7 Types of Personal Injury Cases

Injuries and accidents are scary, and can often lead to weeks, months, or even years of hardships for the affected party.  If you’re unsure of whether you’ve recently suffered a personal injury, this article can help.

In it, Erie Injury outlines seven main types of personal injuries.  Keep reading to learn more about what a personal injury is and the types of cases that our lawyers can help you with.

What is a Personal Injury?

A personal injury is any kind of harm to a person’s body, emotional state, or reputation.  Most commonly, personal injuries are based on negligence, the failure to act with a reasonable degree of prudence that another person in a similar situation may have exercised.

The plaintiff (the injured party) must prove that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff and that the defendant’s failure to follow that duty, often through a negligent act, caused the plaintiff to suffer a damage such as a personal injury.

Compensable damages for a personal injury claim may include:

  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical injury
  • Property damage

When harm is proved, the plaintiff is awarded a settlement directly proportional to the damage caused. The type of case may also impact how much compensation is allowed, so it’s important to understand the essentials of each personal injury case.

7 Types of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases can be brought from damages caused in various situations. If you’ve been injured, no matter the cause, contact a lawyer at Erie Injury today.

Keep in mind, the other party’s insurance company or defense team will immediately begin working to alleviate any fault from their client. Therefore, you must get quality representation on your side to protect yourself from further harm, financial or otherwise. The team at Erie Injury has experience handling personal injury cases pertaining to:

1. Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents

Immediately following a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, insurance adjusters will try to contact you to collect a recorded statement. It’s critical that you don’t answer their calls right away and instead get in touch with a trusted vehicle accident lawyer. They’ll work directly with the insurance companies to ensure you get fair compensation.

Particularly if you’ve been injured, there could be more coverage available than just vehicle repairs and medical bills. Your lawyer will help you determine the maximum amount you’re owed and will work diligently on your behalf to ensure adequate compensation.

2. ATV and Four-Wheeler Accidents

Though they can certainly make for a fun outdoor activity, ATV and four-wheeler accidents can have seriously damaging consequences. After an accident, it’s essential to preserve any evidence which could help prove negligence. Even a solo accident could be proof of a damaged or defective product, so you’ll want to contact a lawyer right away so they can help build a case in your favor.

3. Workers’ Compensation

If you’re injured at work in Pennsylvania, you’re entitled to have your medical bills and lost wages paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, you’ll want to hire a lawyer to ensure you get the full benefit. At Erie Injury, we understand that missing work due to an injury can leave you financially vulnerable. Therefore, we never charge a fee unless we recover your losses.

4. Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is never easy. What’s more, grieving an untimely death can leave you feeling angry, frustrated, and confused. If someone you know and love was killed due to the negligence or recklessness of another person or company, then you’ve suffered a wrongful death.

While you’re working on getting the deceased’s affairs in order, the insurance companies will likely try to take advantage of your emotions by getting you to settle early and for a lesser amount than you’re entitled to. Under Pennsylvania law, you may be owed compensation for:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Estate administrative expenses
  • Lost earnings and wages
  • Lost future earnings capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Consortium—compensation for the loss of association or companionship
  • Punitive damages

Be sure to contact a lawyer immediately following the death of your loved one to ensure your losses are repaid in full.

5. Dog Bites

It’s hard not to love a cute and friendly dog, but a poorly-trained or negligently-supervised dog can lash out at adults and children, issuing a bite that can lead to serious injury. Many people don’t realize dog bites can be covered by the handler’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and end up forfeiting their right to coverage for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To ensure your damages are paid out in full, you’ll need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

*Pro-Tip: Dog bites commonly occur when a friend or relative’s dog bites you or someone else in your family. Of course, most people don’t want to sue their loved ones, but it might be necessary to ensure you aren’t facing an undue burden as a result of someone else’s negligence. The lawyers at Erie Injury have experience with amicable negotiations and settlements pertaining to dog bites, so be sure to contact our office immediately if you need help settling a case quickly and with minimal additional heartache for those involved.

6. Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Slip-and-falls are one of the most commonly reported accidents and can often result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. You could be entitled to compensation if you slipped on a wet floor, lost balance on a broken handrail, or fell in an icy parking lot.

Preserving evidence of the accident is essential for proving your case, so be sure to contact a lawyer immediately following a slip-and-fall. They’ll offer assistance in gathering witness testimony, inspecting the property, searching for security cameras, and handling communication with the insurance company. 

