Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

  • Page 5
  • What if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when my car accident occurred?

    Driver putting on seatbeltFirst things first: properly using a seat belt can save your life—but sometimes, drivers choose not to wear one. If you weren’t wearing a seat belt during an accident, you should know it’s still possible to recover for damages and injuries. However, it’s important you understand that Virginia seat belt and negligence laws may be important in your claim.

    A Seat Belt Violation Is a Secondary Offense in VA

    In the U.S., seat belt violations are codified as either primary or secondary offenses. In most states, not wearing a seat belt is considered a primary offense—meaning a police officer can pull a driver over for that reason alone. In Virginia, it is a secondary offense, so an officer must have pulled you over for another violation in order to ticket you or your adult passenger for not wearing a seat belt.

    However, it is a primary offense in Virginia for a minor to ride in a vehicle without a seat belt. So it’s lawful for an officer to ticket you if a child is unrestrained or improperly restrained in your vehicle.

    Fault Matters Most

    More importantly, Virginia is one of four states that operates under a pure contributory negligence rule—meaning that if you were even 10% at fault for your own injuries, you can’t sue for compensation. However, perhaps another driver (who was 100% at fault) injured you in an accident, but you weren’t wearing your seat belt. Is that driver allowed to argue that your decision to forego wearing a seat belt constitutes negligence on your part? The answer is no—because Virginia law officially says:

    • A violation of the seat belt law cannot be used against the injured party as evidence of negligence
    • The violation may not be used as an argument to decrease monetary compensation for injuries
    • The injured party was in no way responsible for the initial cause of the accident, even though not wearing a seat belt may have contributed to the severity of injuries

    However, it’s important to recognize that a seat belt violation may be used against you if you were in any way negligent in the cause of the accident.

    Ask an Attorney to Review Your Case

    If you are not sure whether you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, you should contact a trustworthy attorney. At Tavss Fletcher, we can review the details of your case and help you understand your options for recovery. Contact us today by starting a live online chat on our website.

  • What damages can I recover after my car accident?

    Man with injured arm in front of crashed carAfter suffering a car accident, you may be worried about how to pay for property damage and treatment for bodily injury sustained by you or your passengers. Though you may be eligible for financial compensation, the types of damages you can recover depend on your fault and the severity of your losses in the accident.

    You May Recover Economic or Non-Economic Damages

    In addition to your involvement in the accident, the extent of your property damages and injuries are important factors in determining what you can recover. Especially if there’s a chance you could be even 10% at fault for the accident—since Virginia’s pure contributory negligence law may bar you from compensation—it’s important you contact an attorney about how you may be able to recover for:

    • Medical costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital due to car crash injuries. And an accident victim may recover for any part of an injury—including ambulance rides, hospital stays, medical equipment, medications, follow-up appointments or treatments, and future medical costs. Even an injury as small as a cut may be covered by an injury victim’s recovery.
    • Property damages. It is common for an accident to result in damages to a crash victim’s vehicle. Filing an accident claim may return financial compensation to pay for either cosmetic or structural damages to a car. In addition, the victim may be able to recover for tow truck expenses and rental car costs during the vehicle repairs.
    • Wage losses. It’s possible a car accident injury is so severe that the victim is unable to work. Compensation may be able to cover the financial losses you experienced from taking days off work to recover and heal.
    • Pain and suffering. Sometimes, car accident injuries are more than skin deep. If an accident resulted in the death of a loved one, caused permanent disability, or caused a permanent disfigurement, the crash victim can recover for the economic losses associated with the crash—but he may also recover for the related non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship or consortium, reduced enjoyment of life, and lost earning capacity.

    Find a Lawyer You Can Trust

    If you’ve been involved in a car accident and need help filing a successful claim, you need an attorney. The experienced team at Tavss Fletcher can help you prepare evidence and negotiate recovery for all the damages—both monetary and non-monetary—you experienced after the accident. To get started on your case, start a live online chat on our website today.

  • What Should Be My First Steps After a Car Accident?

    Police at scene of car accidentIn 2015, there were over 8 million registered vehicles on Virginia roads, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Though many of these vehicles travel daily without incident, every driver should know what to do if he suddenly becomes involved in a car accident—especially one that involves injury. Following five simple steps can protect you and your claim after an accident.

    5 Important Steps After a Car Accident

    Car accident claims can become complicated—especially in Virginia, where receiving a fair recovery can depend on contributory negligence laws. After an accident, to protect your recovery for property damages, bodily injury, or both, it’s important that you:

    1. Contact law enforcement. Law enforcement maintains safety on the accident scene, but they also serve as an objective third party who can observe, take reports, and make notes about the scene. Calling them shows that you take the accident seriously and want to follow proper procedure.
    2. Seek medical attention. If you become injured in the accident, it’s important you take care of yourself. Often, police who arrive on the scene will arrive with or call emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Allow yourself to be examined and treated, and if the EMTs suggest you go to the hospital, follow their orders.
    3. Document the scene. If you are physically capable, take out your mobile phone (or the disposable camera you keep in your glove box for these situations), and take photos of the scene, your injuries, and damages to your vehicle. Additionally, take notes from any witnesses you can. Remember to write down contact information for anyone involved in the accident, noting who was the driver, passenger, or witness. These details will assist your attorney later.
    4. Put your health first. After the accident, it’s crucial you continue to show up on time to doctor visits, follow all instructions your doctor gives you, and take all medications prescribed to you. Later, this will show insurance companies you take your claim seriously.
    5. Contact a lawyer. Because Virginia car accident law can be complex, it’s important you don’t attempt to handle your case alone. An attorney has the experience and skill set necessary to file court documents properly on your behalf, gather meaningful evidence, and achieve success so you can recover adequately for your injuries, damages, and lost wages.

