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If you have received an injury of some kind, and someone else was at fault, you may be asking, what kind of cases do personal injury lawyers handle? The area of personal injury law encompasses a wide variety of situations, and we at Sargon Law Group can help determine if you have a case we should pursue on your behalf.

What Is Defined as a Personal Injury?

what kind of cases do personal injury lawyers handle

A personal injury refers to harm done to someone’s physical body, reputation, or emotions.

A personal injury can include bodily harm that comes about from a variety of situations, such as an accident, product defect, or abuse. It can also include non-bodily harm, such as from an invasion of privacy, defamation, or false imprisonment.

For a valid PI claim, the plaintiff needs to prove negligence, an intentional act, or liability on the part of the defendant. If the plaintiff can show evidence of any of these, the injured party may be able to receive monetary damages.

What Are Common Types of Personal Injury Cases?

Because a PI includes a variety of harms against an individual, there are many kinds of cases that personal injury lawyers handle. However, some are more common than others.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

personal injury lawyers handle motor vehicle accident related injury

Crashes involving motor vehicles are one of the most common types of PI cases. These often involve accidents caused by cars (including rideshare vehicles), trucks, and motorcycles. Personal injury attorneys also handle injury cases that involve pedestrians or bicyclists.

These types of PI cases encompass a wide variety of crash situations. Some, including hit-and-run and drunk driving accidents, may have a civil claim as well as a criminal case.

Medical Malpractice

A medical negligence or malpractice claim occurs when the actions of a healthcare provider lead to an intentional or unintentional error which, in turn, results in harm or injury to the patient. Birth injuries are common grounds for a malpractice claim, but other examples include misdiagnoses and failure to provide the necessary treatment.

Premises Liability

Business owners have a duty to:

  • Ensure their property is free of known hazards
  • Fix a hazard as soon as possible
  • Warn customers of any existing hazard until repair occurs.

An injured individual makes a premises liability claim against the property owner of the business in which the injury occurred. The defendant may be an individual, entity, or company. Slip and fall claims are common types of premises liability cases.

Product Liability

If a product of some kind is defective, and this results in harm to another, the injured party can file a personal injury claim. Faulty products may be in all sorts of areas, and some examples include vehicles, appliances, cleaning products, medical devices, electronics, cosmetics, and food or beverages.

These types of cases can be more challenging, as the product may be faulty due to a design error, manufacturing defect, or advertising mistake. A skilled attorney can determine who the at-fault party is.

Dog Bites

personal injury lawyers handle dog bite related injury

In Arizona, dog owners have strict liability for any injury sustained from their dog’s bite or other altercation that causes injury. One exception to this rule is if the person injured from the bite was trespassing, or otherwise illegally, on the owner’s property.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are various causes of traumatic brain injuries, such as motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and slip and falls. Moderate and severe TBIs often result in long-term consequences, and a PI settlement may be substantial if an attorney is able to prove negligence by another party.

Spinal Cord Injuries

There are various types of spinal cord injuries that may occur from different incidents, and their severity varies. Unfortunately, many of these injuries result in the need for long-term care and rehab. They may also result in paralysis, which changes the injured party’s life in many ways.

Injuries Sustained From Criminal Acts

Another cause of injuries that results in a personal injury claim is a criminal act of some sort. Examples include if someone receives injuries from a burglary, assault and battery, sexual assault, or attempted murder. Harmed individuals can bring legal action against the people responsible. These types of cases often also have a criminal legal component as well as the civil PI case.

Wrongful Death

Another kind of case that personal injury lawyers handle is wrongful death. These claims come about when an individual’s death is due to another party’s recklessness or carelessness. The PI attorney represents the deceased’s surviving family members, and a settlement often includes funeral expenses as well as future lost wages.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

Personal injury attorneys are responsible for various duties when they take on a PI case, with the ultimate goal of proving fault and winning a fair settlement for their clients.

Investigates and Determines Steps Necessary to Win Your Case

Personal injury lawyers help to gather evidence related to your case

Because your attorney must be able to prove fault and negligence against the defendant of your claim, the investigation process is a large part of the initial stages. Your legal team will gather evidence to name the at-fault party and prove that their actions caused harm to you. Examples of evidence they may use include:

  • Photos or video of the scene
  • Witness testimonies
  • Police reports
  • Vehicle maintenance records
  • Medical records

Even if the investigation determines that you were partly at fault for the incident, this does not mean that you will not be able to recover damages for your injury. According to Arizona’s comparative negligence law, the settlement amount for damages would just be less, based on the percentage of your fault.

