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Does the Type of Accident Matter in a Personal Injury Case?

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As you are hunting for a personal injury attorney, it's important to understand the nuances among various injury cases. Lawsuits filed for wrongful death, medical malpractice, and car accidents, for instance, can reward plaintiffs with million dollar punitive and compensatory damages. For more minor personal injury situations -- including mild construction accidents, unsafe building problems, or road design issues, plaintiffs may not be entitled to such large awards.

As your personal injury attorney will tell you, the type of accident matters less in terms of your ultimate compensation than does the severity of the accident. For instance, a seemingly mild slip and fall case involving an elderly woman may create a chronic condition that imperils her ability to work and threatens retirement savings. In this case, perhaps the plaintiff and her personal injury attorney may be able to sue for hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in damages, lost income, and pain and suffering.

If, on the other hand, an amusement park roller coaster rider gets injured as a result of disobeying the safety instructions provided by the park, the injured plaintiff and his personal injury attorney may still be able to sue the park for some damages, but they may not be able to generate a large settlement, owing to the fact that the plaintiff had some responsibility for causing the accident.

In addition, the time of filing can impact the potential trial rewards. If you go to a personal injury attorney years after you've been injured by a car accident, animal bite, or defective drug, you may be denied redress due to the statute of limitations, which puts a time limit on how long a patient has to take legal action following personal injury.

Finally, your personal injury attorney may suggest binding your case to group action cases to reduce paperwork and improve your odds of getting a settlement from a large corporation. Personal injury cases involving lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers and prescription pharmaceutical companies often end up as group personal injury cases, also known as class action lawsuits. Talk to your personal injury attorney for more details about what compensation you may be entitled to and what tactics you should take to protect and secure your rights as a plaintiff.

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