Accidents and injuries can happen anywhere. People suffer injuries at home, on the job, at school, or on the road. Unfortunately, many of these injuries are caused by negligence, neglect, carelessness, or reckless behavior. When someone else was responsible for the injury, they may be held accountable for their actions. A personal injury lawsuit allows accident victims to recover damages for their losses.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there were more than 143 million emergency department visits in 2018. These visits involve seeking treatment for minor injuries, serious injuries, or injuries that turn out to be fatal. Some of the most common causes of ED visits were for:
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
We commonly refer to many of these events as “accidents.” An accident is an unfortunate event that happens by chance or without apparent cause. However, most of these injuries do not happen by chance. They often have a proximate cause, generally involving negligence. For example, a car accident may have been caused by a distracted driver, drunk driver, or vehicle defect. This means that someone was responsible for causing the injuries and should be held accountable for their negligence.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the victim can file a claim against the parties responsible to recover damages. Damages can include any losses caused by the accident, including medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. A claim may be resolved through a settlement offer or through a courtroom trial for damages. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case and possible compensation. Contact Gilman & Bedigian for a free consultation.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil cause of action to recover damages. Damages in a lawsuit can include both economic and noneconomic losses. Damages can include past expenses and future, anticipated losses. Economic damages can include:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Future medical care
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning potential
A personal injury lawsuit may also allow you to recover non-economic damages. Non-economic losses may not have a clear dollar value but juries understand the costs of serious injury damages, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Healthcare in the United States is expensive. Even with health insurance, a car accident can leave you with expensive medical bills. Even a minor injury can result in tens of thousands in medical expenses. Injury accident medical treatment can include:
- Automobile accidents
- Taxi and rideshare accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicyclist accidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Swimming pool accidents
- Burn injury
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Boating accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Birth injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of fatal injuries in the U.S. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured in motor vehicle accidents. Common types of auto accidents include:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- T-bone accidents
- Multiple vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
Some car accidents are not the fault of the driver, including vehicle defects or malfunctions, hazardous road conditions, or dangerous weather. However, most vehicle accidents involve operator error. Careless driving is a common cause of car accidents. Other common causes of vehicle crashes include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Traffic violations
- Running a stop sign or traffic light
- Failure to yield to pedestrians
- Reckless driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driver inexperience
When another driver causes an accident, the injury victim can recover damages by showing the other driver was liable. Liability is generally based on negligence. For example, if a driver was texting and driving and rear-ended another vehicle, the injury victim could show the other driver was negligent by failing to use due care while driving, which caused the accident that led to the victim’s injuries.
Taxi and Rideshare Accidents
Passengers in taxis, Uber, or Lyft vehicles often do not think much about the driver behind the wheel. However, rideshare drivers do not have any special training or safety requirements. Uber and Lyft drivers are just regular people who meet the bare minimum requirements, including having a driver’s license, insurance, and a vehicle. Some drivers may be operating in a state where they never learned the traffic laws.
Recovering damages in a rideshare accident can also be more complicated. The driver may not have had the correct commercial policy and their personal insurance coverage will not cover injuries to a commercial passenger. The rideshare company may require the injury victim to go through their app to file a claim. If Uber or Lyft or the insurance company is giving you the runaround after a rideshare accident, contact an experienced auto accident attorney for help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than 4,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. About 150,00 end up in the emergency for pedestrian injuries involving a car, truck, or other vehicle. When a vehicle is involved in an accident with a pedestrian, the pedestrian can suffer severe injuries. Pedestrians do not have the benefit of seatbelts, airbags, or other safety devices. Many pedestrian accidents are avoidable but are caused by driver distraction, unsafe driving, and failure to stop at an intersection.
Like pedestrians, cyclists have very few protections in an accident. The only safety equipment most cyclists have are helmets and not all riders use them. Bike helmets can help protect riders from some head injuries but riders can still suffer serious bodily harm when hit by a car. Some bike accidents are caused by reckless riding but accidents are often caused by negligent drivers. Common causes of bike accidents include:
- Drivers not checking side mirrors or blind spots
- Driving too close to cyclists
- Turning in front of cyclists
- Rolling through stop signs
Even parked cars can cause serious bike accidents. A common bike accident injury involves drivers opening their doors in front of oncoming cyclists. Dooring accidents are common with Lyft and Uber accidents, where drivers stop in traffic and passengers open the door and cross the bike lane, often without looking out for cyclists.
Dog Bite Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, almost 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs. Some bites are not serious but almost 20% of all dog bites become infected. Even minor bites can lead to serious injury or death if left untreated.
States like Philadelphia have a “one bite rule” when it comes to dog bite injuries. Injury victims can recover damages from the dog’s owner if the owner knows or should have known the dog had a propensity for violence.
States like Maryland have a strict liability law for dog bite injuries. Under Maryland Code §3–1901, “in an action against an owner of a dog for damages for personal injury or death caused by the dog, evidence that the dog caused the personal injury or death creates a rebuttable presumption that the owner knew or should have known that the dog had vicious or dangerous propensities.”
