The Most Common Types of Lawsuits
This is why insurance matters!
Here’s our list of some of the most common types of personal injury lawsuit cases:
Automobile Accident Lawsuits
Automobile accidents are one of the most common personal injury cases. They can involve high medical bills that may make it difficult for you to pay living expenses, keep you from working temporarily or permanently, and often leads to stress both emotional and financial. The lawsuit process for auto accidents is often lengthy, and may take several years.
Injuries to Children
Injuries to children are perhaps one of the hardest types of injury cases in which to receive financial compensation, just because there is much to prove in regards to who was at fault.
While judges and juries have sympathy for children, they also consider that the adults may be pursuing the case only for the money. In addition, insurance companies sometimes contend that an injury to a child is a result of his/her own negligence.
For example, if a child got hit by a car, the insurance company might say the child ran into the street and call it a “pedestrian dart-out” case. On the other hand, personal injury lawyers will normally call this a “pedestrian knock-down” case.
In cases where children have been injured, it is important to take photos of the accident scene and talk to any witnesses. This will typically help strengthen your defense. The younger the child is, however, the weaker your case is for non-negligence in most instances.
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall cases are very common.
In a slip and call case, a common defense is to contend that “comparative negligence” was involved.
What is comparative negligence? It essentially means that the victim might have had an accident because they failed to avoid the hazard when in fact it could have been evaded. When this defense is used, juries will take into account whether the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the accident.
Slip and fall cases our often complex. For example, a person may have tripped when entering a store. Here, it is important to prove that the store knew that the slippery floor was a hazard, and should have put a floor mat down or otherwise tried to fix it.
Customers are often referred to as “business invitees,” which means businesses are responsible for their safety. There is also “attractive negligence” as well. Even if someone is trespassing, the owner may be held responsible. As such, if a child wanders into an unfenced pool, the owner could be held liable.
Many states require that a dog’s owner keep it secured or adequately confined. If you are bitten, and the dog’s owner was in violation of the law, you will likely be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Some states, however, have a law called a “one free bite” rule where the owner is not responsible if the dog bites someone for the first time. You would need to prove the dog had previously also bitten other people in order to win a case. For a list of states with the one free bite rule, visit Dog Bite Law.
Cases that involve food poisoning are often hard to win. Many times it’s no more than a short-lived nuisance to the victim of food poisoning, and you generally won’t receive much financial compensation. However, if you were severely harmed, perhaps by eating a canned food product that contains harmful bacteria because it was inadequately assembled and shipped, you may have a case.
If you were injured while on the job, you may be able to get workers’ compensation. This involves compensating you for medical bills and lost wages as a result of the injury or death of the employed individual. Workers’ compensation is dispensed under a “no-fault” policy so you don’t have to prove negligence, but on the flip side, you also can’t sue the employer. Laws for workers’ compensation typically differ by state, however, so you have to identify whether applicable worker’s compensation statutes apply to your specific case.
This is one of the hardest types of cases to win. Lawyers weigh if there was a breach in the standard of care that enhanced the risk to the patient, proof of negligent conduct, as well as the age of the patient. The older a person, the less likely a large settlement will result.
Legal malpractice could apply to every legal case. For example, if a lawyer fails to report evidence of your lost earnings as a result of an injury and you lose the case, you might assert malpractice. If your case was negatively impacted as a result of your lawyer failing to admit all applicable medical records, you could likely have a legal malpractice case on your hands. Many mistakes are subjective, however, and you need to prove that your legal losses were a result of true legal negligence rather than simply a result of the lawyer’s strategy decisions regarding your case.
Last but not least, a final common case type is the products liability case. Products liability can result from defective products, whether that be the way they are designed, repaired, manufactured or maintained. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and the car’s airbag fails to deflate upon impact, product liability law may apply to your personal injury case.