To the rude realization of many, we live in a dangerous world. There is always a good chance of someone else’s negligence turning your life upside down almost overnight. From vehicular accidents to medical malpractice, personal injury cases can leave you battling physical aches, mental torment, a lost livelihood, and a burden of medical bills.
This article explores some of the most common types of personal injury cases. We will also discuss how to maximize compensation and ensure you get a settlement for all damages, including pain, suffering, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, legal costs, emotional distress, and more.
Common Types of Personal Injury
Personal injury’s legal definition is any physical, emotional, or psychological harm suffered because of another person’s negligence. Some of the most common types of personal injury include:
Motor Vehicle Accident Injury
Motor vehicle accidents kill thousands of people every year and leave millions of others with minor and catastrophic injuries. Records show that in 2009 alone, 33,000 fatalities and 2.2 million injuries were suffered by victims of car, motorcycle, truck, and bike accidents. Whether you are a passenger, driver, or pedestrian who has suffered injuries following a motor vehicle accident caused by another party’s fault, you qualify for monetary compensation.
Pursuing personal injury claims involving car accidents is more challenging than most people assume. In most cases, the at-fault party will either deny fault or claim you were partially to blame for the turn of events. With a skilled attorney in your corner, you can fight to protect your rights and create a solid case to help you obtain the much-needed compensation.
Injuries Related to Medical Malpractice
Another common cause of personal injury is medical malpractice. Medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, are sometimes to blame for serious injuries.
Some of the most common forms of medical malpractice include:
- Pharmacy errors and medication mistakes
- Birth injury during childbirth
- Improper treatment
- Surgical errors and more
Like personal injury cases caused by motor car accidents, medical malpractice cases are complex and often involve a lot of resistance from the parties involved. A skilled lawyer will help you aggressively seek justice for injuries, damages, and losses.
Unfortunately, cases of victims losing their lives because of the negligence of other people are not new. Wrongful death personal injury claims mainly arise from:
- Medical malpractice
- Vehicular crashes
- Construction accidents
- Defective products
- Nursing home neglect, and more
If a loved one’s death was avoidable, you could recover damages to support the dependents left behind. Beware that, in this case, compensation is different and unique from the settlement offered for non-fatal injuries.
Workplace Accident Injury
Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for their employees. If you are injured in your line of work, the Workers’ Compensation Act allows you to institute a claim to help cover for:
- Medical treatment
- Permanent disability
- Temporary disability
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Supplemental Job Displacement
- Death (if an accident leads to loss of life)
Workers’ compensation is designed to cushion employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. You can pursue compensation whether an accident just happened, someone else’s negligence caused it, or you are to blame for it. Even though it is possible to pursue workers’ compensation without involving an attorney, seeking reliable legal representation can increase your chances of maximizing available benefits.
“Premises liability” are accidents that can be blamed on defective or dangerous conditions within someone else’s property. For instance, you qualify for compensation if a missing handrail sends you rolling down the stairs in your apartment or you fall because of the slippery floors in your local grocery store.
When dealing with premises liability claims, a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer will help you document the defective areas that caused an accident. The expert will also guide you through the due legal process, ensuring you get well-compensated for injuries suffered.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Dangerous conditions within private and even public property can cause slip and fall accidents. To pursue a claim successfully, it is crucial to highlight the hazardous conditions that caused your injuries and focus on the at-fault party’s negligence.
Even though slip and fall cases are quite common, they are arguably the most challenging to pursue. You need to prove that someone else’s negligence caused you to slip, fall, and suffer injuries. This is not always easy to do, and it may be an uphill task to prove that a property owner should have known about specific dangers.
Typically, knowing that something can harm the occupants of a property is mainly determined by common sense. This is what makes it hard to pursue slip and fall cases. Fortunately, skilled lawyers know just how to tackle the creative defenses typically raised by property owners who want to dodge or deny fault.
Products Liability Injuries
Defective products or those that lack adequate warnings can cause serious injuries. Faulty or undetailed operation manuals can also lead to avoidable injuries. You can file a personal injury claim if you suffer injuries caused by:
- Unsafe drugs, food, or consumer products
- Toxic materials and chemicals
- Defective vehicle or machinery parts
- Faulty medical devices, and more
You can file a product liability claim against government entities, businesses, or even individuals involved in selling, designing, manufacturing, or distributing defective or dangerous products. It takes the skills and expertise of a personal injury attorney in Jacksonville to identify the at-fault parties and ensure you receive a settlement equivalent to the damages you suffer.
Pet parents are responsible for ensuring that their furry, scaly, or feathered friends don’t pose any dangers to the public. As long as you were not trespassing on a dog owner’s property, you can sue for physical and emotional injuries caused by a dog bite.
