Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What are some long-term consequences of a closed head injury?

    People who suffer closed head injuries can experience a lifetime of problems. A very short list of these possible debilitating and disabling long-term effects includes

    • Chronic headaches
    • Ringing in the ears
    • Seizures
    • Vertigo
    • Personality changes
    • Memory loss
    • Difficulties with controlling emotions
    • Inability to learn and retain new information
    • Difficulties with completing tasks as simple as brushing teeth and dressing oneself
    • Paralysis


  • What types of accidents can cause a closed head injury?

    Any blow to the head can cause a closed head injury. Symptoms can include dizziness, blurred vision, mental confusion, slurred speech, loss of balance, nausea and loss of consciousness.

    The most common type of closed head injury is a concussion, but brain bleeds, brain swelling and life-threatening intracranial pressure can occur. As Virginia personal injury lawyers, my law firm colleagues and I most often help people who suffered closed head injuries as a result of

    • Car crashes,
    • Motorcycle crashes,
    • Bike accidents,
    • Pedestrian accidents,
    • Truck accidents,
    • Boat and personal watercraft accidents, and
    • Slips and falls.


  • What is a closed head injury?

    A closed head injury is a type of traumatic brain injury in which the skull remains unopened. That is, the brain is not exposed, and not objects penetrate the bones of the head.

    Even though the injury can have few visible signs, a closed head injury can cause a concussion, bleeding inside the skull and loss of brain tissue. Also, skull fractures can occur even if the skin does not break. Seeking immediate medical attention after any serious blow to the head is essential and can be life-saving.


  • What are different types of product liability?

    The primary types of product liability claims are:

    • Failure to Warn/Insufficient Warning: The manufacturer of the product failed to provide proper warning labels or instructions for use with the product.
    • Defective Design: The design of the product was defective or dangerous.
    • Manufacturing Defect: The defect occurred during manufacturing of the product, such as using materials that caused the defect or is poorly assembled.

  • What is the gray market in product liability cases?

    The gray market refers to situations where a vendor purchases a product and then resells it for a discounted price. Common places where gray market products can be found include:

    • Ebay and other online auction sites
    • Garage sales or flea markets
    • Fundraising events

    If a victim is injured by a product they purchased from a gray market, then the victim may have issues when it comes to pursuing a product liability claim. If this is your situation, a Virginia defective product attorney can evaluate what type of case you may have.

  • What are the elements needed in a product liability claim?

    When a victim has been injured by a defective or dangerous product, they may be able to collect financial compensation for their injuries. A Virginia product liability attorney will need to prove the following elements to be successful:

    • The product was defective
    • The victim was using the product as it was intended to be used at the time the injury occurred.
    • The victim sustained an injury.
    • The product caused the injury.

  • What are the most common types of bike accidents?

    Statistics show that the majority of bike accident victims are hit at an angel and not head on. The most common type of bike accident we see hear at Shapiro & Appleton are:

    • Left Hook: A vehicle turns into a cyclist’s path while traveling in the opposite direction. It is not uncommon in these types of accidents for the vehicle driver to claim they did not see the bicycle until after they hit it.
    • Right Hook: A vehicle passes by a bicycle riding in a bike lane or in the right shoulder, both traveling in the same direction. The vehicle takes a sharp right turn into the bicycle’s path, crashing into the cyclist.

  • Why do bike accidents occur?

    The most common factors Virginia bike accidents attorneys see in their cases include:

    • Motorist fails to see the cyclist.
    • Driver or passenger in a vehicle opens the door into the cyclist.
    • Motorist fails to stop for a red light or stop sign.
    • Motorist distracted by a phone or other electronic device.
    • Motorist was speeding.
    • Motorist was engaging in aggressive driving.

  • Are there any common factors in bicycle accidents?

    According to national statistics:

    • More than 80 percent of fatal bicycle accidents victims are male.
    • The average age of bicycle accident victims is 44 years of age. This is quite the spike from three decades ago when the average age was 24 and 20 years ago when the average age was 32 years of age.
    • Approximately 70 percent of fatal bicycle accidents occur in urban areas.
    • The time of day when the most fatal bike accidents occur (20 percent) is between 6 to 9 p.m.
    • Thirty percent of fatal bike accidents are alcohol-related.

  • What is the difference between a mass tort action and a class action lawsuit?

    In every mass tort action, every victim has a separate lawsuit and trial which results in distinct damages for each victim. In a class action, there are many plaintiffs who are represented by a class legal representative in one trial. Any damages awarded in a class action lawsuit are distributed among the victims.