Personal injury claims can arise any time one party suffers an injury due to another party's negligence. To establish liability in a personal injury claim, the injured party, or that party's lawyer, must show:
- The liable party bore a duty of care to the injured person
- That the responsible party violated that duty of care in some way (including an act of carelessness or negligence)
- That the injured party suffered injuries due to the negligent actions of the other party.
However, some personal injury claims do appear on a fairly regular basis.
Each year, approximately 38,000 people die, and around 4.4 million suffer serious injury that requires medical attention across the United States due to auto accidents each year. Auto accidents may occur due to various negligent acts on the road, from driver distraction to driver inebriation. Drivers may also ignore the rules of the road, which may make their behavior unpredictable and make it very difficult for another driver to navigate around them. Auto accidents can involve a variety of more specific claims.
Big trucks fill the streets of America, transporting the goods that much of the population relies on every day. Big truck drivers face heavy regulations regarding how they can transport goods, including the number of hours they can spend on the road each day, the type of vehicle they can drive based on their specific license, and the steps they have to take to keep themselves and others on the road with them safe and reduce accident risk. Big truck accidents may lead to substantial injury for everyone involved, since big trucks weigh so much more than the average passenger vehicle—and can, as a result, put a great deal of force behind any accident.
A collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle, even at relatively low rates of speed, can mean catastrophic injuries. Pedestrian accidents frequently occur because of driver distraction, but may also occur when a driver ignores the rules of the road, including speeding through a crosswalk without taking time to consider the potential presence of a pedestrian.
Motorcycle riders frequently take to the roads, especially during the warmer months, but that decision to hit the open road on a motorcycle does not come without consequences. Motorcycle riders suffer a higher fatality rate in accidents than those in passenger vehicles and may sustain much more serious injuries. Since motorcycles offer relatively little protection from the road, riders must remain on high alert to decrease the risk of accidents. Unfortunately, the drivers of other vehicles may not exercise the same degree of caution, which may mean severe motorcycle accidents.
Bicycles offer a convenient, eco-friendly mode of transportation or a great way to get in a workout while seeing some of the sights. Unfortunately, they may also pose a significant hazard to their riders. Drivers around bicyclists may grow impatient or simply fail to notice the presence of the bicycle at all, which may lead to severe injuries. Bicycles have the same rights on the road as passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, other drivers may not offer them those rights, especially in tight traffic.
Rideshare drivers spend many hours on the road with relatively little training. They may become very familiar with the cities in which they operate. Still, they may also engage in more distracting behavior behind the wheel, including programming a GPS or trying to find areas they do not recognize. Rideshare drivers usually carry high-value insurance policies. However, since the insurance companies that back those policies have considerable experience dealing with claims and may try to fight to limit the compensation they have to pay out, working with a lawyer may offer your best chance of securing the compensation you deserve.
Dealing with medical difficulties can cause a great deal of trauma from the very beginning. Often, you may find yourself dealing with serious symptoms and treatments that may seem uncomfortable, inconvenient, or even painful. However, most of the time, you trust that your doctor will provide you with the high standard of care you deserve—and that you need to maximize your odds of successful treatment. When a doctor fails to provide that high standard of care, you may find yourself reeling—not to mention dealing with the immense consequences of the doctor's error. Medical malpractice may include a variety of challenges, from failure to inform a patient about the risks of a procedure to medication errors, surgical errors, or hospital negligence. Any time a medical care provider breaches the standard of care and causes injury, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Taking to the water in a boat sounds like a great way to relax and enjoy time with friends and family members. However, it can turn the best day sour when a boat accident occurs. Boat accidents often occur due to operator error, including drinking and boating. Boating accidents may also result from driver or operator inattention. With so many things on the open water that can demand the driver's attention, accidents can occur all too frequently. Boating accidents can also occur due to mechanical errors on the boat, including severe errors caused by a lack of maintenance or manufacturer defect.
