Personal injury cases have become more and more common in the last thirty years or so. Contrary to what the media might have you believe, these cases aren’t frivolous, and they aren’t made by dishonest people trying to make a fast buck. The vast majority of personal injury cases are made to cover medical costs, lost earnings and other unfortunate effects of accidents. Let’s take a look at some personal injury case examples. Hopefully, you’ll see that they’re cases that bring people (and businesses) to justice, and give the plaintiff the justice they deserve.
1) Medical Negligence
Medical negligence is a very common reason why people file personal injury claims. It’s little wonder, since we have to pay so much for medical care, that we should expect the best when we visit a hospital or talk to a doctor. But unfortunately, for a whole host of reasons, sometimes people are let down by those that were caring for them.
This case is an excellent example: Cynthia Adae of Clinton County, Ohio, was failed by the doctors at the Clinton Memorial Hospital. She visited the hospital for tests after she complained of right shoulder pain, limited range of motion, a cough, and a fever. The doctor took a blood test, but sent her home before they got the result. Unfortunately, Ms Adae returned to hospital just four days later after her condition worsened- the real cause was an epidural abscess, which left her permanently disabled. During the six year case, it emerged that one of the doctors had seen the results of the blood test (which showed her infection), and yet she was still sent home. The case was settled for $2.3 million.
2) The Hot Coffee Lawsuit
One of the most famous personal injury lawsuits: the McDonald’s hot coffee case. At the time, the 79 year old plaintiff Stella Liebeck was mocked in the media. What they didn’t want to tell you was that Stella had suffered third degree burns on six percent of her body, and further burns on 16% of her body. She lost 20% of her body weight due to shock while she was hospitalized, and required care for two years afterwards. McDonald’s offered her $800 as a settlement, which she refused. The case was eventually settled for somewhere around $600,000, and Liebeck needed a live-in nurse until she passed in 2004.
3) Slips and Falls
No list of personal injury case examples would be complete without a slip, trip or fall. A Denver resident was awarded $68,500 after a fall on a slippery sidewalk at Wellshire Golf Course. The resident- Joan Siudzinski- had been playing golf with friends, when she slipped and fell on black ice. Since the golf course is owned by the city, Joan filed a personal injury lawsuit. The golf course staff had allowed snow and ice to accumulate for three days without clearing it away, or de-icing it with suitable materials like sand or salt. Unfortunately for Joan, her slip cost her $63,000 in medical costs: she suffered a permanent shoulder injury and required surgery. This is a great example of how personal injury attorneys recover what’s rightfully yours after an accident.
4) The City At Fault
A Boulder man settled with the council after a snow plow damaged his car in a crash, during poor conditions. Fortunately, he wasn’t injured, but his car was written off. The case covered the cost of his damages, as it had been the snow plow that had lost control. A settlement of $152,000 was approved for a citizen injured in a similar crash earlier in the year.
5) Police At Fault
There are plenty of personal injury case examples that involve the police. The reason is normally either due to an unfortunate crash or because of miscommunication. The city of Denver has paid out over half a million dollars in personal injury cases since 2015, which involve an on-duty police officer behind the wheel. An investigation found that there were 45 officers who had been at fault in at least three car accidents in that time. This is no doubt partly because Denver officers drove 10,000,000 miles in 2017 alone!
6) Light Rail Crash
In a 2017 case, RTD agreed to pay a woman $60,000 after a light rail train crashed into her car. It was left completely written off. Unbelievably, the conductor lied and blamed the driver, but video footage that emerged soon afterwards showed that it wasn’t her fault. Unfortunately, personal injury case examples are littered with denials and refusals like this one. Photos of her emerging from her completely wrecked car soon afterwards aired on TV. Tia Mills, the woman involved in the crash, was miraculously unharmed. Nevertheless, she wanted to cover the cost of her wrecked car. After months of delaying the investigation, RTD eventually offered a $60,000 settlement.
7) Wrongful Imprisonment
Every few years, a new wrongful imprisonment case will hit the news. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for the justice system to be correct every time. That’s why there are so many cases just like this one. Our example is another case from Ohio. In this case, the prisoner only spent one and a half years behind bars. Nevertheless, he was determined to reclaim something for his wrongful imprisonment.
Terry Swalley was charged with possessing materials to make methamphetamine, and had been sentenced to two years. He took the case to appeal, and the appeals court found that there was nowhere near enough evidence to convict him. Most of the ‘materials’ weren’t in his possession, and some were for his skin infection! As personal injury case examples go, his story could have been a lot worse. He was eventually awarded exactly $31,792 for spending 461 days behind bars.