    Finding Valuable Legal Help Isn’t Difficult

    If you’ve been in a car accident and are worried about recovering for your losses, you need legal assistance. At Tavss Fletcher, we put our clients first, listening to their concerns and fighting for their fair recovery. To speak with a member of our team, call our toll-free phone number today: 877.960.3441.

  • What is contributory negligence?

    Distressed woman sitting in front of a rear-end car crashThe Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports that 60% of cases involving personal injury stem from automobile accidents. However, in Virginia, whether an injury victim has the right to sue for her injuries depends heavily on contributory negligence law. If you’ve been in a car accident in Virginia, it’s important you understand what negligence is, what Virginia’s contributory negligence law is, how it affects your right to a claim, and how an attorney can help.

    Defining Negligence

    Legally, negligence is “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act,” according to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University. This means:

    • Someone made a mistake or failed to act.
    • Someone else would have acted differently in the same or similar situation.
    • The mistake or failure to act resulted in damages.

    Understanding Contributory Negligence

    When it comes to personal injury lawsuits like car accidents, Virginia law says that if you contribute to your injury at all—even 1%—you do not have a legal right to sue for any damages or injuries resulting from the accident. Therefore, if the other side can prove that you were negligent or partially at fault, you will not be able to recover. Though this may seem harsh, it is the law.

    You Need an Attorney After an Accident

    As soon as you’re involved in an accident, it’s important you hire an attorney. Your recovery depends on it. When you hire an experienced lawyer, you put your case into the hands of someone who can:

    • Gather evidence in your favor
    • Prevent you from doing or saying things that could harm your case
    • Negotiate a fair settlement, when the time comes

    Contact Our Team of Respected Lawyers

    If you’ve recently been involved in an accident, only an attorney can help you navigate the contributory negligence laws that could affect your case. The team at Tavss Fletcher can help you achieve a positive result in your case, so contact us today. Get started with an online chat on our website.

  • What Will a Car Accident Attorney Do to Resolve My Case?

    License place: Injured?The Virginia Highway Safety Office reports that 6,003,526 licensed Virginia drivers were on the road in 2015. If you were one of these drivers and have an upcoming legal battle after sustaining an injury and property damage in a car accident, you should know that an attorney’s experience, investigation strategies, and negotiation skills can increase the chance for success in your case.

    The Role of a Car Accident Attorney

    After complex car accidents, handling legal papers, communicating with insurance companies, and negotiating a settlement can become overwhelming. In these cases, it’s prudent to hire an attorney to handle the case so you can focus on your recovery. Specifically, an attorney offers the following services to a car accident client:

    • Communicating with insurance companies, medical collection agents, the other driver’s legal team, and your insurance company about only pertinent case details—which protects your case and gives you a better chance for a fair recovery.
    • Filing and writing all necessary documents with the court, including the lawsuit, evidentiary documents, and motions. These documents are essential to a successful case, and an attorney can file these properly and in a timely manner.
    • Answering any questions you have during the course of your case. Again, car accident lawsuits can become convoluted, but a good attorney will take time to make sure you understand what’s going on during each stage of the recovery process.
    • Investigating individually and with a team to gather relevant evidence. This includes collecting any evidence you, your passengers, or other witnesses to the car accident have. Additionally, an attorney and his team can conduct interviews, subpoena cell phone records, and gain access to surveillance recordings that might help your case.
    • Negotiating a fair settlement, when the time comes. Because the cost of your medical bills, time off work, lost capacity to work, and property damages are at stake, you want a lawyer in the seat of negotiation. He can present evidence and arguments clearly and sternly to win you adequate compensation.

    If You Need Representation, Chat With Us

    Experiencing injury and property damage after a car accident can be frustrating, but the team at Tavss Fletcher wants to help you. We have over 100 combined years serving car accident victims in our community, and we’d like to review your case. To speak with us, start a live online chat on our website today.

  • How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

    Contingency fee written on a blackboardIf you’ve been involved in a car accident and have begun researching lawyers who might be able to help with your case, it’s possible you’ve seen the phrase “contingency fee.” Many car accident attorneys will take cases on a contingency-fee basis, which makes legal help more accessible to those who can’t afford a retainer fee or an hourly rate, according to the Center for Justice and Democracy. But what is a contingency fee, and why do lawyers use them?

