February 1, 2021

Contributing writer

5 key types of personal injury cases

In the U.S., accidental injuries result in almost 40 million physician visits each year. Another 29 million unintentional injuries require treatment in emergency departments. Although “accidental,” other people’s actions or negligence brought about many of these injuries.

These are the situations that give rise to various types of personal injury cases. Personal injury, in turn, is harm or injury caused by another person. Victims can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.

Of the many forms of personal injury cases, though, five types are more common than others. We’ll take a closer look at each of them below, so be sure to read on.

1. Motor Vehicle Accidents

In 2019, an estimated 2.74 million people in the US sustained injuries in motor vehicle accidents. This represents a 1.1% increase from the year before. All in all, an estimated 6.76 million police-reported road crashes occurred that year.

What’s even worse is that many of these accidents claimed an estimated 36,096 lives.

In any case, many of these motor vehicle accidents were a result of distracted driving. Others were due to speeding, alcohol impairment, or drowsy driving. A huge chunk of these incidents also involved multiple vehicles.

All those figures show how road accidents are some of the most common personal injury cases. If you’ve been in a car crash yourself, it’s best you find a personal injury lawyer ASAP. This is especially true if you live in an at-fault state wherein you need to prove that the other driver is to blame.

As you search for an attorney, be sure to check their history of personal injury cases won. It’s also smart to choose a lawyer who’s handled cases similar to yours.

Also, make sure the lawyer you choose isn’t too busy handling other legal disputes. Otherwise, your case filing may get delayed, and you might miss the statute of limitations. This is the amount of time you have to pursue a lawsuit against another individual.

Most states give car accident plaintiffs two years to sue from the time of the accident. However, a few states, such as Tennessee, only has a one-year statute of limitations. In any case, you need to start the lawsuit within this timeframe; otherwise, your claim will be invalid.

2. Product Liabilities

The number of civil product liability cases in the US has increased by 355% from 2019 to 2020. In October 2020 alone, US courts received 7,795 new product defect case filings. This makes them the fastest-growing type of personal injury cases in the nation.

Product liabilities arise when something about a product causes harm to a user. Many of these occur due to manufacturing or design defects. However, some also occur due to a lack of instructions on the correct use of the products.

A perfect example of product liability is a defective vehicle or vehicle part. These are so common that the US NHTSA has recalled 390 million vehicles due to safety defects since 1966. The agency also recalled 46 million tires and 42 million car seats due to defects.

In any case, you can sue a manufacturer if you sustained injuries due to their defective product. As with any personal injury case, though, be sure to file it within your state’s statute of limitations. Some states set a one year limit for product defects, but most have two to three years.

3. Medical Malpractice and Negligence

Some experts estimate that medical errors lead to an estimated 210,000 to 440,000 deaths in the US each year. For this reason, many consider these mistakes as the third leading cause of death in the nation.

Medical errors are a form of negligence on the part of health care professionals. In such cases, medical professionals neglected the duty they owed their patients. As a result, they caused harm or injury to their patients.

Only a few medical negligence cases are easy to prove, such as if a surgeon leaves an item in a patient. Other examples are erroneous diagnoses or wrong medication prescriptions.

In many other situations, medical negligence is difficult to prove. In addition, patients cannot sue their doctors just because of unfavorable outcomes.

Still, about one-third of physicians deal with medical malpractice and negligence lawsuits. However, the rates tend to be higher among older medical practitioners. Almost half of all physicians aged 55 or older have had a lawsuit filed against them.

4. Premises Liabilities

Injuries caused by unsafe property conditions give rise to premises liability cases. Slip and fall cases are some of the most common types of such lawsuits. Defective structures and lack of property security can also lead to such cases.

In these situations, the property owner may be liable due to their lack of reasonable care. However, plaintiffs must still prove the property owner’s negligence to win the case.

5. Dog Bites

As affectionate as dogs are, they still bite humans, such as when they feel threatened. Indeed, more than 4.5 million people in the US sustain dog bites each year.

State laws vary, but in most cases, dog owners are financially responsible for dog bites. Owners often have to shoulder the cost associated with injuries caused by their dogs. 

If a dog bit you, it’s best to head straight to a doctor, especially if the wound is deep. According to estimates, more than one in ten adults bitten by a dog needs medical treatment. By contrast, 26% of kids who sustain a dog bite require emergency treatment.

If you know the owner, ask them about their dog’s inoculation history. This is extremely important, as rabies kills. However, if the dog’s owner doesn’t want to cooperate, speak to a dog bite lawyer.

Seek Legal Aid for These Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

From car accidents to dog bites, all these are among the most common types of personal injury cases. However, their prevalence doesn’t automatically make them easy to prove.

That’s why it’s vital to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer if you’re a victim of such circumstances. With an attorney’s help, you can raise your odds of getting fair compensation.

Looking for more helpful legal resources like this? Then feel free to stick around to browse our other guides!