A personal injury is a physical injury to a person’s body, rather than damage to their reputation or property. When a personal injury occurs and there is an at-fault party, the injured person may deserve compensation from the at-fault party. Along with physical injury, emotional pain and suffering may also fall within this category.
Personal injury is a legal term, and some injuries are more common than others. Common types of personal injuries include defamation, assault claims, dog bites, auto accidents, product defects, occupational accidents, false imprisonment, and slips and falls. According to Market Business, the most common type of personal injury claims in North America are auto accidents.
Auto Accident Statistics in Utah
An auto accident occurs every 8 minutes in Utah, and an injury occurs every 20 minutes, according to the Utah Department of Health and Human Resources. More tragically, every 33 hours in Utah, a person dies in an automobile accident. This leaves parents without children, children without caregivers and families without income, not to mention the emotional trauma that is often caused by an accident.
The Auto Accident Care Network reports that drivers between the ages of 15-24 are most likely to be in car accidents. Male drivers are more likely to crash their cars, along with those who are driving while sleepy. Crashes involving speeding are most common on Thursday, with Friday and Tuesday close behind. When it comes to all crashes, those most often occur on Friday, closely followed by Monday and Thursday.
When it comes to who is most likely to die in a car accident, Zero Fatalities provides insight. Motorcyclists are most likely to die in car accidents, followed by aggressive drivers, impaired drivers and pedestrians. Unrestrained passengers also die at a higher rate as well as anyone driving distracted or drowsy.
Medical Malpractice Leads to Serious Injuries
After auto accidents, medical malpractice is one of the most common types of personal injury claims. These can be very complicated cases, which is why it is beneficial to find an attorney to help through the process.
Medical malpractice cases are often separated into several different categories, according to Standards of Care.
- Medication mistakes: This can happen when the patient gets the wrong dose or medication and is caused by the pharmacists, the doctor, the nurse or equipment malfunction.
- Childbirth injuries: Some of the most common types of medical injuries are childbirth injuries. Common newborn injuries are lack of oxygen, failure to identify birth defects and treat them, misuse of birthing tools, inappropriate use of force or the failure to perform a C-section when needed.
- Anesthesia errors: While there are always risks of being under anesthesia, errors made by a healthcare professional can lead to permanent injuries, paralysis, brain damage and even death.
- Diagnosis errors: Diagnosis is not always a perfect practice, and a diagnosis error can not only delay important treatments but can also cause the condition to become worse or untreatable.
- Surgical errors: Surgical treatments range from simple and fast to complex and exhausting. When a surgeon or other healthcare professional makes a mistake during surgery, patients can end up with brain damage, infection, paralysis or die.
- Nursing home malpractice: This is an all-too-common problem, as disabled and elderly patients are extremely vulnerable. Nursing home malpractice may include medication errors, bed sores, falls, errors in surgical procedures or treatment, lack of informed consent or even just negligence.
Medical malpractice injury is a complicated field, and without extensive knowledge of the law, patients may miss out on opportunities for compensation.
Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Cases
Proving fault in any type of personal injury is complex but slip and fall cases are some of the most common. One example of a slip and fall case is when someone slips and falls on ice on any property. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the property and remove hazards. This is true for landlords also. If someone falls on the property because it is not maintained, it may lead to a personal injury claim.
On the opposite side, the property owner is only required to keep the premises reasonably free of hazards and safe, so not every fall or injury qualifies for a personal injury case. The landlord’s duties differ according to state law, and it is beneficial for anyone hurt on someone else’s property to look into what is their responsibility and what is the landlord’s.
Understanding Product Liability
When someone gets hurt by a defective tool or product, they may have grounds to file a personal injury claim. If the consumer knows the product is unavoidably dangerous, then the consumer accepts the risk for using the product and may not be eligible for a claim if they get injured while using the product.
In Utah, there are three conditions that define a product liability case.
- Because of a defective condition, the product is unreasonably dangerous
- The condition was part of the product when the manufacturer or maker sold it
- The defective condition of the product caused the injury, not just the product itself
Companies will often issue recalls of dangerous products when consumers get injured, and that may also help with filing a personal injury claim and receiving compensation.
Wrongful Death Claims, Trauma and Tragedy
According to the Public Health Indicator Based Information System, death and disability are often caused by unintentional injuries. In 2020, they led to 1,462 deaths in Utah alone. They happen at work sites, schools, homes, emergency departments, hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices. Wrongful death cases may be more common in certain places, but they can happen anywhere.
The leading causes of death caused by unintentional injury in Utah are:
- Motor vehicle traffic crashes
Obeying safety laws, using safety equipment and choosing safe behaviors can protect people from some of these dangers, but some are out of the control of the person affected. When someone loses their life, the financial cost is just one aspect of the changes that come. Families also deal with pain and suffering, life-long trauma, loss of income and medical bills. When someone dies in an unintentional accident, they may meet the qualifications to file a wrongful death case.
Where Should You Go for Help with a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury law is complex and complicated. Designed to protect both the plaintiff and the defendant, this area is almost impossible to navigate alone without some study of the law. These claims function to provide compensation for the injured and their families, but also to prevent deaths in the future. Many claims and cases bring about changes that save lives.
Those who are hurt in any type of personal injury may benefit from speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to navigate a complicated legal system. They can negotiate with insurance companies about an offer, advocate for the best interests of the injured and know when to accept an offer or fight for more.
Contact us to schedule a consultation if you or someone you love got hurt because of the poor choices of another person, corporation or entity. Everyone deserves to be safe and while life brings its own set of dangers, the ones caused by negligence or carelessness may continue if there is no financial or moral reason to end them.