There were more than 224,000 preventable deaths in the United States in 2021, along with 62 million injuries. The total cost of these deaths and injuries came to more than $2.2 billion. Some of the most preventable injuries that occur in the U.S. include motor vehicle accidents, falls, and poisoning.
If you have sustained an injury, or someone you love was killed, as a result of an accident that was not entirely your/their fault, you may be entitled to justice and compensation. There are many different types of personal injury cases that a person can use to secure justice today and these will be the focus of this blog post.
Some of the different personal injury cases that we will highlight here include motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, defamation, product liability, intentional torts, dog bites, wrongful death cases, and amusement park accidents. Let’s get started with this guide.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
According to the National Safety Council, there were more than 46,000 deaths in motor-vehicle crashes in 2021. Every year, an average of three million people sustain non-fatal accidents as a result of motor vehicle accidents, of which two million experience permanent injuries that greatly affect their quality of life.
Many personal injury claims and lawsuits in the U.S. arise as a result of motor vehicle accidents. These accidents typically occur when motorists are not following the correct rules of the road (for example, speeding or driving while intoxicated). Other causes of motor vehicle accidents include vehicle defects, poor road quality, and incorrect signage.
Some common car accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limbs
- Soft tissue injuries
People who sustain injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident that was not entirely their fault can seek to secure damages against the at-fault party. In some states, which are known as no-fault states, personal injury protection is used to cover medical expenses (regardless of who was actually at fault for the accident).
In addition to speeding and driving while intoxicated, other common driver causes of motor vehicle accidents include aggressive driving, tailgating, wrong-way driving, distracted driving, and sleep-deprived driving.
Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip and fall injury is an injury that occurs as a result of a person falling, slipping, stumbling, or tripping. This is another very common example of a personal injury case and is also known as a premises liability case. This is because property owners have a legal duty to ensure that their property is safe.
In an instance where a person sustains an injury on premises because the premises are not safe, the person may sue the owner of the property for damages. There are a number of steps a person should take when pursuing a personal injury claim following a slip and fall accident.
Firstly, they should report the accident to the owner of the premises without delay. They should also seek to get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the incident, given that their testimony may be valuable in a personal injury case. If in a position to do so, the person should also take photographs and/or videos of the accident site and of any injuries they have sustained.
It is important to partner with an experienced personal injury lawyer when pursuing a slip and fall case (or any other type of personal injury claim for that matter). A lawyer will help you to present a strong case and maximize your odds of reaching a satisfactory settlement.
When a person is sick or injured, it stands to reason that they should expect professional treatment and care from a medical expert. Unfortunately, this does not always occur. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional or hospital causes an injury to a patient through a negligent act or omission.
Here are some examples of medical malpractice that occur:
- Failure to provide appropriate treatment
- Substandard treatment that causes injury, harm, or death
- Medical professional omits to take an appropriate action
- Medical errors occur, such as misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment
Thanks to medical malpractice law, a person is able to seek compensation for any harm that occurs as a result of substandard treatment or care. Medical malpractice cases are common in the U.S., with between 15,000 and 19,000 cases against doctors occurring every year.
There are two types of damages that a plaintiff may be awarded in a medical malpractice case. The first is compensatory damages, which include economic damages, medical expenses, lost earning capacity, and life care expenses. The second type is punitive damages, which may be awarded if the defendant in a medical malpractice case is found to have acted maliciously or with willful misconduct.
While many personal injury cases involve physical injuries, this isn’t always the case. Defamation, for example, does not necessarily require physical injury. Defamation refers to the action of damaging a person’s good reputation (it is also known as libel or slander, depending on the specific nature of the defamation).
In most U.S. states, defamation is not a crime, rather it is regarded as a “tort” or a “civil wrong”. There are many different forms that defamation can take. For example, a person may accuse another of sexual misconduct online or a person may falsely accuse a restaurant owner of causing them food poisoning in an online review.
If you are planning to seek compensation as a result of defamation, it is important to be aware of your state’s specific statute of limitations (as it is with every kind of personal injury case). Generally, U.S. states allow plaintiffs between one and three years to file a defamation lawsuit. If a person misses the deadline to file a claim, it is most likely that a court will dismiss the case and their opportunity will be lost.
