Accidents and injuries are a common part of life. You may suffer an injury at home, at work, in your car, or even when running errands. However, sometimes these injuries can be caused or contributed to by a third party, resulting in a personal injury case.
A personal injury refers to any bodily injury or loss that you may suffer due to another person’s negligence. Personal injuries can arise from car accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, wrongful death claims, or any serious injured caused by another.
If you can prove that the other party was responsible, you can seek compensation for damages suffered through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. However, not all accidents fall under personal injury. It’s, therefore, crucial to know what is considered a personal injury before filing for any lawsuit. At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we offer free case evaluations for our clients after an accident.
What’s In This Guide
- Types Of Personal Injury Claims
- Duty Of Care, Negligence, and Liability
- Compensation in Personal Injury Cases
While, in theory, any injury can be considered a personal injury, there are several types of personal injury cases you can file depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident. Your case may fall under any of the following categories:
Slips And Fall Personal Injury Claims
Slip and fall cases are generally personal injury claims you can file against the owner of a property you were occupying during the time you fell. It can occur at a mall, store, public street, sidewalk, business, or private home.
You can file a slip and fall case if you slipped due to an unsafe condition on the premises, like wet floors, broken walkways, cluttered hallways, uneven steps, or lack of proper signage.
Road Traffic Accidents
The largest number of personal injury cases are those that arise from motor vehicle accidents. These include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, semi-truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
You can file a claim if you are injured due to someone else’s negligent driving, such as speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, or distracted driving. You can also file a claim if you were injured as a pedestrian hit by a vehicle or you were a passenger in a car involved in an accident.
Premise Liability Claims
Sometimes the injuries occur on someone’s property as a result of risky property conditions. Premises liability cases are claims you can file for injuries you sustained because of an unsafe or hazardous property.
If this happens, the building’s owner can be held responsible for any injuries you sustain on their premises. The owner has a legal duty to ensure the safety of visitors, customers, tenants, and guests.
Personal Injury By Specific Type
Sometimes, personal injury claims are filed based on you being a victim of a violent crime. It can include assault, battery, rape, child abuse, burns, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), or wrongful death. The problem with suing as a victim is often the lack of assets owned to collect and lack of insurance coverage.
Personal injury claims are established on two primary principles – duty of care and negligence. These rules apply to you, the defendant, and your case.
Duty of care is a legal obligation a person has to uphold a standard of reasonable care for other people’s safety. In personal injury cases, you owe a duty of good care to keep someone safe from injuries or damages you cause them through your actions. For you to be held responsible for your negligence, you must have breached this duty.
Negligence is a failure to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person would in similar circumstances. It can be a form of legal wrongdoing if you are guilty of not meeting a required standard of care.
For a personal injury claim to be successful, the claimant must establish:
- The defendant had a duty of care towards the claimant
- The defendant failed to meet the expectations of their duty of care
- Failure to meet the expectations of the duty of care caused the claimant’s injuries
- The claimant has suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence
- The defendant has assets in insurance to collect. In some cases, the victim in a car accident may collect on uninsured or underinsured insurance policies.
If you have suffered a personal injury, you are entitled to compensation from the liable party responsible for your damages. The payout to be paid can be agreed to during the litigation process or decided by a jury or judge after a trial.
Personal injury cases damages can be grouped into compensatory, special damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate a person for losses they suffer due to their injuries. Punitive damage are meant to punish the responsible party. The different types of compensation available to you include:
Special Compensatory Damages
Special damages reimburse monetary expenses incurred because of the injury. They cover any loss or costs resulting from the injury. Some of the common types include:
- Medical bills (past & future)
- Loss of earnings
- Cost of medical care (past & future)
- Loss of future earnings
- Household expenses
General Compensatory Damages
General damages reward an injured individual for any non-monetary damages incurred in an injury claim. They address the harm that is typically sustained in an injury. The most common types of general damages are:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium or companionship
Wrongful Death Damages
A wrongful death claim offers compensation for surviving family and loved ones. Common wrongful death damages include:
- Pain & suffering prior to death
- Cost of pre-death medical care
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Emotional distress of spouse and children (consortium)
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Future wages, income, and benefits lost
Punitive damages are only available in a handful of personal injury cases. These types of damages seek to punish the tortfeasor for gross and/or intentional conduct. For example, when a defendant is found guilty of malicious acts of fraud, driving while intoxicated, or violations of deferral regulations by semi-trucks.
Such cases include aggravated battery, or sexual assault, fraudulent behavior that cause significant financial harm. For high-profile injury cases, for instance, those involving health risks or defective products, the jury or judge awards punitive damages against the manufacturers and other responsible defendants.
Contact Our Attorneys For Personal Injury Claims
Whether the affects you suffer are temporary or permanent, personal injuries can be destructive. From physical impact to emotional and psychological trauma, the compensation you are awarded can go a long way to improve your life and help you through the pain and suffering you endure.
You need to be prepared with a strong case to win your injury claim. If you have been injured, you will want to hire a personal injury lawyer or an attorney specializing in personal injury claims. Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers has 45 years of experience in injury law and has collected millions for her clients.
Personal injury law is complicated, and it can be tough to handle a personal injury claim on your own. At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we fight for you and your rights in personal injury cases to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case valuation by phone or chat. We will travel to you and never collect a fee unless we win your case.