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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Who Can Be Held Liable for Electrocution-Related Losses?
An electric shock or electrocution injury can result in expensive and extensive medical treatments for the victim, as well as loss of income, physical pain and suffering, emotional anguish, scarring, disfigurement, and more. A personal injury attorney can help victims pursue damages for those losses against the responsible party. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, there may be more than one party who is liable for damages.
If the incident occurred in a home or business, then the property owner may be liable for the injuries the victim has suffered. In cases where the electrocution was caused by a defective product or lack of appropriate warning, then the manufacturer of the product could be found liable for the victim’s losses.
What Injuries Are Caused by Electrocution?
There is a myriad of injuries that a victim of electrocution can suffer. No matter how minor a victim thinks the incident may have been, it is crucial to seek medical treatment immediately after an electric shock or electrocution incident. The victim may have suffered some internal injury that can only be diagnosed by a medical professional.
Some of the more frequent injuries in the electrocution injury cases our legal team has handled include:
- Brain damage
- Cardiac arrest
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Chronic headaches
- Cognitive difficulties
- Hearing loss
- Heart fibrillation
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of kidney function
- Memory loss
- Nerve damage
- Respiratory failure
- Serious burns
- Spinal injuries
- Vision loss
What Is Electrocution?
Electrocution occurs when an individual is exposed to a high voltage electrical current. The effects of this shock can range from relatively minor wounds to death. There are certain factors that contribute to how severe the electrocution is including the type of current and circuit, the path the electricity takes in the victim’s body, the strength if the current, and how long the victim was in contact with the current.
Electrocution can cause damage to several important systems in the body, including the cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, nervous systems, and the respiratory system.
Burns from electrocutions can also result in substantial and often permanent damage to the skin and soft tissue, often requiring extensive surgeries and other painful procedures.
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Virginia?
If you or a loved one has been harmed by someone who acted negligently or recklessly, you must act quickly to hold the responsible party accountable. Virginia enforces a two-year statute of limitations on legal actions related to personal injuries, medical malpractice episodes and injuries from dangerous or defective products.
The statute of limitations clock starts either on the day that the injury occurs or, in the case of medical problems, the day on which a definitive diagnosis is made. Insurance companies and defense lawyers often argue that any claim was made after the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, but partnering with a dedicated Virginia personal injury attorney will help the victim defeat that argument.
Why does Virginia enforce statutes of limitations on personal injury claims?
While it may seem unfair to victims to make it illegal to bring legal actions over personal injuries just because a certain date has passed, the concept of statutes of limitations actually make sense.
Two years, which Virginia generally recognizes as the statute of limitations for personal injury insurance claims and lawsuits, is probably too short. Still, asking a victim to come forward soon after a traffic crash, slip and fall, medical malpractice incident or injury from a dangerous or defective product helps ensure that evidence exists and memories can be trusted.
The fact that statutes of limitations exist means that anyone who believes they have a legitimate claim for the payment of medical bills, the replacement of lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering should explore their legal options with a Virginia personal injury lawyer sooner rather than later.
What happens if I wait too long to file a personal injury claim in Virginia?
By law, waiting more than two years from day on which you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness means you cannot collect on an insurance claim or succeed with a lawsuit.
However, the date on which the clock for filing a personal injury claim can often be debated. This is particularly true in cases involving medical malpractice and in cases involving illnesses caused by dangerous products. Often, the victim will not know that a health care provider or a product harmed them until years after the fact. A definitive diagnosis is needed to make a link between a medical procedure or a product and current, ongoing health problems.
In such an instance, the statute of limitations applies from the day of the diagnosis. Consulting with a knowledgeable Virginia personal injury lawyer when questions exist regarding a statute of limitations can benefit a victim greatly.
What happens during a personal injury trial?
Although each jurisdiction has their own procedures and rules, trial formats are very similar in civil courtrooms across the country. There will likely be pretrial motions filed by both attorneys, which the judge will decide. Jury selection will take place, with the plaintiff’s (the victim) attorney and the defendant’s (at-fault party/insurance company) attorney asking each potential juror questions and using their options of accepting or challenging the juror. The judge may also ask potential jurors questions.
Once the jury is seated, each of the attorneys will give an opening statement. An opening statement is basically a summary of the case they will be presenting. The plaintiff’s attorney will present their case first to the court, offering evidence and witness testimony. Then the defendant’s attorney will present their case. When the defense rests, the plaintiff is allowed to offer any rebuttal evidence or witnesses.
After all evidence and witness testimony has been offered, both sides will then present their closing arguments. This is done the same way the cases were. The plaintiff first, then the defense, and the plaintiff offering final remarks in rebuttal to the defense’s closing argument.
The judge will then instruct the jury on the laws that apply to the case. The jury will then go to a jury room and deliberate the case. When they reach their verdict, everyone will be called to court where the verdict will be read aloud.
What are the pros and cons with taking a personal injury case to trial?
If you are the victim, the pros and cons need to be considered against whatever settlement offer the at-fault party’s insurance company has offered. The victim’s personal injury attorney will have evaluated the case and determined what amount of financial compensation the victim deserves. How close the insurance company’s settlement offer is to that amount usually determines whether the case will end up in court.
There are always risks going to trial because there is no way to predict what the jury will decide. There have been many personal injury lawsuits where the jury has awarded the victim more than what they were seeking and lawsuits where the jury has awarded the victim much less or denied their claim completely.
Having an experienced Virginia accident attorney representing you will help ensure you choose the best legal options for your situation.
Which personal injury cases go to trial?
Approximately 10 percent of personal injury cases end up going to trial. The majority of cases are settled when the victim (usually through their personal injury attorney) and the at-fault party’s insurance company reach an agreement as to how much financial compensation the victim deserves. When the two sides cannot reach an agreement, then the case usually moves forward to be litigated in civil court.
There are a number of reasons why a settlement cannot be reached. The insurance company may try to shift some of the fault of the incident onto the victim or they may deny the claim completely.
Even when a case does go to trial, a settlement can still be negotiated as long as the agreement is made before any verdict or award is reached by the judge or jury hearing the case.
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.