Accidents that produce serious injuries can happen without any notice—leaving victims’ lives forever changed. Sadly, serious injuries are some of the toughest injuries to stomach because victims are often left to live a lifetime with pain and disabilities. It becomes even tougher to swallow when someone else’s negligence is the root cause of a traumatic injury.
When victims suffer severe injuries, they often feel hopeless and fearful for the road that lies ahead. They aren’t sure if they will ever be able to work again or enjoy the hobbies and activities they used to love. Because their minds are consumed with the harsh new reality of their physical injuries and recovery, it is important they have someone trustworthy in their corner to help them recover financially and let them know what to do after an accident. By filing a personal injury claim and working with Shevlin Smith, victims with debilitating injuries can rest assured knowing they will get the maximum compensation possible in their case—all while holding the wrongdoers accountable for such negligent actions.
Types of Accidents That Lead to Serious Injuries
Negligent accidents that produce catastrophic injuries shockingly occur every day, and these types of accidents vary widely, including:
- Car accidents. When motorists drive at high speeds or disobey the road rules in the Commonwealth of Virginia, innocent people sharing the road with them are likely to be involved in rear-end crashes, head-on collisions, rollovers, or side-impact accidents.
- Truck accidents. Many truck drivers disobey federal rules and drive too many hours before resting. Consequently, they end up driving drowsy or medicated, which can alter their judgment and affect their reactions—leading to severe and often fatal truck wrecks.
- Motorcycle accidents. Because motorcycles are small, many drivers have a difficult time seeing them or judging their speed. As a result, many motorcycle crashes occur at intersections—when other drivers are turning—or when cars are changing lanes.
- Bicycle accidents. Many bicycle accidents happen at intersections, driveways, or when cars attempt to pass bicycles. When drivers of vehicles fail to treat bicycles as legal vehicles and fail to respect bicyclists’ rights to the road, serious injuries can be the result.
- Pedestrian accidents. Many drivers are distracted at the wheel and fail to look out for pedestrians. As a result, pedestrian accidents typically occur in school zones, intersections, and parking lots.
- Slip and fall accidents. When someone is injured as a result of hazards in a public place—whether the accident took place at a grocery store, big box store, department store, apartment complex, or office building—that person may have a premises liability claim against the property owner.
- Accidents caused by defective products. When someone is injured as a result of faulty labeling or a defect in design or manufacturing, that injured consumer may have a defective product liability claim against the manufacturer.
- Medical malpractice incidents. When someone is injured as a result of a surgical error, medication mishap, or other medical mistake—whether the injury occurred at a pharmacy, doctor’s office, or hospital such as Inova Fairfax Hospital—the injured patient has a right to hold the negligent healthcare worker accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Causes of Serious Injuries
When a person suffers a traumatic injury at the hands of someone else, there is really only one reason: negligence. As you can see from the aforementioned list, negligence can occur anywhere including on the road, in a hospital, and even during design and manufacturing. As a result, victims of serious injuries may have legal claims against the following parties:
- Negligent drivers. Many drivers participate in texting and driving, drowsy driving, driving while intoxicated, speeding, and reckless driving. Sadly, these actions produce tragic results for other motorists sharing the road.
- Negligent companies. Many companies place products on the market before products have undergone rigorous testing. Unfortunately, some products are defective in design or manufacturing, causing consumers serious injuries.
- Negligent property owners. Many landlords and property owners fail to repair known hazards. Consequently, innocent people slip and fall and suffer injuries due to unsafe premises.
- Negligent healthcare workers. Many doctors make surgical errors as well as misdiagnose or fail to diagnose health conditions. Also, nurses, anesthesiologists, and pharmacists make medication mistakes that cause patients to suffer and even lose their lives.
Simply put: any of these aforementioned actions are negligent and are the basis for legal claims. When negligence results in serious personal injuries, victims suffer devastating results that can impact them for life.
