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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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:
- False imprisonment
- Invasion of privacy
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.
- 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 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.
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.
In our 30+ years of experience, we've represented the victims of accidents ranging from simple car wrecks all the way to catastrophic burns and rare product malfunctions. No matter what kind of personal injury you've experienced, you can expect us to support you with a thorough, investigative approach.What is the compensation for personal injury? ›
To make a personal injury claim for compensation you can: Submit your application online or. Submit your application by post to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. Call the PIAB service centre on 0818 829 121.What is the largest personal injury law firm in the United States? ›
Morgan & Morgan Lawyers. America's Largest Personal Injury Law Firm.How much are most personal injury settlements? ›
An average personal injury settlement amount is anywhere between $3,000 and $75,000. Be careful when using an average personal injury settlement calculator to give you an idea of what you may stand to collect. These numbers really depend on your individual case and are hard to predict without a professional.What are the 3 types of damages? ›
There are 3 types of damages in personal injury claims: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.What is the largest personal injury settlement ever? ›
- $206 Billion Dollars for The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. ...
- $150 Billion For The Family of Robert Middleton. ...
- $20 Billion for the BP Oil Spill. ...
- $4.9 Billion For The Anderson Family From General Motors.
Largest Law Firms Research Summary
The largest law firm in the U.S. is Kirkland Ellis, with a revenue of $6.04 billion and 2,307 employees. As of 2022, U.S. law firms have a market size of $367.9 billion.
He has an estimated net wealth of $2.3 billion, Munger ranks as the world's richest lawyer. He graduated from Harvard Law School and has amassed a large fortune. He is currently known in the business world for being the partner of Warren Buffet, the fifth richest man in the world, in Berkshire Hathaway.
The most common type of personal injury claim is for road traffic accidents. You can make a claim whether you are a driver, a cyclist, a motorcyclist, a passenger, or a pedestrian.How long does it take to negotiate a settlement? ›
The average settlement negotiation takes one to three months once all relevant variables are presented. However, some settlements can take much longer to resolve. By partnering with skilled legal counsel, you can speed up the negotiation process and secure compensation faster.
A success fee is the amount of compensation a personal injury lawyer can take to cover their general services if your claim is successful. The success fee percentage is capped at 25% by law, meaning that your lawyer or solicitor can only take up to 25% of your compensation.Which type of damages are not recoverable? ›
Punitive Damages: Damages designed to punish a wrongdoer and to deter similar conduct in the future. Such damages are generally not recoverable in breach of contract actions, unless the breaching party's actions give rise to a separate tort claim.What type of compensatory damages will pay for pain and suffering? ›
General damages (also called "non-economic damages") are harder to measure than special damages. They are meant to compensate plaintiffs for intangible losses associated with an injury like "pain and suffering." Examples of general damages include: pain and suffering (physical and mental)What is the most common type of damages awarded? ›
COMPENSATORY. Compensatory damages are generally the most identifiable and concrete type of damages. These include amounts for lost income, property damages, and medical care resulting from the Defendant's misconduct.How is compensation calculated in injury cases? ›
Minor injuries: their medical expenses are usually multiplied by 1.5 to 3. Medium injuries: the sum of medical bills is multiplied by 3 to 4. Severe or permanent injuries: the total amount of medical expenses can be multiplied by 5 or more.How can you calculate amount of compensation? ›
This can be found by taking a total annual salary and dividing it by the number of pay periods for a gross base salary figure.How do you calculate compensatory damages? ›
Compensatory damages are calculated by adding up all of your economic and non-economic damages and losses. However, when calculating a proper settlement amount, courts consider a variety of factors, including the injured party's negligence.Is there a limit to pain and suffering? ›
How much Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering? In general, there is no limit to the amount you can sue for these damages.What are general damages in personal injury? ›
General damages: This covers the pain and suffering you have gone through and the impact the injury or illness has had on your life up to the point of settlement and any impact into the future. The amount of compensation you can expect to receive depends on the severity and the length of time of your suffering.Do compensatory damages include pain and suffering? ›
Pain and suffering are classified as physical discomfort and mental anguish that are compensatory damages. These damages can be in the form of injury, like a traumatic brain injury or back pain, or intangible harm, such as anxiety or depression.
- Considering your skills, experience and location, what is the lowest salary you would accept? ...
- What would you consider a fair offer, given your skills, experience, the company you are interviewing with, the job opportunities and location?
Total compensation includes the base salary, but it also includes the value of any benefits received in addition to your salary. Some of the benefits that are most commonly provided within a total compensation package include: Bonuses. Commissions.What is your desired total compensation? ›
Desired compensation is the salary and benefits you ask for from an employer. An employer may refer to salary or benefits separately as compensation during the hiring process.How long do most personal injury claims take? ›
However the typical personal injury case can take from a few months to a couple of years. Indeed, the timeline of your claim will depend on many different factors, some of which are within the control of you and your lawyer, and others that are largely within the control of the insurance company.What are typical success fees? ›
Success Fee Ranges
A typical structure could be: Deal Ranging from $5M to $15M can have a fee of 5% to 7% with a fixed fee of $250,000. Deals Ranging from $15M to $50M can have a fee of 3% to 5%. Deals ranging from $50M to $500M can have a fee of 2%.
Where a No Win No Fee claim is won, the solicitor will be paid a success fee by the claimant. In the past, your solicitor could claim their success fee from the defendant (the person you claimed against) if you won the case.What are the 3 types of compensatory damages? ›
The three types of damages are economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.What are the most frequently awarded legal damages? ›
1. Compensatory Damages. An award of compensatory damages is the most common of the legal remedies for breach of contract. The calculation of compensatory damages is based on the actual losses you have sustained as a result of the breach of contract.