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Personal Injury Law in Virginia

Personal Injury Law in Virginia, Third Edition fills a gap in Virginia legal literature with comprehensive coverage of personal injury actions, in one convenient volume.
Publisher: Michie
Print Book :1012 pages, hardbound, with current supplement
3rd Edition
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ISBN: 9780327162780
Publisher: Michie
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Personal Injury Law in Virginia, Third Edition fills a gap in Virginia legal literature with comprehensive coverage of personal injury actions, in one convenient volume. The book contains extensive references to the cases and statutes that govern liability, defenses, and damages for personal injuries in the Commonwealth.


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Table of Contents

Volume + Table of Contents


A COMPLETE SYNOPSIS FOR EACH CHAPTER APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CHAPTER




Introduction....................xix

Author's Note....................xxiii

Part One Basis of Liability

SECTION I  NEGLIGENCE

CHAPTER 1   Fundamentals of Negligence Law....................1



CHAPTER 2   The Standard of Care....................7



CHAPTER 3   Breach of Duty: "Negligence"....................35



CHAPTER 4   Causation....................73



CHAPTER 5   Defenses in Negligence Actions....................169



SECTION II  INTENTIONAL PERSONAL INJURIES

CHAPTER 6   Intentional Personal Injury Actions....................169



CHAPTER 7   Defenses in Intentional Personal Injury Actions....................187



SECTION III  STRICT LIABILITY

CHAPTER 8   Strict Liability....................195



SECTION IV  VICARIOUS LIABILITY

CHAPTER 9   Vicarious Liability for Personal Injuries....................201



CHAPTER 10   Releases and Covenants Not to Sue....................233



SECTION V  LIMITATIONS ON LIABILITY

CHAPTER 11   Immunities....................247



CHAPTER 12   Limitation of Actions....................285



Part Two Damages

CHAPTER 13   Damages....................301



CHAPTER 14    Responsibility for Damages....................339



Part Three Specific Actions

CHAPTER 15   Wrongful Death....................361




CHAPTER 16   Premises Liability....................407



CHAPTER 17   Nuisance....................447



CHAPTER 18   Infliction of Mental Distress....................469



CHAPTER 19   Products Liability....................481



CHAPTER 20   Medical Malpractice....................509



CHAPTER 21   Motor Vehicle Injuries....................559



CHAPTER 22   Pleadings and Incidents of Trial....................577



CHAPTER 23   Workers' Compensation....................581



CHAPTER 24   Federal Employers' Liability Act....................661



CHAPTER 25   Maritime Law....................667



CHAPTER 26   Negligent Hiring, Negligent Retention, and Related Torts....................669



CHAPTER 27   Other Types of Injuries....................673

Appendix A Medical Malpractice Rules of Practice....................675

Appendix B  Rules of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission....................687

  Table of Cases....................709

  Table of Statutes....................755

  Index....................759



Volume 1 Table of Contents


A COMPLETE SYNOPSIS FOR EACH CHAPTER APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CHAPTER


Introduction....................xix

Author's Note....................xxiii



Part One Basis of Liability

SECTION I  NEGLIGENCE

CHAPTER 1
  
FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGLIGENCE LAW

§ 1.1.   Elements of a Negligence Action....................1

§ 1.1.1.   Duty....................2

§ 1.1.2.   Breach of Duty: "Negligence. "....................3

§ 1.1.3.   Causation....................4

§ 1.1.4.   Damages....................5




CHAPTER 2 THE STANDARD OF CARE

§ 2.1.   The Duty of Care....................7

§ 2.1.1.   Due Care....................7

§ 2.2.   The Ordinary Prudent Person Standard....................9

§ 2.2.1.   The Ordinary Prudent Person....................9

§ 2.2.2.   Children....................11

§ 2.2.3.   Persons With Mental Disabilities....................17

§ 2.2.4.   Persons With Physical Disabilities....................17

§ 2.2.5.   Business, Trade, or Profession....................18

§ 2.3.   Statutory Standards of Care....................21

§ 2.3.1.   The Statutory Standards of Care....................21

§2.3.2.   Negligence Per Se....................22

§2.3.3.   Statutory Actions....................26

§2.4.   Lesser Degrees of Care....................27

§2.4.1.   Limited Duty....................27

§2.4.2.   "Slight Care. "....................28

§2.5.   Higher Degrees of Care....................28

§2.5.1.   "High" Duty of Care....................28

§2.6.   Duty as to Conduct of Third Persons....................30

§2.7  Duty of Public Officials; "Public Duty" Doctrine.

