Lawyers often divide up personal injury lawsuits into four types: car accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, and then a catch-all “personal injury” group for everything else. This section is about that last group of lawsuits, from falls to fires, typically focusing on wrongful death, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Here are a few of my most popular personal injury law blog posts:The Asbestos Settlement Fraud That Wasn’t ThereThe Perils Of The Never-Ending Personal Injury Trial
Million of Americans are injured every year, but most of them don’t need a lawyer, because the accident couldn’t have been prevented, the injured person was the sole cause of their injuries, the injuries were too minor to justify the time and expense of a lawsuit, or the injured person negotiated their own compensation with the person or company at fault or with the negligent person’s insurance company. If you suffered a minor injury for which your medical treatment costs were minimal and for which you don’t intend to seek any further medical treatment, you might be able to negotiate your own claim with the insurance company.
If you’re permanently injured, will need follow-up medical care, or suffered economic losses like lost wages, then you’ll need an attorney to ensure you receive full, adequate, and fair compensation. Insurance companies rarely admit fault by their policyholders and rarely offer sufficient compensation without a lawsuit or the threat of a lawsuit.
It’s too hard to summarize the wide world of potential personal injuries out there, but two of the most common causes — aside from auto accidents and medical malpractice — are falls and alcohol abuse.
Fall Injuries Can Be Serious
An unexpected fall from standing onto a hard surface like concrete or marble can cause broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and nerve damage. Most of the nearly 1.7 million traumatic brain injury suffered by Americans every year were caused by falls, including falls at businesses, in hospitals, or at work. The seriousness of fall injuries can’t be overstated: while motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of spinal cord injuries, more traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls than by auto accidents.
Fall safety is not just an issue for the infirm or the elderly. On average two workers die every day from injuries caused by falls from ladders, buildings, scaffolds, and other elevated areas, and dozens more are injured. Most of these fatal falls occur at construction sites, but people are at risk every time they walk on a slippery surface or on an elevation without a guard rail. Have you ever climbed over hills and ridges of ice on the sidewalk? How about over a cooking oil spill outside a restaurant? Truth is, we put ourselves at risk of a serious injury every time our balance is in jeopardy, a risk unfortunately realized all too often.
If you were injured from a fall at work or at a business, use the form on the right or call us for a free and confidential consultation.
Alcohol Plays A Role In Many Personal Injuries
Even apart from drunk driving, alcohol plays a large role in causing permanent injuries and deaths. Alcohol is a significant factor in more than ten percent of falls, industrial or construction accidents, and acts of violence which cause a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. Alcohol is also a factor in a substantial portion of fires, explosions, and drownings, particularly those which occur in conjunction with recreational activities, like fireworks and swimming pools. Read more about our swimming pool accident lawyers.
Alcohol has such a pernicious effect on people — lowering their inhibitions and impairing their ability to recognize how seriously they’re impaired — that all states have “dram shop” which make the person who served the alcohol jointly liable for the damage caused by the intoxicated person. Most commonly, these dram shop laws are used to impose liability on bars and restaurants that served alcohol to “visibly intoxicated” people, served alcohol to minors, or served alcohol after the legal closing time.
Apart from the formal dram shop laws which apply to commercial sellers of alcohol, sometimes homeowners can be held legally responsible for serving alcohol on their premises, such as when adults are aware that minors are drinking at their home. In many premises liability cases, the owner of a concert venue or sports stadium that sells alcohol fails has inadequate security personnel available for the inevitable fights that break out in a rowdy, intoxicated crowd.
Read more about our dram shop and drunk driving accident lawyers.
We are based in Philadelphia, and so know intimately the particular way in which Philadelphia courts and juries work.