Every year, very high numbers of personal injury cases are filed in the United States. Most of these are based on some form of negligence claim due to accidental or unintentional injuries.
Personal injury cases are among the most common legal actions in the United States each year. When someone is injured due to the neglect of another person or entity, its cause for the victim to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Most claims are resolved with an out-of-court settlement. Settlement documents include clauses stating the plaintiff forgoes future legal actions related to the injury or incident in question.
A personal injury suit is filed in the county or state courts where the injury occurred if a settlement can’t be reached. Injury cases with small damage amounts, from about $2,000 to $15,000, are generally filed in small claims court.
Personal injury is the label given to lawsuits that handle claims that one person or thing’s negligence or deliberate misconduct caused harm to another person. The harms could be physical or nonphysical. Both types of injury can be the basis for monetary compensation, described as damages. Both economic and noneconomic damages can be recovered. Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and can cover the past or projected damages. Noneconomic damages can include compensation for disability, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life.
Types of Personal Injury
When people are thinking about kinds of personal injury cases, they are most often referring to the causes of personal injury. Examples of personal injury grouped by cause include:
Car accidents spur the most personal injury cases in America. When an accident happens, usually it’s because someone isn’t following the rules of the road, or driving as carefully as he or she should be. A careless driver can (usually) be held financially and responsible for injuries stemming from a car accident. Exceptions do exist in the dozen or so “no fault” states, where drivers have to collect from their own insurers except in cases of “serious” harm. Learn more about car accident cases.
Accidents involving the large commercial trucks present some unique scenarios and issues. A typical fully-loaded “big rig” can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, compared to the average passenger automobile’s weight of about 3,000 pounds. Due to the great disparity in size and the basic laws of physics accidents with big rigs can be devastating. The large size of these vehicles also means that the acceleration, braking, visibility, and turning off big rigs are all limited.
Bike Accident section contains information and resources to help if you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle injuries can touch on many areas of law, such as product liability, personal injury, and property rights. Here you’ll find helpful information about bike accidents and the law — including helmet laws, fault issues, and product defects and recalls – as well as tips on protecting your legal rights and what to expect after a motorcycle accident. Motorcycles may be particularly dangerous vehicles. These articles will help guide you through the legal ramifications of a bike accident.
Pedestrian or cyclist injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that each year nearly 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle-related accidents, and approximately 76,000 pedestrians in 2012 suffered injuries when hit by a car or truck. These accidents can occur when pedestrians attempt to cross highways. In addition to pedestrian-vehicle incidents, thousands of non-vehicular pedestrian injuries also happen annually. Poor maintenance, sidewalk or parking lot defects and building or alternative debris on walkways may also cause these accidents.
Trip/slip and fall and other types of premises liability
Slip and fall cases are another very common type of personal injury case. Property owners (or, in some scenarios, those who are renting property) have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe and free of hazards so that people who are on the property do not become injured. Of course, not all injuries that occur on the property will lead to liability. The exact nature of a landowner’s legal duty varies depending on the situation and according to the law in place in the state where the injury happened.
When you classify personal injury this way, you describe the cause of the harm, but not the actual form of injury or the legal dimensions of the harm. Medical malpractice cases are in some ways different legally from car accident cases, and in other ways, the same-what distinguishes them here is the event that causes injury.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury cases can often require a great deal of legal knowledge. The process of obtaining damages for an injury is often complex and may take some time. You may probably want to hire a lawyer should you need help with a personal injury case. Your attorney can represent you in court and can help ensure that your legal rights are being protected.