7. Product Liability

Dangerous and defective products injure thousands of Pennsylvanians every year. If you’ve been injured by a consumer good, contact a lawyer at Erie Injury immediately. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are required to offer safe products, and proving intentional recklessness, negligence, or harm is complex. Having a trusted lawyer by your side will make the whole process easier, so you can focus on recovering while they focus on compensating for your damages.

Choosing the Right Lawyer for Your Needs

Above all else, it’s essential to have a lawyer you can trust to ensure you’re being taken care of. At Erie Injury, we proudly represent clients from all walks of life to help recover damages from nearly every type of personal injury. If you’ve been injured, no matter the cause, contact our offices today for a free consultation. Additionally, please visit our blog to learn more about the kinds of cases we typically represent.

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

There are many reasons why you may need to find legal representation, from automotive accidents to damage caused by defective products. If you’re the victim of an injury, you may be wondering if it’s time to hire a lawyer. To help you determine what’s right for you, Erie Injury highlights the various situations in which a lawyer can help recover damages and ensure you’re fully compensated for your time, pain, and troubles.

What Kind of Injuries Demand Legal Help?

In the eyes of the law, a personal injury is more complicated than one might assume. Typically, courts base a personal injury on “negligence.” Negligence is an individual’s failure to act as a “reasonable person.” 

Accordingly, a personal injury is any form of harm to a person’s body, emotions, or reputation due to the unreasonable actions of another. While some cases are straightforward and can be settled appropriately between the two parties, others are more complex and demand the victim show ample proof to win the case. Therefore, you’ll want to contact a lawyer if you’ve recently suffered an injury due to a(n):

  • ATV or four-wheeler accident
  • Auto accident
  • Dangerous and defective product
  • Dog bite
  • Motorcycle accident
  • Slip and fall
  • Truck accident
  • Work-related task

All-terrain Vehicle (ATV) Accident

A study published by Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Clinical Pediatrics found that emergency departments treat more than 11,000 people for nonfatal ATV-related head and neck injuries annually.

If you’ve been in an ATV accident, you should contact an experienced ATV accident attorney as soon as possible. ATV accident attorneys will help you determine if you should make an injury claim against the driver’s insurance, a landowner’s homeowner’s insurance, or the vehicle manufacturer.

Auto Accident

There are nearly 7 million police-reported motor vehicle crashes annually in the United States. Roughly 2 million of these crashes result in injury. If you’re seeking a fair settlement, you need to do more than talk to your insurance company. You need a lawyer by your side.

Do not discuss the case with an insurance adjuster. They’ll likely contact you for a recorded statement, which could then be used against you to settle for a lesser amount. A lawyer should handle all communication with insurance providers, so be sure to get in touch immediately following an accident.

Dangerous and Defective Product

According to the National Safety Council, emergency rooms treated 11.7 million people for injuries sustained from consumer products in 2021. Most of these injuries involved everyday products such as televisions, household cleaners, appliances, and furniture.

Sadly, many of these product injuries hurt young children and older adults. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury due to a dangerous or defective product, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer. Product liability cases are some of the most challenging to navigate successfully.

Dog Bite

While they’re certainly cute and cuddly, dogs can cause serious injury. In fact, there are a staggering 4.5 million reported dog bites in the United States each year. Of the people bitten, nearly 1 in 5 require medical attention.

If someone else’s dog has injured you, you can make a claim against their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can be fully compensated for any lost wages and medical bills as well as pain, suffering, and scarring. However, having an attorney is critical as you’ll need to prove negligence on the dog owner’s part. 

Motorcycle Accident

They’re fun and fast and come with a sense of freedom, but motorcycles are also dangerous. While they only account for 3 percent of all registered vehicles, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, 18 percent of all occupant fatalities, and 4 percent of all occupant injuries.

If you’ve been in a motorcycle crash, you should find a personal injury lawyer experienced in motorcycle accidents. Reason being, due to the severity of the injuries, insurance adjusters are more aggressive and try to uncover ways to blame the biker.

Slip and Fall

Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, making them the leading cause of ER visits. If you’ve been in a slip and fall accident:

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Survey the scene
  • Request security footage
  • Find witnesses
  • File an official incident report

Because slip and falls are some of the most complex personal injury cases to win, you’ll also want to contact an attorney who specializes in these cases. Remember, you’ll need to prove that the person or business was acting negligently. Doing so is exceptionally challenging if you don’t have someone speaking to witnesses, preserving evidence, and obtaining security camera footage.

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. Whether you were behind the wheel of a truck or hit by one, it’s essential to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. They’ll help you preserve critical evidence (maintenance logs, driving logs, etc.) and interview the necessary witnesses before they’re uncontactable. That’s why, after a trucking accident, you need an attorney immediately.

