The meaning of the term ‘personal injury’ seems obvious – it’s some type of injury to a person. However, personal injury claims take it to another level because someone is held responsible for the injury. Also, the injured party may receive compensation for damages. At what point do damages or injuries lead to claim or lawsuit? We will look at five situations where personal injury claims may arise.
Damages from an automobile accident range from simple body damage to serious physical injuries or even death. Insurance companies may pay claims to people involved in a car crash. However, personal injury lawsuits may be filed if the insurance payout is not enough, if the insurance claim is denied, or if one or more uninsured drivers were involved.
If someone is injured on your property, he or she may have a premises liability claim. Owners of property. In Alabama, the status of the person on the property varies and effects the degree of duty to provide a safe environment for people who access their property. Businesses open to the public have the highest duty to ensure the property is safe for customers.
For example, Jason owns a deli and coffeeshop in Anniston. He knows that patrons keep spilling olive oil by the salad bar but does nothing to fix the problem. A customer who slips and falls on the slick floor may have a premises liability claim. Another example might be a deliveryman who is injured on an unstable staircase or loading dock.
Unlike premises liability, product liability claims do not arise from a business owner’s property. Instead, a personal injury claim may be made by someone who uses the company’s defective product. The following types of defects are common:
- Design – the product was poorly designed and unsafe.
- Manufacture – the product was improperly made.
- Marketing – the product lacks appropriate safety warnings and instructions.
For example, Linda owns a company that designs and manufactures baby strollers. During development of a new stroller, she ignored warnings about missing safety features. Several infants were injured. Their families might make personal injury claims based on product liability.
People often gossip and spread rumors about others. At some point, however, such false statements may seriously damage a person’s reputation. In some cases, a personal injury claim for defamation may be filed.
For example, Chris owned a successful pizza shop. One of his competitors, Dan, told many people in the community that Chris sold drugs and laundered drug money through his store. It wasn’t true, but people stopped going to Chris’s store. His children were taunted at school, and he lost his election for city council. Chris may be able to file a defamation suit against Dan and recover damages to his reputation, pain and suffering, and economic loss.
When an individual dies because of the negligence or intentional act of another person, his or her survivors may have a claim for wrongful death. If the survivors win the lawsuit, they may receive compensation for lost future earnings, loss of companionship, funeral benefits, and other financial support.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About a Personal Injury Claim?
Attorney Bruce Adams helps clients just like you with their legal needs. For a free consultation with an experienced Alabama attorney, contact us at 256-237-3339. Located in Anniston, we serve clients in Calhoun, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties.