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Personal injury is a legal term, which is commonly used in the situation that a person has been hurt, either physically, mentally or emotionally, as a result of another person’s negligence, carelessness or intentional act. The legal process begins with the injured person (plaintiff) files a lawsuit against the individual responsible for the injury (defendant). It is important to be aware of the fact that personal injury is an umbrella term, covering some cases. In this article, you will be able to find specific information on the most common types of personal injury cases.
Car accidents are, without a doubt, among the most often encountered types of personal injury cases. This can refer to any accident involving a vehicle, including small cars, motorcycles, trucks, etc. The same category includes the car accidents in which pedestrians have been hurt.
The accident happens as a result of the driver not following the rules or showing carelessness/negligence; in this situation, he/she will be accounted responsible for the consequences of the accident and, if found guilty, he/she will pay financial compensation. If the accident has resulted in severe physical injuries or death, jail time might become a possibility.
In the situation that a physician or other professional belonging to the medical field has failed to provide adequate care to a patient, causing injuries, we can talk about medical malpractice. The complexity of this personal injury case differs from one patient to the other, being highly dependent on the injuries that have resulted in the first place. If the negligence of the healthcare professional has led to serious injuries or death, the consequences will be even more severe.
Medical malpractice can refer to mistakes in treatment, and it often involves expert testimony, to verify and confirm the validity of the case. It can also apply to a wrongful diagnosis, lack of informed consent, providing treatment against the wishes of the patient and failing to inform the patient about the treatment provided. If one is found guilty of medical malpractice, the following can occur damage payment to the injured person (malpractice insurance), license suspension, cautionary statements, fines and jail time.
When it comes to animal injuries, dog bites are by far the most common. It is important to understand that the rules regarding the injuries caused by dog bites vary from state to state, and from one country to other. However, it is universally agreed that the owner is responsible for any injuries that the dog might cause, in particular through biting. This responsibility is present, whether the dog has proved out to be aggressive in the past or not. The situation becomes even more serious if the dog has a previous history of bites and subsequent injuries.
In deciding on the owner liability about dog bites, it will be important to determine whether the dog has been provoked or not. If the dog has been provoked in any way, it can happen that the owner will not be held liable for the resulting injuries. In general, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff to demonstrate that provocation did not occur.
Intentional harm (assault, battery)
A personal injury case referring to an accident has negligence and carelessness as most important aspects to take into consideration. By contrast, both assault and battery represent personal injuries cases, in which injuries have resulted but as a result of intentional harm. In this situation, one can talk about a criminal case as well, with legal action being taken against the person responsible for the assault.
Let us take an example, to get a better understanding of this whole concept. Imagine a person who has attacked another person, the attack resulting in serious physical injuries (also mental impact to be considered). Because of this attack, one will most likely face criminal charges. The victim, on the other hand, can file a lawsuit and demand financial compensation for the injuries suffered in the first place.
Both libel and slander are covered under defamation law, with the person in question suffering damages to the personal/professional reputation. The defamation of character is the direct result of an untrue statement; in deciding on the specifics of the case, one must take into account who the defamed person is and the exact place where the statements were made.
When it comes to such a personal injury case, one must be able to prove that untrue statements were made and also that these led to harm, financial losses included. However, if this person is a celebrity or a public figure, the matter becomes more complicated, and one must be able to prove that an untrue statement was intentionally made.
Other types of personal injury cases
Personal injury cases can also include the following:
• Slip and fall injuries (premises liability)
• Consumer product cases (liability due to products that are either defective or have been recalled, medication, etc.)
• Injuries caused by exposure to chemical/hazardous substances, explosives, etc.
• Work-related accidents (either occurring at the work site or due to work-related activities – occupational hazards)
• Industrial disease cases (exposure to asbestos, other dangerous materials; chronic respiratory conditions)
• Occupational stress (physical, emotional and mental consequences)
• Injuries caused by water- or airborne contaminants (companies responsible for the contamination will be held liable).
A Final Note
If you believe to have a personal injury case, do not waste any more time and talk to an experienced attorney about your situation. Keep in mind that a lawyer can help you determine whether the claim is worth pursuing or not; moreover, he/she can quickly and efficiently assess the existent evidence. It is also important to understand and remember that certain personal injury cases do not go to trial; instead, they are solved through mediation/arbitration. Regardless of whether the case will go to trial or not, you can still benefit a lot from the expert advice provided by an attorney.