Personal injury is an area of law focused on helping people receive compensation for injuries caused by another person’s negligent behavior. Within this area of legal practice, there are several subtypes of cases that certain lawyers and law firms might specialize in. Below, we offer an overview of the different types of personal injury cases that are most commonly seen.
Accidents that occur in the workplace and affect an individual’s ability to work comprise a special type of personal injury case. In these cases, the damages can be claimed to the employer’s workers' compensation insurance which is usually mandatory for employers to have for this type of situation.
Because workers’ compensation and disability laws vary from state to state, it can be challenging to submit claims and obtain benefits. Personal injury lawyers can help workplace accident victims receive all of the possible benefits they are entitled to from their employer and the government.
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common type of personal injury case, occurring when an individual is injured in a collision. In the United States, motorists are required to have auto insurance policies to protect them in the event of an accident. The party found to be at fault for the collision will usually be required to pay damages. While most motor vehicle cases are settled out of court, some do make it to litigation.
Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury case in which the victim is injured due to the negligence of a health care professional. Many situations can constitute medical malpractice, including:
Health care professionals typically carry medical malpractice insurance to cover them in case they must pay damages in a personal injury case.
Premises liability cases occur when somebody is injured on the property of another person that is hazardous or poorly maintained. If the plaintiff successfully wins their premises liability case, the property owner will have to pay damages for their injury. Premises liability accidents can happen at a variety of public and private locations including:
Product liability is a type of personal injury case related to defective and unsafe products. Manufacturers and sellers of products are legally required to uphold ordinary safety expectations and to provide relevant and proper labels, manuals, and warnings. If they fail to do so, they can be held responsible for consumers’ injuries. Products liability cases can occur with products like:
Wrongful death is a subset of personal injury law in which a victim’s loved ones sue the party responsible for their death. These types of cases can have different types of damages including:
Wrongful death cases can be filed against a variety of parties including property owners, product manufacturers, motor vehicle drivers, and so on.
Slip and fall injuries are a subcategory of personal injury law in which the victim is injured while slipping and falling. All property owners are legally required to make their space safe and free of obstructions or hazards. If they fail to do so and allow a hazard to exist without properly warning people about them, the injured individual may be eligible for compensation for their injuries.
Another type of personal injury case is dog bite cases, in which an individual is injured by another party’s pet dog. In most states, dog owners have a legal responsibility to keep their dogs from injuring other people, especially if they know their dog to be aggressive or have a previous history of biting. If you are bitten by a dog, its owner may be held legally liable for it and required to compensate you for your losses.
Finally, defamation is a specific type of personal injury case in which a person makes false claims about an individual that injures his or her reputation. There are two types of defamation. Libel is a written defamatory statement while slander is an oral defamatory statement.
There is a caveat for public figures and celebrities, who can only win defamation cases if they can prove that the defendant made them intentionally or with reckless disregard for the truth of the statement. The average person, however, only needs to provide evidence that a false statement about them was made by the defendant to a third party and that it harmed them.
If you have been injured in a case of one of the above types, it is recommended you speak to a personal injury lawyer who will be able to guide you through the litigation process and help you receive the fairest possible compensation for your losses.