The Most Common Types Of Personal Injury Lawsuits
Did you know that over 400,000 personal injury claims are filed every year in the United States?
Personal injury lawsuits are filed in California when someone is injured and the injury is at least partially somebody else’s fault. These lawsuits seek to recover financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more from the party at fault for the injuries.
Most personal injury lawsuits seek to prove that a defendant’s negligence was the reason a plaintiff was injured. Negligence is failing to behave as a reasonably careful person would in the same situation in order to prevent harm from occurring. California law holds those who injure others through negligence financially liable for the injuries and any financial losses caused by the injuries.
Some personal injury lawsuits in California, however, can lead to financial recoveries for plaintiffs without proving negligence. These lawsuits establish strict liability on behalf of defendants. Negligence does not need to be proven in cases where strict liability applies under California law.
Nadrich & Cohen has been representing personal injury clients for over 30 years, having recovered over half a billion dollars for clients in that time. The 10 most common types of personal injury lawsuits we handle are:
Auto Accident Lawsuits
Auto accident lawsuits are the most common type of lawsuit we handle, including accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. Car accident lawsuits often involve severe injuries which are not only very painful but can also be very expensive. Auto accident victims can be left with enormous medical bills, their expensive vehicles totaled, time missed from work and short or long-term disability.
The unfortunate reality for auto accident victims is that auto insurance companies will never offer them a fair payout unless they’re represented by a lawyer. The insurance companies will dare unrepresented accident victims to take them to court, knowing they can’t win without a lawyer, and will try to trick unrepresented accident victims into admitting fault for an accident.
Car accident lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen even the playing field for auto accident victims. Insurance companies almost always settle out of court with us because they know they can’t beat us in court, and we deal with the insurance companies for our clients so they don’t have to risk saying something incriminating to the insurance companies.
Slip And Fall Lawsuits
Slip (or trip) and fall lawsuits are extremely common. These lawsuits occur when a plaintiff is injured after slipping or tripping and falling on a dangerous condition.
Those who own, lease, occupy or control property in California are obligated under California law to fix or warn about any dangerous conditions they know or should know about. Those who fail to do so are financially liable for any injuries that result from these dangerous conditions, as it is considered negligence to not fix or warn about a dangerous condition one knows or should know about.
Common examples of dangerous conditions that can lead to slip and fall injuries and lawsuits include:
- Grocery store spills
- Plumbing leaks
- Construction sites that people walk into because they’re not properly fenced/roped off
- Loose carpeting
- Electrical cords placed where customers walk
- Uneven floors
- Uneven sidewalks
- Broken stairs
- Missing or broken stairwell railings
- Not putting up signs warning about hazards
Dog Bite Lawsuits
Dog bite lawsuits are very common in California, and these lawsuits are an example of lawsuits which don’t require negligence to be proven.
California dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries caused when their dogs bite people. This means that dog owners are still financially liable for dog bite injuries even if the dog bite wasn’t the result of the dog owner’s negligence.
This also means that dog owners are financially liable for dog bite injuries even if their dog has never bitten someone before; some states only allow dog bite lawsuits when the owner knows or should know the dog can be dangerous, but not California.
Anyone bitten by a dog in California can file a dog bite lawsuit as long as they didn’t provoke the dog and they weren’t trespassing when they were bitten.
Dangerous Drug Lawsuits
Manufacturers of dangerous products are strictly liable in California for injuries caused by their products when:
- The products are defectively designed, meaning they’re unreasonably dangerous even when used as instructed or as reasonably expected;
- The products contain a manufacturing defect, meaning they’re unreasonably dangerous because something went wrong while they were being made, or;
- The product manufacturer knows or should know that their product poses a health risk to consumers, but fails to warn about this risk.
The majority of dangerous drug lawsuits are filed when drug companies fail to warn about dangers they know or should know about.
Toxic Exposure Lawsuits
Toxic exposure lawsuits are very common in California. Examples of toxic exposure lawsuits include paraquat, Roundup, asbestos and firefighting foam lawsuits. The chemicals involved in these lawsuits can cause severe medical issues such as cancer or Parkinson’s disease.
These lawsuits, like dangerous drug lawsuits, tend to focus on companies that know or should know their products are dangerous but fail to warn about it. Successful litigation in these lawsuits often involves proving that companies failed to warn about dangers despite the dangers having been established by commonly accepted science for decades.
Defective Medical Device Lawsuits
Lawsuits involving defective medical devices, like the recently recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator devices, can be similar to dangerous drug and toxic exposure lawsuits in that they typically involve companies that know or should know their devices are dangerous but fail to warn the public about it.
California Wildfire Lawsuits
Years of hot weather, a lack of rain, and, some contend, forest mismanagement have led to a rash of wildfires in California in recent years, such as the Dixie Fire. With these fires have come lawsuits accusing California utilities such as PG&E and Southern California Edison of starting the fires. The lawsuits contend that California utilities have failed to maintain their power lines and have failed to keep vegetation that poses a fire risk away from their power lines, leading to devastating wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes.
California law holds public and private utilities responsible for any property damage caused by fires they are responsible for under a concept known as inverse condemnation: California’s constitution states that private property may only be damaged for public use if fair and just compensation is paid to the property owner. California courts have ruled that this concept applies to property damage caused by utility-started wildfires.
Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Nadrich & Cohen handles many sexual abuse lawsuits, such as lawsuits against the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America. These lawsuits usually argue that institutions like the Catholic Church or Boy Scouts of America know or should know that an abuser is an abuser, yet fail to warn about (and often cover up) the fact that an abuser they employ is a dangerous sexual predator. Such a failure to protect the public from sexual predators amounts to negligence.