Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

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If you file a personal injury lawsuit in New Mexico, there’s a good chance that it will be for a car accident, medical malpractice, dog bite or a slip and fall type of accident.

These are four of the most common types of personal injury cases around the country – but not the only ones.

Bear in mind that personal injury cases are not only concerned with physical injury – they also include damage to one’s reputation.

Here we take a broad overview of the main types of personal injury cases, looking at the numbers and what you can expect from each type of case.  If you have any further questions, please contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Legal Solutions of New Mexico.  

Main personal injury cases in New Mexico

Any type of accident that occurred through the fault of others and caused you losses can lead to a personal injury case if you are able to prove negligence or the reckless actions of the at-fault party or parties.

Car accidents

Car accidents affect more than two million Americans every year and, according to the University of New Mexico, a total of 13, 597 accidents involving injury occurred in New Mexico alone in 2018.

It’s not surprising, then, that car accidents are the number one reason for filing a personal injury case in the state.

Drivers, pedestrians, passengers, cyclists, motorcycle drivers, etc. can all file claims.

New Mexico is an at-fault state (you can claim directly from the at-fault party or parties) and, depending on the seriousness of the injury, compensation claims against the at-fault parties can be sizable. 

Often, the insurance company will settle out of court to avoid excessive legal costs but, without strong legal representation, these claims are often “underpaid”.

Even if it is clear that their client is the at-fault party, insurance companies often attempt low-balling tactics because of the potentially high claims that result from serious car accidents.

Slip and fall cases

Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal medically treated injuries in the U.S., with over eight million emergency room visits each year attributed to slips, trips, and falls. 

If you slip and fall on another person’s property and sustain an injury, you may be able to file a claim (premises liability).

Property owners (and sometimes those who rent the property) have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe and free of hazards. 

Therefore, if you are injured as a result of negligence, you may be able to hold the property owner liable, depending on the circumstances.

These types of cases are very common, as are workplace slips and falls. Almost a quarter of a million workplace accidents per year are attributed to slips and falls, often causing injuries that prevent employees from working and earning wages.

In New Mexico, employers are protected against personal injury claims by workers even when they are negligent. Instead, in most cases, as an employee, you will need to file a claim for losses under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Dog bites

Personal injury cases involving dog bites are extremely common too in the U.S.

While these injuries are rarely fatal, around 800,000 people per year are treated for dog bite injuries and 27,000 people required reconstructive surgery from their injuries in 2018.

Medical bills, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering can be high in dog bite cases and, if so, a good lawyer will help you file a claim against the dog’s owner to cover your losses

However, New Mexico law recognizes the “one bite” rule, meaning that the dog must have one prior incident for aggressively biting someone before the owner can be held liable.

Medical malpractice cases

Another of the most common types of personal injury cases is medical malpractice. This occurs when the level of care that patients receive is below appropriate medical standards and injuries result from it.

It can be something as relatively minor as bed sores to much more serious conditions that result in permanent disability or even death.

Medical malpractice is far more common than most people think. In fact, it is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., with around a quarter of a million people dying each year from it.

If a doctor or nurse at a hospital or other medical facility is negligent and you suffer injuries as a result, the facility may be held liable. It might include misdiagnosis, improper treatment, surgical errors, medication mistakes, pharmacy errors, or something else.

These cases are often complex and require expert testimony from professional witnesses but many insurance companies prefer to settle out of court to avoid negative publicity and excessive legal costs.

Products liability

Product liability is another common personal injury case type. This is where dangerous or defective products lead to injury.

Often, this occurs at home, in the workplace, or in public places like parks or on the roads. The product designer, manufacturer or marketers may be held liable for the injury caused if they are found to be at fault.

A few examples of products that are commonly the subject of personal injury cases include drugs, food, consumer products, children’s’ products, vehicle parts, and medical devices.

Defamation cases

As mentioned, physical injury is not necessary to file a personal injury case. Emotional pain and suffering and the damage to your reputation from somebody defaming you by libel or slander can also lead to a lawsuit.

In these cases, you need to prove that an untrue statement was made and the defamation that resulted from this caused financial loss. It can be challenging to prove, especially without a lawyer who specializes in this type of personal injury case.

As you’ve seen, personal injury cases are very diverse. Filing a case can help you receive the compensation you deserve for losses such as medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

For the best chances of success, hire an attorney who specializes in your specific type of case. 

Your injury doesn’t necessarily result in legal liability for the alleged at-fault party, and the outcome of your case will depend on the skills of your lawyer to prove liability.

June 30, 2020 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized