What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Personal injury lawsuits cover a wide variety of situations and different types of accidents. You may have been injured in an auto accident, by slipping and falling on someone's property, or bitten by a neighbor's dog.
All these things are considered personal injuries and the level of your injury can make big a difference in processing your claim.
In some situations, you may be capable of handling a claim through insurance coverage or Small Claims Court against the other party on your own. Other times, you may want to seek the advice and assistance of a qualified personal injury lawyer. It all depends on the severity of your injuries and the legal elements of the accident.
6 Types of Personal Injury Claims
Our personal injury attorneys are currently accepting potential claims on behalf of individuals who suffered the following types of serious or permanent injuries:
It’s never easy to cope with the physical and emotional impact of a serious motor vehicle accident. Making matters worse, an auto accident victim may face severe debt due to medical bills and lost income.
If you intend to file a claim, it must be proven that the other driver owed you a duty of care and breached that duty of care. All motorists have a duty to drive safely and avoid reckless behaviors that would put other people in danger.
They breach this duty of care when they:
- Drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drive while distracted
- Make illegal turns
- Fail to keep their vehicles safe
- Break the speed limit
- Engage in other illegal or reckless behaviors
If your accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, you have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages with the help of a personal injury lawyer. Unfortunately, even if it seems obvious that another person is liable for your damages, you still might run into a dispute at some point during the claims process. This is where the car accident attorneys at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, can help.
We know the strategies used by insurance companies and defendants in car accident cases to reduce their liability. Insurance adjusters might try to manipulate you into making a recorded statement that can be used against you.
They might offer a "low-ball" settlement before you know the full extent of your major or minor injuries, or could even review your social media profiles for images that can be used to dispute the severity of your injuries.
No matter what the insurance adjuster tells you, the insurance company is likely not on your side when you file a claim against them. You should never speak to the insurance company or adjuster—and you certainly should not accept a personal injury settlement offer—without consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer.
When a dog attacks a person – regardless of their age or physical status – the incident always leaves a mark that goes beyond the physical wounds suffered by the victim.
In many dog bite cases, the incident will take a heavy emotional and physical toll on the victim. Whether that person is a full-grown man or just a baby, they may go through a period of intense fear and insecurity as a result of the attack.
A dog attack can be extremely traumatic. Dog aggression can result in long lasting anxiety, in addition to the physical wounds that you would normally associate with a dog bite.
Injuries which are typically associated with a serious dog bite can include:
- Serious head and face injuries
- Long term emotional scars
Many U.S. states have what is known as a "strict liability statute" when it comes to dog attacks. This means that dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pets, even if they have shown no previous signs of aggression or violence.
The only exceptions may be when the dog attack was provoked by cruelty toward the animal, or when a dog bites someone who was committing a crime or trespassing on the owner's property.
However, there are very few exceptions to the strict liability dog bite law in most states. In most cases, dog owners can be held financially liable in addition to receiving citations or facing other penalties associated with an attack.
Each year, up to 100,000 motorcyclists are injured in the United States. For every mile traveled, motorcycle fatalities are 26 times more likely to occur than passenger car occupant fatalities in serious accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle fatalities increased over 129% from 2,028 in 1997 to 4,654 in 2006. However, most of the serious injuries sustained are to the lower body. Common injuries include road rash, broken bones, back injuries and spinal cord injuries.
After a motorcycle accident, you have two options for securing compensation for your catastrophic injury and other losses: a personal injury claim or a personal injury lawsuit. It’s important for you to understand the difference between the two.
In a personal injury claim, you file an insurance claim with your insurance company. This initiates an investigation that will be managed by someone known as an insurance claims adjuster.
After the investigation is complete, you engage in negotiations until the insurance company offers you a financial settlement to compensate you for your injuries, financial losses, and property damage. In exchange for accepting the settlement, you typically have to sign a release in which you agree to give up your right to sue the at-fault driver in court.
A personal injury claim is typically the first course of action after a motorcycle accident. If the claims negotiation and settlement process breaks down and it appears that you won’t be able to obtain adequate compensation for your injuries, you may have to hire a personal injury lawyer.
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil legal action in which an injured person makes a demand for money damages that take into account the severity of his or her injuries and other losses suffered as a result of a serious accident.
Many personal injury lawsuits settle before reaching trial, but some go to trial and a judge or jury will decide the amount of money the injured person is entitled to receive.
The tragedy of losing a loved one is difficult to overstate. Many families have to cope with the emotional pain of their loss while simultaneously dealing with the financial burdens that accompany wrongful deaths.
The pain, grief, and emotional trauma can be overwhelming. Often, families involved in death cases suffer great financial losses, both immediately and in the future. These losses can include the deceased’s medical care, burial costs, and lost future earnings. The pain and suffering the surviving family members endure are incalculable.
Deaths often occur as the result of someone’s negligence. In many cases, the deceased suffered fatal injury in an accident, such as a car accident. While not every accident-related death is considered a wrongful death, many are.
U.S. laws allow certain surviving family members to sue the negligent person, business, or other entity responsible for the death of their loved one. To do so, the surviving family should contact a qualified personal injury lawyer and law firm.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil legal action where the surviving family of the deceased can file a claim against another individual or a separate entity whose negligent actions caused the death of their family member.
Related: Hospital Bedsores Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death cases are separate from criminal court proceedings, and when fault is proven in a lawsuit, the surviving family members receive a financial award. If your claim is successful, the responsible party or parties will be ordered by the court to pay a sum of money to the victim’s family members who brought forth the claim.
