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You probably hear a lot about personal injury cases and personal injury attorneys in Arlington Heights. But what is a personal injury case? You probably know it involves someone getting injured, but how do you know when there is a possible personal injury claim to make, or if you have a case?

What is a Personal Injury Case?

A personal injury case is a civil lawsuit that asks the responsible person or corporation’s insurance company, court, or jury, to award money damages for injuries that you sustained because someone else did something wrong. Although money cannot heal us or bring back a loved one in the event of wrongful death, the law does recognize that money is intended to compensate victims.

Financial compensation can help ease the mental, emotional, pain and suffering, and physical burdens that an injury can cause to both the victim and the family of the victim. It can also be used to pay the medical expenses and lost wages that an injury victim may incur.

In a personal injury case, the victim is saying that someone else did something either purposefully or accidentally (negligently), to cause an accident that injured and harmed the victim. Almost any event that happens in our daily lives can cause accidents that result in injuries.

To see if someone owes you compensation for injuries in a personal injury case, you ask whether the Defendant, the party that you think was careless or negligent, failed to act in a way that a reasonable and safe person would act.

The victim who suffers the personal injuries does not have to prove that Defendant broke any written law, or that Defendant committed a crime of any kind. For example, there is no law that explicitly tells a store how to stack boxes on its shelves. But if a store were to stack boxes carelessly, and they fell on your head injuring you, the store could be found negligent. This is true even though there was no actual violation of a written law.

Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

Here are the more common types of personal injury cases that allow victims to recover money damages for their injuries. A personal injury attorney in Arlington Heights can help you analyze what kind of case that you may have and the potential value of that case.

Car Accidents

Any time a car collides with another car, it is likely because one driver was careless or negligent. However, “car accidents” is a broad term. There are many kinds of car accidents, including:

  1. Rear-end accidents.
  2. Lane change accidents.
  3. Running stop signs or traffic lights.
  4. Intersection accidents, including left-turn accidents, or failure to yield.
  5. “Wrong-way” accidents, where someone goes the wrong way down a one-way road.
  6. Any kind of accident where alcohol (a DUI) is involved.

Additionally, although the word “car” is in this category, “car accidents” also include accidents that involve motorcycles, trucks, and any accident where a vehicle hits or strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist.

Car accidents also include accidents that are caused by an unknown driver. For example, where someone hits a pedestrian and drives away, or where a large objects falls out of the car or truck on the road, causing an accident, but it isn’t known what car dropped the item.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Anytime someone falls on someone else’s property, there is possibly a personal injury claim because people and businesses have an obligation to keep their premises safe and free from objects, defective conditions, or debris that could cause someone to fall.

Sometimes, the condition of the floor or property itself can make property dangerous, such as when there is an uneven floor or a stairwell with no handrail. Other times, a substance may have spilled, or inclement weather may bring in water, snow, or other elements that make floors dangerous and slippery.

Many stores will clean their floors, but fail to put up cones or other objects, warning visitors that the floor is being cleaned. As a result, there is no indication that the floor is slick and dangerous.

Negligent (inadequate) Security

When you are a victim of criminal activity on someone else’s property, the property owner may be liable to you. Yes, the criminal bears responsibility for your attack, or for the injuries that you suffered during the commission of the crime. But the business may also have responsibility.

A business may know that their premises are dangerous, or there is a crime in their parking lot or inside their property. Many businesses, including landlords, ignore these warning signs and don’t provide basic security measures, like cameras, security guards, lighting, and other measures that can prevent, or at least deter criminals. A personal injury attorney in Arlington Heights can analyze whether a business took proper precautions to avoid crime on their property.

Anytime there are:

  • Crowds.
  • Alcohol.
  • Increased chance of fights or violence.
  • Potential for chaos.

Then, a business should have adequate security. For example, a bar, concert arena, or another crowded venue, may not have sufficient bouncers of off-duty police security for the masses.

