Being hurt is bad enough, but an injury caused by someone else’s negligence is even worse. After all, because of someone else, you’re now in pain and likely losing money in the form of medical bills and lost wages; or, are you? Depending on the situation, you may have the chance to receive compensation to help you through what is likely a difficult time. Before you call a personal injury lawyer, consider whether your situation fits into one of these categories.
Car accidents are one of the number one reasons people decide to hire personal injury attorneys. Many times, an accident occurs because at least one of the drivers wasn’t paying attention and made a mistake. Reckless drivers can usually be held responsible for their actions, although some states are no-fault states. In these states, you must first prove your accident caused a serious injury.
If you’ve experienced an injury or other complication because a doctor or healthcare professional did not do his or her job properly, you may have a personal injury case on your hands. Medical malpractice occurs when the professional provides a service below the medical standard that leaves the patient worse off than he or she was before treatment. However, medical malpractice cases can be harder to win, so it is important to be sure what you experienced was actually malpractice before contacting an attorney.
Assault or Battery
Not all personal injury lawsuits come from negligence. On occasion, they are because someone intentionally causes harm to another individual. Also known as an intentional tort, this type of case may be in addition to a criminal case, but will need to be filed by the victim and not the state.
While the laws governing dog bites vary from location to location, most of the time, the dog’s owner will be responsible for injuries someone sustains because of a bite situation. Some states have strict laws, which means the owner is responsible even if the dog has never bitten before. Other states have “one bite” laws, which means they are only responsible if the dog has shown aggression in the past. Either way, a personal injury attorney can help you navigate this type of case.
Slips and Falls
Slip-and-fall cases are other very common personal injury cases. Property owners (or renters, in some cases) are responsible for ensuring their home and yard is safe for the people who are on the property. If you sustained an injury because you fell on someone’s property, they may be responsible for helping you to pay the medical bills. A personal injury attorney can help you determine if you have a case.
Libel and Slander
Sometimes, an injury isn’t physical. If another person lies about you to damage your reputation, it could injure you in the form of ruining your business or making it more difficult for you to live your life. For the average person, this type of case involves proving the statement was untrue and that it caused a financial loss. However, well-known people, such as celebrities, must prove the false statement was intentionally made to cause harm. This type of case is often hard to prove and therefore less common.
Regardless of why you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, ensure you work with someone who is licensed, professional, and experienced. Remember to research first, ask for a consultation, and take your time when deciding which lawyer is right for you.