There’s a small chance of an accident in everything we do. But what separates the actions that lead to accidents from those that don’t is carefulness. If every human maintained a sense of care for themselves and others, we wouldn’t have as many accidents as the statistics say. A report from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety says that over 39,500 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in 2021. These aren’t small numbers.
For survivors of accidents, it is essential to fight back against those responsible for their condition. This is why it is best to hire a personal injury attorney. These legal professionals have the expertise and knowledge to bring the at-fault parties under the strong arm of the law.
Personal Injury Law
Most incidents or accidents that happen fall under personal injury laws. Although the guidance of a lawyer is unparalleled, a little awareness never hurts.
There are four elements that a victim has to prove under personal injury laws. The elements are:
- Duty of Care
- Breach of Duty of Care
To keep things short, these four elements just say,
- The at-fault party owed some level of responsibility for the safety of the victim
- The at-fault party failed in this duty
- The failure of this duty caused an accident/incident
- The victim suffered losses due to the accident/incident
The sections below discuss four common situations where personal injury laws will be used.
An accident is the most common scenario where personal injury laws will be used. As said before, accidents are a by-product of negligence. Where accidents happen, you’ll probably find one or more individuals who were either negligent or careless.
The following accidents fall under personal injury laws.
- Motor vehicle accidents
Just about all motor vehicle accidents fall under the personal injury law. This includes:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
As the name suggests, slip and fall accidents are those where the victim falls due to some avoidable reason. This can be a slippery mess or some debris that should’ve been removed. Slip and fall accidents are common on construction sites, but they can happen in business establishments and other places as well.
- Medical malpractice
Medical malpractice claims are those where healthcare professionals fail to offer the standard of care that was expected from them. Medical malpractice claims include
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
- Birth injuries
- Pedestrian accidents
A pedestrian is the most vulnerable party on the road. Slippery conditions aside, motor vehicles can also cause pedestrian accidents.
- Bicycle accidents
Bicycles come after pedestrians in terms of vulnerability. Like pedestrians, bicycles are prone to colliding with motor vehicles. Bicycles may trip off sewer grates and other similar elements as well.
Product manufacturers are expected to provide high-quality, defect-free products. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, defective products creep their way into the market.
When individuals use these defective products, they end up suffering some kind of injury or illness. These are called product liability cases.
Examples of defective products include
- Malfunctioning elevators
- Adulterated alcoholic beverages
- Defective apparel
- Failure to warn about potential side effects
- Firearms that fail
Not all injuries are physical. Some incidents tend to hurt another person’s reputation. These are called defamation cases. They fall under personal injury laws as well.
In addition to a person’s reputation, defamation can also cause financial loss and emotional distress. Defamation happens in two ways.
- Libel: Written defamation
- Slander: Spoken defamation
Most accidents happen due to the negligence or carelessness of others. But some are not. They are the ones where the at-fault party intentionally hurts the victim.
In addition to civil cases, intentional acts also fall under the category of criminal cases. Instances where intentional acts are applicable include
- False imprisonment
Personal injury law is vast and complicated. You need a lawyer to navigate this. Going through scores of blogs and articles on the internet isn’t going to compensate for the expertise or experience of a lawyer.
Victims should reach out to a local personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This is the only way victims can uphold their rights and get fair compensation for their losses.