Personal injury is defined as a physical injury inflicted on a person, and personal injury lawyers are the most common type of lawyers. However, when most people think of personal injury, they think of a car accident. Because injuries can be inflicted in more ways than just a car accident, you can contact a personal injury lawyer for a lot of reasons. Here are the most common personal injury cases in the state of Illinois.
Animal bites, specifically dog bites since they’re the most common, can result in severe injuries. Because of this, those injured by a bite can seek legal compensation in Illinois and all over the U.S. Many states have leash laws when it comes to pet dogs, but Illinois does not (at the state level). However, the Chicago Municipal Code does have a leash law, and pet owners who don’t abide may be held responsible if their dog bites another person or animal.
Assault and Battery
Unfortunately, assault and battery are common throughout Illinois, particularly in Chicago. Victims of assault and battery can file both criminal and civil charges against their attacker. The state of Illinois typically files criminal charges, and the victim can also file civil charges to receive compensation for their injuries.
Medical malpractice is when a healthcare professional deviates from the standards in their profession through omission or negligence, causing physical harm or death to their patient(s). Many types of medical injuries are categorized under medical malpractice, including:
- Failure to diagnose a condition
- Injuries sustained during birth
- Surgical errors and injuries
Medical professionals are held responsible when they don’t fulfill their duty to properly care for a patient, and residents of Illinois (and all over the U.S.), can receive financial compensation.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
As mentioned earlier, car accidents are the most common reason that people contact a personal injury lawyer. However, any type of motor vehicle accident (car, motorcycle, tractor-trailer, and even accidents involving pedestrians) can result in serious injury. Injuries most often associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and scrapes
- Damage to internal organs
- Head injuries, including TBIs (traumatic brain injury)
- Internal bleeding
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Soft tissue injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are caused by negligent drivers. This includes distracted driving, drunk driving/driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while drowsy, and speeding.
Product liability is when a person is injured when using a defective product, and these claims usually result in the recall of that product. In the past, there have been many product recalls that have resulted in a class action or mass tort lawsuits because a product caused harm to the consumer. Companies are supposed to make sure that their product(s)— whether it’s a food/beverage product, medicine, or even a device— will not cause any or a very low risk of harm to their consumers before they can sell it.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are a lot more common than people realize, especially among the elderly. While anyone at any age can slip and fall and become seriously injured, the elderly are more likely to die from a fall, and many falls are preventable. Slip and fall accidents that occur on any type of premise results in the property owner being held liable. Property owners have to make sure their property is safe, meaning that flooring shouldn’t be slippery or uneven, and that spills and wet floors should be marked with a sign.
Workplace injuries are another type of injury that is more common than people think. Most people probably think of severe work injuries that result in broken bones, pulled muscles, severed limbs, and even death— but injuries such as cuts, scrapes, and bruises can be considered work injuries. However, most employees who file a workers’ compensation claim were injured in a way that prevents them from working, and the injury could have been prevented by upper management.
Workplace injuries and all of these injuries can result in death, and then the family of the deceased individual can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their family member if they believe that their death could have been prevented.
Keep in mind that not all personal injury lawyers in Illinois will cover all of these areas. Some only specialize in motor vehicle accidents, so make sure that the personal injury lawyer you want to hire covers your specific injury.