§2.8  Assumption of Duty.




CHAPTER 3   BREACH OF DUTY: "NEGLIGENCE"

§3.1.   The Concept of Negligence....................35

§3.2.   Foreseeability....................36

§3.3.   Ordinary or Simple Negligence....................37

§3.4.   Gross Negligence....................38

§3.5.   Recklessness and Willful and Wanton Conduct....................44

§3.6.   Criminal Negligence....................47

§3.7.   Proof of Negligence....................48

§3.8.   Sudden Emergency....................61

§3.9.   Unavoidable Accident....................67

§3.10.   Imputed Negligence....................69

§3.11.   Negligent Entrustment....................69

§3.12.   Instructions on Negligence....................71

§3.13  Ex Parte Statements: Va. Code § 8.01-404.




CHAPTER 4   CAUSATION

§4.1.   Proximate Cause....................73

§4.2.   Sine Qua Non Rule - The "But For" Test....................80

§4.3.   Concurrent Negligence and Causation....................82

§4.4.   Intervening and Superseding Cause....................86

§4.5.   Proof of Causation....................95



CHAPTER 5  DEFENSES IN NEGLIGENCE ACTIONS

§5.1.   Contributory Negligence....................99

§5.1.1.   The Contributory Negligence Defense....................99

§5.1.2.   Contributory Negligence as a Matter of Law....................111

§5.1.3.   Violation of Statute as Contributory Negligence....................114

§5.1.4.   Proof of Contributory Negligence; Instructions....................115

§5.1.5.   Contributory Negligence of Children....................118

§5.1.6.   Contributory Negligence of Persons with Mental Disabilities....................122

§5.1.7.   Sudden Emergency - Plaintiff's Conduct....................122

§5.1.8.   Rescuers and the "Rescue Doctrine. "....................125

§5.1.9.   Last Clear Chance....................128

§5.1.10.   Imputed Contributory Negligence....................139

§5.1.11.   The "Choice of Paths" Doctrine....................146

§5.2.   Comparative Negligence....................146

§5.2.1.   The Comparative Negligence Defense....................146

§5.2.2.   Virginia Code § 56-41.6: Railroad Crossing Accidents....................147

§5.2.3.   Federal Employers' Liability Act....................148

§5.2.4.   Admiralty Cases....................150

§5.3.   Assumption of Risk....................150

§5.3.1.   Assumption of Risk - Generally....................150

§5.3.2.   Implied Assumption of Risk....................151

§5.3.3.   Implied Assumption of Risk and Contributory Negligence Distinguished....................160

§5.3.4.   Express Assumption of Risk: Pre-Injury Releases....................163

§5.4.   Other Defenses....................165

§5.5  Contributory Negligence and Assumption of Risk in Actions for Negligence Per Se.



SECTION II  INTENTIONAL PERSONAL INJURIES

CHAPTER 6  INTENTIONAL PERSONAL INJURY ACTIONS

§6.1.   Intentional Personal Injuries....................169

§6.2.   Battery....................173

§6.2.1.   Crime of Battery and Tort of Battery Distinguished; Battery and Assault Distinguished; Battery and Trespass Distinguished....................173

§6.2.2.   The Tort of Battery: Definition and Elements....................174

§6.2.3.   Bodily Contact....................176

§6.2.4.   Intent....................177

§6.2.5.   Offensiveness....................178

§6.2.6.   Persons Liable....................179

§6.2.7.   Evidence of Battery....................179

§6.2.8.   Damages for Battery....................180

§6.3.   Assault....................180

§6.3.1.   Elements of the Tort of Assault....................182

§6.4.   Other Intentional Torts....................185



CHAPTER 7  DEFENSES IN INTENTIONAL PERSONAL INJURY ACTIONS

§7.1.   Defenses in Intentional Personal Injury Actions - Overview....................187

