Personal injury law provides the injured person with the option to get a legal remedy, commonly known as “damages” for what they’ve been through. However, not every injury one might sustain is legally considered a personal injury.
In order for it to qualify as such, it has to come as a result of one (or more) of the following situations: someone else’s neglect, intentional harmful conduct, the development of an unreasonably dangerous product, or even defamation.
1. Traffic Accidents
When it comes to the most common cases, traffic accidents are undoubtedly among the ones that make it to the top of the list. As the personal injury lawyers from https://www.dsslaw.com/ point out, this can mean anything from motorcycle, car, truck, and even pedestrian accidents. It’s important to understand that there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. While you might be inclined to think otherwise, car crashes can actually cause anything from scrapes and bruises to serious brain injury and even wrongful death. Wrongful death is the result of a certain kind of negligence where a person was acting in a way he or she knew could cause serious harm, but without the explicit intent for that to happen. The type of accident you get into is important when determining the next course of action to take. Of course, it would depend on the specifics of a certain case, however, most traffic accidents are a result of someone’s negligence.
2. Worker’s Compensation
While the term can be somewhat misleading, worker’s compensation deals with injuries sustained by an employee during or because of their job. Theoretically, it could apply both to a high-ranking manager – although the chances of them getting injured in their work setting are much slimmer, as well as to a factory worker for example. If you get injured while at work, the case is usually pretty clear-cut in your favor. However, if the injury occurs outside of your job, it gets a bit more complicated. If you do a certain type of work that affects your health negatively but not in a sudden drastic way – for instance, if you carry heavy things or work with loud machinery, then getting your back hurt or losing hearing could be related to your working conditions, but you’d need to prove that there’s a clear connection. That could be done in several ways, but it’s always important to contact a lawyer in a situation like this so that you can get their input.
Defamation, more commonly known as slander, refers to cases where one person makes a false public statement that causes harm to the reputation of another person. However, there are certain stipulations that need to be met before a case can be considered slander. For starters, the statement needs to be false – if it’s the truth then it’s not considered defamation no matter how unflattering it is. Second, it needs to be made in a public setting – if a person slanders you in their private life to their friend or spouse, there’s not much you can do about it legally. And finally, you need to be able to prove that either the person knew that what they were saying was false – so they did it intentionally to harm you, or that they made the statement with careless disregard. In other words – they said what they said without making any effort to find out whether it’s true or not.
4. Medical Malpractice
Also known as professional negligence, this is when harm comes to a patient by failing to provide them with appropriate medical care, providing the wrong treatment, and/or providing inadequate instructions regarding their care. This can be as simple as prescribing you the wrong medication, or as detrimental as misdiagnosis. That said, it’s important to note that in order for something to be considered medical malpractice, there needs to be an objective reason to believe that the doctor made a mistake because of negligence or another type of inadequacy. Even in extreme cases where a patient dies, no matter how tragic it is, it could be that the doctor did everything in his power to prevent the outcome and acted in a way a reasonable doctor would.
5. Product Liability
Product liability can be defined by putting unreasonably dangerous products up for sale. What that means is that the product is more dangerous than it needs to be. For example, gas is a flammable liquid, so if you were to light a cigarette next to a full gas canister, and it exploded or caught fire – that’s on you, and you don’t have a case on your hands. On the other hand, if you’re taking some kind of medication that has extremely harmful side effects that you couldn’t have known about – think something along the lines of taking something for a headache and experiencing internal bleeding as a result, then the pharmaceutical company that makes it is liable for the damages. In a similar manner, if a car spontaneously combusts on the street because there’s a defect in its manufacturing – that’d be considered product liability.
While there are more types of personal injury cases, the ones mentioned in this article should give you an idea of when you might have the right to compensation, and when the injuries occurred through no fault of another person or legal entity (like a company). That said, it’s always a good idea to discuss things with your lawyer, since every case is different and that’s the surest way to know what the right steps to take are.