Images of overzealous attorneys and civilians wearing neck braces for phony injuries often plague the thoughts and ideas of personal injury claims. Fortunately, the stereotype is far from reality. Personal injury claims likely receive such a reputation because of the reach and scope of such civil actions. However, just because the concept is broad, that doesn’t mean that the niche cases are any less important. Therefore, if you are considering a claim, it is beneficial to understand the cases covered under the breadth of personal injury.
While possibly rarer than the other claims described in the following list, intentional torts, as the name implies, are not the result of negligence but intent. Cases based on willful violence or harm likely involve a criminal aspect, meaning that while the injured party can sue civilly for compensation, prosecutors may bring charges against the perpetrator or accused.
Medical malpractice refers to professional negligence by a surgeon or physician. However, the act cannot only be negligent, but it must also result in injury. Then, the patient must prove that the injury sustained directly resulted from a lack of skilled care. For instance, if a surgeon forgets to remove a surgical rag from a patient, which then leads to severe infection, that patient can sue for injuries and possibly pain and suffering.
Car accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases, and they can often be the easiest to prove with the support of accident reports and documentation of injuries and property loss. However, evidence of loss is not proof of negligence, and in some “no-fault” states, negligence isn’t even enough to make a claim.
Dog bite claims are another common personal injury suit. In most states, dog owners are liable for their dog’s aggressive behavior. Therefore, if your dog bites someone, you are responsible. However, “one bite” states provide owners with a little leeway, only holding them accountable once they know their dog may bite.
Beyond the above cases, people can also make personal injury claims for defamation and slip and fall injuries. Defamation suits typically involve slander or libel, but they are challenging because the injured party must prove financial hardship. Slip and fall injuries are also difficult to determine because the legal responsibilities of landowners and operators vary by municipality.
While personal injury claims run the gamut of intentional harm and negligence, each claim type has value. However, if you are considering suing, consult with a local personal injury attorney to discuss the viability of your claim.