The legal definition of a personal injury case is a case where, as a result of someone else’s negligence, you suffer from a loss that was a direct result of the accident. The purpose of a case is not to give out money every time someone gets hurt, but to make them whole again, compensating them for these losses to the best of anyone’s ability.
You and your lawyer must prove all three elements of the case exist before you can negotiate a settlement or win at trial. That is:
- The case must be a result of negligence. Either someone did something they weren’t supposed to do or failed to do something they were supposed to do. They had a “duty of care,” and they failed in it.
- You suffered a loss or an injury, or, a loved one was wrongfully killed by this failure (these are called wrongful death cases).
- The loss or injury was a direct result of the negligent act.
These cases come in all shapes and sizes, but here are some of the different types of personal injury cases.
Car Accident Injury Cases
Car accident cases are by far the most common and routine type of personal injury case. This category also covers truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents, though truck and motorcycle cases can be somewhat more complex than accidents between two cars.
Most car accident cases play out more or less the same way. One party is the at-fault driver who was mostly responsible for the accident (courts may find that the plaintiff also bore some percentage of the responsibility). The other is the plaintiff, the accident victim.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company is contractually bound to pay for the plaintiff’s losses, but they don’t want to do it and they don’t agree, typically, on how much those losses should be. They might make an offer, but it’s typically too low to even cover your medical bills.
Thus you and your car accident lawyer end up having to enter a deep negotiation or litigation process to ensure you get the money you need to recover.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Much lampooned, these cases are more properly known as premises liability cases. They arise from the theory that a landowner or property owner has a duty of care to guests and vendors who might visit their property.
That duty of care dictates that they should keep their property in a safe condition and address problems as they arise. If they are unable to address problems right away they should post warning signs and keep guests and vendors clear of the area (employees are handled differently, see below).
While a slip and fall injury may sound minor they’re often anything but, leading to severe head injuries, neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries. In elderly victims, a slip and fall can lead to a loss of independence or even death.
Slip and fall cases are usually paid out by the property owner’s insurance policy.
Manufacturers have a duty of care to release products that are safe when properly used. When a manufacturer fails to do this and a person gets injured while attempting to use their product, then they can be held accountable.
Many product liability cases cause burn injuries or eye injuries caused when a product explodes or catches fire. They can also cause long-term injuries or illnesses when the product is a medication, medical device, food, or drink problem that is shown to create issues for the people who used them in good faith.
Car accident cases can also include an element of products liability because at times a part failure causes an accident. It’s up to your personal injury lawyer to identify all responsible parties and to make sure they’re included in the lawsuit.
Product liability cases are usually paid out by a corporate liability policy.
Other Types of Personal Injury Cases
Other cases include:
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Aviation or boating accidents
- Dog bites
- Exposure to deadly chemicals or substances
This list is not exhaustive. Any case where someone commits an act of negligence that causes you to get hurt can lead to a personal injury case.
What about workplace injuries?
Workplace injuries are treated a little bit differently. These injuries are covered by the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB).
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. The bargain is that you won’t hold the employer liable but they will cover your medical bills and lost wages regardless of who caused the injury or how it happened. In return, you can’t bring forth a personal injury suit.
Some people covered by WCB will still need to consult with a lawyer as employers sometimes do everything in their power to avoid paying out benefits. In addition, some industries aren’t required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, which means individuals working in those industries will need to strongly consider applying for personal coverage from WCB.
Need help with your personal injury case?
While personal injury cases may sound straightforward, they do get complex rather quickly. It takes experience to bring your case to its best possible outcome.
Our team has over 20 years of experience. We’re known as some of Edmonton’s toughest litigators and savviest negotiators. We’ve handled thousands of personal injury cases, and we’ve handled just about every type of personal injury case out there. Our firm has taken on some of the largest corporate interests in the world and has won.
Best of all, calling us is risk-free. All personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which means we don’t get paid until we bring your case to a successful conclusion. You don’t have to come up with a retainer. You don’t have to worry about paying an exorbitant hourly rate. All you have to do is tell us your story. If we decide to take you on as a client we’ll handle the rest. We’ll even communicate with insurance companies on your behalf.
The longer you wait, the weaker your case gets. If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, call (780) 413-9777 to get matched with one of our top-notch personal injury lawyers today.