Injury law covers a vast range of scenarios, requirements, and types of personal injury cases. Understanding your situation – and how personal injury law factors in – can be confusing. If you’re facing an injury caused by another person, organization, or company, the good news is the law is on your side.
Suffering an injury can result in lost wages, massive medical bills, and all sorts of negative impacts on your quality of life. Partnering with a trustworthy attorney is an essential step in seeking compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning potential
- Punitive damages
- Reduced quality of life
In this post, we want to discuss the common types of personal injury cases – and how your situation might factor in.
A. The Process of a Personal Injury Claim
Before we discuss the different types of personal injury cases, we want to briefly explain the process for managing most claims. While the details of every case are different, the process generally involves:
- Investigating the incident to form the claim
- Discussing the claim with experts
- Collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses
- Analyzing insurance policies
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Representing the client in court
Seeking justice for a personal injury is not something a victim should attempt on their own.
Most attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement. This means victims do not have to pay out-of-pocket to seek legal help. The lawyer is paid a percentage – usually between 33-40 percent – of the settlement after the case is won. In other words, ANYONE can afford to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Now, let’s examine the most common types of personal injury cases.
1. Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice refers to personal injury cases that were a result of negligence or carelessness of healthcare professionals. This includes doctors, surgeons, nurses, and the hospitals/clinics they work for. Healthcare organizations have an obligation to provide an acceptable standard of care. If they do not do this, their medical negligence may make them liable to compensate the patient for their injury(s).
Medical malpractice is commonly the result of:
- Inadequate staffing
- Poor training protocols
- Failure to abide by state regulations
- Unethical behaviors
- Intentional negligence
Malpractice can result in many, many different injuries – bone damage, organ damage, birth defects, disabilities, death, and more. Putting a value on some of these factors can be complicated. Working with a personal injury lawyer will help to clear this up.
2. Nursing Home Injuries
Abuse in nursing homes is more common than many would like to believe. While mistakes do happen, nursing home injuries are sometimes the result of abuse or negligence by the staff. Common types of abuse in nursing homes include (but are not limited to):
- Falls and fractures
- Chemical restraints
- Yelling or threats
- Withholding of care
Placing a loved one in an assisted living facility is a tough decision. You need to be sure the staff and facility can meet their daily needs. In some scenarios, understanding what constitutes a nursing home injury claim may not be straightforward.
The most common grounds for personal injury claims in nursing homes include:
- Physical abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
Seeking justice from a nursing home organization is not something you have to face alone. If your loved one has been abused, get in touch with a specialized nursing home injury lawyer immediately.
3. Car Accidents
Car accidents are among the most common types of personal injury cases. According to the Bureau of Transportation, there are 6.75 million car accidents in the United States every year. You have no control over other drivers on the road. If you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation.
An attorney will work with you after the accident to assess the details of the car accident injury claim. Legitimate claims involve seeking justice for two types of damages resulting from the injury: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include (but are not limited to):
- Lost wages
- Damage to earning potential
- Property damage
- Medical bills and expenses
Non-economic damages include (but are not limited to):
- Pain and suffering
- Lost companionship
- Reduced quality of life
Earning compensation for your damages after a car accident requires a great deal of evidence. This typically includes police reports, witness accounts, medical documentation, and more. Partnering with a personal injury attorney is instrumental in both gathering this information and using it to earn justice.
4. Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be extremely dangerous – and the risk of severe damage is great. Truck accidents aren’t like the typical car accident; these usually involve commercial trucking companies and their large insurance policies.
Common truck accident cases involve:
- Truck driver error or fatigue
- Improper maintenance on the truck
- Inadequate load securement
- Improper driver training and supervision
- Drug or alcohol use
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, you deserve to be compensated for damages. Fighting for justice after a truck accident injury is no simple task. Many insurance policies for trucking companies are packed with loopholes to dodge liability. Specialized legal representation will negotiate with insurers to earn full compensation for your damages.
5. Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are extremely common in Chicago and Indiana. Unfortunately, many of the accidents result in serious injury, brain damage, and/or death. Unlike car accidents, victims of motorcycle crashes are not protected by the cab of a vehicle – the victim’s body absorbs the brunt of the damage.
Common personal injury cases in motorcycle accidents are traced back to:
- Poorly designed roads
- Potholes/debris in the road
- Lack of street maintenance
- Negligence of other drivers
- Texting and driving
- Impaired driving
- Road rage
If you’ve been a victim of a motorcycle accident, acting quickly in filing a claim is crucial. The most important piece of the puzzle is having a skilled personal injury attorney on your side to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
6. Bicycle Accidents
Like motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents often result in severe injuries – due to a lack of protection on the road. In big cities like Chicago, bicycle injuries occur on a daily basis. Despite what many drivers think, bicyclists have the same rights on the road as motorists.