§7.2.   Consent....................187

§7.3.   Legal Duty or Authority....................190

§7.4.   Self-defense....................191

§7.5.   Other Defenses to Intentional Torts....................192

§7.6.   Provocation - Not a Defense....................193



SECTION III  STRICT LIABILITY

CHAPTER 8 STRICT LIABILITY

§8.1.   General Principles....................195

§8.2.   Ultrahazardous or Abnormally Dangerous Activities....................195

§8.3.   Blasting....................196

§8.4.   Defective and Dangerous Products....................198

§8.5.   Injuries Caused by Animals....................198

§8.6.   Other Actions....................199



SECTION IV  VICARIOUS LIABILITY

CHAPTER 9 VICARIOUS LIABILITY FOR PERSONAL INJURIES

§9.1.   The Concept of Vicarious Liability....................201

§9.2.   Master and Servant; Principal and Agent....................202

§9.3.   Independent Contractors....................216

§9.4.   Joint Venture....................227

§9.5.   Corporations....................230



SECTION V  LIMITATIONS ON LIABILITY

CHAPTER 10   RELEASES AND COVENANTS NOT TO SUE

§10.1.   Releases....................233

§10.1.1.   In General....................233

§10.1.2.   Enforcement of Releases....................235

§10.1.3.   Mistake....................235

§10.1.4.   Fraud and Duress....................238

§10.1.5.   Rescission of Releases Under the Virginia Code....................239


§10.2.   Releases and Joint Tort-Feasors; Covenants Not to Sue....................239

§10.3.   Effects of Releases and Covenants Not to Sue on Contribution and Indemnity....................243

§10.4.   Satisfaction of a Judgment....................243

§10.5.   Settlement Agreements....................244

§10.6.   Insurance....................245



CHAPTER 11   IMMUNITIES

§11.1.   The Concept of Immunity....................247

§11.2.   Governmental Immunity....................249

§11.2.1.   Origins of Governmental Immunity; Sovereign Immunity....................249

§11.2.2.   Immunity of the United States Government....................250

§11.2.3.   Immunity of the Commonwealth of Virginia....................251

§11.2.4.   Immunity of Counties and Cities....................256

§11.3.   Immunity of Public Employees and Officials....................264

§11.4.   Family Immunities....................272

§11.5.   Charitable Immunities....................273

§11.6.   Immunity of Other Private Individuals and Entities....................278

§11.7.   Immunity and Nuisance....................283



CHAPTER 12   LIMITATION OF ACTIONS

§12.1.   Statutes of Limitations: Nature and Effect....................285

§12.2.   Medical Malpractice Actions....................293

§12.3.   Other Types of Cases....................294

§12.4.   Tolling of Statute....................297

§12.5.   Other Provisions....................299

§12.6.   Notice-of-Claim Requirements....................299



Part Two Damages


CHAPTER 13   DAMAGES

§13.1.   Nature, Types, and Amount of Damages....................301

§13.2.   Nominal Damages....................306

§13.3.   Compensatory Damages....................307

§13.3.1.   Compensatory Damages - General Principles....................307

§13.3.2.   Medical and Other Expenses....................313

§13.3.3.   Loss of Income or Earning Capacity....................315

§13.3.4.   Physical Pain and Suffering....................317

§13.3.5.   Mental Anguish....................317

§13.3.6.   Aggravation of Previous Conditions....................318


§13.3.7.   Other Elements of Damages....................319

§13.3.8.   Damages for Injuries to Minors....................320

§13.3.9.   Interest....................321

§13.4.   Duty of Plaintiff to Mitigate Damages....................321

§13.5.   Punitive Damages....................323

§13.6.   Excessive Verdicts; Remittitur; Additur....................333

§13.7.   Insurance....................336

§13.8.   Liens on Damage Awards....................336

§13.9.   Proof of Medical Bills....................337

§13.10.   Liens in Personal Injury Actions for Health Care Services, Etc....................337

§13.11  Evidence that plaintiff followed doctors' instructions.



