12 Most Common Personal Injury Claims
Many types of accidents can lead to personal injury claims, and the specific accident helps determine what legal questions will arise in a case. While most injury claims have a negligence basis, there are different elements your attorney might have to prove for you to get compensation.
Below are some examples of the 12 most common injuries involved in personal injury claims. If you suffer injuries in any manner that is someone else’s fault, seek a free case evaluation from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
1. Car Accidents
Millions of people suffer injuries in car accidents each year across the U.S. No matter how safe a driver you might be, you can never control another driver's actions. Others might drive while distracted, intoxicated, fatigued, or violate traffic laws. A crash might include a rollover, head-on collision, rear-end crash, sideswipe, or T-bone, among others. No matter how it happens, a car accident can result in costly and life-changing injuries.
2. Truck Accidents
Vehicle accidents become more frightening and dangerous when a large commercial truck is part of the crash. These trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and such large vehicles cause severe damage to smaller vehicles and their occupants. Truck driver error is often the cause of truck crashes, and trucking companies regularly share liability for the losses of victims.
3. Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle comes with inherent risks, but a motorcyclist should not have to worry about another driver hitting them as a risk. Unfortunately, drivers often fail to see motorcyclists and might turn in front of one, change lanes with a motorcycle in a blind spot, or collide for other reasons. Even with a helmet and protective gear, motorcycle crashes often cause severe injuries to the motorcyclist.
4. Bicycle Accidents
Cyclists are in a similar position as motorcyclists - they have the right to share the road, but drivers often make mistakes and hit them. A bike helmet can reduce the chances of head injuries but not eliminate the risk, and the rest of a cyclist’s body has no protection when a collision happens. Cyclists are also victims of dooring accidents, right hook accidents, and other collisions unique to bicycles.
5. Pedestrian Accidents
Anyone walking is a pedestrian, and all pedestrians are at risk of getting hit by vehicles. Pedestrian accidents can happen on sidewalks, in parking lots, or even while a pedestrian is crossing in a crosswalk with the right of way. Drivers do not always watch for pedestrians, even when they have a “walk” signal, and serious injuries can result when a car or truck hits a person walking.
6. Bus Accidents
Buses are a relatively safe form of transportation, but crashes can - and do - happen. Whether an accident involves a school bus, public transportation bus, charter bus, or any other large vehicle transporting people, the result is often serious injuries to multiple people. Passengers on a bus are at risk, as they usually do not wear seat belts and can fall into one another if the bus crashes.
7. Slip and Falls
Not all injury claims stem from transportation or traffic crashes, and about one million people need emergency medical care for injuries from slip and fall accidents each year. Slip and falls are common in grocery stores, big-box stores, hotels, arenas, schools, and other locations that might not have proper maintenance. If a slip and fall happens due to a business or property owner’s negligence, they should be liable for all injuries and losses.
8. Dog Bites
Dogs can bring joy to our lives, but they are also animals that can be unpredictable and suddenly bite someone. When a dog bites someone and causes injuries, liability will depend on state laws, which vary. Most states now hold the dog owner strictly liable for dog bite injuries, though a few still follow the “one-bite” rule. Your lawyer will know the liability laws for your state.
9. Nursing Home Abuse
People pay a lot of money for nursing homes, but some residents suffer preventable injuries instead of proper care. Neglect can lead to avoidable medical complications, malnourishment, and psychological injuries. Some nursing home residents suffer abuse from staff or other residents, including physical, sexual, mental, or financial abuse. There is no excuse for nursing home mistreatment, and facilities should be fully accountable.
10. Medical Malpractice
We trust doctors to provide care to manage and treat medical conditions, and you do not expect a doctor to make your condition worse. However, some medical professionals fail to meet the standard of care, which can result in injuries to patients. Failure to diagnose, medication errors, delayed treatment, surgical errors, birth injuries, and other situations fall constitute medical malpractice.
11. Workplace Accidents
While some jobs are higher-risk than others, any workplace comes with accident and injury risks, even office buildings. If you suffer injuries at work, you should be eligible for workers' compensation, as you generally cannot file a personal injury claim against your employer. You might file an injury claim against a negligent third party, however, and your personal injury lawyer can assess your options.
12. Wrongful Death
Some accidents cause fatal injuries, and accidental injuries are a leading cause of death in the U.S. If your close family member tragically died in an accident, you might have the right to file a wrongful death claim. While this claim cannot make up for your loss, it can provide financial security and a sense of justice to help you move forward.
Most Common Injuries
The damages available in a personal injury case largely depend on the type and severity of the victim’s injury. Injuries are wide-ranging, but they all have one thing in common - they affect a victim’s life in costly ways.
1. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
TBI is one of the most common injuries in legal cases as it can result from motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, falls, sports injuries, and more. TBI can significantly affect a victim’s cognitive functioning, physical abilities, emotional control and can even render them unconscious for an extended time.
2. Neck injuries
Neck injuries can involve sprains or strains to the neck’s tendons, ligaments, and muscles. This group of injuries is often called “whiplash” because it often occurs when the head snaps forward and then snaps sharply backward like a cracking whip. This is common in motor vehicle accidents, especially in rear-end collisions. Whiplash can require extensive physical therapy, cause pain, and limit the ability to work or engage in regular activities.
3. Back injuries
Injuries can happen to the many different muscles and other soft tissue in the back and the discs of the spinal cord. Since the back is so important in movement and many activities, sprains, strains, herniated discs, bulging discs, slipped discs, or pinched nerves can often immobilize a victim, resulting in the inability to work until the victim has recovered. Back injuries may also require surgery if they do not resolve through physical therapy.
4. Spinal cord injury (SCI)
The spinal cord is essential in sending messages from the brain to the parts of the body to instruct them to move and function. Damage to the vertebrae, nerves, and other spinal cord components can seriously disrupt movement, sensory abilities, and more in a victim. Some SCI victims end up either temporarily or permanently paralyzed in all body parts below the point of the injury on the spine. Paralysis is a serious disability that can require a victim to use a wheelchair and limit their ability to work or even live independently.
In some cases, an accident may result in a victim having a finger, toe, hand, foot, arm, or leg crushed, shattered, or even completely severed from their body. Unrepairable crushed or shattered bones may require removing the limb or extremity. Amputation of any body part—even a finger or toe—can significantly impact a victim’s life in many different ways, and treatment and recovery may be extremely costly. This is especially the case if an amputee requires a prosthesis.
Burns of all varieties and severity can result from motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, electrocutions, and home appliance malfunctions. Burns can range from superficial first-degree burns to serious and debilitating third or fourth-degree burns. The most serious burns can damage all layers of skin and even the muscle and tissue below the skin. About 40,000 burn victims require extended stays in burn centers or hospitals due to the extensive and painful treatment that serious burns may require.
About 6 million fractured or broken bones happen each year. While many broken bones require rest and immobilization to heal, other compound fractures may require serious surgical procedures that lead to an extensive recovery period. Some surgical patients may even need to stay in an assisted living facility if their homes are not compatible with wheelchairs and the other equipment they may need if they cannot walk.
8. Internal organ damage
Accidents can often lead to many different kinds of internal organ damage, including:
- Rupture of the abdominal aorta
- Punctured organs due to broken ribs
- Blunt trauma to the kidneys
- Ruptured spleen
- Punctured lung
- Internal bleeding
Any of the above requires emergency medical care and, if not treated, can be life-threatening.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
Whether you have been in a car accident, a fall, or any other type of accident, you should always discuss your rights to recovery for your injuries with a qualified Philadelphia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can assess the severity of our injuries and losses to file a persuasive injury claim.