There are over 3 million non-fatal injuries per year in the United States, according to The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Although there are many types of personal injuries sustained, many are caused by a third party’s negligence.
For instance, if you are in an auto accident due to an inattentive driver, your personal injury was caused by their carelessness.
Understanding what a personal injury case is and having a trustworthy personal injury attorney in your corner is essential to your lawsuit.
This article will explain what a personal injury case is, the most common types of personal injury cases, and the personal injury statute of limitations.
What is a Personal Injury Case?
There are many types of personal injury cases; however, a personal injury case is based on fault. The most common factor in these cases is negligence from the third party involved.
The legal definition of negligence is “failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do in the circumstances, or taking action which such a reasonable person would not.”
In a personal injury case, the third party is held responsible for compensating the person they injured. This can include compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and property damage.
5 Most Common Personal Injury Cases
There are many scenarios that involve personal injuries. However, these are the most common types of personal injury cases people are involved in:
1. Auto Accidents
Getting hit by an intoxicated driver would be an example of a third liability claim. This is a prime example of negligence by the third party.
If the accident is caused by the other driver being at fault, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation.
The odds of getting into a car accident are rising. Fatality rates from vehicle crashes have increased by 18% since 2019.
In 2020, there were 4.8 million medically consulted injuries from auto accidents. 20,529 of those injuries were in Minnesota alone.
Another alarming statistic is that 324,652 people were injured by distracted drivers. This is why auto accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases.
2. Workplace Injuries
Although most employers have workers’ compensation insurance for employees that get injured at work, there are many instances where a third party may be responsible for a work-related accident.
For example, if you travel for work and are in an auto accident, the other driver may be liable for your injuries.
Or if you work in a warehouse and sustain an injury due to faulty equipment, then the manufacturer would be responsible in this case. Contact with objects and equipment is one of the leading causes of work injuries treated in the emergency room.
Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages but does not cover things like pain and suffering or punitive damages. So if a third party is responsible for your injury, you should seek legal counsel to assist you.
3. Slip and Fall Accidents
One of the main causes of personal injuries is slipping and falling accidents. In 2019, over 6.8 million people were treated in the emergency room for fall-related injuries, according to The National Safety Council. These types of personal injury cases can stem from various situations.
For instance, if your employer hired a cleaning company and they failed to display signs of a wet floor, and you slipped and fell, then they would be liable for your accident.
Another example is if you were walking into a store and they failed to clear the pathway of ice and snow, and you fell, they may be responsible for your injuries because they failed to create a safe walking path for you.
As you can see, it typically goes back to negligence from the third party. It was a preventable accident, but you sustained an injury because they did not take action as they should have to prevent it from happening.
4. Medical Malpractice
Unfortunately, there are times when someone suffers from medical malpractice. A John Hopkins study in 2018 found that 250,000 people die in the United States every year from medical errors. Prior to Covid-19, it was the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
Medical malpractice is when someone is injured or dies due to negligence from a healthcare provider, doctor, or hospital. For instance, if you had surgery and the surgeon left a foreign object inside you, such as a medical tool or sponge, that would be an example of malpractice.
There have also been cases when doctors have made massive mistakes in the operating room. Famous actor and comedian Dana Carvey won a $7.5 million malpractice lawsuit because the surgeon operated on the wrong artery.
There are many different types of malpractice; some other examples are:
● Misdiagnosis of health condition
● Failure to treat your condition
● Administering the wrong medication
● Prescription errors
● Birth injuries
There are many excellent medical professionals, but mistakes do happen.
5. Wrongful Death
One of the most tragic types of personal injury cases is wrongful death. If someone dies due to another person’s or entity’s misconduct or negligence, then immediate family members of the victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Among intentional harm to someone, wrongful death can be caused by auto accidents, workplace injuries, medical malpractice, and defective products.
For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver and your child died in the accident, then the driver could be held liable for a wrongful death suit.
Large companies have also been held liable for wrongful death cases. GMC had to pay $120 million for wrongful death claims due to their faulty ignition switches in vehicles. These defective switches would cause the cars to stall. 124 people died because of this product defect, and 275 others were injured.
Injuries caused by consumer products are not as rare as you would hope. In fact, 11,738,091 injuries were caused by consumer products in 2021.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury statute of limitations varies by state. Typically the length someone has is 2-6 years, depending on which state they reside in. The statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Minnesota is two years.
Although you have 2-6 years to file a personal injury claim, it’s wise to do it sooner than later. Personal injury cases need solid proof that the third party is at fault. Filing when your memory is fresh helps you provide the most accurate details of your case as possible.
You also want to have pictures and documentation of the incident when it happened. The more evidence you have, the better. Also, having an experienced personal injury attorney is key to increasing your chances of winning your case.
Seek Legal Advice if You Have Suffered from a Personal Injury!
Have you suffered from a personal injury and are not sure what to do? You need an attorney you can trust that will be 100% committed to you. Here at Hoglund Law, we handle many different types of personal injury cases.
We have over 70 years of combined experience, and we will defend your rights to get you the settlement you deserve. We offer a FREE immediate case evaluation so you can take steps in the right direction!