What Constitutes a Personal Injury?
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), one of the most common types of personal injury is a car accident. In general, any time another person’s actions lead to the injury of another person, a personal injury has occurred. In the instance of a car accident, if one driver’s inability to follow the basic rules of the road, he or she is responsible if another person is hurt. The negligent driver would be considered responsible and may be required to provide compensation to the injured party. It is up to an attorney to prove that the way in which the responsible party acted differed from the way a reasonable person would have, such as stopping at a stop light or driving in the right direction.
There are other factors on which a personal injury case may be based aside from negligence, according to the ABA. Intentional wrongs and strict liability may provide the basis on which a case is argued. For example, a consumer may be able to prove that a product is dangerous, even when used in the way it was intended, to argue that the manufacturer is strictly liable for injury caused by the product.
Depending on individual state’s laws, a personal injury case must be filed within a certain period of time. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for most tort cases is two years after an accident. However, there are some cases in which the time limit may be shorter or longer.
What Cases Are Considered Personal Injury?
While car and semi truck accidents may be the most frequent type of personal injury cases filed, there are several other types of cases that torts attorneys handle, including the following:
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Slips and falls
- Workplace accidents
- Plane crashes
- Construction accidents
In any of the above types of cases, there must be a responsible party who showed negligent behavior that led to the accident, whether it is a dog owner who let a vicious animal off of its leash or a construction company that did not follow proper safety regulations.
In addition, a tort may be filed for wrongful death if someone else’s negligence led to the death of a person’s loved one, according to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute. These cases still fall under personal injury law and are typically filed by someone close to the alleged victim, such as a spouse, parent or child.
What Types of Compensation May a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Pursue?
There are two basic types of compensation that a personal injury attorney may pursue for his or her client: compensatory damages or punitive damages. Compensatory damages include any money lost due to the inability to work or return to work; medical treatments; or physical, mental or emotional pain and suffering; or. On the other hand, punitive damages are reparations required to serve as punishment for the defendant, awarded when it is determined that the responsible party’s behavior is deemed intentionally harmful or reckless.
How a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If a victim suffers a personal injury caused by the wrongdoing or negligence of another party, he or she may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from their injuries, including:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income or ability to work
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish resulting from an injury
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
People who have been injured due to another’s negligence are advised to seek the advice of a Virginia personal injury attorney to help them protect their legal rights.