Types of Serious Injuries
Some of the common types of injury claims our firm has handled include:
- Brain injuries. Brain injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents can include concussions, contusions, Coup-Contrecoup injuries, hematomas, and traumatic brain injuries—both open and closed head.
- Spinal cord injuries. Personal injury accidents can cause incomplete spinal cord injuries, such as anterior cord syndrome, posterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome, brown-sequard syndrome, and cauda equine syndrome. Additionally, complete spinal cord injuries may result in paraplegia and tetraplegia.
- Broken bones. Traumatic accidents often leave victims with broken skulls, facial bones, arms, collarbones, backs, necks, ribs, hips, pelvises, and legs.
- Serious burn injuries. Car crashes or defective products can result in fires, causing traumatic burns that can cause a lifetime of pain and require ongoing treatment.
- Limb amputations. When forceful collisions occur, or doctors operate on wrong limbs, the outcome can result in the loss of a leg, foot, arm, or hand.
- Wrongful death. When serious vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, accidents involving defective products or medical malpractice incidents result in death, negligent parties needs to be held accountable.
Any of these catastrophic injuries can cause a lifetime of adverse consequences for victims and their families.
Common Effects of Serious Personal Injuries
Because serious injuries are generally devastating and permanent in nature, they often result in the following effects:
- Economic difficulties. Serious injuries, like the ones listed above, can cause victims the inability to work or hold the same type of job—all while medical bills are piling up. This is why it is important that victims of serious injuries collect compensation for their lost income and lost future wages.
- Physical problems. Any time serious injuries occur, it is likely victims will need extensive medical treatment as well as ongoing medical care for their physical injuries. Additionally, they may even need in-home care or full-time care in a skilled nursing facility. When victims suffer physically, it is essential they receive compensation for their physical pain as well as medical bills and future medical care.
- Emotional issues. Serious injuries often cause deformities and disabilities that can cause victims to suffer emotionally. As a result, victims may never be the same again; they may need counseling and medication for life, which is why they need to recover financially for their emotional suffering.
- Cognitive and communication problems. When accidents lead to traumatic brain injuries, victims will likely experience problems concentrating, learning new information, organizing thoughts, and finding the right words to communicate. Because of this, it is essential victims recover compensation for ongoing rehabilitation, medications, and new treatment methods.
- Mental health issues. When victims suffer traumatic injuries, it is likely for them to develop anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Consequently, they will need money for medications and psychotherapy in order to deal with these adverse changes.
Because dealing with the effects of serious injuries can be overwhelming, victims and their families will likely have many concerns and questions about making financial recoveries and seeking justice from wrongdoers.
Tips and Key Information After Suffering a Personal Injury in Virginia
Here’s some information you may find helpful after you or a loved one has suffered unnecessarily:
- How to tell if you have a valid personal injury claim and what types of damages are available in Virginia. Not every injury case has legal merit, which is why it is essential to find out what elements are required for you to have a sound case. Because every injury case has different variables, it is important to not miss an area that you may be entitled to receive compensation for.
- What to do and not do after an injury. It is possible to make the wrong moves and make critical mistakes that can hurt your injury claim. Thus, it is critical to find out what steps you should and shouldn’t take in order to protect your financial recovery.
- How to deal with an insurance adjuster. What you say to an insurance adjuster can harm your case, so it is important that you know what to say and what not to say to representatives of an insurance company.
- How to choose an attorney to represent you. Not all attorneys are equal. For example, some lawyers have never tried cases in court and some have never handled serious injury cases. Thus, it is important to find an attorney who is right for your case.
At Shevlin Smith, our Fairfax injury lawyers have successfully handled these types of cases and know what it takes to get you the compensation you need in order to deal with your long-term changes. We understand that serious personal injuries can leave you and your family in a financial crisis, and we want to make sure you aren’t burdened financially. To find out how we can help you get the maximum possible compensation in your case, or to learn about some of our past case results, please call us for a free consultation at (703) 591-0067 or fill out the contact form on our website.