What Kind of Accidents Do Personal Injury Lawyers Help With?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Kathleen M. Reilly with Brady Brady & Reilly, LLC.
Whenever an accident occurs due to the negligence of one or more parties, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to recoup the accident victim’s damages. However, “accident” is a broad term that can be used to describe anything from a motor vehicle crash to a workplace accident. Any situation in which one party suffers serious injuries—physical or mental—as a result of a dangerous or catastrophic situation may constitute a situation which a personal injury lawyer can help with.
Personal injury lawyers typically work in the following practice areas:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Motor vehicle accidents can range from standard passenger vehicles to large trucks, 18-wheelers, motorcycles, and more. However, some attorneys may specialize specifically in car accidents, truck accidents, or motorcycle accidents. Other practice areas in this realm include bus and train accidents, although these are less common.
- Bicycle/pedestrian accidents: Whenever a bicyclist or a pedestrian is injured in an accident, usually with a motor vehicle of some kind, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim. However, a bicyclist or pedestrian could also file a personal injury claim when their accident occurred due to unsafe conditions, such as potholes that should have been marked off and/or repaired.
- Workplace accidents: Accidents can occur at work in a myriad of ways; from toxic exposure and repetitive motion injuries to falling objects or being struck by a piece of heavy machinery, there are many ways to get injured on the job. While workers’ compensation may cover part of the resulting damages, if the employer or another party acted negligently, resulting in the accident, it may also be possible to file a personal injury claim.
- Product liability: When an injury occurs due to a product that is inherently dangerous or potentially defective, it is often referred to as an accident. While these situations are rarely accidental as product designers and manufacturers are required to meet strict safety regulations, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you seek compensation from the responsible party.
- Premises liability: Whenever an injury occurs due to unsafe conditions on a certain premises—such as a business, rented living environment, public area, or even private property—the party responsible for the upkeep of that property could be found negligent by a personal injury attorney and may have to pay for the resulting damages.
- Medical malpractice: Whenever a medical professional or facility fails to meet the standard of care in their treatment of a patient, and a new or worsened condition is the result, the injured patient may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice claim is a type of injury lawsuit in which negligent medical providers can be held accountable for how their error(s) damaged their patient both in the short and long term.
- Nursing home abuse: Nursing home neglect and abuse are becoming alarmingly common, and with the rise in elder abuse came a need for personal injury attorneys who know the law and are willing to help protect and recover for residents and their families. If you or your loved one suffered from abuse or neglect in a nursing home or care facility, you may be eligible to file an injury claim against the negligent administration.
- Crime victims: People who suffered significant physical or mental injuries as a result of a crime committed against them may be eligible to file an injury claim against the responsible party. While this is a notably smaller area of personal injury law, seeking out a personal injury attorney with a specialty in crime victim advocacy is a great way to find out what options for recovery are available to you, including filing a civil lawsuit in addition to the criminal one.
- Wrongful death: Whenever someone dies as the result of negligent behavior from another party, the surviving family and/or the deceased’s estate may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Damages that can be sought in a wrongful death claim account for not only the damages the victim suffered prior to their death, but also to the damages the family will have to suffer as a result.
- Boating/watercraft accidents: Accidents that occur on the water are handled differently than other personal injury cases; if the accident occurred on navigable waters (such as while at sea), the case may fall into the practice area of a maritime injury attorney rather than a standard personal injury attorney. However, if the water accident occurred on a small body of water not used for commerce, such as a lake, a standard personal injury attorney with a specialty in watercraft accidents may be able to take the case.
It’s important to seek out a personal injury attorney with relevant expertise.
While any attorney can take your case, not every attorney can win your case, even in the field of personal injury law. It’s important to seek out an attorney specializing in your specific practice area under the personal injury banner. For example, if you suffered harm due to a potentially defective pharmaceutical, or a kitchen appliance, you will want to seek help from a product liability attorney. If you were injured at work and workers’ compensation is not sufficient to pay your damages, and/or the employer’s negligence is what allowed the incident to occur, you will want to seek help from a workplace injury attorney.
The good news is that lawyers who practice personal injury law typically offer free consultations across the board, and even work on contingency, which means clients don’t pay unless they win. It’s important to exercise caution if you come across a personal injury attorney asking for money upfront, as this isn’t the standard for most reputable injury attorneys.
To learn more about what kind of accidents or injuries personal injury lawyers help with, reach out to a personal injury lawyer in your area.