Literally millions of civil cases are filed in the United States each year, and many of these are personal injury cases. An estimated 6 million car accidents, 3 million non-fatal work-related injuries, and 2 million incidents of assault contribute to this huge number. Personal injury lawsuits are filed with the goal of recovering medical expenses and lost wages, as well as getting financial compensation for pain and suffering.
But not all accidents are the same. What are some of the more common types of personal injury lawsuits?
• Car accidents. This is the most common type of personal injury case. A careless or reckless driver causes an accident that results in injury. The driver can be held responsible for injuries caused to other drivers or pedestrians. A few states are “no fault” states, which means that each driver collects from his/her own insurance company.
• Slip and fall accidents. This falls under the legal concept known as “premises liability,” where the owner of a property (or sometimes a tenant) is considered responsible for the safety of others while on the property. Wet floors, icy walkways, broken sidewalks, loose floorboards, parking lot potholes, torn carpeting, and poorly maintained staircases can cause this type of injury.
• Medical malpractice. This type of case arises when a doctor or other medical professional, due to carelessness or negligence, does not provide competent care or otherwise does something that negatively affects the health or welfare of the patient. These are complex cases and sometimes difficult to prove, because it must be established that 1) the doctor’s error would not have been made by another doctor in the same circumstances, and 2) the patient was harmed as a result of the doctor’s mistake. Additionally, the extent of the damage must be shown. Extensive research and expert medical testimony are usually required to establish these points.
• Defamation. This includes both libel and slander. In order to win a defamation case, it must be proved that 1) an untrue statement was made, and 2) that statement led (or could lead) to a damaged reputation that results in financial loss. In some cases, malice must also be proved – that is, the untrue statement was made intentionally or with complete disregard as to the resulting effect of the statement.
• Assault and Battery. These cases involve injury caused to one person by another with intent; it’s not simply a matter of negligence or carelessness. Because of the nature of such cases, criminal charges are often involved as well.
In order to win a personal injury case and be compensated financially, a lawyer is indispensable. Legal strategies and subtleties in the law require someone who has both the training and experience to navigate these murky waters. Benedict Morelli lawyer and founder of Morelli Law Firm, has decades of experience in civil cases and as a trial lawyer. He has handled many high-profile cases and has won multi-million dollar awards for his clients.