CHAPTER 14   RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGES

§14.1.   Joint and Several Liability....................339

§14.2.   Contribution....................341

§14.3.   Indemnity....................348

§14.4.   Collateral Source Rule....................357

§14.5.   Parent's Liability for Acts of Child....................360


PART Three SPECIFIC ACTIONS

CHAPTER 15 WRONGFUL DEATH

§ 15.1.   Wrongful Death and Survival of Actions Distinguished....................361


§ 15.2.   Principles of Wrongful Death Actions....................364


§ 15.3.   Statutes of Limitation in Wrongful Death Actions....................373


§ 15.4.   Damages in Wrongful Death Actions....................378


§ 15.5.   Beneficiaries....................388


§ 15.6.   Compromise of Wrongful Death Claims....................394


§ 15.7.   Pleadings in Wrongful Death Actions....................396


§ 15.8.   Proof in Wrongful Death Cases....................397




CHAPTER 16 PREMISES LIABILITY


§ 16.1.   Premises Liability - Generally....................407


§ 16.2.   Trespassers....................408


§ 16.2.1.   Adult Trespassers....................408


§ 16.2.2.   Child Trespassers....................411


§ 16.3.   Licensees....................415


§ 16.4.   Invitees....................422


§ 16.5.   Police, Firefighters, Emergency Medical Personnel, Etc....................437


§ 16.6.   Notice of Defect....................444


§ 16.7.   Witnesses and Evidence in Premises Liability Cases....................445


§ 16.8.   Liability of Municipalities for Maintaining Public Ways....................445


§ 16.9  Liability of Property Owners for Acts of Independent Contractors


§ 16.10  Liability for Repairs and Improvements


§ 16.11  Amusement devices and premises



CHAPTER 17 NUISANCE

§ 17.1.   Nuisance Generally; Definition and Background....................447


§ 17.2.   Basic Principles of Nuisance Law....................451


§ 17.3.   Public Nuisance....................464


§ 17.4.   Specific Activities....................467



CHAPTER 18 INFLICTION OF MENTAL DISTRESS

§ 18.1.   Recovery for Mental Distress: Generally....................469


§ 18.2.   Recovery for Mental Distress: Specific Situations....................470



CHAPTER 19 PRODUCTS LIABILITY

§ 19.1.   Products Liability Actions: General Principles....................481


§ 19.2.   The Duty to Warn....................491


§ 19.3.   Proof in Products Liability Actions....................496


§ 19.4.   Defenses in Products Liability Actions....................500



CHAPTER 20 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

§ 20.1.   General Principles....................510


§ 20.2.   Actions....................511


§ 20.3.   Basis of Liability....................522


§ 20.4.   The Standard of Care....................526


§ 20.5.   Proof of Malpractice....................533


§ 20.6.   The Virginia Medical Malpractice Act: Malpractice Review Panels, Etc....................538


§ 20.7.   Malpractice in Conception, Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion....................540


§ 20.8.   Defenses....................544


§ 20.9.   Damages....................550


§ 20.10.   Dental Malpractice....................553


§ 20.11.   Chiropractors....................554


§ 20.12.   Other Health Care Professionals....................555


§ 20.13.   Wrongful Birth....................555


§ 20.14.   Communications Between Attorneys and Physicians....................556


§ 20.15.   Medical Malpractice Rules of Practice....................557


§ 20.16.   Expert Witnesses....................557


§ 20.17.   Intentional Tort Actions Against Medical Personnel....................558


§ 20.18  Privileged Communications.


§ 20.19  Evidence of Treating Physicians.



CHAPTER 21 MOTOR VEHICLE INJURIES

§ 21.1.   Basis of Liability....................559


§ 21.2.   Right of Way....................559


§ 21.3.   Traffic Lights....................560


§ 21.4.   Skidding....................560


§ 21.5.   Failure to Look....................561


§ 21.6.   Mechanical Defects....................562


§ 21.7.   Speed....................562


§ 21.7.1.   Tires, Hydroplaning....................563


§ 21.8.   Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance....................563


§ 21.9.   Defenses and Instructions: Sudden Emergency; Unavoidable Accident, Choice of Paths Doctrine, Etc....................567


§ 21.10.   Recklessness and Willful and Wanton Conduct....................570


§ 21.11.   Statutory Duties in Motor Vehicle Accidents....................572


§ 21.12.   Emergency Vehicles....................573


§ 21.13.   Contributory Negligence of Passengers....................574


§ 21.14  Motor Vehicles, Bicycles, and Pedestrians.


§ 21.15  Evidence That Plaintiff Followed Doctors’ Instructions.



