Personal injury cases come in a variety of different shapes and forms. The following considers some of the most common types of personal injury actions.
- Defective product claims. A defective product personal injury claim is a civil action in which a plaintiff alleges that they have been harmed as a direct result of a product design, manufacture, or label defect. Types of products that may be defective include the following listed:
- Automobiles and auto parts;
- Electronic appliances;
- Home cleaners;
- Children’s toys;
- Art supplies;
- Medical equipment;
- Motorized equipment;
- Tools; and
- Kitchen appliances.
The above list is not inclusive; there are hundreds of products that are recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) every year. When a defective product causes an injury, a victim can file a claim if he or she can prove that the manufacturer of that product failed to create or distribute a product safe for consumer use, or failed to provide adequate warning of the product’s dangers.
- Premises liability claims. Premises liability is a broad area of personal injury law that encompasses any and all accidents that occur on a “premise,” or property, that is owned by a party other than the plaintiff. Type of injuries that may fall under premise liability laws include slip and fall accidents, pool accidents, food poisoning accidents, amusement park accidents, etc. The basis of premises liability law is this: a property owner has a duty to all those who enter the property to maintain the property in a safe and hazard-free condition. If the property owner knows of the hazard (or should know of the hazard) and fails to correct the hazard within a reasonable amount of time, then the property owner can be held liable for any injuries that occur to any persons as a direct result of the hazard. The only exception to this rule is in regards to trespassers on the property. For trespassers, a property owner will only be held liable for injuries in the event that the injuries were caused by “highly dangerous conditions or activities” and if the property owner knew or should have known that the persons were trespassing in the vicinity of the dangerous conditions and failed to act. Additionally, child trespassers are also protected, and a property owner may be held liable for injuries to a child trespasser under the doctrine of attractive nuisance. See Premises Liability Instructions, provided by the Arizona Bar Association, for more details.
- Dog bite claims. Being bitten or attacked by a dog is a terrifying experience. Luckily, the law provides victims of dog bites a method of recovery compensation for the injuries that they sustain. The state of Arizona enforces a strict liability law for dog bite cases – we will discus the law in more detail below.
- Car accident claims. Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. In seconds, the driver or passenger of a car’s life can quickly and dramatically change. While many car accident claims are handled by an insurance company, car accident victims also have the right to file civil torts as well.
- Medical malpractice claims. A medical malpractice claim refers to a claim against a medical professional or hospital/medical clinic for harm that was caused to a patient as a direct result of a medical professional’s violation of the duty of care owed to the patient. There are multiple causes of patient injuries by medical practitioners, including:
- Surgical errors, such as wrong-site surgeries, wrong patient surgeries, leaving an object within a patient, etc.;
- Medication errors, such as wrong dosage of medication, wrong medication type, allergic reaction by patient, failing to give medication at all, etc.;
- Nursing home abuse and neglect;
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis;
- Lack of patient monitoring; and
- Birth injuries.
When any of the above errors occur and a patient suffers from harm as a direct result, the patient should consult with an attorney immediately about his or her rights to file a medical malpractice claim. If the patient can prove that the injuries would not have occurred had the medical professional exercise the property duty of care, then the medical professional may be held liable for harm.
- Intentional torts. An intentional tort is a type of personal injury claim that is filed against a defendant who intentionally caused the victim harm. A through look into intentional torts will follow below.
- Wrongful death claims. A wrongful death claim is a claim that is filed by a surviving family member in order to recover compensation due to the wrongful death of a spouse or parent. Wrongful death claims are types of personal injury claims, but are different in that in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff is not recovering compensation for his or her own injuries.
As can be seen, there are many types of different personal injury claims. While each personal injury claim may be unique, the foundation of each claim is the same: that a person’s injuries were only sustained due to the negligence of another.