Personal injury lawsuits include a variety of different lawsuits brought by people injured by the actions of others. The world “lawsuit” means that the injured person’s claim has been submitted to a court through the filing of a legal document called a complaint.
Specific laws vary greatly by state, but most jurisdictions recognize similar types of personal injury suits. Some of the most frequently filed personal injury lawsuits include injuries arising from motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls and animal attacks. Motor vehicle accidents can involve pedestrians, multiple vehicles or even commercial vehicles like buses and tractor trailers.
Slip and fall cases involve people slipping, tripping or falling on someone’s property because of hazardous conditions like spilled liquids, accumulated ice, broken stairs or inadequate railing. Animal attacks usually involve dogs, although some lawsuits involve injuries caused by animals like horses or cows. Many states have specific statutes that deal only with dogs because of their frequent interactions with people.
Personal injury lawsuits can also include medical practice claims. These lawsuits involve injured people claiming that medical providers either caused an injury or misdiagnosed or mistreated an existing injury, condition or illness. Jury awards for medical malpractice lawsuits are frequently paid by the medical provider’s insurance carrier.
Many personal injury attorneys will accept cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that the attorney will not require any payment upfront and will receive a percentage of the final settlement as compensation for the attorney’s work in the case. Most lawyers increase the fee percentage once a claim becomes a lawsuit because of the increased costs and time involved.
Personal injury lawsuits require a filing fee to file the complaint as well as other costs for depositions, medical records and expert witness testimony. Many attorneys pay these costs for the client and are reimbursed out of the final settlement or verdict. Lawsuits can take years to resolve.
Personal injury lawsuits are difficult to pursue without an experienced attorney. Attorneys understand how to draft complaints, question witnesses, answer written questions called interrogatories and follow local court rules and procedures.