What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit? 5 Main Types of Personal Injuries

personal injury lawsuit

We all know it in the back of our minds: injuries and accidents happen, we’re just waiting for the next time they happen to us. It’s bad enough when an accident is inevitable, but when it occurs because of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t be left to foot the bill.

That’s why personal injury cases are so common today. They give you an opportunity to hold the person accountable while minimizing the damage you have to suffer.

Although every case is unique, they all boil down to a few top categories and types of personal injuries.

1. Car Accident Cases

Every year, there are 2.35 million people injured in vehicle accidents in the US alone. Many of these injuries are mild, but some of them are life-changing.

In a car accident lawsuit, you need to prove that the other driver was at fault or mostly at fault for the collision. You also need to be able to prove your injuries and damages.

It’s important to recognize that your settlement isn’t only meant to cover the costs you’ve already incurred. You need to consider the future repercussions of your injuries too.

For instance, you may need ongoing physical therapy or even home nursing care. If your future career prospects are damaged or ended because of your injury, you should be suing for that loss as well.

2. Medical Malpractice Cases

To many victims, medical malpractice cases are especially emotional. After all, you put your trust in a medical professional, and when they are reckless with your health, it feels like a betrayal.

With a medical malpractice case, one of the most critical challenges is proving that the provider failed to meet the minimum standard of care.

For instance, there are known risks to certain procedures and medications. If you happen to have complications despite the doctor taking all the necessary precautions, you wouldn’t win a malpractice suit.

Instead, these lawsuits are meant for cases when doctors fail to meet their minimum requirements. For instance, if a surgeon doesn’t sterilize their equipment properly and it causes an infection, you’re likely to win that lawsuit.

3. Assault, Battery, Other Intentional Injuries

Most of the time with vehicle accidents and medical malpractice cases, the person who injured you is being reckless and neglectful. They aren’t necessarily injuring you on purpose.

Assault, battery, and other intentional injury cases are different. The person actively chose to do harm to you rather than just choosing to take risks with your safety.

For this reason, plaintiffs in these cases are more likely to receive damages above and beyond their financial losses. That could include pain and suffering payments or punitive damages. If you aren’t familiar with the term, punitive damages are meant to be punishment for a defendant’s actions.

In these types of personal injury cases, the more documentation you have, the better. This is one of several reasons why it’s important to file a police report when an assault or battery occurs. Police reports are viewed as highly reliable evidence rather than he-said-she-said stories from the people involved.

4. Slip and Fall or Premises Injury Cases

Personal injury cases don’t always deal with a person’s actions in the moment an incident happens. Sometimes the problem is that the person didn’t take preventative measures to keep you safe before the incident occurred.

Premises injuries like slip and fall cases are prime examples of this.

Any property owner has a responsibility to take precautions to make their property safe for visitors. That includes commercial properties like stores and restaurants.

A slip and fall case is exactly what it sounds like. You’re on someone else’s property and you injure yourself because they didn’t take precautions like mopping up a spill.

However, you may also be able to sue a property owner due to their failure to protect you from crime.

For example, you’re leaving a restaurant late at night. Thanks to a lack of lighting or security in the parking lot, it attracts criminals and they rob you. You can seek damages from the property owner for failing to take precautions against a known risk.

5. Dog Bite Cases

This category might seem specific but it’s surprisingly common. As much as every pet parent loves their furry friends, there is always a risk involved.

As far as the law is concerned, a pet owner is liable for any damage or injury their pet causes. It varies from state to state, but in Wisconsin, owners are liable for the cost of any dog bite or other injuries their pets cause.

In some cases, the damages can be more extreme. If an owner knows their dog has bitten someone in the past and the dog bites someone again, the owner may need to pay double the financial damages to the second victim.

This is meant to force dog owners to take more responsibility if their pet is known to be aggressive. While any dog can bite at any time, owners need to take extra precautions if they know their dog has this tendency.

As with other injuries, you may be able to receive damages for future consequences of a dog bite. For instance, perhaps the bite scarred you and you need reconstructive surgery for the scar. You can seek damages to pay for that surgery.

Understanding the Types of Personal Injuries for Your Case

In all types of personal injury lawsuits, one of the biggest problems for plaintiffs is a lack of knowledge. Some people don’t bring a lawsuit at all even if they deserve compensation because they worry about the process and the hassle or they don’t realize they have a case.

While it helps to have a basic understanding of the types of personal injuries, your next step is to hire a lawyer who can take the case off your hands. To find out if you have a case, call our personal injury attorneys today.

When to Contact a Wisconsin Auto Accident Lawyer

Auto Accident Lawyer

The time after a car accident can be very uncertain and overwhelming. There is so much information to sift through and so many unanswered questions about the accident and when to consult a car accident lawyer. We hear questions from clients involved in auto accidents every day, and have compiled a list of general information and tips. It is important to note that this information is not specific to any situation. To get that information, contact an experienced, local car accident attorney.

