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Personal Injury Lawyer Dallas
Personal injuries are among the most common occurrences that happen across America every day. The frequency of personal injuries is one of the reasons why there are so many attorneys who specialize in this area of the law. Another reason is that personal injuries can end up being very costly, and in some cases completely debilitating to the victim who suffered the injury. A personal injury can result in expensive medical bills, high repair or replacement costs for damaged property, and lost income due to being unable to work. Plus there are the mental and psychological effects of the injury as well.
That is why personal injuries can be so serious. That is also why any personal injury victim needs an experienced attorney to represent them. Craig Watkins, Attorney at Law is a Dallas personal injury lawyer who has over a decade of experience helping clients who have suffered personal injuries get the help that they need. He can help them get the compensation they need to cover their accident-related expenses by helping them file a personal injury claim and negotiating with the insurance companies on their behalf. So if you have suffered a personal injury in Dallas, then contact Craig Watkins to get the help you need.
What is a Personal Injury?
Personal injury seems like a broad legal term but there are certain elements that need to be present for a case to be legally considered a personal injury. It should be noted that personal injuries are not considered to be criminal acts since they are usually unintentional. That means harsh penalties like jail time are off the table. In personal injury cases, the victim only seeks to get the necessary compensation they need to take care of any expenses that were caused by the accident.
- The person who caused the personal injury— aka the defendant— owed the victim a duty of care. A duty of care means that the defendant should have behaved in the same way a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. For example, a driver should obey the rules of the road and not ignore a stop sign or any traffic signals.
- The duty of care was breached. In other words, the defendant was negligent, and negligence is the main component of personal injury cases. An example would be a store owner or manager not cleaning up or warning customers about a spill that could cause a slip and fall accident.
- The breach of the duty of care caused an injury. It is not just that the duty of care was breached, it has to lead to an accident as well. So a store owner not warning customers about a slippery surface is a breach of duty, but it only becomes a personal injury case if someone slips, falls, and gets hurt.
- The injured person suffered losses because of the accident. Those losses can be financial, such as medical bills, repair bills, or lost wages. But they can be non-economical as well, like pain and suffering, or if the victim develops emotional or psychological conditions because of the accident, like PTSD or emotional trauma.
Types of Personal Injury
Personal injury covers a wide range of topics including the following ones.
These are among the most common kinds of personal injuries since hundreds of car accidents happen every day across America for a variety of reasons. Those reasons could be anything from distracted driving to speeding to driving while fatigued. Car accidents can range in severity from relatively harmless fender benders to more serious wrecks. But in many cases, an auto accident can lead to serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicle and heavy damage to the vehicle itself. All of which could cause high medical bills, expensive repair costs, lost wages, and emotional turmoil.
Slip and fall accidents are also called premises liability accidents and as the name suggests, they occur when someone suffers a personal injury on someone else’s property. Slip and fall accidents are the most common and they generally happen in retail outlets usually because of spilled liquid, slippery surfaces, uneven flooring, or poor lighting. If any of those conditions are present, then they should either be fixed or customers should be clearly warned about them. Failure to do either constitutes negligence, and anyone who gets injured as a result deserves to be compensated.
Sometimes the medical professionals who are dedicated to helping people end up hurting them instead. When that happens it is called medical malpractice and it can have serious consequences for a person’s health. There are many different kinds of medical malpractice including the following:
- Misdiagnosis – This is when a doctor does not diagnose the correct illness a patient is suffering from after examining them. This means the illness can get much worse as it goes untreated, plus the incorrect treatment might end up causing other problems.
- Delayed Diagnosis – This is similar to misdiagnosis, but in this case, the doctor does come to the right conclusion, they just come to it too late. That means the patient’s condition could worsen because they did not get the right diagnosis in time.
- Failure to Treat – In this case, the doctor gets the diagnosis right in a timely manner, but they fail to give the patient the treatment needed to take care of their illness. This can occur when a doctor is treating too many different patients at once and ends up losing track of some of them.
- Surgical Mistakes – There are many different types of surgical mistakes such as performing the wrong surgery. Leaving a medical implement inside the patient, using equipment that is not properly sterilized, poor anesthesia control, inadequate post-surgical care, and more. No matter how it happens, a surgical mistake can leave a person worse off than they were before the surgery.
- Prescription Errors – This is when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication, the right medication but in the wrong dosage or multiple medications that interact with each other in a harmful way. Any of those situations can cause serious illness and harmful side effects in the patient.
When someone uses a product in the way that it was intended but it ends up hurting them, then that is a product liability. There can be many different reasons why it happens; there could be a design flaw, there could have been an error in the manufacturing process, or something went wrong while the product was being distributed. A product liability case can involve any kind of product including food and medicine as there have been cases where tainted food made it to supermarket shelves and made people ill.
One of the more infamous product liability cases involved Takata airbags because they would shoot out metal shards when deployed. Some of the most common kinds of product liability cases involve defective medical equipment that ends up hurting the people who use them. Product liability cases can also be about poor instructions when it comes to using a product. Essentially, there are a wide variety of product liability cases and a lawyer is necessary for all of them because the victim will likely be going up against a large corporation and will need all the help that they can get.
Most personal injury cases involve accidental and unintentional injury to another person, but assault and battery cases are the exception since the actions in those cases are intentional. However, the actions in these cases may not necessarily rise to the level of the criminal so they can be settled in civil court where the victim seeks compensation for any injuries suffered. The difference between assault and battery varies from state to state but generally assault is categorized as threatening to harm someone while battery is when a person actually harms someone.
Some states, including Texas, view assault and battery as essentially the same but there are varying degrees of offense. That means threatening someone with bodily harm is a lesser offense than actually inflicting bodily harm upon a person.
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