Any incident or accident can lead to personal injury cases. In most cases, accidents lead to injuries and other damages such as loss of income, days off work, medical bills, disability leading to loss of earning capacity, loss of property, and even death of a loved one.
Accidents can set victims behind a great deal, and often they need to make claims or file lawsuits to receive compensation for damages suffered. Unfortunately, insurance companies almost always try to settle claims quickly and for minimal amounts. Accepting a settlement means losing the right to demand more money to cover additional costs.
Hence, hire or consult a personal injury attorney before engaging with an insurer because lawyers won’t be fooled or intimidated. The attorneys at Guardian Law Group are experienced at personal injury law and have negotiated many settlements in favor of our clients, helping them get back on track.
This article discusses various types of personal injury cases we handle and their possible case scenarios.
1. Car Accidents
Nobody ever wants to become a victim or another statistic of a car accident – but it happens to many people daily. These unfortunate accidents result in costly medical bills, changes in your quality of life, time off work, lost earning capacity, pain and sorrow, and even death.
Car accidents often result in either minor injuries that resolve in a few days or serious ones that cause some level of physical disability. The type and severity of injuries victims suffer depend on factors such as:
- Was the person wearing a seat belt
- Did their car get hit from the front, rear, or side?
- Was the victim facing straight ahead, or was their body or head turned in a particular direction
- Was it a high-speed crash or a low-speed collision?
- Did the car have airbags?
The National Law Review classifies the eight most common car injuries in the following categories:
- Soft tissue injuries such as bruising, contusions, back and neck injuries, and whiplash
- Head injuries such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Mental or emotional issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Internal injuries such as broken bones, internal bleeding, or spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis
Other auto accident injuries include limb loss and amputation, joint injuries (knee, ankle, shoulder, or wrist), and disfiguring facial injuries and scars.
Determining fault often involves a closer look at the car accident scenario, among other things, during an investigation. But, honestly, the primary goal of insurance companies is getting away with paying as little in claims as possible. Thus, they will assign blame to you if they can.
So while many accidents may seem straightforward, insurers will always try to find loopholes to spin things in their favor. Therefore, it’s always best to consult a personal injury lawyer if you are involved in an accident and seek compensation.
Below are some common scenarios and factors that can change the course of your case:
Rear-end accidents occur when a car (trailing vehicle) runs into another (leading vehicle) from behind. If the accident is minor with minimal-to-no vehicle damage or injuries, it’s called a fender bender.
Rear-end accidents are among the most common automobile accidents on the road. In most cases, the at-fault party is the trailing driver because they have a responsibility to maintain a safe driving distance and remain aware of their surroundings.
Some common locations for many rear-end accidents include stoplights, parking lots, the freeway, or the middle of the road.
Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lot accidents are rampant but, fortunately, involve low speeds and minimal-to-no injuries. However, sometimes these accidents can cause severe injury or aggravate an existing one. Typical parking lot accident scenarios include:
- Hitting a driver while they back out of a parking space
- A driving opting to exit forward through an empty parking space instead of backing up
- Two vehicles collide as they try to enter the same parking space
- Vehicles colliding at the end of the isle
Driver Ran a Red Light
Drivers running red lights are rampant across the U.S. and are a leading cause of road accidents. It can cause a T-bone collision (side-impact or broadside collision).
Unfortunately, these types of accidents are often dangerous because the side of a vehicle provides minimal protection during an accident. Regardless of which vehicle got struck, the driver who ran a red light is often at fault. Some reasons for running red lights include driving in a hurry, speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving.
Collisions Involving Left Turns with no Turn Signal
A left turn requires the driver to turn into oncoming traffic, which can be dangerous at an intersection with no turn light. Turning left at a green light requires you to yield to oncoming traffic until you have room to turn, even if you must wait through multiple light cycles.
Due to this, left turns on solid green traffic lights cause many drivers to make impatient decisions to beat oncoming traffic leading to:
- A traffic pile-up
- An accident at an angle or on the side
- An accident involving multiple vehicles
A lot of variables can affect who is at fault in an accident. For example, a rear-end collision involving a completely drunk leading driver who randomly stops for no reason.
Factors that make assigning fault for an accident complicated include driver fatigue, drunk driving, mechanical failure, or other drivers. Hence, it’s best never to admit blame following an accident and have a personal injury attorney examine the facts of your case.
