As you go about your daily routine, you will encounter many scenarios that might lead to injury, such as commuting to work, shopping, visiting the doctor, or eating at a local restaurant. When you suffer harm, not only do you have to deal with the physical pain of injury, but it’s also likely that you will have added emotional stress and increased expenses, which can create a devastating burden on household finances. When another party’s negligence, carelessness, or intentional harm causes your injury, you deserve compensation for your injuries and accompanying losses. Virginia law permits you to recover damages in civil court from those who have harmed you. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for the cost of your injuries.
For more than 40 years, Emroch & Kilduff has helped victims of all types of personal injury cases, including car accidents, aviation disasters, railroad accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation matters. Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars in damages for clients who have been injured by the negligence of others. We work each case with care, respect, and commitment to our clients in order to get the best possible outcomes.
If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. For your convenience, Emroch & Kilduff has four office locations in Virginia: Richmond, Petersburg, and Tappahannock.
Contact our offices today online or by calling (804) 358-1568 to schedule a free consultation, discuss the details of your injury, and determine the best path forward given your individual circumstances.
You might have sustained your injury as a result of many different situations. Although we handle most types of personal injury cases, here are some of the most common practice areas represented at Emroch & Kilduff:
We depend on doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to diagnose, treat, and cure illness and disease. Medical professionals take an oath to do no harm, and have the highest duty of care to their patients when they treat injuries and illness. Medical malpractice is committed when this duty is breached. Negligent acts or omissions may occur during diagnosis, treatment, surgery, or aftercare. When those we hold in such high esteem make medical errors as a result of negligence or intentional harm, the devastation is not only physical but emotional, too. At Emroch & Kilduff we advocate for clients who have been victims of medical malpractice, which includes failing to diagnose illness and disease, misdiagnosis, prescription errors, surgical errors, poor aftercare, and more.
Choosing to place an elder that you love in a nursing home is never an easy decision, but once the choice is made, you likely expect your loved one to receive exceptional care and be treated with respect and dignity. Residents and their families expect the highest standards of care, and for residents to be safeguarded against injury. Sadly, a quick internet search will reveal tragic and horrible negligence and abuse of nursing home residents. Long shifts and staff shortages in nursing homes may lead to the neglect, abuse, and injuries of aged and disabled residents, by nursing home employees or other residents. Our skilled personal injury lawyers are here to help you hold those who have caused harm to an elder that you love accountable for their actions and recover costs related to obtaining the care that he or she deserves.
When a loved one dies too soon, grief is inevitable. However, survivors may find a terrible loss compounded by devastating financial burdens and other damages. Depending on their relationship with the deceased, surviving family members who lost a loved one because of another person, business, or government entity’s negligent action or inaction may be eligible to seek compensation for damages in a wrongful death suit. If a court rules in favor of the family, members might recover a variety of economic and non-economic losses related to the death of their loved one.
A leisurely walk in your neighborhood, or walking to work in Virginia’s larger cities, has many health benefits for individuals who make it safely to their destinations. With no protection from reckless motorists, pedestrians risk their lives each time they go for a walk. In fact, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) estimates that hundreds of pedestrian accidents occur each year, including more than 1,600 in one recent year, resulting in 123 fatalities. Distracted drivers, fatigued drivers, drunk and drugged drivers, and drivers who violate traffic laws all pose serious threats to pedestrians. When an accident occurs, pedestrians often suffer severe injuries and need the expertise of a personal injury attorney to recover damages related to their accident.
According to the DMV, more than 14,000 people per year have been injured by distracted drivers in recent years. Distracted driving includes anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. In Virginia, the most common distracted driving scenarios that cause accidents include drivers taking their eyes off of the road, drivers watching a roadside incident, and drivers who make calls or text while operating a motor vehicle.
