Frequently Asked Questions
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What are the different types of amusement park injuries that can occur?
There are many types of injuries that victims can sustain in amusement park accidents and many of them can be catastrophic, resulting in permanent disability or death. Even less serious injuries can mean long-term recovery. Some of the more common types of injuries include:
- Whiplash caused by jerking motion of the ride or improper restraints. Victims can also suffer other back, head, or neck injuries.
- Brain injury caused from being struck by an object (such as broken ride parts) or by rapid ride speeds.
- Wrongful death as a result of being thrown from a ride, falling, or other failure of equipment.
- Burns, fractured bones, and lacerations caused by equipment malfunction.
- Drowning on water attractions or water slides.
- Slip and fall as a result of poor park maintenance.
What are the most common causes of amusement park accidents and injuries?
Families go to amusement parks to have fun and trust that the park owners are providing a safe and hazard-free environment. But that fun can quickly turn tragic because of park owner or employee negligence. The most common causes of incidents that we see at our Virginia personal injury firm include:
- Equipment design defects
- Equipment failure
- Failure to provide warnings about the risks presented by certain rides or attractions
- Improper equipment maintenance
- Improper equipment operation
- Improper signage
- Inadequate employee training
When are amusements parks liable for a victim’s death or injury?
Amusement parks, (including carnivals and fairs), and ride manufacturers have a duty of care to make and operate rides safely. Tragically, incidents of operator negligence or defective product occur and result in serious injury or death of victims – all preventable. If a ride operator or manufacturer fails to abide by safety guidelines, then the party or parties who breach this duty of care may be liable for any damages that victims suffer in these events.
A Virginia personal injury attorney would need to prove certain elements in order to be successful in obtaining financial compensation the victim may deserve for their losses:
- The alleged at-fault party (the defendant) had a duty of care of the victim (plaintiff).
- The defendant breached that duty of care by acting improperly or failing to act and this failure caused the incident
- The plaintiff was harmed as a result of the defendant’s failure
- The plaintiff suffered harm (i.e. losses) as a result
What should I NOT do after a North Carolina bus accident?Do not talk to any insurance company until you talk to your attorney, and do not sign anything that an insurance company puts in front of you. Show all documents to your attorney first. Also, never allow an insurance company to record a statement with you unless your attorney is present.
How can a personal injury attorney protect my bus accident recovery?A personal injury attorney can do a lot to protect your financial recovery in the lawsuit. They can minimize and monitor points of contact with the defendant, request and review your medical records, and form and file wage verification sheets with your employer. No aspect of your case should be weakened due to legal inexperience so that you can recover as much money as possible.
Is suing a public bus company different from suing a private bus company?Yes. Suing a public bus company differs from suing a private bus company in some respects. You can still sue the public bus company for negligence in a personal injury lawsuit, but government entities may get immunity for such things as not adopting or enforcing a law, or negligence regarding licenses and permits.
What are common emergency room medical errors?
The most common emergency room errors that a Virginia malpractice attorney handles include:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Diagnostic testing errors, such as failing to conduct needed tests or conducting the wrong ones
- Discharging patients too soon
- Laboratory mistakes
- Lack of staff communication
- Medication errors
- Missed diagnosis
- Poor patient monitoring
- Radiology mistakes
- Refusing to treat a patient who has no health insurance (this is referred to as “patient dumping”)
- Slow triage which results in patients waiting too long before they are seen by medical staff
What are the most common causes of emergency room malpractice?
One of the most common causes of emergency room malpractice is understaffing. This leads to support staff, nurses, and ER physicians being required to work long hours. An ER doctor will typically treat dozens of patients in one shift, quickly diagnosing and prescribing treatment and then moving on to the next one, almost like an assembly line.
Another serious issue that can cause malpractice is that when a patient shows up in an emergency room, especially one who is seriously injured and not able to effectively communicate, the treating physician often has little knowledge about what that patient’s medical history is. This can lead to serious medical problems, especially if the patient has any existing medical conditions, allergies to medications, etc.
Does medical malpractice occur in hospital emergency rooms?
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emergency rooms around the country treat more than 140 million patients each year. This means there are approximately 400,000 people visiting ERs every single day. Unfortunately, the atmosphere in many emergency rooms is frequently chaotic which often contributes to incidents of malpractice.
Emergency rooms depend on triage when deciding how and when patients should be treated. Each member of the ER team – admissions personnel, nurses, doctors – determine what the level of urgency each patient has. For example, a patient is brought in by ambulance, suffering from internal bleeding and other injuries as a result of a car crash. That patient will be brought in for treatment immediately over another patient who has come in with a sprained ankle who has been waiting to be seen for an hour.
Hospitals need to have written policies and procedures in place which set a standard of care all staff must adhere to and to make sure facility staff are trained in these procedures in order to ensure they consistently make accurate triage decisions. Violation of this standard of care can cause a patient’s injury or illness to worsen or cause a new – and preventable – condition. When this occurs, the injured patient could have a medical malpractice case against the hospital.
Does my case need to go to trial?Most personal injury claims in Virginia result in a settlement and do not go to trial. But if you have a lot of injuries and/or the insurance company does not provide you with a reasonable settlement offer, going to trial is a possibility.