When it comes to a personal injury lawsuit, there are five general categories of case type. The type of category you must file under depends on the type of injury and how it was sustained. A general overview of these categories can help you better determine the type of case you have.
One of the most common types of personal injury suit is negligence, in part because it is a large category. It covers everything from gross medical malpractice cases that result in death to injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident. Negligence is often the category for car accidents and workplace accidents that result in injuries as well. Generally, if the error or neglect of the other party wasn't on purpose and resulted in the injury, then the case will fall under negligence.
2. Direct Liability
Direct liability is when the other party failed to take safety precautions for a known risk, and this resulted in your injuries. Being attacked by an off-leash dog is one type of direct liability case. Other examples include if someone was driving while under the influence or failing to provide proper safety equipment to a worker doing a dangerous task. Direct liability may also be paired with negligence depending on the full circumstances surrounding the event.
3. Product Liability
Product liability is when it is a failure of a product to perform as it was intended so that it leads to the injury. This can be direct liability, such as when an auto manufacturer fails to issue a recall for a known vehicle problem that leads to an accident. It can also be indirect. For example, indirect product liability may be determined if a metal shaving from damaged equipment ends up in the food you are eating at a restaurant.
4. Indirect Liability
There is only one major determining factor between indirect and direct liability—who specifically caused the conditions that lead to the accident. For example, if you are injured by the negligence or actions of an employee, the business owner may be held responsible via the indirect liability contingency. This is also the case in car accidents where the person that caused the accident was in a company vehicle or performing job duties.
5. Emotional Distress
Emotional distress is most often applied to related witnesses to the victim. If your child is uninjured during a car accident, for example, but is traumatized by witnessing your injuries or by the accident itself, then a claim of emotional distress may be made.
Contact a personal injury lawyer for more help in determining the type of case you should present.