Files Your Case and Prepares Paperwork

There can be a lot of paperwork involved with filing a case and requesting records during the discovery process. There is also a statute of limitations in which you need to file your case. Your attorney understands the law and will file your case in a timely manner.

Calculates Associated Damages

The priority of your attorney is to get you a settlement that justly covers everything related to your injury. Considerations that go into calculating damages include:

  • Severity of injury
  • Medical and other treatment expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Job retraining fees or tuition
  • Alternate transportation expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Depending on your situation, additional expenses may include childcare, house cleaning, and yard maintenance. In some instances, your attorney may include damages for pain and suffering. These refer to non-economic damages for things directly related to the injury, such as depression or anxiety, loss of physical intimacy with a partner, decreased quality of life, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder, and loss of a life partner.

In rare cases, your attorney may also request punitive damages. A judge usually only orders these damages to punish the defendant for gross negligence and deter him or her from engaging in similar misconduct in the future. The burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, who must show clear evidence that the defendant behaved with specific intent to cause harm, behaved out of spite, or acted in a self-serving manner.

Negotiates a Settlement

Your attorney will present the requested damages amount to the defendant’s insurance company. In general, insurance companies do not want to pay, and they will refuse the settlement outright or offer a much lower amount.

One of the many reasons to hire lawyers for personal injury cases is that they will work tirelessly on your behalf. They will not accept a lowball settlement offer and will fight to get what you deserve. The negotiation process may take a while, depending on the situation. However, settling the case out of court means that you will get your money quicker than if you went to trial.

Represents You in Front of a Judge or Jury

Most personal injury cases end up settling out of court. However, there are times when a case ends up in front of a judge or jury. Examples include when:

  • The insurance company has a non-negotiation policy
  • The insurance company disputes the liability of its client
  • The final amount of damages offered by the insurance company is insufficient
  • Negotiations are challenging due to multiple at-fault parties

If your case goes to trial, your attorney represents your best interests and knows how to present evidence in a persuasive way. You can rest assured your legal team will fight for what you deserve.

How Much Can Personal Injury Lawyers Get in Settlements?

Settlement amounts vary depending on the types of cases personal injury lawyers handles

No matter what kind of cases personal injury lawyers handle, the settlement amounts vary greatly and can average anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars.

There are various factors that go into the estimated damages, and one major factor is the severity of the injuries. Less severe injuries, such as whiplash or muscle sprains, generally require less treatment, and they heal faster than other injuries, so the total medical expenses and lost wages tend to be lower.

More severe injuries, such as broken bones, tend to result in higher settlements because of the treatment needed and the missed days of work.

Certain injuries, such as spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries, not only require emergency treatment and lengthy hospital stays, but they also may require long-term in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation. Depending on the severity of the injury, the patient may need rehab services, such as speech pathology, physical therapy, neuropsychology, and occupational therapy, for months, years, and perhaps even for life. The attorney makes sure to take this into account when calculating damages.

Lost wages are another factor in the settlement amount. Individuals with more severe injuries may miss months of work. Some injuries may prevent people from returning to their previous duties. Partial or total disability usually increases the settlement amount.

If there are non-economic damages, this also increases the amount the plaintiff may receive. To get a better idea of what your case is worth, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

How Long Does It Take to Settle Personal Injury Cases?

Depending on the complexity of the case, a PI claim can take months or years to settle.

Just as there are multiple factors that go into a settlement amount, various factors affect the length of a personal injury settlement. If the facts of the case are straightforward, and it is clear who the at-fault party is, the parties may reach a settlement within six to eight months.

However, it generally takes longer than that. Although attorneys want injured parties to receive their money as soon as possible, they also want to take the time to ensure the settlement is fair and adequate compensation for the associated injuries.

The investigation process and gathering of evidence needs to be thorough in order to be able to show that the other party was at fault. Lawyers also prefer to wait until their clients reach maximum medical improvement, so that the settlement covers all necessary treatment.

The insurance companies are often a major part of why settlements take so long. They may offer an initial settlement to the injured party early in the process, but it is usually significantly inadequate. That is one reason to hire a personal injury attorney, as this individual will make sure the settlement meets your needs.

An insurance company may use a number of tactics to avoid paying the requested settlement. It may argue that the victim’s injuries are not as severe as originally stated, or that they are from some other source. The company may also argue its client is not the one at fault. Your attorney will fight these points, and this process can take time.

Who Can You Contact When You Have a Personal Injury Case?

There are many kinds of cases that personal injury lawyers handle, and if you receive injuries, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. At Sargon Law Group, we will examine the facts of your case to determine if you have a valid PI claim. If so, we will explain the process and answer all of your questions. We will also give you a realistic timeline and damage estimate for your settlement. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.