More than 50,000 workplace injuries are reported in Virginia each year. Employees may suffer injuries of varying severity, depending on the location and circumstances of the employment. In many cases, injured workers can file workers’ compensation claims to pay for a portion of medical expenses and lost wages, spend some time recovering from their injuries, and return to their jobs. But workers’ comp claims can be denied, and even if claims are paid, they may not adequately compensate for the victim’s actual losses. Additionally, workers’ compensation insurance only covers a portion of your loss, leaving you with medical bills and only partof your wages. Although you likely cannot sue your employer, you might be able to seek additional compensation from a third party, depending on the circumstances of your injury. The only way to ensure compensation for the full cost of your injury is to consult a personal injury lawyer who can advocate for you. If the injury was caused by the negligence of a third party, damages may be recoverable through a personal injury claim.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) estimates that a car crash occurs every four minutes on Virginia’s roads and highways, including more than 180 injuries each day. That comes out to more than 120,000 traffic accidents, causing more than 60,000 injuries and 700 fatalities, on Virginia’s roads and highways each year. Victims of auto accidents should speak to an experienced lawyer who understands the complicated insurance and legal issues involved in these situations, including multiple party liability. When motor vehicle accidents result in severe injuries because of negligent and careless drivers, victims deserve compensation for their injuries and loss.
Slip and fall injuries may happen anywhere: in homes, workplaces, public spaces, or places of business. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that unintentional falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, especially among elders. Property owners have a legal duty to maintain a safe environment for those who visit their property. When they fail to uphold that duty, visitors can easily sustain an injury during a slip and fall. Wet and slippery surfaces, broken steps, poorly maintained tiles and carpet, and many other hazards can lead to an injury. When a slip and fall accident is caused by the negligence of a property owner, victims should consult an experienced premise liability lawyer, who has the ability to advocate for them and work for best possible outcomes.
According to the DMV, more than 2,000 large trucks are involved in accidents in Virginia each year. Overwhelmingly these crashes and associated injuries and fatalities happen on Virginia’s highways and interstates. Large tractor-trailer trucks often weigh between 20 and 30 times more than a car or SUV, so truck accidents are more likely than other motor vehicle accidents to cause severe injuries and fatalities.
If a product injures a consumer, any entity in the chain of distribution, including manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, may be liable. Product defects can be caused by design issues, defects during production, and failure to warn.
Spinal cord injuries can be life-changing. Traumatic blows to the spine can compress or crush vertebrae, causing permanent paralysis. Victims who have suffered a spinal cord injury may need around-the-clock care, and be unable to return to work.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused by severe head trauma, common to many types of personal injury accidents. TBI may have long-term complications or result in a permanent disability, devastating victims and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover your damages.
Virginia has more than 50,000 miles of rivers, 132 miles of coastline, approximately 72,000 miles of tidal shore, and about 116,000 acres of lakes for commercial and recreational boating. With these numbers, it may be unsurprising that Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries reported more than 1,000 boating incidents, with several hundred injuries and fatalities, over the last decade. The lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff have experience in settling and litigating personal injury cases that occurred on or near the water, which often involve complicated federal statutes and regulations that many other law firms don’t deal with.
Bus accidents often occur when bus drivers drive negligently, by following other vehicles too closely, failing to yield, or making improper turns. If you have been injured while riding a bus, or a bus collided with your vehicle, speak with a lawyer who has experience in multiple liability personal injury cases.
Virginia has several passenger train services, including the Metro in the Washington D.C. area, Virginia Railway Express, and Amtrak. The state’s railways are also used for commercial shipping and heavy industry. Railroad accidents, including derailments, collisions, and safety or mechanical failures, can cause catastrophic injuries to passengers, employees, bystanders, and drivers on the roads.
Riding a bike conjures up fond childhood memories for most individuals and provides a great exercise opportunity for kids and adults alike. Yet, cruising around Virginia’s roads on a bicycle carries some risk. The DMV reports several hundred bicycle accidents each year, with very few cyclists walking away without injuries when negligent, distracted, or careless motorists strike those riding bicycles and cause serious injuries. Bicyclists are especially vulnerable when a motor vehicle hits them, and therefore the risk of life-changing, serious injuries is particularly high. If someone else’s negligence has caused you or your child’s injuries while riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to damages.
