Every second of every day someone is injured in the United States. Most of these injuries occur due to no fault of anyone, but for many of them, someone is legally at fault and the potential arises for a personal injury legal case. These cases can occur at any time and the largest amount of them tend to be brought for the following personal injuries: medical malpractice, vehicle accidents, slip and falls, and assault.
Vehicle accidents are a fact of every-day life in the US and many involve someone being injured. There are around 5.5 million car accidents in the country each year which lead to 3 million injuries, and nearly 36,000 fatalities. Truck accidents add an additional 60,000 injuries, and 5,000 deaths. Personal injury claims filed from car accident are by far the largest group of personal injury claims filed each year in the US. Even though most crashes most likely won’t be deadly, they will be expensive. The average claim for injuries to cover both the insured driver and others involved in the crash is now above $25,000 per accident and rising. The largest percentage of these costs are medical.
Slip and Fall
When someone is walking on private and public property and slips or trips and falls resulting in jury, there is sometimes liability by the business owner or the municipality. The claim is made based on a belief that the property owner was careless in allowing some dangerous condition to exist that caused the fall. Many of the claims are filed because slip and falls at restaurants and retail outlets. For example, a busboy at a restaurant in Albuquerque leaves a spill on the floor unattended and a patron slips, falls and is injured. The business owner may be liable and the patron has a potential sip and fall claim that should be reviewed by an Albuquerque Personal injury lawyer.
When a doctor, nurse or other medical practitioner fails to provide proper medical treatment and a patient is harmed as a result, there is often a case for medical malpractice. Medical practitioners must provide a minimum standard of care which provides the guidelines for malpractice. This is important because if a doctor simply makes a mistake, or a patient is not pleased with an outcome, it does not form the bases for a claim. The doctor must have been negligent in some way to meet the legal definition. However, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical malpractice is a substantial cause of death in the US, and, billions of dollars each year is paid out to patients because of medical malpractice. These types of cases are often complicated and attorneys who are specialists in this area are needed to oversee these cases.
The law defines assault as an intentional act by one person that creates a fear of imminent harmful or offensive contact in another. Assault need not involve physical contact. In fact if someone is physically harmed that is most often legally considered battery. Assault focuses on the feelings of fear that are created in the victim, by the actions of the perpetrator. Did the perpetrator threaten to cause harm to the victim in a way that the victim believed it would occur? Was there threatening gestures made? Was there a weapon brandished or discussed? Often assault and battery claims are made together because the battery raises the level of the validity of the assault. There are many types of assault including aggravated, and sexual assault, each with their own legal definitions. These cases are often tried alongside a criminal case over the same crimes, but again their requirements for proof is lower than the criminal case.