You may have heard the term “personal injury” used in ads on TV, online, and in other places. But what does it actually mean? And can you actually sue for a “personal injury?” Learn more about what a personal injury case is below.
“Personal Injury” is any type of case where you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence. It could be the obvious, such as a car accident. It could be something else, like a “slip & fall.” But personal injury cases can also take the form of:
• Medical malpractice
• Dog bites
• Defective consumer products
• Bicycle or pedestrian accidents
• Motorcycle accidents
• Uber accidents
• Product liability
• Texting & driving
• Uninsured motorist accidents
• Nursing home negligence or abuse
• Other premises liability incidents
A personal injury case usually results from someone else’s negligence. You’ve been injured, lost work time, incurred medical bills, and had all the things that happen when you’ve suffered a personal injury.
For instance, you had a slip & fall injury in a retail establishment where potential problems were not being properly addressed. The store manager and/or employees have a duty to maintain the place safe for visitors, and warn visitors of any potential hazards (such as floor signs advising slippery conditions.) If the hazard is ignored by either management or employees, and someone is injured as a result, negligence can be established. Warehouse retailer Costco has had numerous slip & fall accidents in their stores, including one known as “the potsticker case.” Lawsuits have resulted in different outcomes.
In an auto accident, negligence can be any number of things, from running a stop sign or a red light to DUI and causing the crash.
Nursing home negligence can range from neglecting a patient to improper patient care and even resident abuse.
Missouri is one of a number of states that allows for “comparative fault.” That is, if you’re partly responsible for your injuries, you may be assigned a percentage of fault. Your settlement can be reduced by that number. For instance, if you were listening to music on your phone, and didn’t see the warning sign on the floor, you may be assigned 15% responsibility for the personal injury. A settlement offer of $10,000 becomes $8,500.
The Statute Of Limitations
The State of Missouri has a five-year time window from the date of the accident or most personal injury cases. For medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is two years, and for wrongful death cases, it’s three years.
Pay attention to these deadlines. If you file after the deadline, your case will most likely be thrown out.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
For small claims, you may be able to handle them yourself. But if you (or a family member) has suffered injuries or other serious consequences as a result, it may be time to consider finding a personal injury attorney.
Insurance companies work to either invalidate your claim or coerce you to take as little money as they can. But if you need continuing medical care, compensation for lost wages, or other accident-related expense reimbursements, a small settlement won’t help much. Personal injury attorneys work with plaintiffs just like you and help them get the maximum settlement they can, including medical expenses and other important damages.
Kansas City’s Premier Personal Injury Firm
Since 1918, The Popham Law Firm has been representing people just like you in personal injury cases. We’ll be happy to review your case, let you know if you have one, and how to proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288 to get started.