2. Truck Accidents
Truck accidents cause serious injuries or death because they involve vehicles weighing over 80,000 pounds. In comparison, an 18 wheeler tractor-trailer is nearly 40 times heavier than a car. The significant weight difference makes such accidents severe or even fatal to occupants of a small vehicle.
Common injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Multiple fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
Accidents involving trucks can be legally complex mainly because of the weight difference, and most trucks on the road are commercial vehicles.
Below are some common truck accident scenarios:
Jackknife accidents occur when a truck travels at high speed and the driver brakes suddenly without slowing down first. As a result, it folds at a 90-degree angle and sweeps away everything in its path. In addition, the trailer’s weight prevents it from slowing down with the cab, so it moves forward instead and could even break away.
A truck driver steers and makes a sharp right turn, which can sometimes be problematic. Additionally, navigating a truck is challenging, especially with heavy traffic at the truck’s rear end since passengers can easily get trapped.
Blind spots are a big issue for trucks since the driver cannot notice other vehicles at the rear end, especially regular small cars and motorcycles. When a trucker cannot see what is going on in the blind spot, such as motorists making turns or switching lanes, it puts the adjacent vehicles in grave danger. The truck could hit them, topple them, or crush them in a matter of seconds.
Tire blowouts can happen to any vehicle but are more common in trucks. An experienced driver can easily get nervous when a tire blows out, losing control and causing an accident. The tire can also hit and hurt or kill a pedestrian.
T-bone accidents occur when a vehicle runs a red light before colliding with one or multiple other cars or even pedestrians. These accidents occur as perpendicular collisions due to rash driving.
Truck rollovers often occur on curved paths while the driver hauls heavy cargo. Reckless driving and speeding can cause rollovers and risk hurting or taking the lives of pedestrians and other motorists.
When motorists fail to slow down as other vehicles, especially tractor-trailers, speed past can cause a devastating collision. Drivers and other victims experience such powerful inertial forces and fly from the windscreen and onto the road or other oncoming traffic.
Runaway Trailer Crashes
Sometimes, a trailer’s speed increases past that of the truck (often due to weight), causing the driver to lose control. If the truck’s brakes fail, the driver may panic and collide with other vehicles. In other cases, the trailer may completely detach from the cab with disastrous results.
These are easily the deadliest truck accidents, and so many mishaps can occur. For instance, the truck’s tires might burst to lead to an underride collision, or a car may lose its rooftop when it passes below the trailer. Still, a vehicle may collide with a truck parked beside a road.
3. Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are at a significant disadvantage when involved in a road accident with other vehicles, no matter the type and amount of protective gear they wear. Accidents can result in broken bones, severe internal injuries, head and spinal cord injuries, or death.
Common motorcycle accident causes and scenarios include:
- A driver turns left but fails to see a biker or inaccurately predict their speed and ends up causing a crash
- A car changes lanes and enters a biker’s lane, causing a side impact because they did not see the motorcyclist
- A vehicle hits a motorcyclist from behind because the driver is distracted or drives too close to the biker. Fender benders can be deadly to motorcyclists.
Different states have different ways of assigning fault in a motorcycle accident case. These include at-fault, no-fault, and comparative negligence. An at-fault (tort) state puts all the blame on individuals plus the resultant financial responsibility.
No-fault states require drivers and motorcyclists to maintain insurance to cover losses suffered in an accident unless the damage amount is more than the insured amount. Comparative negligence states assign fault or negligence base on the involved parties’ respective contribution to an accident.
4. Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents and injuries are rampant across the country and can occur on the road, at crossings, on sidewalks, and even in parking lots. In addition, defects in sidewalks, parking lots, and other poorly maintained property can also cause accidents.
Common pedestrian accident scenarios involve:
- Pedestrians getting hit by oncoming traffic while crossing the road
- Pedestrians hit at night in poorly lit areas
- Pedestrians hit when attempting to cross the road while traveling in line with traffic.
- Pedestrians getting hit in a parking lot when a vehicle backs out of a space
5. Dog Bites
The U.S has a significant number of domesticated dogs, which increases the chances of dog bites. Fault laws concerning dog bites vary from state to state. In some cases, the dog and its owner will be at fault, especially if they know of their dog’s bite history.
States with strict liability laws place the responsibility on the owner, except if the bite resulted from an intentional provocation. For instance, a dog bites a child after the latter continually pokes the former.
