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Common Types of Personal Injury Claims

A personal injury claim is filed when you are the victim of injury because of the negligence of another party. In most cases, a personal injury claim is first filed with an insurance company that carries auto, homeowners, business, malpractice or Workers' Compensation insurance, depending on the nature of your accident.

Once you file a personal injury claim, you will need to follow through with evidence of your accident, injuries and financial damages. An insurance company may offer you an early settlement to get you to resolve the claim quickly and for a low amount. In some cases, you may be denied a settlement completely.

When you are filing a personal injury claim that is not clearly a strong case of injury involving negligence, you may find it best to hire a personal injury attorney to help with the negotiation and settlement of your claim.

Car Accidents: The Most Common Personal Injury Claim

Vehicle accidents involving passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, bicyclists, motorcycles and pedestrians are the most common types of accidents that result in a personal injury claim. With millions of vehicles on the road every day, it's no wonder they're the most common type of accident.

When proving negligence in a car accident, the insurance company will contact the involved parties to get each side of the story on what happened in the accident. Often the insurance adjuster will try to get the claimant to damage their side of the personal injury claim by taking a recorded statement in which they coerce them to admit that they contributed to the accident somehow, or that it was not as serious as they claim.

You must be extremely careful when speaking to the insurance company in a car accident personal injury claim, as the more at fault you seem to be for the accident, the lower the settlement they can offer, if they offer one at all. In cases where you are not in a vehicle (pedestrian or bicycle accident), you will file a claim with the driver's insurance company. If you carry your own auto insurance, you will deal with your insurance company, or in some cases you will deal with both your insurance company and the other driver's company.

Premises Liability: a Slip and Fall Personal Injury Claim

You may have heard about premises liability, commonly known as slip and fall accidents that result in a personal injury claim. These claims are often filed against businesses, homeowners or local governments as the accident must take place on property owned by another party.

When you are on the property of a store, public venue or private residence, you have a reasonable right to believe the grounds are safe. Hazards such as cracked sidewalks, spilled substances, uneven pavement or unkempt weather-related situations can all cause a victim to trip or slip and fall.

A property owner is responsible for keeping floors, parking lots and other walking areas free of hazards to visitors. If you are on another person's premises and slip because of their negligence in keeping the walking areas clear and safe, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim.

The homeowners' insurance company is generally liable to handle claims filed from injuries at a neighbor's house or other private residence. Business insurance will typically cover a claim filed against a store owner. In the case your accident was on public property such as a city sidewalk or state park, the personal injury claim will be filed with the insurance company that works with the appropriate government entity.

Workers' Compensation and Medical Malpractice Claims

There are 2 special types of personal injury claims that also are based on negligence. Workers' Compensation claims occur when you are injured on the job because of failure to maintain safe working conditions. Some jobs such as construction and manufacturing are more dangerous than others, but almost all states require all employers to provide Workers' Compensation insurance to their employees.

Medical malpractice is also a form of negligence that is considered a personal injury claim. When a medical professional is negligent in your diagnosis and treatment of a condition, they can be held liable for your injuries. Most doctors carry medical malpractice insurance through an insurance company and you will deal with them in your personal injury claim.

No matter what type of accident you are involved in or the injuries you sustain, you will deal with the insurance company first when you file a personal injury claim. If your settlement is denied, or is too low to cover your damages, a personal injury lawsuit filed with the help of a personal injury attorney may be necessary to get the compensation you deserve.

About the Author:

Ben Glass is a personal injury attorney in Fairfax, Virginia. He is a frequent speaker on personal injury topics. Accident victims can download 31 Tips for Handling Your Own Virginia Accident Case at www.31tips.com

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