Letʼs start at the very beginning: Just what is a personal injury case?

Lawyers say that they do “personal injury cases” or “accident cases” or “wrongful death cases” and yet, my wife Margaret tells me that she does not think that everyone understands exactly what this means. Indeed, people who have known me for years will come up to me and ask me for a referral to a car accident attorney! They do this even though I think that they know exactly what it is that I do.

A personal injury, car accident, or wrongful death case is any type of claim where a person has been injured or killed due to someone elseʼs carelessness or negligence. In general, negligence means that the other person failed to act the way a reasonably careful person would have acted in the same situation.

Some of the most common types of personal injury cases that we see here in Richmond include car accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, SUV rollover, slip and fall cases, defective product accidents (also known as products liability) and dog bite cases.

If the only damage in your case is that your car got banged up, then you donʼt have a personal injury case – but you may have a property damage case. We do not handle property damage cases, but there are many lawyers who do so. If both you and your car have suffered an injury, then you have both a personal injury and a property damage claim. In those circumstances, either your insurance company or their insurance company will usually take care of the property damage claim.

If someoneʼs negligence causes the death of another, then this is called a “wrongful death” claim. The law of each state or jurisdiction differs significantly regarding what can be recovered in a wrongful death case. You need an experienced wrongful death attorney in Virginia.

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