Dog bites at home are often the family’s fault because they should provide a safe environment for the dog and understand behavioral signals to avid agitation.
6. Workplace Accidents
Workplace accidents resulting in severe injuries or deaths are common in the U.S. Employees are entitled to worker’s compensation to protect them in case of accidents by covering their medical bills and part of their wages.
While accidents are commonplace, sometimes, injured individuals may have the grounds to pursue personal injury lawsuits if they believe neglect or malice played a part in their misfortune. Also, if the victim dies, a third party (usually family members) may file a wrongful death claim. Such cases can have multiple possibilities and complexities, which is why it’s advisable to find a personal injury lawyer.
Below are some workplace accident causes and scenarios:
Slip and Fall
An employee drives to work in the morning and parks his car before exiting and proceeding to the office. Unfortunately, he steps on the sidewalk and slips on the snow and ice, injuring his back and causing him to miss multiple days of work.
If the company privately owns the sidewalk and sine the employee was on it because of work, he can hold the company liable for the accident.
Fights at Work
An employee drives to work in the morning and proceeds to clock into work before a second employee approaches her. A physical altercation ensues, and the first employee breaks an arm. The incident counts as an act of violence in the workplace.
Crashes and Collisions
Accidents resulting in impact or crush injuries are frequent at work and involve cars, trucks, or even forklift trucks.
Getting Hit by Falling Objects
An employee gets hit with a wood plank falling from a raised work platform while working or walking below. Falling objects can cause severe injury, and employers need to put strict systems in place to prevent them
Inhaling Toxic Fumes
Most people don’t work in hazardous environments with dust and chemicals. However, those who do are at risk of eye or skin reactions and other respiratory issues. Thus, protective equipment is indispensable in these workplaces to avoid dangerous exposure.
Other workplace accident causes and scenarios include exposure to loud noises, repetitive strain injury, walking into objects, and muscle strains. In addition, employers must provide proper training, access to safety equipment, and clear signage to avoid unnecessary mishaps.
7. Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall are a common occurrence for many people, especially seniors above 55 years. These accidents can occur anywhere, such as on a parking lot, sidewalk, slippery ban floors, vacation rental properties, and shopping malls.
It’s easy to assume slip and falls are nobody’s fault because all you can do to protect against them is to remain vigilant and observe all safety precautions if available.
Unfortunately, business owners, property owners, landlords, and employees may be irresponsible and fail to maintain the surfaces and properties under their management. Such acts of irresponsibility resulting in slip and fall accidents are called premises liability.
An accident can lead to minor bruises, sprains, hip or spinal cord injuries, or death. Below are some slip and fall causes and scenarios:
Wet and Uneven Walking Surfaces
Wet or uneven surfaces cause slip and fall accidents. The associated instances of wet or uneven surfaces include loose floorboards and mats, worn carpeting, freshly mopped or waxed floors, defective sidewalks, parking lot potholes, and poorly constructed staircases.
Weather is a natural occurrence and a leading cause of slip and falls. Winter sees snow, ice, and moisture on walking surfaces, making them a slipping or tripping hazard. For instance, the law requires building owners to shovel the sidewalks, plow streets, and salt walkways during winter.
Stray Cords and Electrical Wires
Stray electrical cords and wires are also common causes of slip and fall accidents because they can hook your shoes or make your legs slide over as you walk.
Inadequate training is a cause of slip and fall accidents in the construction industry. Employers and employees must undergo proper training before they start work to avoid these accidents while on duty. The government has a guideline on educating people about preventing slip and fall accidents.
Nursing Home Neglect
Aging and sickly people are at a higher risk of slipping and falling due to their reduced sense of balance. Such accidents can be life-threatening or make their situation worse. It’s the responsibility of facility administrators and nurses to assist and monitor their everyday life within the premises.
Broken or Damaged Handrails
Handrails support people as they walk on staircases, pavements, or other slippery areas such as bathrooms. Broken railing provides a false sense of support while missing ones provide none, leading to slips and falls.
Poor lighting in pavements and buildings also contributes to a high number of slip and fall accidents. Therefore, OSHA requires every public property and workplace to have proper lighting to improve vision. Failure to do so opens up employees and property owners to liability for any slip and fall accidents as a result.
Why Hire Guardian Law Group
The Guardian Law Group has a team of highly skilled and professional lawyers knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of personal injury law. Visit our offices in Atlanta, GA, or Birmingham, AL, or contact us today and discuss your case.