When entering either a public or private property, you usually expect a reasonable level of safety: that the owner has properly maintained that property to reduce the risk of injury. In stores, restaurants, and businesses, you expect a higher standard of care and safety. Unfortunately, sometimes, property owners may violate that standard and fail to take care of needed maintenance and other responsibilities.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents usually occur due to a problem with the floor or stairs. Sometimes, slip and falls can occur due to the owner's failure to promptly clean up a spill. Other times, slip and fall accidents may occur due to uneven or damaged flooring, which can prove much more difficult to travel across. In many cases, slip and fall accidents can lead to substantial injuries. Some victims can suffer broken hands and arms, broken hips, or brain injuries, all of which may mean a long road to recovery and substantial medical expenses.
In many stores, extra inventory gets stored up high, out of reach. Those objects, however, may pose a substantial danger to people down below. Falling objects can mean broken bones and serious head injuries.
Pool owners and people with large bodies of water on their property must take care to protect those areas against possible drowning. Pool owners, in particular, need to have a fence around the pool that can help keep out children throughout the neighborhood, who might wander into the pool without permission and drown before anyone can find them. Public pool owners must exercise a high duty of care in maintaining that pool and ensuring that it does not pose a substantial danger to anyone who uses it, including a high risk of drowning.
Private Property Accidents
If you suffer a serious injury on private property, you may have the same right to compensation that you would if you suffered an accident on public property. Private property owners must warn their visitors about any potential hazards on the property and take care to provide a safe experience to their guests.
Adequate security measures can make a huge difference in the overall safety of visitors to a specific property. Some facilities bear a strong duty of care to ensure adequate security for their visitors, whether that means strong locks on hotel room doors, monitoring potentially dangerous areas with cameras, or having security on-site to deal with potential hazards. Negligent security incidents can mean serious injury for victims of attacks or violence. When the facility had reason to expect violence or other challenges and took no steps to guard against it, it may bear liability for those injuries.
Facing a dog attack can be incredibly daunting and traumatic. Dog bites can mean puncture wounds and immense crushing damage, depending on the size of the dog, the bite radius, and how long the dog had to attack. Furthermore, dog attacks can mean a considerable risk of infection. Patients usually need to have dog bites medically treated since proper cleaning can reduce but not eliminate that risk of infection. In Illinois, dog owners bear strict liability for any damages caused by their animal, including the cost of any medical treatments and any financial losses the victim might sustain as a direct result of the dog attack. It does not matter if the dog owner committed a negligent act, like letting a known vicious animal off lead or failing to contain that animal. Rather, if the dog attacks someone with the legal right to enter a specific location or property, who comports themself nonviolently, the dog owner will bear liability for the actions of their animal.
Construction sites have several known hazards that can pose a substantial risk to anyone entering the construction site. As a result, each construction company operating on that site bears a strong duty of care to others on the site, including other workers and visitors, to keep things safe. Falling objects, falls from heights, malfunctioning equipment, dangerous chemicals, and the risk of electrical exposure can all lead to significant injuries if the company does not follow appropriate safety precautions and ensure protection for all visitors to that site.
Most of the time, when you use a specific product, you have reason to expect that you can use it safely, as long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions and do not use the product dangerously. Unfortunately, some products do not meet the safety specifications you may expect. If a product malfunctions under proper-use conditions or does not contain adequate warnings about how to use it properly, and it causes serious injuries, the company that manufactures that product may bear liability for any damages sustained by the injured party.
Many people feel very confident getting on a plane, whether they want to take a private plane or a plane designed for public use. However, when a plane malfunctions, either due to pilot error or mechanical error, it can lead to severe injuries for everyone onboard. Aviation accidents often prove fatal, but may also include severe injuries, including many that could lead to life-altering consequences.
Train accidents can lead to injury in several ways. First, poor maintenance on the train itself can increase the risk of slip and fall injuries. If the train collides with a vehicle, the victims in that vehicle may sustain severe injuries, often due to poor maintenance on the tracks or signaling areas. Finally, train derailments can mean a high injury count and considerable damage to the surrounding area. Depending on the train's cargo, people in the area may also have to worry about the long-term effects of chemical exposure, including a higher risk of certain types of cancers. The train company will often bear liability for dangerous actions, including lack of maintenance on the train itself or on the tracks, that lead to serious accidents.
An Attorney Can Help You After Your Accident
Personal injury claims often involve a long, complex investigation and a long legal process. Working with an attorney can provide you with vital insight and assistance as you move through the claim, from more information about the compensation you may deserve to assistance collecting the evidence that can help establish liability.