Flying is the safest form of transportation, but airplane accidents and aviation disasters still occur. Injuries to passengers and employees may be caused by collisions on the runway, defective airplane parts, human error, or poor maintenance. Multiple parties may have liability when an accident occurs, and a lawyer with experience in airplane accidents will understand how to address the particular complexities of these types of cases.
More than 300,000 guns are registered in Virginia, with the ownership per capita rate at about 36 percent. Although most gun owners follow safety practices inside and outside of their home, anyone who does not and instead acts negligently puts others at risk. It is the gun owner’s responsibility to protect children in the home from accessing a loaded firearm. However, gun accidents happen.
Patients place their faith and trust in medical professionals to correctly diagnose their conditions. When a doctor breaches their duty of care by misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a patient, it can lead to serious complications or even death. Patients and their families may feel helpless or betrayed without accurate information to treat or cure their illness or condition.
Personal Injury FAQ
If you have suffered a severe injury, you likely have significant medical bills, missed time from work, and emotional distress. Not to mention the physical pain caused by your injuries and treatment. Under Virginia law, you may be entitled to seek damages if your injuries were a result of another party’s intentional harm or negligence.
Injured victims can file a personal injury claim in civil court to seek financial compensation from parties that are responsible for their injuries. Injured victims should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their options for recovering their losses. Below are some frequently asked questions about personal injury cases and personal injury lawyers.
What Is Personal Injury?
That’s an excellent question! Specifically, it means “an injury not to property, but to the body, mind, or emotions,” according to Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. But to bring a personal injury suit, another party must have caused a personal injury or other harm via negligence.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence relies on a concept called “duty of care.” If people or other entities, such as companies or government organizations, do not observe a reasonable duty of care, they can be deemed negligent. The negligence renders them liable for injuries and other harm caused by the breach of duty of care.
Negligence can most clearly be seen in examples. If you are in a car accident caused by another driver speeding and running a yellow light, the driver is arguably negligent. Why? Because a driver’s ordinary duty of care is to follow traffic laws and drive safely. Running a yellow light is neither of these things.
Say you’re in a hotel and trip over the hallway carpet, which has not been properly tacked down after installation. The installers were arguably negligent, because their duty of care includes performing installation duties to a standard a reasonable person would find adequately safe.
What Are the Types of Personal Injuries?
Personal injuries can cover all injuries humankind has ever suffered. Personal injuries can include, but are not limited to, broken bones, burns, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, scarring, disfigurement, diseases caused by malpractice, and more.
Personal injury as the law defines it also includes emotional harm, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental distress.
Personal injuries can occur as a result of vehicle accidents (cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, and boats), product liability for defective or dangerous products, premises liability accidents in homes and businesses, construction accidents, animal attacks like dog bites, medical malpractice, and more. Any accident or harm caused by negligence is personal injury, regardless of what the injury is and where it happens.
How Are Personal Injury Victims Compensated?
In Virginia, if you are harmed or injured by the negligent actions of another party, you can seek redress in compensation for damages. The damages can include:
- Payment of medical bills, including those for ambulances, doctor’s visits, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medication, and physical therapy
- Payment for wages lost from work due to the injury
- Prospective medical costs for expected treatment due to the injury
- Prospective wages lost from work due to the injuries
- Payments for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering
Depending on the situation, victims may seek this redress through a third-party insurance claim (going to the at-fault party’s insurer), or through filing a personal injury lawsuit.
How Much Is a Personal Injury Claim Worth?
There is no set amount victims can recover from a personal injury claim. It depends on the amount of harm that has been done and the potential impact on the victim’s life. Economic damages such as medical bills and wages lost from work are computed by looking at the amounts paid for medical treatment and the amount of time the victim has had to take off of work vis-à-vis their current salary.