What to do after a car accident

There are many different types of car accidents and reasons for the accidents. Though the circumstances vary, keep in mind that all actions and words may be brought up later in legal proceedings and could impact any settlement amounts. When an accident happens, follow these steps:

  • Do not move the car unless it needs to happen for safety reasons.
  • Unless it is unsafe to do so, stay in the vehicle until a police officer arrives.
  • Call the police.
  • Take pictures of the scene safely. Try to take pictures of the position of the vehicles, skid marks, damage, and other landmarks or relevant markings (i.e. speed limit signs, stoplights, etc.)
  • Do not say anything to anyone at the car accident scene.
  • Ask eye witnesses for their contact information.
  • Get the name, address, car license plate number, contact information, and insurance company and policy information.
  • Answer questions and give contact information to the police.
  • Be open with emergency responders about aches and pains arising from the accident.
  • Seek medical assistance for all injuries in the days following the accident. (Some injuries, especially soft tissue injuries may take a few days to notice.)
  • Take photos of injuries.
  • Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company until talking to a lawyer.

When to contact a lawyer about a car accident

In general terms, anyone involved in a car accident and suffered injuries should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

In Wisconsin, the driver considered at-fault is responsible for compensating other drivers for property damage, medical bills, physical pain and suffering, loss of wages and future income, and any other expenses stemming from the accident. If the accident involved minor injuries or property damage that were resolved shortly, drivers may decide to deal with the insurance companies on their own. There is some risk to this approach, as many insurance companies may try to settle the case for as low as possible.

Working with an Auto Accident Lawyer

Before the first meeting with an auto accident attorney, clients can prepare by collecting all information about the car accident, including (but not limited to):

  • Police report
  • Medical bills
  • Photographs
  • Citations arising from the accident
  • Insurance documents and contact information (from both drivers)

As a trial attorney who is experienced in handling all types of personal injury accident cases against negligent drivers and their insurance company, I can assist in making sure you are compensated for your injuries and damages.

The immediate aftermath of an accident is a very stressful and emotional time. Even a minor “fender bender” can cause significant and long lasting physical and emotional injuries. After the accident, you will suddenly be asked questions about how the accident happened, your driver’s license, registration, auto insurance, injuries, towing and storage of your vehicle, and all of these will be asked while you have that splitting headache, backache, and/or neck pain. This is why it is important to know what to do if you are ever involved in an accident.

If there is any doubt in your mind that you may be injured, you should request medical assistance. Whether this involves calling for an ambulance or simply transporting yourself to the nearest hospital or urgent care center, you should do so. Follow the advice of medical personnel who arrive on the scene. They will begin the process of documenting your injuries. Do not minimize the physical and emotional trauma you or your loved one has just gone through. All statements, such as “I am alright” which you make immediately after the accident, will and can work against you.

Do not ignore or downplay your potential injuries. Generally, the third or fourth day after an accident you will feel your worst. Most soft tissue injuries (whiplash) are muscle strain and sprain related. They may not become completely symptomatic for the first 48 to 72 hours. You should see a medical practitioner who is familiar with your medical history before making any definitive statement about whether or not you were injured or how you feel. Remember, you were not injured before the accident. You should tell your doctor of any change in your physical or emotional health.

Do not accept offers of “early” settlements. Before making any decision to settle or make a statement to the other party’s insurance company, you should always consult a trial attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury accident cases against negligent drivers and their insurance company.

There is no fee unless we win.

5 Tips to Increase Your Car Accident Settlement Negotiation

Accident reportA car accident, even a minor incident, can turn into a pile of medical bills, auto repair appointments and expenses, and car rental costs.  To increase the chance of recouping funds to pay for all those expenses, you need to take a few essential steps—starting just a few minutes after the car accident.

Call the police.

Even if your accident seems like nothing more than a minor fender bender, contact the police after your accident.  There could be more damage to your vehicle than is visible to the eye, or you may need more medical attention that you first anticipate.  A police report is vital to your claim as you pursue compensation for damage and injuries.

Collect information at the scene of the accident.

If possible—and this is not always possible if you need medical transport—get information from the other driver and any witnesses at the scene.  If you call the police, they can often capture this information in the police report.  Take pictures with your cell phone to document the accident scene, damage, and injuries.

Seek medical attention ASAP if needed.

If you are hurt, don’t wait to make a doctor’s appointment, or, if your injuries are more serious, to go to the hospital for treatment.  Getting medical attention as soon after the car accident gives you the documentation you need to establish that your injury or injuries was caused by the accident.

Keep all documentation.

Don’t throw anything away after your car accident.  Keep a file or folder with the police report, medical documents, car rental receipts, paperwork pertaining to the damage to your car, and any other documentation you receive after the car accident.  Proper documentation can be essential during negotiations and conversations with the insurance company.

Contact a good car accident lawyer.

A good car accident lawyer can be an excellent advantage in your negotiations with the insurance company, and in your recovery.  Contact a good accident lawyer if: 1) the cost of your damages and injuries is significant 2) you need restitution for future costs or losses 3) there is some dispute over fault in the accident.  A lawyer can take over all contacts with the insurance company and negotiate for the full cost of damages and injuries.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.