CHAPTER 22 PLEADINGS AND INCIDENTS OF TRIAL

§ 22.1.   Parties, Pleadings, and Amendments to Pleadings....................577


§ 22.2.   Argument....................579



CHAPTER 23 WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

§ 23.1.   Workers’ Compensation Law....................582


§ 23.2.   Workers’ Compensation Commission....................586


§ 23.3.   Workers’ Compensation Proceedings....................587


§ 23.4.   Appeal from Workers’ Compensation Commission....................593


§ 23.5.   Persons Covered....................602


§ 23.6.   Compensable Conditions....................607


§ 23.7.   Determination of Compensable Injury....................621


§ 23.8.   Causal Connection With Employment....................625


§ 23.9.   “Cumulative Trauma. ”....................630


§ 23.10.   the “Going To and From Work Rule. ”....................631


§ 23.10.1.   The “Personal Comfort” Doctrine....................634


§ 23.11.   Fraud....................635


§ 23.12.   Change in Eligibility for Benefits....................637


§ 23.13.   Refusal of Medical Treatment....................640


§ 23.14.   Refusal of Employment....................641


§ 23.15.   Termination or Other Discipline Related to Worker’s Compensation Claims....................643


§ 23.16.   Waiver of Benefits....................644


§ 23.17.   “Loaned Employees” and “Special Employers. ”....................644


§ 23.18.   Home Care....................645


§ 23.19.   Statutes of Limitations....................646


§ 23.20.   Uninsured Employer’s Fund....................648


§ 23.21.   Change of Treating Physicians; Alternative or Unauthorized Medical Treatment....................649


§ 23.22.   Subrogation....................651


§ 23.23.   Distribution of Benefits Upon Worker’s Death....................652


§ 23.24.   Calculation of Wages of Employee....................652


§ 23.25.   De Facto Awards....................653


§ 23.26.   Common Law Remedies....................654


§ 23.27.   Intoxication; Drug Use....................654


§ 23.28.   Medical Evidence....................655


§ 23.29.   Employers....................656


§ 23.30.   Filing of Claims....................656


§ 23.31.   Attorneys’ Fees....................657


§ 23.32.   Settlements by Claimant With Third Parties....................657


§ 23.33.   Permanent Loss and Partial Incapacity....................658


§ 23.34.   Birth Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act....................658


§ 23.35.   Employee Accepting Other Employment....................659


§ 23.36.   Release of Social Security Information....................659


§ 23.37.   Partly Disabled Workers; Efforts to Find Suitable Employment....................660


§ 23.38.   Penalty for Late Payment....................660


§ 23.39  Benefits Where No Loss of Wages.


§ 23.40  Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).


§ 23.41  Voluntary Payments.


§ 23.42  Agreements with Employer Regarding Medical Care.


§ 23.43  Exemption from Structured Settlement Protection Act.


§ 23.44  Indemnity.


§ 23.45  Line of Duty Act and Related Statutes.


§ 23.46  Diagnostic Procedures.


§ 23.47  Injuries Due to “Horseplay” and Similar Acts.


§ 23.48  Unemployment Benefits.


§ 23.49  Employee Misconduct.



CHAPTER 24 FEDERAL EMPLOYERS’ LIABILITY ACT

§ 24.1.   General Provisions....................661


§ 24.2.   Comparative and Contributory Negligence Under FELA....................662


§ 24.3.   Accrual of Cause of Action Under FELA....................663


§ 24.4.   Damages in FELA Cases....................664


§ 24.5.   Recent FELA Case Holdings of Interest....................665


§ 24.6  Evidence and Expert Testimony in FELA Cases.



CHAPTER 25 MARITIME LAW

§ 25.1.   Personal Injuries Under Maritime Law....................667


§ 25.2.   Contributory Negligence Under Maritime Law....................668



CHAPTER 26 NEGLIGENT HIRING, NEGLIGENT RETENTION, AND RELATED TORTS

§ 26.1.   Introduction....................669


§ 26.2.   Negligent Hiring....................669


§ 26.3.   Negligent Retention....................671



CHAPTER 27 OTHER TYPES OF INJURIES

§ 27.1.   Injuries Caused by Animals....................673


§ 27.2.   Drug Dealer Liability Act....................673



Appendix A.  Medical Malpractice Rules of Practice....................675



Appendix B.  Rules of the Virginia Workers ’ Compensation Commission....................686


  Table of Cases....................709


  Table of Statutes....................755


  Index....................759