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pools are great for cooling off in the summer but they present dangers to young swimmers. Young children need to be supervised around pools and pool owners need to make sure children can get access to the pool when no one is around. Pool accidents can include head and neck injuries from diving accidents. However, the most serious injuries involve drowning. Fatal drowning accidents kill hundreds of people every year and is the number one cause of unintentional death for young children.
Burn injuries can be caused by an open flame, scalding liquid, chemical burns, explosions, fireworks, or electrical burns. Many burn injuries happen in the home but they can also occur in the workplace, at a restaurant, or at school. Many burn injuries are caused by defective products. A defective hot water heater can heat water beyond the safe limit, causing scalding injuries. A device with a defective rechargeable battery could explode, causing a burn injury to an unsuspecting user.
Burn injuries often cause scarring, disfigurement, and permanent damage. Even after recovery, the victim may be left with visible scars over much of their body. When the burn injuries are caused by negligence or defective products, the injury victim should be able to recover damages to compensate them for the medical bills, pain, scarring, and disfigurement.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over 4,800 workers were killed in workplace accidents in 2014. About 20% of workplace accidents occurred in construction sites. For many workers, an injury on the job is supposed to be covered by workers’ comp.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job. Under the workers’ compensation program, workers can receive medical and wage benefits. Unfortunately, some workers are denied benefits improperly by their employer or the insurance company drops coverage by claiming the worker is no longer injured.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common causes of injuries. Young children and elderly individuals may be more likely to suffer a serious injury after a slip and fall accident. Injuries include broken bones, neck injuries, head trauma, and facial trauma. Causes of slip and fall accidents can include:
- Uneven sidewalks
- Broken pavement
- Icy walkways
- Torn carpeting
- Loose floorboards
- Wet floors
- Food spills
- Loose handrails
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, over 2,600 people were injured and 626 people died in boating accidents in 2015. That equates to 5.3 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vehicles. Causes of boating accidents include operator inattention, inexperience, excessive speed, and improper lookout. However, the number one contributing factor in fatal boating accidents is alcohol.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and unreasonable confinement. Nursing home abuse can be difficult to detect with victims intimidated by abusers or the elderly victims are unable to communicate with others. If you suspect elderly abuse, report it to authorities. If a loved one was a victim of elder abuse, you may be able to recover damages for the injury victim.
Medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, more than 250,000 people die because of medical errors in the U.S. Medical malpractice involves the breach of a duty of care to a patient by a doctor or health care worker. A medical malpractice claim can help the patient recover money for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and any other damages related to the medical error. Some types of medical malpractice claims include:
- Diagnostic Errors
- Prescription Errors
- Emergency Room Errors
- Hospital Injuries
- Defective Medicine or Equipment
- Surgical Errors
- Negligent Intubation
- Anesthesia Errors
- Plastic Surgery Malpractice
According to one study, the US has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. Birth injuries can occur at any stage during pregnancy, during delivery, or shortly after the child is born. Birth injuries can lead to permanent damage and require lifetime care for the child. The cost of care for a child with a birth disability can cost more than a million dollars. When the child is injured because of negligent medical care, the negligent doctors or hospitals should have to pay the cost of care.
Proper care for a pregnant mother and child includes proper testing, informed consent, and following standard medical procedures. If a medical professional fails to provide the standard level of care and causes a preventable birth injury, the family can seek compensation through a personal injury or medical malpractice claim. Some types of birth injuries include:
- Abnormal positioning or presentation
- Birth complications
- Birth paralysis
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Brain damage
- C-section injuries
- Cephalopelvic disproportion
- Cerebral palsy
- Clavicle fracture
- Developmental delays
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Erb’s palsy
- Extraction device injuries
- Facial paralysis
- Group B streptococcus
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
- Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
- Klumpke’s palsy
- Meconium aspiration syndrome
- Neonatal hypoxia
- Neonatal therapeutic hypothermia
- Nuchal cord injuries
- Periventricular leukomalacia
- Placental abruption
- Retinopathy prematurity
- Shoulder dystocia
- Subgaleal hemorrhage
- Torticollis (Wry Neck)
Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers
If you were injured in an accident in Maryland, contact an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer for help. Baltimore trial attorneys with a record of success can explain your legal options and help you recover the maximum compensation available. Contact Gilman & Bedigian online or at 800-529-6162 for a free consultation.
Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys
At Gilman & Bedigian, our aggressive trial lawyers have helped accident victims and their families recover millions in compensation. Personal injury claims include car accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, dog bites, and slip and fall injuries. Chicago injury victims and their families can rely on our courtroom experience to get results. Contact us online or call our law office at (800) 529-6162 for a free consultation.
Legal Help for D.C. Personal Injury Accidents
At Gilman & Bedigian, our experienced team will assist you after an injury accident. Every case is different and each client has unique needs. We provide individualized attention to our clients and are available around the clock to answer your questions. If you are injured in an accident in Washington, D.C., we can pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent parties responsible. Contact our office today for a free phone consultation.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers
People can suffer a sudden accident on the job, at home, or even out at the grocery store. If the accident was caused by negligence, you may have a claim for damages. Contact experienced trial lawyers with a record of success in personal injury accidents in Philadelphia. Contact Gilman & Bedigian online or at (800) 529-6162 for the legal representation that you need to get the compensation that you deserve.