What is a “personal injury” case?

A personal or catastrophic injury case occurs when a person has suffered some form of severe physical or psychological injury as a result of another person or company’s wrongful conduct. The wrongful conduct may be simple negligence or intentional, willful, wanton or reckless conduct.

In some instances, a party may be strictly liable for injury to another without the injured person having to show any wrongdoing by the other party.

The most common type of personal injury claims are animal attacks, automobile accidents, burn cases, boat accidents, brain injuries, construction accidents, dog bites, hazardous products, insurance bad faith cases, medical malpractice, motorcycle accidents, motor vehicle accidents, paralysis, personal injuries, premises liability, product liability, professional malpractice, railroad accidents, severe injuries, slip and falls, spinal cord injuries, truck accidents and wrongful death cases.

In most catastrophic injury cases, an injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation for bodily injury and pain and suffering from the person or company whose negligent or wrongful conduct caused the injury. Wrongful conduct by the responsible party that is intentional, willful, wanton or reckless may also allow an injured party to also receive punitive damages which are designed to punish the responsible party. Over the past two decades, we’ve handled both types of case.

The standard of proof in the United States in a catastrophic injury case is typically by a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to clear and convincing or beyond a reasonable doubt. Because proving a case beyond a preponderance of the evidence (slight tipping of scales) is usually easier than in a criminal prosecution (beyond a reasonable doubt), most catastrophic personal injury cases are handled in the civil court system.

Most states have a strict statute of limitations which means that court proceedings must be properly commenced within a certain period of time after the incident or the claimant will lose his or her right to bring a claim.


If you have a personal injury, workers' compensation, social security disability, elder or nursing home abuse, or sexual abuse case, please contact Black, Chapman, Petersen & Stevens by filling out the form below. The consultation is free and we only receive compensation if we obtain benefits for you.


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