The possibility of suffering an injury is a fact of every person’s life, no matter what kind of life they might lead. That’s because injury is just an inherent risk of being human. But that’s also why the law calls for certain factors and qualifications to be met for the way personal injuries happen, and the severity of those injuries, in order for a person to be justified in seeking out legal action against the party who has caused the injuries. If we didn’t have those rules and protocols in place, then every scratch and bruise suffered would be liable to come with an attempted lawsuit behind it.
In order to successfully file a claim or lawsuit for a personal injury suffered as a result of the negligence of another party, there are certain parameters your specific situation and injury must meet.
Defining “Personal Injury”
The term “personal injury” is broad in that it can include accidents, illnesses, and trauma that negatively affects a person physically and sometimes even psychologically. The majority of personal injury claims are the result of motor vehicle accidents, but the term has increasingly been used for situations like slip and fall cases, workplace injuries, medical malpractice cases, defective product injuries, and more. It can even apply to illnesses and diseases suffered in some cases; for example, if an occupational hazard results in exposure to harmful asbestos.
The type of injury and the extent of the injury—again, both the physical and possible psychological extent—will determine the seriousness of the claim or case filed. The more severe the injuries and other damages are deemed to be, the more the victim is liable to pursue legal action and possibly even be entitled to a higher compensation for the damages they’ve suffered.
But beyond the type of injuries suffered comes the necessity to look at exactly how those injuries came to be in the first place. It’s not always legal or moral for a person walking down the sidewalk who trips over their own two feet to then attempt to sue the city for compensation in a premises liability case—even though it does happen quite frequently. But if there is a known hazard on that sidewalk that in turn causes that person to trip and fall and suffer serious injuries, then there could be a legal argument made for that person to receive compensation. There is a threshold of necessary cause and affect that must be proven in all cases of personal injury.
Most often, the right legal expert for your particular type of injury will be able to inform you if they believe you have a valid, legal personal injury claim or case to file. And they make those determinations based on the evidence that can be both gathered and presented in order to prove that your particular injury reasonably could have and should have been prevented by the responsible party.
The Most Common Types of Personal Injuries
If you’ve suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of another person in one of these types of scenarios, you may have a rightful personal injury claim to file against them.
Car accident: Though technology is advancing in cars to create safer driving on the road every single day, accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians still occur. In fact, car accidents are the number-one cause of most personal injury claims today. Though PIP insurance covers most accidents in the state of Florida, if a person’s injuries are severe enough to exceed the coverage PIP insurance can provide, they may be able to file a lawsuit against the insurance provider of the driver who was at fault for the accident.
Work-related injury and/or illness: All workplaces present some type of risk. But some jobs come with much more risk than others—for example, construction jobs. Workplace injuries can range from immediate bodily injury to exposure to harmful substances, or sometimes even chronic, long-term wear and tear or stress on the body and mind as it performs the required duties of the job. Employees are legally required to provide as safe an environment as they’re able to for their employees, and if they’re found negligent of having done so, they may have a personal injury case on their hands.
Medical malpractice: Sometimes referred to as medical negligence, these types of cases occur when doctors or other hospital staff make mistakes or poor medical decisions, resulting in harmful effects for their patient. There are certain risks patients are made to understand when they undergo medical treatments, especially surgeries, but if they suffer harm that falls outside those clear and understood risks, then they may have a lawsuit to file.
Other physical accidents: These include incidences of other injury, like slipping or tripping and falling on public or private property, other premises hazards that cause injury, exposure to illness, use of faulty products that cause injury, and even physical altercations that could be considered an assault.
If You Believe You Have a Personal Injury Case
If you’ve suffered a personal injury that is negatively impacting your life in a variety of ways, and you believe the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the responsible party. But there are several steps that need to be taken before you’re able to file your case.
One of the most important steps early in the process is determining who the responsible party actually is. And it may not always be the first person you would assume, depending on your type of accident. For example, if you’re involved in an accident caused by a semi-truck on the highway, the truck driver themselves may not be the person to sue. Rather, the accident could have been the result of the trucking company neglecting to perform maintenance on the truck, which then caused the accident. In that case, you might instead file your lawsuit against the trucking company. In another example, if your child is severely injured by faulty and dangerous equipment on a public playground, you may then find yourself filing a lawsuit against the city or county itself, or perhaps even the manufacturer of the playground equipment in question.
Determining who the responsible party is stems from understanding how the accident happened, and being able to investigate all possible causes for it. It can be an extensive and exhausting process, which is a lot to undertake when you’re trying to recover from the injuries you’ve suffered. That’s why your very first step after suffering any type of personal injury should always be to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
The right legal team with the right kind of personal injury experience will know where to look, who to interview, which experts to consult, and what evidence to gather in order to help you build your case. But even before all those processes happen, an open and honest personal injury lawyer will provide you with a free consultation to learn about your accident and your injuries, and will advise you on whether or not they believe filing a personal injury lawsuit is the right choice to make.
The Whisler Law Firm is the open, honest, and experienced personal injury team you’re looking for. We pride ourselves on the expertise we’ve garnered over decades of working with personal injury victims, and combine it with our passion for helping these victims make the right decisions for themselves and their families. So if you believe you might have a personal injury case on your hands, don’t hesitate to call our office at 833-529-5677 or fill out our easy online form so we can schedule your free, no obligation consultation.