How to Protect Yourself from Sustaining Personal Injuries | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

No one anticipates being a victim of an accident. These incidents usually come out of nowhere and can often leave you with serious injuries. Even victims who have been what appears to be just a minor accident can end up with an injury that results in long-term medical treatment – and expenses – as well as time missed from your job and time spent with family.


Many accidents are the result of the negligent or reckless behavior or action of another party or parties. And although it is impossible to completely avoid these accidents, there are steps people can take to help minimize the risks of being a victim.

Car Accidents

According to statistics from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there are approximately 125,000 vehicle accidents in the state each year. These crashes cause the deaths of about 800 victims and leave another 65,000 victims injured. Many of these crashes are caused by dangerous driving behaviors, such as distracted driving, speeding, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Drivers can help minimize their risk of being a car accident victim by not only avoiding these behaviors but also watching for other drivers who exhibit signs of dangerous driving. Any driver who is jumping or weaving from lane to lane or tailgating other vehicles is putting everyone on the road at risk. Pulling over and reporting the vehicle to police is recommended whenever you see this type of driver.

Pedestrian Accidents

Approximately 1,500 pedestrians are struck each year in Virginia, killing more than 100 victims and leaving hundreds more seriously injured. There is nothing that protects a pedestrian from the massive weight of a vehicle traveling down the road that fails to stop. Anyone who will be out walking should always wear brightly colored and reflective clothing to help make themselves visible. It is also critical to safety to only cross at crosswalks and always walk on sidewalks.

Bicycle Accidents

Cyclists are also at increased risk of severe injury if they are hit by a vehicle because of the lack of protection. Wearing a helmet, protective pads, and reflective clothing to help make you visible. Make sure follow all traffic laws, including traffic lights and signs. It is also important to not engage in distracted driving behaviors, even on a bicycle.

Slip and Fall

Slip, trips, and falls are one of the most common causes of injuries that people sustain. Even what seems like a minor fall can result in severe injuries depending on how the person lands when they fall. If you do suffer a slip and fall, it is important to notify the owner or management company and to file an accident report with them. You should also seek medical attention, even if you do not think you have sustained an injury.

Dog Bites

Despite municipal leash laws, there are still many owners who allow their dogs to run loose. But it’s important to remember that even the friendliest of pups can bite or attack if they feel threatened or otherwise provoked. If a dog begins growling at you or bears their teeth, stay very quiet and back up very slowly. If the dog does attack, use a purse, coat, or other object to protect your face and head.

Let a Virginia Accident Attorney Handle Your Case

The goal of the insurance adjuster is to gather enough evidence to either deny your claim or avoid paying you the actual amount of damages you have suffered. If you have sustained injuries in an accident caused by another party, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what legal options you may have. At Shapiro & Appleton, we are dedicated to helping injured clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost income, and other losses their injuries have caused. Call (833) 997-1774 for a free case evaluation.