We all experience accidents in life -- a minor (or major) car accident on the highway or a trip or fall in a store. There’s no way to prevent every possible accident or injury. But what about when you’re in an accident through no fault of your own? What do you do if, through no fault of your own, you've been hurt? When you find yourself in this situation, you’ve suffered a personal injury because of someone’s negligence, misconduct, or recklessness. What exactly does that mean and what can you do when that happens? Let’s look at the definition of personal injury and personal injury lawsuits.
Defining Personal InjuryA personal injury is the legal term used when you suffer an injury to your body, mind, or emotional well being. Most important, the accident is someone else's fault. This doesn't count property damage that may happen, even in the same accident. Personal injuries occur in countless ways. Here are just a few of the most common types of injuries:
- Auto accidents: This is the most common personal injury claim.
- Trips, slips, and falls: These usually occur at businesses but not exclusively.
- Work accidents: A personal injury claim may or may not be separate from a workers’ compensation claim.
- Use of defective products, whether there was a recall or not
- Animal bites, usually but not always dog bites
- Injuries to your emotional and/or mental health: Injuries caused by a physical injury or the purposeful infliction of emotional and mental distress.
- Medical and dental accidents: These may or may not lead to medical negligence claims later.
- Industrial disease cases: Becoming sick or injured during specific kind of work or working in a specific industry
Understanding Personal Injury LawsuitsWhen you've been the victim of a personal injury, you might want to sue -- especially if your medical costs are high or you're out of work. If you sue and win, you'll be awarded "damages." This is the money you're paid from the person or company who's responsible for the accident. You can receive damages for multiple reasons.
- Payment for medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of wages
- Diminished quality of life
- And more