Are Personal Injury Lawsuits Common?

If you watch the news or just keep your ears open for the local gossip, you’re likely to hear about personal injury lawsuits pretty frequently. Seems like one or another drug company or automobile manufacturer is always being named in a class-action lawsuit, or maybe your local pharmacy may have been named in a claim about somebody tripping over boxes left in one of their aisles. These types of lawsuits and many more are all known as personal injury lawsuits, and they are the most common type of civil litigation pursued in the United States.

Personal injury lawsuits cover a lot of different types of wrongs. They can be filed when a person causes any type of accident, whether in the workplace or while behind the wheel on the highway. They might be trip and fall accidents or they might be medical malpractice claims against a physician who misdiagnosed somebody’s illness or provided treatment that fell short of what would typically be provided and caused the patient to get sicker, or even to die. The through-line on personal injury lawsuits is that somebody was negligent, careless, or purposely hurtful in the duty of care that they owed to another person, and the result is some type of injury.

Personal injury lawsuits can’t undo the wrong that has been done to a victim, so instead the outcome that the person who sues is seeking is generally monetary compensation. They are often looking to recoup the actual costs that they incurred as a result of the harm that they suffered, as well as additional monies for their pain, suffering, lost future wages, or similar damages. In some cases they also seek additional money assessed against the defendant as punishment. These are called punitive damages.

It is hard to assess exactly how many personal injury claims are filed each year, but by some estimates, the number is well over 400,000, with more than half of these claims involving a motor vehicle accident. Interestingly, of those claims, only a small proportion actually end up in court. The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits are resolved outside of court. This involves a negotiation between the defendant’s attorney and the injured party’s attorney that leads to an agreement, or settlement.

If you have suffered harm as a result of another person or entity’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. For a free consultation on your situation, contact our experienced personal injury law firm today to set up a time to chat.