Failure to Supervise

Generally, we have no obligation to look after our fellow man or woman. But sometimes, when we are charged with the special duty, we do.

For example, schools, daycares, any business that cares for the disabled, or nursing homes may have an obligation to have enough staff to look after its residents or students and make sure that they don’t get hurt. Also, that they aren’t hurting each other.

Even inside private homes, adults have an obligation to supervise kids who may be engaging in potentially dangerous activities, like playing around a pool, skateboarding, or playing sports. Certainly, adults can’t prevent all the injuries that kids may sustain.

However, adults do have to make an effort to supervise any kids that they are charged with watching over. When they don’t do this, and a child or adult is hurt, the person or business supervising can be held liable.

Medical Malpractice

Malpractice happens when a medical professional doesn’t act the way that other professionals, in the same situation would have acted or treated you. Any medical professional can commit malpractice—not just treating doctors. For example, nurses, therapists, counselors, radiologists, or acupuncturists, can all commit malpractice.

There are different kinds of malpractice cases, including:

  1. Performing a procedure incorrectly, such as severing a nerve during surgery, leaving an object inside of a body during surgery, or accidentally damaging other parts of the body while performing a procedure.
  2. Failure to diagnose, ignoring an important symptom, or diagnosing something incorrectly.
  3. Prescribing the wrong medicine or failing to see that someone may have an allergy or pre-existing condition that could interact with prescribed medicine.

Products Liability

Most of the products we buy or use are perfectly safe. But sometimes, these products are not safe. A product can be safe, but one of those products comes off the manufacturing line wrong, making it defective, and thus dangerous.

A good example is an airbag. Almost every airbag works as it is supposed to, but sometimes, a single airbag in a single car fails to deploy because of a defect in just that car.

Other times, the product is working just the way it was supposed to. Then there is no “defect,” but the way the product is made, manufactured or designed, is inherently dangerous. Think of a dangerous drug. The drug is made exactly as it is supposed to be, but the drug itself is dangerous.

Almost every business that handles a dangerous product can be held responsible for product liability. This includes the company that first made the product, all the way to the retailer that you bought the product from.

Dog Bites

In Illinois, a dog owner can be liable for bites caused by a dog, even if the dog had no prior history of biting anyone. It also doesn’t matter what the owner is doing. In other words, the fact that the dog’s owner may have been acting “reasonably,” won’t protect the owner.

It doesn’t matter if the dog was previously aggressive, and it doesn’t matter what breed the dog is. If you are bitten by a dog, you could be entitled to sue the owner for your injuries.

Other Accidents

There is no such thing as a comprehensive complete list of all the types of personal injury cases. This is so because any means by which someone can get injured can potentially lead to a personal injury case. This is true as long as someone else caused or contributed to the accident.

Other areas where personal injury cases are common include:

  • People falling into or stepping into, holes in the ground.
  • Food poisoning cases.
  • Having objects fall on them from above.
  • Boating accidents.
  • Plane accidents.
  • Accidents on all-terrain vehicles.

A business may be liable to you for selling something dangerous, to people who shouldn’t have what was sold to them. For example, a store that sells a gun to someone underage. Another example would be a bar that serves someone who has clearly had too much to drink, who then gets behind the wheel of a car and injuries someone.

These categories also are not exclusive; there can be multiple kinds of personal injury cases in a single accident. For instance, if someone hits you in an intersection, and your airbag doesn’t deploy, you could have a personal injury lawsuit against more than one party. Potentially, you could make a claim against the other driver and pursue a product liability claim against your car maker, for the defective airbag.

The good news is that you don’t have to figure out what kind of personal injury case you have. A personal injury attorney in Arlington Heights will look at the facts of your case, and your injuries, and determine what the right path is in your case. Don’t go it alone. Get help after any kind of accident that you may be in. Call our Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys at Claim Your Justice to schedule a free consultation at 1-888-885-3484.

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