Common Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits


A close-up shot of a stethoscope and pen on top of medical billing paperwork


When you hear the phrase “personal injury lawsuit,” what comes to mind? Maybe it’s a car accident or a slip and fall, but there are other types of common personal injury cases that you may not be aware of. Today we’re discussing some of the most prevalent types of personal injury cases – and what to do if you are injured.


When considering personal injury litigation, it’s important to note that the U.S. Department of Justice found that only four to five percent of personal injury cases go to trial, with the vast majority of claims ending in a settlement. 


Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider (doctor, healthcare professional, etc.) is negligent or causes injury to the patient. The patient must demonstrate that the provider’s negligence or omission directly resulted in their injury.


Proving medical malpractice cases requires that the plaintiff can show:

  • A professional duty was owed to the patient
  • That duty was breached
  • The breach caused an injury, and the patient incurred damages as a result 


Around 85,000 medical malpractice claims are filed every year in the U.S., with an average payout of $242,000. Depending on the case’s specific circumstances, a personal injury attorney can provide insight into the benefits and risks of settlements vs. trials. 


Product Liability

A product liability lawsuit occurs when a consumer sues a manufacturer or company for injuries resulting from the use of a product. Whether it’s a manufacturing defect or marketing defect (like improperly labeled choking hazards), consumers only need to show that the defect existed and it caused the injury. They do not have to show that the manufacturer was negligent. 

As with all personal injury cases, the settlement very much depends on the circumstances. You’ll see huge payouts in the news, like the $4.7 billion Johnson & Johnson case, but settlements of that magnitude are extremely rare. The average jury award in 2020 on a product liability case was just over $7 million


Motor Vehicle Accident 

Sadly, more than 38,000 people die in car accidents every year, and many more suffer injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control, traffic deaths result in $55 billion in medical and work loss costs, not to mention the incalculable personal loss to family and friends. 

Every car accident is different, so it’s impossible to estimate a possible settlement or jury award amount without knowing the ins and outs of a specific situation. Car accident settlements are generally based on:

  • Medical ramifications and costs
  • Property damages
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average claim for bodily injury was just over $20,000, and the average property damage claim was approximately $4,700 in 2020. 


Workplace Injuries

Although the number of workplace injuries and fatalities has decreased in recent years, these cases are still major drivers of personal injury litigation. When someone is injured on the job, hopefully the company has a workers’ compensation plan in place. Even with workers’ comp, sometimes the injuries go above and beyond the scope of the coverage.

The COVID-19 pandemic facilitated an interesting evolution in workplace injuries, with new data about days away from work due to viruses. As we continue to shift the way we view the workplace risks of contagious viruses, we could see additional personal injury cases related to the spread of illness. 


Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Finding a personal injury attorney with extensive experience is crucial. You need a dedicated attorney to make sure you navigate the legal process efficiently and effectively, whether your case settles or goes to trial. 

The McGonigle Law team has decades of experience with personal injury cases – don’t hesitate to reach out to our office with any questions.


The information contained herein is for general purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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