What Qualifies as a Personal Injury?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Personal Injury |

If you’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be wondering whether you could file a lawsuit. There is no single path that allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit, but the basic situation is that the injury must have occurred because someone else caused you harm.

The harm can either be intentional or negligent. An intentional act is one that a person meant to do on purpose. On the other hand, negligence occurs when a person’s behavior doesn’t meet the legal standard required to protect others against harm. In other words, a negligent act results from a person’s careless behavior.

Most personal injury cases stem from a person’s negligence. But that doesn’t mean that any two cases are alike. And personal injury cases can stem from a variety of incidents.

Let’s look at a few common types of legal claims that could support a personal injury lawsuit.

Motor Vehicle Accidents: Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, Bicycles, and Pedestrians

Most of the personal injury lawsuits in the United States start as car accidents. Often, an accident happens because the driver isn’t driving as carefully as they should; sometimes they may break the rules of the road. Drivers may have accidents because they are speeding, running red lights or stop signs, feeling fatigued from driving too much, or abusing drugs and alcohol.

An injured person often can sue the person who caused the accident for injuries they suffered as a result of the accident.

Dog Bites

If a dog or another pet animal bites you, you may be able to sue the pet’s owner for any injuries. In North Carolina, dog owners who let their dog run free may be liable if their dog bites you. In Virginia, dog owners may be liable if they’re aware their dog was a threat to you and didn’t stop them from injuring you.

Slips and Falls

Property owners must keep their property safe and free of hazards. So, if a store owner fails to clean up a spill on the floor for several hours, and you slip on the liquid, fall, and injure yourself, you may be able to sue the store for your injury.

Nursing Home Negligence

Tragically, nursing home staff members may not deliver the proper care to their elderly or infirm patients. Negligent treatment can arise for a number of different reasons. For example, nursing homes and assisted living facilities may have poor hiring practices, fail to train their staff, or fail to staff their team appropriately.

Nursing home negligence is sometimes difficult to notice. However, it’s important to hold these homes accountable and protect the vulnerable victims of nursing home neglect. It may be possible to sue a nursing home if its staff doesn’t help residents when they ask for assistance, ensure the facility is clean and safe, provide sufficient nutrition and hydration to residents, or provide required medical and dental care, for example.

Defective Products

If you’re using a product, such as playing with a toy or eating a meal, and suffer an injury, you may be able to sue the product’s manufacturer or seller.

The key for a product liability lawsuit is that the product itself must be dangerous; it must have been defective when it was designed or manufactured, or there must have been an inadequate warning about the dangers of the product. To prevail in this type of personal injury lawsuit, you can’t have injured yourself because you used the product in a way that wasn’t intended, especially if the manufacturer or retailer warned you against the possible dangers of the product.

What to Do Next If You’ve Been Injured

If you’ve suffered any of these injuries, you may need to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn whether you have a case. If you’re in Charlotte, North Carolina, or Richmond, Virginia, and need a personal injury lawyer, give us a call for a free consultation. We’ll ask you questions about what happened and give you guidance about what your next steps should be.

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