Personal injury law, also known as tort law, is all about injured people and all the remedies that are available to them. It allows an injured person to seek compensation when harm is brought to them by the intentional or negligent conduct of another. Personal injury lawyers, like the award winning attorneys at Wagner and Jones, deal with torts, and they have to deal with a lot of different cases on a daily basis. All of these different cases give a person the opportunity to make a valid claim of personal injury. Now, we should remember, however, that personal injury doesn’t always lead to liability in the legal sense. So what kind of personal injury cases do personal injury lawyers deal with? Here are some of the most common ones.
Car accidents (especially in Fresno) happen to be the most common cause of personal injury cases in the United States. Accidents typically happen when someone somewhere isn’t driving as carefully as they should, or when someone on the road isn’t following the rules. Careless drivers, in particular, are usually help financially responsible for the injuries they cause in a car accident. There are also a number of “no fault” states where exceptions exist. In such cases, the driver should collect from their insurer, unless there was a legally ‘serious’ injury.
Medical malpractice is a special type of tort that occurs when a health professional, such as a medical doctor, provides treatment that fails to meet the medical standard of care for their particular line of work. The patient has a valid personal injury claim against that health care professional if that medical malpractice leads to personal injury. It is important, however, to keep in mind that not all bad results from treatment mean malpractice. There are exceptions, of course.
Wrongful death, as implied by the name, is a type of personal injury claim that can be brought against someone whose negligence or recklessness led to the death of another person. Most of these suits actually arise during vehicle accidents, airplane accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, neglect at home, or situations where a dangerous or defective product was used. This lawsuit allows for damages to be recovered that are unique and distinct from the damages that can be received when someone has non-fatal injuries instead.
Slip and Fall Cases
Slip and fall personal injury claims are yet another common type of personal injury claim. These cases come from the legal requirement that property owners keep their premises reasonably safe. The legal duty to keep one’s premises free of hazards does not only apply to property owners; it can sometimes also apply to renters. This is a way to prevent people on the property owner’s premises getting injured. That said, not all injuries that occur on a premises are going to give rise to valid personal injury claims. The landowner’s legal duty isn’t constant, but varies from one situation to another. In fact, in the United States, the legal duty will also vary according to the state in which the injury happened.
Whenever someone is injured or dies while working for their employer, they are generally not allowed to bring a valid personal injury claim against their employer. What the employee or their family can do is use the Worker’s Compensation Act, where they institute a claim against the employer. The Act requires an employer to provide a range of benefits to their workers when injured. They include temporary total disability wages, medical treatment, and sometimes a lump-sum payment, which is known as permanent partial disability. This payment is to compensate the injured employee for the personal injuries suffered. The specific worker’s compensation law will be different from one state to another and there are many potential pitfalls and obstacles. A personal injury lawyer, however, can help you navigate those obstacles and pitfalls.
Dog bite injuries happen every day. Owners of dogs are typically financially responsible if their dog bites a person or causes any other kind of injury to them. However, the exact laws will depend on the state in which the personal injury happened. In some cases, the dog owner will still be held liable for the damage caused when a dog bites someone, even if the dog has never been aggressive in the past or had a tendency to bite. These are known as strict liability rules and they apply in some states. There are also states where so-called “one bite” rules prevail. In these states, the owner is only held liable for injury caused by the dog when it bites if there is a reason for that owner to believe that dog has a propensity to bite or has a history of aggression.
Defamation (Libel and Slander)
Defamation can be in the form of slander or libel and is a name for the personal injury sustained by one’s reputation in the event of untrue statements. Again, the exact rules vary. The particular nature of what a plaintiff in a defamation case should prove will depend on the forum where the statement was made and where the plaintiff is. Typically, a plaintiff just needs to prove that the negative and untrue statement was made and that actual personal harm of a financial nature accrued from that statement. Public figures and celebrities have a greater onus of proof, having to prove that there was actual malice in the statement. They need to prove that the negative and untrue statement was either made recklessly or intentionally without regarding the truth.
Assault & Battery
These along with other intentional torts, aren’t based on carelessness or negligence. They are given rise when one person intentionally commits acts to injure or harm another. Quite often such cases aren’t only civil, but also criminal, as a criminal charge can often be brought against the perpetrator. If one person physically attacks another, then that person will most likely face criminal charges. However, on top of the criminal charges, the victim can file a personal injury claim against the perpetrator in a civil court and demand compensation from the perpetrators for injuries or harm that resulted from their actions.
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