When Do Accidents Become Personal Injury Cases?

Tort law, commonly referred to as personal injury law, allows injured victims to pursue financial compensation when another party’s deliberate or negligent act results in harm. Although an average of 40 million people are admitted to hospital emergency rooms with accidental injuries every year, bear in mind that not every situation in which a person is injured is going to result in liability. For an injury to be legally actionable, it must have been caused by recklessly induced harm or negligence. Personal injury cases cover a variety of circumstances, from medical malpractice and motor vehicle accidents to slip and fall accidents and wrongful death, each of which can lead to serious damages and considerable legal implications. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence or reckless conduct, working with an experienced Hampton personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you successfully navigate the complexities of a personal injury case and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Leading Types of Personal Injury Cases

Whether you were hit by another driver, slipped on an unmarked wet floor, or have a medical complication that arose from a missed or improper diagnosis, understanding what qualifies as a personal injury case will allow you to identify when it might be appropriate to speak to a qualified Hampton personal injury attorney.  

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are the number one type of personal injury case in the United States. They take place every day and are usually caused by negligent behaviors such as speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, or driving under the influence. In these personal injury cases, the aggrieved party pursues compensation for their damages from the negligent party, which could be another motorist, a vehicle parts manufacturer, or even the government agency responsible for roadway maintenance.  

After a serious motor vehicle accident, it is essential to seek medical attention, document the scene, take down eyewitness information, and consult with a reputable personal injury lawyer. Their knowledge and preparation will often make a considerable difference in the outcome of your case.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Another leading source of personal injury cases is slip-and-fall accidents, a subset of business or commercial premises liability accidents. This concept of business premises liability maintains that the owner of a property can be held liable if a person is injured due to hazardous conditions on their property, which the owner or lessor knew or should have known could lead to dangerous consequences or injuries.

Hazardous conditions can be uneven surfaces, wet floors, inadequate lighting, loose handrails, and any other unsafe circumstances of which the owner was aware or should have been aware. Proving liability involves showing that the owner was negligent in the upkeep of their property and/or in warning guests of potential hazards.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is another claim at the forefront of personal injury cases. Medical malpractice or medical negligence takes place when a medical professional, like a doctor, assistant, or nurse fails to uphold the medical standard of care, and as a result, a patient is injured or suffers an untimely death. Common examples include incorrect diagnosis, failure to diagnose, surgical mistakes, incorrect medications, and inadequate follow-up care.

Healthcare professionals owe a duty of care to those they treat, and all aspects of medical care have standards of medical care that apply. When the medical standards of care are violated and a patient is harmed, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, not every unfortunate medical outcome is necessarily due to medical malpractice, so please read other posts from this law firm on the details of medical malpractice lawsuits in Virginia.

Wrongful Death

Perhaps the most serious and impactful of all personal injury cases are those involving wrongful death. Wrongful death claims can arise when the legal fault (recklessness or negligence) of one person results in the death of another. Virginia and most states have a “wrongful death” statute that provides various details of such civil lawsuits.

In these cases, the surviving beneficiaries or dependents could be eligible to receive monetary damages, such as the deceased person’s lost earnings, funeral expenses, and various intangible losses of guidance and nurturing a deceased person may have provided to various family members. Although there is no legal action that can undo the death of a loved one, surviving family members may be able to find some small measure of consolation via various forms of financial restitution.

All We Do is Injury Law

All personal injury cases have distinct characteristics, legal requirements, and possible outcomes. The one commonality shared by every type of case, however, is the importance of skilled legal representation. Personal injury law is a challenging field. Partnering with an experienced Hampton personal injury lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can be the difference between walking away with nothing at all and getting the justice and compensation you deserve. That was the case for this client when we secured him a $1 million settlement after his leg was crushed by a forklift. 

If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you can schedule a free consultation by calling (833) 997-1774 or completing our online form. We have offices in Hampton, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.