The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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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
How long does it take for a typical case to settle or get decided in court?
Each case is different, but our Norfolk personal injury law firm's default policy is to wait at least until our clients have finished the medical treatment before beginning the negotiation process with the insurance company unless there are extenuating circumstances dictating otherwise. Once the insurance company has received our demand package, it takes between 2-4 weeks to for a review. Almost always, your attorney will be able to tell if you case is going to be one that will settle without the filing of a lawsuit, or will need to undergo litigation to resolve. Either way, your attorney will keep you informed as to the progress of your case. Some cases resolve in a matter of months, other cases take over a year or more.
Are costs and fees the same thing in a contingency basis fee?
No. An attorney’s fee in a contingency contract is a set percentage of whatever is recovered on behalf of the client. The costs are litigation costs advanced to that client in order to process his or her claim, and those costs must be recovered separately from any fee. A client always has the right to pay his or her own costs if preferred.
Who brings a personal injury claim if my child was hurt in an accident?
Typically, a parent or legal guardian of the injured child has the authority to pursue legal action against the at-fault party. For example, if your child was seriously hurt in an auto accident and you decided to file a lawsuit against the other driver, your name would appear on the Complaint as "on behalf" of your child.
Our team of Chesapeake car accident lawyers have extensive experience with injury cases or wrongful death lawsuits involving children. We understand the complexities of negotiating these types of serious injury and death claims.
If I have suffered an amputated toe, finger, thumb, what are some of the things I should look for in a personal injury attorney to help me recover for the amputated body part?
In our prior cases, we have worked closely with surgeons and doctors involved in treatment to explain the permanent aspects of the amputation injury of a finger, a thumb, a toe or other body part. By having represented workers in the past, we are familiar with the massive psychological impact of an amputated body part. It goes well beyond disfigurement and it goes to how it affects the psychological state of our client, not only in the short term but for the rest of their life. We have experience in developing a team of necessary expert witnesses who can help with this type of claim.
If I suffer an amputation injury at work, I can only get workers' compensation right? Do I have any claim or can I bring a lawsuit against any other party besides my workers compensation claim through my employer?
On-the-job injuries are typically covered by workers' compensation, that part is true. You get workers compensation on a “no fault” basis, but the bargain means you can’t sue your own employer.
Whether a claim can be brought against a separate party such as a product supplier, or a supplier of some other equipment that led to the failure causing the amputation, could lead to a possible third-party negligence claim. When we say third-party claim, we mean a negligent party besides your own employer who is responsible for paying workers' compensation benefits. If there is a possible defect of an equipment supplier's product, or if the negligence of a party besides your employer caused the amputation injury, consult with one of our attorneys for a free confidential consultation.
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I crushed one of my fingers at work, and I'm concerned about whether it will survive or need to be amputated. What should I know about whether I need an attorney to help with this claim?
If there is a party that provided a defective product or supplied something defective which led to the crush injury, you should consult with one of our product liability and personal injury lawyers about your crush or possible amputation injury. An attorney can explain how we will present psychological and physical aspects of a serious injury like this in order to obtain maximum compensation, as we have handled these type cases in the past.
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How much will I have to pay your firm when my case is over?
The fee our firm is paid is based on a percentage of the total recovery we obtain on your behalf, whether through settlement or verdict. If we recover nothing, you owe us nothing. This is called a "contingency fee" agreement. Most personal injury law firms operate on such agreements. We will explain the fee structure in detail at our first confidential consultation.