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What Kind of Cases do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?

Personal injuries of all kinds often come with medical bills, confusion, and pain that can alter a victim’s quality of life for months or years afterward. While some types of personal injury are common, such as car accidents, others are rare. Often the victims of these kinds of accidents wonder if a personal injury attorney will take a case like theirs, since they haven’t heard of anyone else experiencing a similar situation. 

The good news is that there is a wide range of cases that fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. If you or a loved one have been injured in any way, you don’t have to face insurance companies alone; there’s almost certainly been a case like yours before.

To help you determine what you should do next, here’s a sample of the kind of cases personal injury lawyers handle.

What is personal injury law?

First, it’s important to understand what personal injury law is. Personal injury law describes laws that protect people who have experienced events that caused them physical, emotional, or economic damage. In fact, it can even cover incidents that affect someone’s reputation. 

As you can imagine, personal injury law covers a wide range of case types, so law firms usually specialize in a few select areas of practice instead of trying to handle them all. While most personal injury firms will represent a victim of a car crash, they might not handle more specific cases, like catastrophic events or medical malpractice. 

To better answer the question of what kind of cases personal injury lawyers handle, here are three broad categories of personal injury claims and the kinds of events that fit into each one. 

Accidents

From a legal perspective, an accident is an event that mistakenly causes injury to someone or damage to their property. As the name suggests, accidents don’t happen on purpose, but they usually involve some level of negligence on the part of someone involved.

There are several kinds of accidents that personal injury attorneys can help you deal with. They include:

Car accidents

Personal injury claims resulting from car wrecks are one of the most common kinds of personal injury claims. In these cases, the driver who wasn’t at fault is usually seeking compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. 

Car accident cases can go beyond a simple wreck between two or more vehicles, though. They may involve a wreck with a large truck, a single-car accident due to poor road conditions, or any other combination of negligent factors. 

Motorcycle accidents

Like car wrecks, personal injuries from motorcycle wrecks can cause serious injuries; however, they’re usually treated separately from standard car accidents. Some law firms even specialize in helping the victims of motorcycle accidents seek compensation.

Bicycle accidents

Bicycle wrecks are another common type of accident that lead to personal injury claims. Usually, they involve a negligent or impaired driver striking a cyclist, but they could also involve a cycling injury caused by poor road maintenance or another environmental factor.

Catastrophic events

The law defines a catastrophic event as an incident that causes large-scale casualties, damage, or disruption. In terms of personal injury law, a catastrophic event is usually some form of man-made disaster such as a plant explosion or oil spill.

Thankfully, these cases aren’t as common as car accidents, but there are still lawyers who will represent you if you’ve been involved in one. 

Workplace accidents

Most workplace accidents involve injuries that only affect one or two people. However, they can be larger and be considered catastrophes, like in the case of an explosion or large-scale fire.

Most workplace accidents are the result of poorly maintained equipment, unsafe work tasks, a lack of safety training, or other negligence on the part of the business. However, any accident that happens at work that causes an injury may be eligible for a personal injury claim.

Dog bites

Dog attacks can cause life-changing or even fatal wounds. In Colorado, a dog’s owner is responsible for its behavior regardless of how it has acted in the past. So if you or a loved one have been attacked by a dog, you probably have a personal injury case on your hands.

Medical malpractice

Medical malpractice suits involve injuries or deaths resulting from negligent medical practices. This type of case can be the result of poor decision-making by a medical institution, incorrectly prescribed prescription, or an overall lack of skill on the part of the medical staff.

These cases are typically treated differently from other kinds of personal injury cases because they involve medical experts and require a specialized approach to the case. As a result, most firms that handle these cases consider themselves medical malpractice firms instead of personal injury firms. 

Intentional acts

Not all personal injury cases involve accidents. Some involve intentional acts. These types of cases are called intentional torts and while they are considered personal injuries, they don’t always involve bodily harm. There are many kinds of incidents that can lead to an intentional torts, including:

  • Fraud
  • Vandalism
  • Assault/battery
  • Trespassing
  • False imprisonment
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Defamation

Defamation

Defamation deserves its own explanation because often the victims of defamation don’t know if they are eligible to receive compensation.

Defamation is the act of damaging someone’s reputation, especially by making false claims. It’s considered a form of personal injury because it can lead to lost wages and psychological damage in the form of emotional distress. 

Examples include:

  • False rumors, claims, or reports that negatively impact employment or promotion opportunities
  • False reviews meant to harm a business or an individual
  • False accusations of criminal behavior

Defective products

Defective product cases are also known as product liability cases. They involve injuries that come from items with defects or problems that make them unsafe for commercial use. 

Generally, there are three kinds of defects that can cause injuries. They are:

  • Design defects - Problems with the design of a product that makes it dangerous for use
  • Manufacturing defects - Issues with the manufacturing of a product, such as missing or misplaced parts
  • Marketing defects - Lack of safety warnings or advertisements encouraging improper product use

Although defective product cases may be considered separate from accidents, they still fall under the description of personal injury, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a lawyer who will take this kind of case.

Conclusion

As you can see, personal injury is a broad field with many different types of cases. Chances are that if you’ve been negatively impacted by an event that falls into the categories discussed here, you can find legal representation to help you seek compensation.

However, it’s important to remember that personal injury lawyers usually only take cases within their area of experience and specialization. Before you start working with a lawyer, you should understand what kind of case you have. 

Once you find an attorney you’re considering working with, use this information to ask them if they’ve worked on a case like yours before. If they haven’t, ask them to recommend a lawyer who has. It’s important to find an experienced attorney who can represent you well so you can receive the payout that you deserve.

About Chris Parks

I’ve been a personal injury attorney for more than 30 years, and I’ve helped countless people in the Boulder, CO area who are suffering from a personal injury. If you’re suffering through your own injury, I would love to help you as well. 

Give me a call at 720-805-1193 or submit a message here and tell me about what you’re experiencing. I’ll give you a free consultation and tell you how I can use my experience to help. If I can’t represent you, then I’ll gladly help you find someone who can.

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