If a dog bites you when you are at its owner’s property, showing that the owner was actively negligent can be challenging. This is more so if you were not a guest and the property owner had no idea about your intentions to access the property. Before you give up on pursuing a claim, consult with a personal injury attorney to have your case evaluated
Types of Compensation Awarded For Common Personal Injury Cases
Irrespective of the type of injury you suffer, you can recover two main types of damages. They include:
- Compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
Compensatory damages is a broad term that encompasses both special and general damages. This is a monetary compensation injured parties receive for physical, psychological, and property damages suffered because of all sorts of accidents, including slips and falls, medical malpractice, and auto accidents, just to mention a few.
Special Compensatory Damages
Any monies spent or lost because of an injury are compensated under special damages. The settlement offered will highly depend on the unique facts of a case.
Special compensatory damages cover:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Cost of treatment
- Expenses related to the medical care required in the future
- Costs allied with altered plans such as canceled trips, and more
General Compensatory Damages
Any non-monetary damage a victim incurs because of an injury is compensated under general compensatory damages.
This type of compensation covers:
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, and more
Wrongful Death Damages
Compensatory damages are also recovered in case of wrongful death. However, the bereaved receive a unique package, different from the benefits awarded to injured victims.
Wrongful death damages cover:
- Final farewell expenses
- Pre-death medical care costs
- Psychological distress to surviving loved ones
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of financial contribution, services and support, and more
Punitive damages are not in the form of monetary compensation. They punish the negligent or at-fault party for their role in causing your suffering.
How to Collect Damages For Common Personal Injury Cases
There are two main ways to collect damages from the at-fault party. First, you can pursue settlement directly from the at-fault party’s insurer. The second option is to go to court and let a judge offer you a damages award based on the facts you present and the level of injuries suffered.
Whether you reach a settlement during negotiations or in court, receiving a damages award is quite different from collecting the awarded monies. Unfortunately, it is not alien for defendants not to have the money needed to satisfy the whole damages award. It is also common for at-fault parties to dodge making a settlement. While it is possible to receive a damages award without enlisting an attorney, you may need to seek legal assistance if you need help with the collection process.
A personal injury attorney can do more than just ensure you are awarded each penny you deserve in compensation. The expert can also help you collect payment from an uninsured defendant who is unwilling to pay.
This can be done by:
- Discovering a defendant’s undisclosed assets
- Placing liens on a defendant’s property
- Garnishing wages
How to Maximize Compensation for Common Personal Injury Cases in Jacksonville
Making a full recovery even after suffering minor injuries can be an expensive affair. Apart from dealing with unforeseen medical expenses, you may also have to take a break from work as you recover. It is essential to aim at maximizing your chances of receiving the highest possible amount of compensation.
Here are a few essential tips that could help:
Whether a personal injury case is settled during negotiations or you proceed to court, your chances of receiving proper compensation will highly depend on the evidence you can table. Preserving evidence helps to strengthen your case and provide enough grounds for pursuing different kinds of damages.
Some of the easy ways to preserve evidence include:
- Take photos of the accident scene right after you are injured.
- Collect the names and contact details of witnesses.
- Get the police involved and review their report.
Seek Medical Care
It is hard to seek compensation if you cannot prove that you suffered injuries or losses. In personal injury cases, the only way to prove injuries is to seek medical treatment and keep all documents allied with the care you receive.
Your doctors will help you document your injuries. They will also devise a treatment plan and inform you whether you are doomed to incur future medical expenses.
Enlist a Personal Injury Attorney
Irrespective of the type of personal injury you suffer, the services of a lawyer can be invaluable. The expert can help ensure you:
- Value your claim fully and receive compensation for all possible kinds of damages
- Create a strong case backed up with evidence to reduce the risk of obtaining an insufficient settlement offer
- Include future damages when pursuing a claim
- Ensure timely filing of your claim to avoid being locked out by the Statute of Limitations
Keep Your Emotions in Check
If you want to maximize your compensation, you need to master keeping your emotions in check. While it is natural to want a settlement sooner than later, this may not always work in your best interests. More often than not, accepting the first offer thrown at you will also leave you holding the short end of the stick.
You need to gather the strength to go that extra mile for you to receive the compensation you deserve. This may mean rejecting inadequate offers and even considering the option of going to court if push comes to shove.
Avoid Social Media
When your personal injury lawsuit is underway, anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law. This also includes what you say on your social media accounts. If you claim that your broken toe prevents you from working, yet your dance moves tell an entirely different story on your social media accounts, this could easily harm your case. Until a settlement is reached, keep your social media adventures on a leash.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Winning a personal injury case requires an in-depth understanding of the law, the processes, and the facts of a claim. Turn to Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney if you need help to build your case methodically and prepare for trial if negotiations fail. You can focus on your recovery as we navigate the complex legal system on your behalf to bring home a fair settlement. Call us today at 904-800-7557 and let us help you maximize your personal injury claim.