Personal injury settlements carve up a sizable portion of most of the media attention afforded to the legal practice. This is mainly because they have a major influence on how the social contract is ultimately formed between a country’s legal system and its citizens. There are so many things we take for granted today – such as the proliferation of “caution: hot beverage” cups and a variety of workplace protections – that are a direct result of successful personal injury lawsuits.
Of course, the cliche of the accident lawyer as the perennial “ambulance chaser” persists, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The reality is that most of these lawsuits have a lasting impact on society, and their dividends go far beyond a decent settlement paycheck for the victims. The following are a few of the biggest personal injury settlements so far this year – time will tell if these types of lawsuits will have a major societal impact.
1. COVID-19 Related Settlements
Of course, given the ongoing nature of the current public health crisis, there have been several lawsuits in the works that are a direct result of the pandemic. One big lawsuit that is now charging forward regarding several school districts being sued by teachers or the families of students who were exposed to the virus due to negligence. The situation is still being monitored, but it is bound to be some of the biggest personal injury settlements in 2020.
The number of people who have fallen ill and subsequently lost their jobs, concurrent income, and lost tens of thousands of dollars on hospital bills require a healthy injury settlement. Many of the safety nets outlined by various governments don’t seem to be sufficient to meet the current crisis, and in their absence, it only makes sense that these legal settlements will take huge precedence this year.
2. Bike Accidents
Perhaps not new to 2020 specifically, but bike accidents and related personal injury settlements are projected to be major developments this year. It may be due in part to the fact that many more people are biking their way to work, given the general reluctance to take public transportation in light of the pandemic. As the legal experts at www.kazlaw.ca note, the medical costs attached to a biker being hit by a car or a similar accident are excessive – not to mention dealing with the traumatic aftermath of such a dramatic event, which can exact an emotional toll. Regardless of the exact reasons for the uptick in biking accidents, it is fairly clear that this is one instance in which having a good personal injury attorney fighting in the corner for a victim is absolutely necessary to help cover the costs incurred.
3. Automobile Accidents
Again, this one is not specific to 2020, and the reality is that car accidents usually make up the bulk of personal injury settlements. However, it is anticipated that by the end of the year, there will be a significant increase. While most people are attempting to work from home, consumers have also seen the necessity of having alternative modes of transportation in light of the global health crisis. Again, public transportation carries with it plenty of risks, thus accounting for the huge increase in new leases on cars. This, in turn, accounts for the dramatic rise in car accidents, especially during the summer months as more and more people have attempted to escape their settings and go camping or enjoy the great outdoors while they can – before winter hits.
Car accidents are incredibly complicated affairs: the municipality can be involved if there is cause to believe that a bad road or lack of signage has led to the accident. Further, it typically includes the perpetrator and the victim, their respective car insurance representatives, police reports, medical bills, and so on. Therefore, it makes sense that these instances tend to lead to massive personal injury settlements.
4. Medical Malpractice
It is still fairly difficult to determine the extent to which medical malpractice lawsuits would make up a huge portion of the personal injury settlement cases won in 2020. Still, it is safe to say that there has already been a higher uptick than usual. Whether it is due to unfortunate yet run of the mill general medical negligence or misdiagnosis as a result of COVID-19, there seem to be many fires for medical professionals to put out this year. In all cases, medical malpractice is a serious crime, and a good lawyer can help devise a healthy settlement to mitigate the expenses incurred.
Needless to say, 2020 has been a challenging year for pretty much everyone in different ways. It seems as though it just won’t let up, and the pandemic certainly does not help. In light of these extenuating circumstances, the work of personal injury lawyers has become more vital than ever, since they help to protect the rights of patients, workers, and just your average citizen from various forms of misconduct.