Chances are good you’ve heard “personal injury” used in certain lawsuits. This is the legal term to describe harm — specifically to one’s body, mind or emotions. If this applies to you, you may be wondering how to recover all money lost as a result of your injuries. Personal injury cases are the best option for most people, especially those without clear insurance coverage.
While people get hurt all the time, your injury could actually be someone else’s fault. If you can prove another person’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be entitled to a significant sum of money. That’s particularly true for injuries that result in medical bills, time away from work, or emotional distress.
The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases fall into a few main categories other than people hurt in car accidents. Below, we’ll list some personal injury cases that lawyers typically accept on contingency.
Case Type #1: Dog Bites
People report 4.5 million dog bite injuries each year in the United States — and many file personal injury cases. These bites lead about 800,000 victims to seek medical treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And at least half the people bitten hard enough to need medical attention are actually children. According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, seniors are a close second to children for the most dog bite injuries. Most bites involving younger children occur during everyday activities — while they’re interacting with familiar dogs.
If you or your child has a bite injury from an unfamiliar dog, try to identify the owner if possible. Share names and contact numbers so the owner can provide proof the dog has up-to-date rabies vaccination records. Then, photograph the dog bite injury and area immediately around it on your body before you seek medical treatment. Once a doctor documents and treats your dog bite wound, call animal control in your area to file a report.
When a dog bites someone, most U.S. states make the owner liable for any injuries. However, some require the victim to prove certain circumstances led to the dog bite injury, including:
- Your bite involved a dog that’s particularly vicious
- The dog’s owner caused the incident through negligence or violated a local leash law
Personal injury cases involving dog bites can result in substantial compensation if the owner’s properly insured. If the owner denies responsibility or doesn’t have homeowners’ insurance or a renters’ policy, talk to a lawyer immediately. You may qualify for a significant cash settlement that covers your past and future medical treatments as well as counseling.
Case Type #2: Medical Malpractice
Medical mistakes cause 10% of U.S. deaths annually, coming in third behind heart disease and cancer. From 2006-2016, personal injury cases led to 143,713 medical malpractice payments, according to the National Practitioner Databank. These types of personal injury cases happen whenever a medical professional hurts someone (either willfully or through negligence). Medical malpractice personal injury cases can include dental workers, too.
Case Type #3: Slip and Fall Injuries
When you slip, trip or otherwise fall down and hurt yourself on someone else’s property, you may qualify for compensation. In many cases, the property owner’s insurance policy should cover any damages. For property liability claims like these, you must first prove the owner had a duty to keep you safe. Next, you must show the owner did something — or failed to do something — that compromised that duty. Here’s an example: Your landlord fails to clear ice and snow from your apartment building’s walkways, violating local law. If you suffer a herniated disc from slipping on that ice, then your landlord’s legally liable for your injuries.
Case Type #3: Product Liability Personal Injury Cases (Drugs, Medical Devices & Harmful Products)
We’ve all seen those late-night commercials talking about FDA warnings, product recalls and drug side effects. These cases are called mass tort claims, and they help people hurt by things like defective medical implants. Some people aren’t even aware something inside their bodies or medicine their doctor prescribed could cause dangerous side effects. Sadly, many first learn about potential problems from those same TV commercials.
Current examples of now-recalled medical devices include:
But mass tort claims can also include everyday household products, like talcum powder.
If you’re injured due to a dangerous drug, medical device or product, a lawyer may help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. We can match you with a personal injury attorney in your area who specializes in mass tort. To see a list of active mass torts and talk to a lawyer quickly, visit DrugJustice.com now.
Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.