Further, if you are a truck driver and were injured in an accident, you may also have a trucking accident workers’ compensation claim.

Work-Related Task

There are nearly 3 million work-related injuries that occur each year. If you’ve been hurt on the job, you’re entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, your employer’s insurance company will likely find ways to reduce their costs as much as possible. To ensure you’re compensated fairly, we highly recommend you:

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Report your injury
  • Continue reviewing pay stubs to ensure your workers’ comp insurance is paying you
  • Contact an attorney as soon as possible

If your claim was denied, the insurance company halts payments, or the insurance company says you need to return to work before you’re ready, you must consider seeking legal representation.

Get the Help You Need

If you’ve been injured in Erie, Pennsylvania, or the surrounding region, you need to find a personal injury lawyer to ensure fair compensation. Whether you’ve been in an automobile accident or were bitten by a dog, the attorneys at Erie Injury are ready to help you. Call our office for a free consultation at 814-452-6232.

Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Insurance

Without the protection of seatbelts, doors, and a roof, motorcycles are, unsurprisingly, far more dangerous than cars. In fact, motorcycles have a fatal crash rate of roughly 60 percent, whereas fatalities in car crashes is only about 15 percent.

If you own a motorcycle or are considering buying one, you need to understand the basics of insuring your bike. Moreover, you need to be sure that your insurance coverage protects you from undue liability in the event of an accident. In this post, Erie Injury discusses the basics of motorcycle insurance, the different types of coverage and add-ons, and how to keep yourself protected in the event of a crash.

Motorcycle Insurance Basics

As with other types of vehicle insurance, motorcycle insurance provides financial protection in the event of an accident, theft, or other damages.

The insurance cost depends on various factors, including coverage options, riding history, type of bike, and driver’s age. Keep in mind that the more coverage you pay for upfront, the more protected you are in the event of an accident. Don’t let monthly payment costs deter you from keeping you and your bike fully protected, and remember to contact a lawyer immediately following an accident to ensure you’re getting the proper amount owed to you.

Most states in the U.S. require you to ride with a minimum amount of liability coverage. It helps cover damages to other vehicles and objects, injuries to drivers and passengers, and any lawsuits that may be filed as the result of an accident.

Though liability coverage is the only required insurance for motorcycle riders in most states, various additional coverage options can keep you financially protected in the event of an accident. You’ll want to consider:

  1. Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage protects against any events beyond your immediate control, including theft, vandalism, windshield damage, fire, acts of nature, and more. It’s typically required for bikes that are being financed or leased.

  1. Collision Coverage

Like comprehensive coverage, collision insurance is often required by your lender. It will protect you if you’re in an accident with another vehicle or object or if you crash your bike on the road without third-party involvement.

  1. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) help pay for damages if you’re involved in an accident with someone lacking adequate insurance to cover the cost of the accident.

*Pro-Tip: If you’ve been in an accident and the at-fault driver is underinsured, be sure to contact a lawyer right away. They’ll help determine what additional assets and insurance the other party has, which could be the difference between partial and total coverage for your resulting damages.

It’s critical that you work with a lawyer immediately following an accident to better understand your insurance plan and that of the at-fault driver. They’ll help you handle the difficult conversations between insurance companies to ensure maximum coverage and a minimal financial burden.

What to do After a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accidents are scary, and knowing how to handle them can lead to many unanswered questions. Your first step should, of course, be to ensure the safety of you and anyone else involved. When everyone is out of harm’s way, contact a lawyer immediately so they can get working on your case and contact all relevant parties, such as insurance companies and law enforcement.

The other party’s insurance company will likely try to contact you right away. Do not speak with them. They’ll likely try to get a recorded statement, and what you say could result in a dismissal of your case. Let your lawyer handle all communication to ensure you aren’t saying anything you shouldn’t.

Take photos of your bike and your injuries. If you need medical attention, be sure to save your hospital and doctor bills, as well as any written reports from your attending physician. Additionally, keep any receipts from the damages you covered if you take your motorcycle for repairs before settling your case. Your lawyer will include them when negotiating a settlement amount with the other party involved.

Don’t Go Through It Alone

Owning a motorcycle is exciting, but you’ll want to ensure you take all necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. Having a comprehensive insurance policy and an educated lawyer on standby is critical for comfortably cruising through town on two wheels.

If you’ve recently been in a crash on your bike, you’ll want to work with an experienced injury lawyer like those at Erie Injury. They’ll help you understand your insurance policy, handle all communication with the insurance companies, and help you win the settlement you deserve.