Types of Personal Injury Claims
About the Accidents and Injuries that Lead to Personal Injury Lawsuits
Though a personal injury lawsuit may arise from virtually any incident that involves
injury caused by another person, there are specific types of cases that are more common than others. We have highlighted some of the key types of personal injury claims handled by the attorneys listed in our directory. Even if you do not see your particular type of claim listed here, you can still find a qualified lawyer by conducting a search for a personal injury attorney without specifying a practice area.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
These are by far the most common type of personal injury claim filed in the United States. Including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and even pedestrian and bicycle accidents, motor vehicle accidents affect millions of people every year. In 2009 alone, more than 5.5 million traffic accidents were reported to the police. Over 2.2 million people were injured in these collisions, and just over 33,800 lost their lives.
Class Action Lawsuits
A class action lawsuit is a type of personal injury case wherein a large group of people collectively bring a claim or lawsuit against a party that was responsible for causing their injuries. This most often comes up in cases involving defective products and dangerous prescription drugs, where numerous consumers have been injured and take legal action as a group against a large manufacturing company or pharmaceutical company.
A construction site may be a dangerous place for any worker. Visitors to the site, people working in nearby buildings and even passersby may also be in danger of injury. A personal injury claim may be filed for injuries sustained at a construction site, depending on the particular circumstances and whether workers' compensation laws cover the incident.
Each state has its own particular implementation of personal injury laws pertaining to dog bites. In some states, dog owners are held strictly liable for injuries inflicted by their dogs, unless the dog was provoked or the victim was trespassing. In other states, a dog owner will only be held accountable if it is proven that the dog was dangerous (by biting someone in the past) or that the dog owner was negligent in handling the dog.
Doctors, surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals are held to a higher standard of conduct when it comes to what may be considered negligence. For this reason, a patient may be able to take legal action if a medical professional's conduct has caused serious injury of some kind. Some examples of medical malpractice cases may include medication errors, surgical mistakes and misdiagnoses of medical conditions.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse and negligence may fall under the category of personal injury law, and in some cases a nursing home or caregiver may face criminal charges as well. The injured elderly person or family of an elderly patient or resident who lost their life may be able to seek financial compensation for injuries experienced as a result of abuse or negligent care.
In some situations, property owners may be held legally accountable for injuries that legal visitors, customers and tenants sustain on the premises. These cases are referred to as premises liability claims and may include slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents and injuries caused by negligent security at the property.
Manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure their products are free from defects and include proper warning labels and instructions for use. If a consumer is injured by a defective product, that consumer may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer to seek financial compensation. These cases are referred to as product liability claims.
A toxic tort is a specific type of personal injury lawsuit that is filed in relation to injuries or illnesses caused by exposure to toxins of some kind. Some examples may include mold contamination, mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure and illness caused by exposure to benzene or pesticides. Exposure may occur at the workplace, at one's home environment or in a situation where a person uses a contaminated product (such as a children's toy that contains lead paint.)
Most of the time, workplace accidents and injuries are covered by state workers' compensation laws. There are some situations, however, where a third party may also be held accountable, and in these situations personal injury laws may apply. For example, a construction worker may be injured because a power saw he was using was defective. In addition to seeking workers' compensation benefits, the construction worker may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the saw.
When another person or business entity is responsible for causing the death of another person, this may provide the surviving family with grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Though it is certainly true that no amount of financial compensation can make up for the loss of a spouse, parent, child or other family member, it can help with medical expenses and funeral costs and can serve to increase awareness of these serious matters.
No matter the type of personal injury claim you may be dealing with, or the extent of injury you have experienced, you have legal options. Make sure you review these with a qualified attorney who will put your needs first.
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