Do you have a legal claim for damages or payment due to an injury you have received? Do you know how to tell what type of case you have? Could you negotiate with an insurance company or an attorney to get the best settlement for your case?
For most people, the answers to these questions are “I don’t know.” Those who are not trained in the law usually have a very basic understanding of how personal injury cases work. Our opinions are formed by what we see on television, not on the reality of most personal injury case outcomes.
The fact is that very few personal injury cases go to trial or net the plaintiffs millions of dollars. Most cases are settled out of court for relatively small sums. However, these same victims might receive nothing at all if it were not for the help of a personal injury attorney.
Here are some common types of personal injury cases along with facts about how they are handled:
Vehicle accidents. By far, the highest number of claims are filed regarding vehicle accidents. Car crashes, bicycle collisions, pedestrian accidents and motorcycle crashes are the most common type of vehicle-related accidents that cause injury to victims, although some cases involve large trucks, RVs, and even city buses. The driver’s negligence is the primary focus of this type of case, and a lawsuit may be filed against the driver’s insurance company, the individual behind the wheel, his or her employer, or all three.
Slip-and-fall cases. While vehicle accidents may be the most common source of personal injury lawsuits, there may actually be more instances of slip-and-fall in a given year, especially when we consider accidents that cause significant injury to the victims. Slip-and-fall cases are property liability issues, and the property owner is usually the one who is sued for damages.
Medical malpractice. When a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to provide adequate medical care, the victim may be able to recover damages with a medical malpractice lawsuit. These types of lawsuits may name several defendants and seek not only actual damages but sums for pain and suffering.
Workplace accidents. Workplace injuries fall under a special area of the law that is governed by workers’ compensation regulations. However, if a third party is responsible for a worker’s injury, the individual may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Defective products. Liability for injuries caused by defective products usually rests with the manufacturer. Some product liability lawsuits are class action suits, which means that many plaintiffs join forces to sue a company for damages.
Intentional torts. Assault, battery and other intentional acts can be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit if the victim can show that he or she was injured by the person’s deliberate acts. Insurance policies often do not cover deliberate actions taken against a victim, so a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator may be the victim’s only course of action.
Discrimination cases. If a person has been the victim of intentional discrimination, he or she may have case against the perpetrator under federal law.
Dan M. Gilleon in San Diego is a personal injury attorney who handles all types of injury cases. Contact him today for a free consultation about your case.