Personal Injuries Resulting From Negligence
In a personal injury case, the claimant or plaintiff (the injured person) relies on the legal concept of "negligence" to establish the other party's fault for the accident giving rise to the case.
In a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the first step in proving that another person was negligent is to establish that he or she had a duty of care in the situation that gave rise to the injury.
The injured person (plaintiff) will then need to show exactly how the other party (defendant) failed to meet that duty—in other words, how the defendant's conduct "breached" the duty of care.
Once this breach is established, the last step in proving negligence is for the law firm to show that the plaintiff suffered real injuries that were caused by that breach.
For a plaintiff in an injury case, demonstrating a breach of care requires showing that actions taken (or not taken) by the defendant failed to meet the required level of reasonable care under the circumstances. But what exactly is "reasonable" in a given situation? It depends on the facts of each individual case.
Slip and Fall Claims
A slip and fall accident can occur in almost any location, from a wet floor in the grocery store to a dangerously uneven sidewalk. Not every situation gives rise to legal liability, but valid slip and fall claims are filed and settled every year.
If you have been injured in this way, first consider that it is a normal part of living for things to fall on or to drip onto a floor or the ground, and for smooth surfaces to become uneven. Also, some things put in the ground -- drainage grates, for example -- serve a useful purpose there.
So a property owner (or occupier) cannot always be held responsible for immediately picking up or cleaning every slippery substance on a floor. Nor is a property owner always responsible for someone slipping or tripping on something that an ordinary person should expect to find there or should see and avoid. We all have an obligation to watch where we're going.
However, property owners do need to be careful in keeping up their property. While there is no precise way to determine when someone else is legally responsible for something on which you slip or trip, cases turn on whether the property owner acted carefully so that slipping or tripping was not likely to happen -- and whether you were careless in not seeing or avoiding the thing you fell on.
To be legally responsible for the injuries you suffered from slipping or tripping and falling on someone else's property, one of the following must be true:
- The owner of the premises or an employee must have caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item to be underfoot.
- The owner of the premises or an employee must have known of the dangerous surface but done nothing about it.
- The owner of the premises or an employee should have known of the dangerous surface because a "reasonable" person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.
We put special trust in the doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals responsible for our well-being. Unfortunately, this trust isn’t always rewarded. In some instances, the actions (or lack thereof) of a healthcare professional may rise to the level of malpractice.
Medical malpractice is alarmingly common in the United States. In fact, a Johns Hopkins study found that medical errors kill more than 250,000 Americans every year, making it the third-leading cause of death behind only heart disease and cancer.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional provides medical treatment that deviates from accepted standards of care within the medical community, thereby causing injury to a patient. If a doctor, surgeon, hospital, or another party was medically negligent, they may be liable for any ensuing losses.
Medical negligence refers to a negligent act or omission – for example, removing the wrong organ or leaving a surgical tool in a patient’s body – that causes injury. If the victim can demonstrate that the negligent act was directly responsible for their injury, they may be able to recover compensation for various damages (e.g., medical records, lost wages, and emotional suffering).
See all medical malpractice lawsuits we've taken on.
According to the American Burn Association, there are at least 1.1 million burn injuries in the U.S. each year which require treatment. Approximately 45,000 of these injuries require hospitalization and about 4,500 of these victims die. Many of these injuries are caused by the negligent, reckless or intentional conduct of another party.
Burns may result from fires, automobile accidents, work-related injuries, defective products and many other causes. These injuries often cause extreme pain and can lead to life-threatening infections and severe disfigurement.
Often a victim faces many years of on-going treatment and surgeries, resulting in extremely high medical bills. Many people find themselves temporarily or permanently disabled, and may have many months or years of lost income.
If you or a loved one has suffered an accidental burn injury, it is vital that you contact an experienced attorney with proven success in recovering substantial compensation for burn injury victims.
Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos. It most commonly occurs in the linings of the lungs or the abdomen. The average life expectancy is 18 – 31 months after diagnosis, but prognosis may improve with treatment. Symptoms can include chest pain, shortness of breath and general fatigue.
Mesothelioma symptoms can take 10 – 50 years to emerge after initial exposure to asbestos. Symptoms are often mistaken for less serious illnesses, which can complicate early diagnosis. When symptoms present, patients should seek medical attention, as early detection may improve mesothelioma prognosis.
Asbestos is the only definitive cause of mesothelioma. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they may become embedded in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart.
Over time, the fibers cause inflammation and scarring. This irritation can eventually lead to the development of mesothelioma tumors.
There are four main types of mesothelioma based on tumor location. The most common type is malignant pleural mesothelioma. The mesothelioma tumors are made up of different cell types.
The three most common mesothelioma cell types include epithelioid, sarcomatoid and biphasic. Symptoms, prognosis and treatment options vary depending on mesothelioma type and cell type.
Also read: Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit
Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Personal injury lawsuits serve a crucial role. When you suffer an injury that someone else caused, you could be left with massive medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that shouldn’t be your responsibility.
The change to your life could range from an inconvenience to something you’re not sure you could recover from. Either way, that’s why personal injury cases exist: You, the plaintiff, can hold the negligent person or business accountable and get the compensation you deserve and need.
Contact a contingency-fee basis attorney today for legal advice if you’ve been injured and want to file a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation.
Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Personal Injury Lawyers
The Personal Injury Law firm at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is an experienced team of personal injury attorneys that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Personal Injury Cases. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new personal injury claims in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one was injured, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a lawsuit and an experienced personal injury attorney can help.