Practice Areas

Serious Personal Injury

Personal injury law is the set of laws and regulations covering disputes after an individual suffers an injury or harm. These cases arise when someone else (either a person or a legal entity) is potentially responsible for the harm.  Personal injury lawsuits are civil lawsuits, where the injured party plaintiff pursues legal claims in court to recover for their loss and damages. 

Personal injury law is a broad field, with many potential categories of claims or torts. These categories include: 

  • Accidental Injuries 
  • Workplace Injuries 
  • Product Liability 
  • Premises Liability 
  • Wrongful Death 
  • Toxic Torts 
  • Intentional Torts 
  • Strict Liability Claims 

Accidental Injuries 

When an individual is injured because of someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, a personal injury claim can be made for those injuries from the accident.  Injuries stemming from so called accidents can widely vary, from vehicle accidents, accidents in public or private spaces, and even slip and falls. The claims are based on whether the accident was foreseeable and preventable by potential action that can be taken by others, whether that individual is a single person, a corporate entity or a business, or a government entity. 

To read more about when a government entity might be responsible, see our post about responsibility for dangerous road conditions. 

When catastrophic injuries occur due to accidents, the costs for future care can be extremely high. In addition to recovering damages for past medical expenses and pain and suffering, a personal injury lawsuit can recover for future expected medical expenses. The lifetime costs of catastrophic injuries such as a traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, or paraplegia can rise to the millions.  To read more about the long term costs of serious injuries, read our post about serious injury costs. 

Workplace Injuries 

Workplace injury law pertains to worksite or workplace injuries after harm to employees or independent contractors in the course of their employment. This area of law is designed to help compensate individuals injured during their work, ensuring they receive compensation for lost wages, appropriate medical care, and damages to compensate for pain and suffering. 

Construction and job sites pose a range of hazards that can lead to worker injuries, including the “fatal four”:  Falls, Struck-by-object, electrocution and caught-in-between.  To read more about workplace injuries, including those at job sites and construction sites, see our construction injury page. 

Product Liability 

Product liability personal injury relates to claims against manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and their distributors for injuries caused by unsafe or defective products. This area of law protects consumers against products that are not safe for use. Product liability lawsuits can arise from defects in the design, manufacturing, or warnings and instructions about how to use a product. 

Like other areas of personal injury law, claims regarding product liability seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and possibly punitive damages against companies or retailers for negligence. Injuries parties must demonstrate that products were defective, the defect caused or increased their injury, and that the use of the product by the injured party was reasonable or foreseeable. 

Premises Liability 

Premises liability law relates to claims against property owners, managers, or occupiers after injuries are sustained on the property, due to unsafe conditions or negligence. Laws create responsibilities for property owners and managers that include duties to ensure their premises are reasonable safe. Reasonably safe includes keeping premises free of dangers such as slip and fall risk, risk of accidents such as accidents in a swimming pool, structural defects, or risks rising from poor maintenance of the property.  The responsibilities include keeping visitors safe, customers, and tenants, or their invitees. The highest duty of care is owed to invitees of the owners or managers, such as customers of a business in a store. 

The goal of premises liability law is to ensure there is a incentive to owners of property to reduce and manage risks, creating a safe environment for all who enter or use a property. Owners should inspect property regularly, address known risks, and implement safety measures to prevent injuries to others. 

Wrongful Death 

Wrongful death is a serious legal claim addressing situations where a life was lost due to misconduct by a person or an entity. This loss of life can result from other personal injury categories, such as a death on a worksite, due to a defective product, or other. The purpose of wrongful death claims is to compensate the estate and surviving family members for losses related to their death, including lost wages from lost future earnings, as well as loss of companionship and emotional support. In some cases, punitive damages are awarded to discourage willful or egregious conduct. 

Plaintiffs must prove claims by showing the defendant or party responsible had a duty of care toward the deceased, and breached or failed that duty by wrongful action, whether those actions are direct actions taken or failure to act in regard to known risks. Wrongful death claims are complex cases hinging on all facts of the individual matter. Claims are brought to hold responsible any parties accountable when a life is lost due to wrongful actions. 

Toxic Torts 

Toxic tort claims seek recovery after individuals suffer injury due to exposure to hazardous chemicals, environmental pollutants, pharmaceuticals or pesticides. Exposure can occur in the home, at a work site, from consumer products, or out in the environment including public or private spaces. 

Toxic tort claims are complex cases involving detailed evidence linking exposure to the toxin to resulting health issues. Health issues can include direct acute injuries or long-term chronic illnesses including respiratory problems and cancer. 

Toxic tort cases can be made against manufacturers, distributors, resellers and or users of the products. The claims can be regarding the manufacturing, design, distribution, or use of the products. Claims are made by individuals, or when many are exposed or injured, by classes of individuals similarly affected. 

Intentional Torts 

Intentional torts are claims that arise when a party intentionally causes harm to another person. The party responsible may be a person or a legal entity such as a business.  Unlike many negligence based claims in personal injury cases, intentional torts involve behavior that was taken deliberately by the responsible party. Common categories of intentional torts include assault, false imprisonment, defamation, stealing land or property (conversion), and fraud. 

Intentional tort claims allow for the important role of courts to address improper deliberate actions and the damage they cause. Individuals can seek redress, or recovery, for physical injuries, property damage, emotional distress and punitive damages. The law operates with the principle that individuals who undertake intentional acts to harm others are responsible for the consequences of those actions. 

Strict Liability Claims 

Strict liability claims hold defendants responsible for harm or damage, without requiring the injury party to show fault or negligence.  Laws label certain types of actions a strict liability activity, such as a manufacturer creating a defective product.  If the defect can be shown to have caused the injury, then liability for the harm and damages can fall to the defendant without any investigation as to defendants’ negligence in creating the defect. 

Strict liability laws create consumer protection by incentivizing manufacturers to implement high safety standards and allow for recovery to those injured for all damages as a result. 

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