Tort law – more commonly known as “personal injury law”– provides financial recourse for plaintiffs injured by another person’s negligence or through an intentional act. There are many different scenarios that will make a person eligible for a personal injury case. However, not every injury will automatically lead to a case. A list of the 6 most common personal injury claims filed in the United States are discussed below:
6 Most Common Personal Injury Claims
Slip and Fall Cases
Cases in which a person slips, falls and injures his or herself as the result of negligence on the part of a property owner are common personal injury cases. Property owners are legally obligated to keep their premises free of obstruction and safe from hazards, to reduce the chance of any accidents. Not every fall will become a personal injury case. Examining the nature and circumstances that led to the fall – as well the specific state and local laws the govern the property – will be required before a case is made.
Automobile accidents account for a majority of personal injury cases in the United States. If you are injured in a car accident, most often it is the result of someone not driving carefully or not following traffic laws. Frequently the person at fault can be held financially responsible for any damages to your car and any hospital bills related to injuries. However, some states have laws that require drivers to collect money from their insurance, except in cases of grave injury.
The dog owner is generally responsible for any injuries inflicted by their animal. States have differing laws, though and owner liability can vary. In states with strict laws, the owner may be responsible for bite damages even if the dog has never shown aggression or unfriendly behavior before. In other more lenient states, a “one bite rule” may exist, protecting owners unless their dog has a proven history of aggressive behavior like biting.
Defamation of Character by Libel or Slander
The term “defamation of character” refers to any injury a person may experience to his or her reputation through either libel or slanderous speech. Proving that defamation occurred depends on the identity of the plaintiff and the forum in which the untrue statements occurred. In most circumstance, a plaintiff will need to prove that dishonest and negative statements resulted in a financial loss. However, celebrities and other public figures usually need to prove “actual malice”. This means that an untrue statement was intentionally made with reckless disregard for the truth.
Assault, Battery and Intentional Torts
Rather than an issue of liability, circumstances in which intentional harm has been inflicted on a plaintiff usually carry a criminal component. In these situations, a victim can file a personal injury claim as well a criminal complaint and therefore demand compensation for any injuries they suffered as a result of the defendant’s behavior, in addition to any criminal sentence imposed by the judge.
In healthcare, malpractice claims result when a doctor or nurse cause harm to a patient, whether by incompetence or lack of skilled care. These can be the most complex persona injury cases.