Prospective economic damages often rely on expert testimony. Future medical treatment estimates, for instance, may require expert testimony about the best course of treatment and the amount of treatment likely to be required in the future. Estimates of future wages lost from work may require an assessment of future wages, if promotions or other adjustments are likely, and will also require an estimate of time likely to be lost.
Noneconomic damages are often calculated by applying a multiplier to the amount of economic damages. The multiplier ranges from 1 to 5. The lower the multiplier, the less amount of pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages a claim will be worth. Victims who have suffered sprains or broken bones, for example, may receive a lower multiplier for pain and suffering. Why? Because, even though these injuries are painful, they are highly likely to heal without lasting impact on the injured person’s life.
But victims who have suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a spinal cord injury that left them paraplegic, are likely to receive the highest multiplier. The effects of these injuries change a person’s life forever. They may be unable to live without care or return to work again.
Other factors can change the multiplier assigned for pain and suffering. A young person may receive a higher multiplier than an older one, because the pain and suffering will last for a longer period of time and impact a greater percentage of the person’s life. A person whose prospects are derailed may also receive a higher multiplier for pain and suffering. A woman of child-bearing age who is rendered unable to bear a child because of an accident may receive a higher multiplier than a woman who is past child-bearing age but receives the same injury, for example. The former’s ability to bear a child is negatively impacted, while the latter’s is not.
What If a Person Dies From Their Injuries?
At times, people harmed by the negligent actions of others receive injuries that prove fatal or are killed outright. In these cases, Virginia law allows for the bringing of a wrongful death claim to compensate the victim’s estate and their survivors. The personal representative of the deceased person can bring a wrongful death claim up to two years after the death. The following people are entitled to file wrongful death claims, in order.
- Surviving spouse and children or grandchildren
- Surviving parents and siblings of the deceased, or any relative who shares the deceased person’s household and is a dependent
- Surviving family member(s) entitled to inherit the deceased’s estate under our state’s intestacy laws
The damages the plaintiffs are allowed to claim in a wrongful death case differ somewhat from those in other personal injury cases. Claims can include:
- Medical expenses – Medical care and treatment, including hospitalization
- Compensation – Loss of income, services, protection, care, and assistance that would otherwise have been provided by the deceased
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Mental anguish – Loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, society, kindly offices, and advice provided by the deceased
What cases do personal injury attorneys handle?
While some claims are more common than others, at Emroch & Kilduff, we have the experience to handle a wide range of personal injury cases. Our practices areas include:
- Auto accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Boat accidents
- Workplace injuries, railroad accidents, and construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect and injury
- Slip and fall accidents and other premises liability cases
- Product liability cases
- Gun accidents
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Burn injury
- Catastrophic injury
- Wrongful death
How severe do my injuries need to be to file a lawsuit?
Because the severity of an injury is somewhat subjective, it is difficult to determine how severe an injury should be when filing a lawsuit. Take advantage of a free consultation, and let an experienced attorney evaluate the viability of a personal injury lawsuit. While each accident and injury are unique, we regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. By evaluating the specific facts of your case, an experienced attorney can help you understand your options moving forward.
Some situations that commonly lead people to pursue legal action include:
- Missing work for a significant amount of time;
- An auto, homeowners’, commercial, or other insurance carrier is playing games or has denied one or more claims;
- Injuries that require hospitalization; and
- Injuries that result in permanent disability.
In Virginia, if an accident caused a loved one’s death, eligible surviving family members may be entitled to seek damages by filing a wrongful death claim. A personal injury attorney can determine your eligibility to seek compensation for losses you have incurred due to the loss of a loved one.
How do personal injury lawyers help their clients?
