are likely going through a challenging time, physically and emotionally. Your attorney will offer professional and friendly support, encouraging you to stay strong and fight.
- Cases of medical malpractice, product liability, and premises liability require extensive knowledge of the law.
At Phillips Law Group, our team of personal injury attorneys dedicate our careers to defending victims of negligence and stop at nothing to reach a fair settlement. We understand the difficulties you face during this time. Therefore, we provide our support and representation at no cost upfront. We get paid when you receive compensation. Allow us to put our many years of experience to work for you and contact Phillips Law Group today for a free case evaluation.
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