Over the years, fatal personal injury incidents have increased in San Diego County. From 2015-2019, age-adjusted death rates due to unintentional injuries increased from 29 per 100,000 residents to 36 per 100,000.
Most people know the most common personal injury cases – slip and falls, car accidents, medical malpractice, etc. However, many fewer conventional types of personal injury cases can occur.
The injured victim deserves compensation regardless if a case doesn’t fit the typical slip-and-fall mold. Here, our San Diego personal injury attorneys will provide an overview of some of the more unconventional personal injury cases that can happen.
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What Is an Unconventional Personal Injury Case?
There’s no exact definition, but these cases generally present unique circumstances, an unusual cause of injury, or injury in a setting that people don’t typically associate with personal injury claims. They go beyond the standard slip and fall, car crash, or dog bite scenarios.
Unconventional personal injury cases run the gamut from the mildly unusual to the truly bizarre.
- Injuries from a physical altercation at a house party or bar: While the setup may be familiar, many injury victims don’t realize they can potentially recover damages even if they were partly at fault.
- Injuries from exercise equipment at the gym: Treadmill falls, weightlifting accidents, etc can lead to valid injury claims against negligent gyms.
- Injuries during cosmetic procedures like laser hair removal or Botox injections: Medical negligence rules still apply in these elective treatments.
- Injuries from furniture assembly or equipment malfunctions: Product liability claims can arise well outside a store or manufacturing facility.
- Injuries at trampoline parks, amusement parks, and other recreation centers: Liability waivers don’t automatically absolve these companies from responsibility.
- Food poisoning incidents at restaurants, hotels, or other dining establishments.
- Personal injury while using public transportation.
These examples demonstrate that personal injury law encompasses many scenarios and accident causes. Even if a case is complex, you can still claim compensation.
How Is Liability Established in an Unconventional Personal Injury Case?
In any personal injury case, the core legal concept is negligence. The injured person must prove that the other party owed them a duty of care, breached that responsibility through negligent actions, and directly caused harm.
While the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff, unconventional cases don’t automatically lack merit or the ability to meet this burden.
The duty of care refers to the responsibility to act reasonably in a given situation. While duties vary across contexts, it is difficult for defendants to prove no obligation existed in an unconventional incident. Negligence can manifest in many ways, no matter the environment or circumstances.
The key is gathering solid evidence to demonstrate each element of negligence. Examples of documentation that may be useful include police reports, medical records, repair invoices, product manuals, financial statements, and witness statements.
Photographing injuries, property damage, or hazardous conditions provides visual evidence. Retaining defective products may also be possible.
Understanding Damages and Compensation
The range of damages a victim can claim remains similar – whether a case is considered conventional or unconventional. These damages aim to make the victim financially whole again.
Economic damages refer to tangible, monetary losses due to an accident. These include medical expenses, lost income and future earnings, out-of-pocket costs, and property damage. Precise calculations quantify these losses.
Non-economic damages cover intangible harms like pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment or quality of life. These are subjective but can be substantial, especially in severe injury cases.
Legal representation in gross negligence or intentional harm must pursue Punitive damages. They punish the defendant instead of simply compensating the victim.
Although an unusual case may require unique analysis, the circumstances of the injury do not limit one’s right to seek a full recovery.
How Do You Recover Damages From an Unconventional Personal Injury?
Pursuing compensation for an unconventional personal injury case follows the same overall legal process as more standard injury claims. The unique circumstances simply require specialized strategic planning and execution. An overview of what’s involved includes the following:
- Filing a Claim: The first step is submitting a demand letter detailing the allegations and liability arguments. This act initiates the potential for settlement negotiations before commencing a lawsuit.
- Initiating Legal Action: If early negotiations fail, filing a complaint in court starts formal legal proceedings. More evidence-gathering typically occurs during this phase.
- Settlement Talks: Many unconventional cases out of court eventually. However, it often requires substantive talks and mediation to get there. Experienced attorneys maximize leverage in these negotiations.
- Expert Witnesses: Unique cases frequently depend on expert testimony to establish negligence, causation, and damages. Securing respected experts in the appropriate fields is vital.
- Trial: If parties do not settle, the case proceeds to a jury or bench trial.
While each case follows distinct events and timelines, victims should seek counsel and initiate the legal process when warranted.
Relax – Experience Is on Your Side With Legal Help From HJJ
Unconventional personal injury cases depart from the standard slip and fall or car accident scenarios that make up many claims. However, victims in these unique cases still deserve fair compensation when negligence causes them harm.
Don’t assume you lack recourse just because your situation is unique. Contact HHJ Trial Attorneys for free consultation from an attorney experienced in unconventional personal injury cases.