The worth of a defamation case depends on a host of different factors. For example, compensation may include lost income, lost employment benefits, lost earning capacity, medical bills, and pain and suffering as a result of the defamatory act.
If a person is injured by a product that is either unreasonably dangerous or defective, they may pursue a personal injury claim against the manufacturer and/or seller of the product. Some product liability cases only involve one person while others may involve a large group of people, even hundreds of thousands of people, which are known as mass torts.
A defective design refers to designs in a product that make it inherently dangerous. They may also be missing important safeguards, have hidden defects, and have inadequate instructions/safety warnings. Another example is toxic chemicals in products, such as asbestos in insulation and lead in paint, which have both been the subject of litigation before.
In product liability cases, the damages here also include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include economic losses, such as medical expenses and loss of wages, and non-economic damages, which includes loss of consortium and pain and suffering.
As with other types of personal injury cases, product liability claims can be complex and time-consuming. That is why it is so important to partner with an experienced lawyer with knowledge of product liability law. They will help to ensure that you secure a satisfactory outcome.
We have spoken already about different types of torts. Another type of tort that relates to personal injury cases is an intentional tort, a category of tort that refers to a civil wrong arising from an intentional act. Common examples here include assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and trespass to land.
This category of personal injury cases is not based on carelessness or negligence, but rather when an individual intentionally injures or harms another. Assault and battery are two of the most common types of intentional torts that exist and while they are closely related, they are usually distinct claims.
In the case of an assault, this is said to occur when one person acts intentionally in a way that causes another person to reasonably fear an offensive or harmful conduct. In the case of battery, this refers to an instance when an intentional act caused harmful or offensive contact with another person.
Americans are animal lovers. Around 70% of homes in the U.S. have pets, with dogs being by far the most popular animal to have. In the majority of cases, the owners of a dog are financially responsible for any injuries (such as bites) that occur (the exact laws surrounding owner responsibility do vary from state to state).
Depending on the nature of the incident, a person may file a personal injury claim or a claim with the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance company. In the U.S., states generally follow either a “one bite” rule or “strict liability,” so it’s important to understand how your state considers dog bites.
In the case of the “one bite” rule, the owner of a dog is deemed liable if they knew (or at least should have known) that their dog might act in a way that is harmful or dangerous. In effect, the dog gets one “free bite” but after that, the owner should be both aware of and responsible for their dog’s vicious tendencies. In the case of “strict liability,” the dog owner’s carelessness should not need to be established if their dog bites another person.
Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death case is a specific type of personal injury case. It refers to a case where the injured party passes away. In this instance, specific family members may bring a case to seek compensation against the at-fault party. Examples of a “wrongful” action here include criminal conduct, international action, negligence, and/or carelessness.
Every state has its own rules surrounding wrongful death cases, including who and when these cases can be brought and the kinds of remedies courts can provide. In a wrongful death case, it is necessary to show that the wrongdoing of the defendant was the legal cause of the deceased person’s death.
People who may be able to bring a wrongful death case, depending on the state, include:
- Immediate family members (such as children and spouses)
- Life partners and financial dependents
- Distant family members (such as siblings and grandparents)
- Parents of a deceased fetus
- Anyone who suffers financially (even if not related by marriage or blood)
The value of a wrongful death case depends on a number of factors. These include the age and income of the deceased person, their life expectancy, and more.
Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement parks are all about having fun. Millions of Americans (and international visitors) go to amusement parks every year. While relatively rare, amusement park accidents do occur, resulting in deaths and injuries.
Some common types of amusement park injuries include head, neck, and back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and lacerations, and drowning. Some common causes of amusement park injuries include improper operation of rides, mechanical failures, and the inherent nature of rides.
If you have sustained an injury as a result of a visit to an amusement park, you could be entitled to justice and compensation. Again, it is important to partner with an experienced lawyer to help you file a strong personal injury claim. If you are looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can find more information here.
Guide to the Different Types of Personal Injury Cases
The bottom line is that many different types of personal injury cases exist. They are here to help innocent people receive the justice and compensation they deserve following an accident.
Like this blog post on the different types of personal injury cases? Be sure to check out our other informative articles on a wide range of interesting topics.