Any accident can lead to a personal injury lawsuit. However, some types of accidents more commonly result in personal injury claims.
Personal injury law is also referred to as “tort” law. A “tort” is an act or omission that results in injury or harm to another. It amounts to a civil wrong, and the courts can impose liability for the tort. The word “injury” when discussing a tort means the invasion of any legal right, and the word “harm” means a loss or detriment that a person suffers. It is important to note that there can be a variety of situations that may result in a personal injury claim but that an injury does not automatically result in legal liability.
Common personal injury cases
- Car accidents – perhaps the leading cause of personal injury lawsuits in the United States and most often caused by another’s negligence. Careless drivers can be held financially liable for injuries sustained in a collision. The exception to that are states with “no fault” insurance – such as Kentucky – where drivers need to collect from their own insurers unless the injuries are “serious.”
- Slip and fall injuries – this is a prevalent type of personal injury typically involving property owners (private or commercial) whose duty it is to keep their premises free and safe of hazards. Not all accidents on a property result in liability. The nature of the legal duties of a homeowner, store or company owner vary based on the circumstances and according to the laws of the state where the plaintiff sustained an injury.
- Medical malpractice – happens when a medical professional provides treatment to a patient that is “below” the standard of care for the type of injury involved. An unfortunate result may not always indicate medical malpractice.
- Dog bites – in the vast majority of cases, dog owners are financially responsible for bites and other injuries caused by their canine. Laws vary from state to state. Some states have strict liability where the owner is responsible no matter what, and others follow a “one bite” rule where an owner can be held liable once they know their dog is prone to biting.
One of the first questions we get at Hessig & Pohl in the aftermath of a personal injury accident is: “How much is my case worth?” In virtually all instances, the answer is, “It depends on the amount of damages incurred.” This usually involves determining what your injuries have cost you on several levels, including financially, physically and mentally. In some cases, it may also include a determination of whether or not the conduct of the defendant is so egregious that it needs to be punished by imposing punitive damages.
Damages in personal injury cases are paid out to the injured plaintiff by the entity or person found legally liable for the accident. A case does not always end up in court, as a settlement may be negotiated if both sides agree. However, if the insurance company is having issues with the amount of money a claimant/plaintiff is asking for, the case can go to a judge only or trial.
Hessig & Pohl are highly experienced personal injury attorneys who know how to handle a wide range of personal injury accidents. They make sure you get fair and equitable damages for your injuries. They do not quit until they get justice. Call them today for your free consultation at (502) 777-1111.