If a vehicle driver is not following the rules of the road and injures a bicyclist who is, the bicyclist may be entitled to compensation. The typical personal injury cases stemming from bicycle accidents involve:
- Collisions with motor vehicles
- Poorly maintained roads
- Collisions with pedestrians
- Drunk drivers
- Poorly lit streets
- Violations of “right of way”
In the scenario that you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident – of which was not your fault – you may be eligible to receive compensation. Time is rarely on the victim’s side in a bicycle accident. There must be no delays in speaking with a personal injury lawyer.
7. Dog Bites
We all love our dogs – but accidents happen.
About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year – with almost 2,000 of those people being in Chicago. Children ages five to nine make up the bulk of dog bite accidents. In some cases, aggressive, untrained dogs bite people out of the blue. In others, young children may not understand the warning signs of a dog that is about to bite.
Dog bites tend to happen when the dog is:
- Defending their territory
- Playing too rough
- Acting on predatory behavior
Generally, there needs to be proof that a dog has bitten a person to have a personal injury case against the owner. In the state of Illinois, dog bites fall under “strict liability” – which means there are some exceptions in which the injured person can be held partially responsible for the bite. For instance, if a person clearly provokes a dog and the dog bites out of self-defense, the case might not be valid.
The most common types of dog bite personal injury cases involve:
- Children bit by dogs
- Elderly victims
- Postal workers attacked on the job
- Emotional damages stemming from dog bites.
Dog bites can result in serious injuries – including deep gashes, nerve damage, broken bones, and more. You must seek out a personal injury attorney immediately after sustaining a serious dog bite. The sooner you get the process moving, the better off you will be.
8. Construction Accidents
OSHA has done a lot in recent years to make workplaces safer. However, construction sites are still very dangerous. To give you an idea, 20 percent of worker deaths in the United States are in construction – and construction workers make up 6 percent of the U.S labor force.
The most common types of construction accidents involve:
- Falls from elevated structures
- Poorly built scaffolds
- Inadequate maintenance of construction equipment
- Bad protection from falling objects
- Missing supervisors
- Poor protection from power tools
- Slippery surfaces
If you’ve suffered from a construction accident, there can be many details that factor into your claim – compliance, insurance, safety regulations, etc. It’s essential to understand your rights. Your case may be attributed to:
- Trips and falls
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
- Lack of training
- OSHA violations
There are many laws protecting workers against construction site injuries. Victims cannot waste any time in setting up a consultation with a specialized personal injury attorney.
9. Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can be extremely dangerous – and sometimes fatal. Being struck by a motor vehicle commonly results in head injuries, cuts, bruises, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and more. Some of the most common types of personal injury cases in pedestrian accidents stem from:
- Drivers not obeying the speed limit
- Poorly designed crosswalks and sidewalks
- Drunk drivers
- Distracted drivers (texting)
Attributing liability at the scene of a pedestrian accident can be tricky. Victims who are suffering debilitating injuries need to partner with an attorney to file a claim. The worst thing a victim of a pedestrian accident can do is wait. The more time goes by, the harder it will be to build the case.
10. Workers’ Compensation
Injuries in the workplace come in all shapes and sizes. Workplace injuries are generally grouped into two categories: Single event traumatic injuries and repetitive motion injuries. Both can be severe enough to warrant a workers’ compensation claim. The key is to quickly investigate the nature of the incident to place liability.
Common workers’ compensation claims are attributed to:
- Slips and falls
- Head injuries
- Crashes and collisions
- Repetitive strain injuries
An injury sustained at work – which impairs your ability to work – MUST result in compensation. Do yourself a favor and reach out to a personal injury lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation.
11. Wrongful Death
Death is the worst-case scenario in an accident. As a family member of someone who was killed due to another person, company, or organization’s negligence, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim and receive compensation. This compensation could include recovery for economic and non-economic damages.
Wrongful death cases are commonly attributed to:
- Vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Machine-related accidents
- Slips and falls
- Work accidents
- Defective products
- Aviation accidents
In the unfortunate scenario of wrongful death, the next-of-kin, beneficiaries, and dependents may be entitled to monetary compensation. Recouping damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can be a complicated process. Spouses, partners, siblings, children, etc. need the help of a professional to build the case.
Get in Touch
As you can see, personal injury law covers a wide range of cases.
Earning appropriate compensation for injuries comes down to the attorney you choose to represent you. Personal injury lawyers typically understand that you’re likely facing this scenario for the first time. You deserve a professional who treats you and your loved ones with compassion – and has a genuine devotion to helping you seek justice.
At Midwest Injury Lawyers, we’ve handled many different types of personal injury cases. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have in a FREE consultation. Even if you’re unsure of how your situation factors into the law, we’ll guide you to the right place.