Personal injury lawyers advocate for their clients and help them seek justice when another party has caused them injury or harm. If appropriate, when fighting for injured victims’ rights, an attorney may:
- Review the event, accident, and accompanying injuries to determine a client’s eligibility to sue for damages in Virginia court.
- Investigate the event(s) that led to the injury and build a case against the defense.
- Collect necessary paperwork and documents including medical records, witness statements, police reports, and other information that can support a case.
- Assign a monetary value to a case based on previous court cases, legal guidelines, and precedents.
- Consult with experts, such as accident reconstructionists and life care planners, to determine liability and confirm the monetary value of a case.
- Walk clients through the insurance claims process and communicate with insurance companies to protect clients from potentially discrediting their claims.
- Deal with all of the paperwork and procedural requirements that accompany a personal injury lawsuit.
- Negotiate with insurance carriers and the defense to maximize the likelihood of receiving compensation.
- Litigate cases for clients in the courtroom when insurance companies are not willing to offer fair compensation.
How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?
The vast majority of personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation or case evaluation for potential clients. The consultation provides potential clients with the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the team of attorneys that may represent them. The lawyer that reviews your case will determine your legal options and discuss ways in which he or she may best assist you. After selecting a personal injury lawyer, the lawyer and client will agree upon a fee arrangement.
Most personal injury lawyers work under a contingency fee arrangement where the lawyer may deduct court costs and legal fees from compensation secured for the client—either by settlement or jury award. The lawyer only gets paid if you do.
Contingency fees are usually based on a percentage of any settlement or judgment your lawyer helps you secure. You should always inquire whether the firm’s fee will be calculated before or after the deduction of court costs and administrative fees. The exact cost varies among cases, but a lawyer can estimate a client’s costs based on their individual circumstances during a free consultation.
How much are my injuries worth?
The value of a personal injury claim varies greatly depending on the circumstances and resulting injuries. Settlements and jury awards can range from several hundred to several million dollars. Lawyers, typically in consultation with experts, may predict the monetary value of a claim based on several factors.
Some factors to consider include:
- How severe is your injury?
- What is the nature of the injury?
- What is your long-term prognosis?
- What are your total medical treatment costs?
- How much time did you miss from work?
- Did you suffer a permanent disability or permanent scarring?
- Did the party who caused you harm do so intentionally or was their negligence egregious?
How long do I have to wait to see any money?
Nobody can say for certain how long your case will take to settle or litigate. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how best to move your case along as quickly and efficiently as possible without sacrificing or compromising your recovery.
Other factors that may influence the length of time it takes for your case to settle include:
- How many parties are involved in the case? More parties may lead to more paperwork, more coordination, and more time to reach an agreement.
- How clear is fault or negligence? In some cases, for example, a rear-end car accident, determining fault is straightforward. However, in other cases identifying who is at fault is not so simple, especially if multiple parties are involved. When disputes over liability occur, negotiations often take a long time and may require litigation.
- How severe are your injuries?Severe injuries require extensive recovery and treatment. If you choose to file a lawsuit, your attorney will likely want you to wait until you have reached your maximum medical improvement. Obviously, waiting to recover will lengthen the time it takes for you to receive compensation. In any case, you need to comply with the statute of limitations that applies to your claim. The statute of limitations designates the time within which injured parties are eligible to bring a personal injury claim. If the statute of limitations expires, you may be barred from seeking compensation for your injuries.
Get the Legal Help You Need From Our Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of another party’s careless or negligent actions, contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff online or at (804) 358-1568 for a free consultation, during which a member of our team can evaluate your case and your eligibility for compensation. We can handle the details of your case while you focus on healing. We understand the financial stress that you might be experiencing during this time, so we handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis. This means we collect attorneys fees from any compensation we secure for you in a settlement or judgment in your favor.
Emroch & Kilduff conveniently has law offices in Richmond, Petersburg, and Tappahannock, Virginia. Please click on the links for directions to the office closest to you, and we look forward to learning the details of your case!