Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury is a broad area of the law that covers a variety of cases. A personal injury case could be related to any type of accident if it was related to negligence. Three key elements must be provable to form the basis of a personal injury claim. These are:
- The person or party that injured you owed a duty of care and failed to provide it.
- Their negligence contributed to your injuries.
- Your resulting injuries caused you financial loss and other damages.
To understand what personal injury means, look at the most common types of personal injury cases.
Most Common Personal Injury Cases
- Vehicle Accidents – Millions of people are involved in vehicle accidents every year, and many of them are caused by negligence. Often another driver is to blame for an accident, but there are other possibilities for liability, such as a vehicle manufacturer or an employer. Truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and more fall under this umbrella.
- Medical Malpractice – Medical professionals like doctors and nurses have an implicit duty of care to their patients. When something goes wrong during care, such as a misdiagnosis or medication error, and the patient is hurt or killed, doctors and other medical professionals can be held responsible for the damages. These are often extremely complicated cases.
- Premise Liability/Slip and Fall – A business or property owner is responsible for keeping their property safe for the customers and visitors who go there. While being hurt on someone else’s property is not automatically the basis of a personal injury claim, if someone is injured because of the condition of the premises, the owner could be found to be negligent. An example of this is falling in an icy parking lot because it was not adequately maintained.
- Faulty Product – When someone is hurt by a defective product, they can file a claim against its manufacturer or anyone else involved with developing, marketing or selling it if they were negligent.
- Dog Bites – A dog owner is responsible for keeping their pet from injuring someone. If a dog is out of control, off their leash or otherwise unprovoked when they attack someone, their owner can be responsible for the resulting damages.
Potential Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Pennsylvania law allows for two types of compensation in a personal injury case to cover the various damages sustained in the accident. These are classified as special, or economic, damages and general, or noneconomic, damages.
Special damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Lost benefits
- Lost earning potential
- Property damage
General damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium—the loss of companionship or intimacy shared by spouses or partners
- Quality of life
It is important to remember that although general damages may not have a dollar value at first, they are still important and valid. The severity of injuries and their effect on your life will influence the amount you can receive. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you determine your case’s full worth.
Contact an Erie Personal Injury Attorney
When you are involved in an accident, you will have to deal with an insurance company. Hiring an attorney to represent you levels the playing field. The main objective of an insurance company is to increase its bottom line, not pay accident victims the money they deserve. A personal injury attorney is familiar with their tactics to pay you less and will not allow them to take advantage.
If you are unable to settle through insurance, you will take your case to court. This is another complicated and stressful process through which the help of an attorney is valuable. A lawyer will take care of the details and fight for your best interests so that you can focus on healing.
Placidi, Parini, Grasinger & Page
If you or a loved one has been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you may have the grounds for a personal injury claim. It is crucial to act quickly after your accident; there are deadlines on filing a claim in Pennsylvania.