    Understanding the Contingency Fee

    Folks involved in car accidents who sustained serious injuries often experience growing medical bills and temporary loss of wages, so the financial burden can be stressful. Contingency fees provide the option of quality legal help to those without the ability to pay for an attorney up front. Under a contingency fee agreement:

    • The attorney takes very little or no payment up front and begins work on the case right away
    • The attorney is financially responsible for hiring investigators, expert witnesses, and any costs associated with gathering and documenting evidence
    • If the case is successful, the attorney receives a portion of the settlement as payment
    • If the case is unsuccessful, the attorney does not collect a payment

    In other words, under this system, an attorney’s payment for his work is contingent upon him winning the case. However, it’s important to know that, if she loses her case, the injured victim is still responsible for paying court and filing fees.

    Why Contingency Fees?

    In short, lawyers offer contingency fees in order to help their clients. Though it’s risky for a lawyer to accept a case on a contingency fee, his client can be sure that he will:

    • Work hard through the completion of the case. Since the attorney only gets paid at the end of a case, he will put every effort into making sure the case is strong and that it concludes as quickly as possible.
    • Believe in the probability of a successful outcome. An attorney risks his time and money when he accepts a case under a contingency-fee agreement. However, if a lawyer takes your case and offers you a contingency fee, you can be certain he is optimistic about winning you a fair settlement.

    Don’t Let Cost Deter You From Quality Legal Help

    If you’ve been injured in a car accident and need an advocate on your side, we want to hear your story. At Tavss Fletcher, we have over 100 combined years of helping injury victims just like you. To speak with a member of our team today, fill out the online contact form on our website.

     

  • What if I’m partially at fault for my car accident?

    Virginia is a contributory negligence state, which, in short, means that any person who contributed to their own traffic-related injuries may not be able to recover compensation for them. In 2014, 63,384 people were injured in Virginia traffic accidents, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you were injured in an accident, it’s important to understand how contributory negligence could keep you from receiving compensation for your car accident injuries and what to do if you were partially at fault for your accident.

    Understanding Contributory Negligence

    Contributory negligence law in Virginia dictates that any person who is even partially responsible for his accident injuries cannot receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. To receive compensation for your property damages and bodily injuries, you must prove that you were not even 1% responsible for the accident, and that the other driver was 100% at fault. If you’re not able to prove both, you might not be entitled to compensation for:

    • Property damages
    • Medical expenses
    • Pain and suffering costs
    • Lost wages

    What to Do If You Were Partially Responsible

    two people arguing over a car crashIf you were in an accident and contributed to its cause, even very little, it would be in your best interest to call a lawyer. You may not be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages because of your contribution to the accident, but a few exceptions to the rule of contributory negligence exist. Your lawyer may be able to use these to defend you:

    • The Last Clear Chance Doctrine. If you and the other driver both put yourselves in the situation of danger that caused the accident—either knowingly or unknowingly—but the other driver had a last clear chance to avoid the accident and didn’t, your lawyer might be able to argue for your appropriate compensation. It’s important to note that this is a special circumstance.
    • Willful and Wanton Behavior. If the other driver was not only negligent, but also willfully and recklessly put other drivers in danger by driving aggressively or dangerously, your lawyer might be able to argue that the fault belongs to the other driver, 100%.

    Find Answers from Experienced Voices

    If you need a lawyer on your case, or you aren’t sure if you were partially responsible for your accident, we are here to help. The experienced legal team at Tavss Fletcher has advocated fiercely for our clients for over 30 years, and we are ready to talk with you about your case, too. To get started on your case, start an instant live chat on our website today.

  • What should I do if I’m hit by an uninsured driver?

    Uninsured driver traffic signAn estimated 12.6% of motorists were uninsured in 2012—the most recent year available—according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). In many states, motorists are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance to operate a vehicle. However, in Virginia, motorists have the option to pay a fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to waive any insurance requirements. If you were hit by an uninsured driver, you have two main options: either sue the uninsured driver for bodily injury and property damages, or make a claim with your insurance, using your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage.

    Who Is an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver?

    Virginia does not require its motorists to purchase auto insurance. Instead, motorists can opt to pay the UM fee with the DMV to register as an uninsured driver, which is $500 per year. By paying the fee, these drivers agree to take personal and financial responsibility for any damages they cause in accidents. However, for those who choose to buy insurance, Virginia law requires a minimum of 25/50/20 coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and UM coverage, respectively. Therefore, an uninsured motorist could be any person who:

    • Legally drives without insurance after paying the UM fee
    • Illegally drives without insurance
    • Illegally drives with insufficient coverage
    • Causes an accident, then leaves (a hit-and-run driver)

    What to Do After a Crash With an Uninsured Motorist

    If you were in a wreck with an uninsured driver and have UM coverage on your auto insurance policy, file a claim with your insurance policy as soon as possible. Insurance companies often enforce strict deadlines for making such a claim. The process for filing a UM claim often includes your insurance company:

    • Temporarily stepping in to provide a legal defense for the uninsured/underinsured driver
    • Calculating how much compensation you need for your bodily injury and property damage
    • Paying you for your damages from your own policy

    If you do not have UM coverage on your auto policy, you might be able to sue the uninsured/underinsured driver for damages. Sometimes, this can be difficult, as many people forego carrying insurance due to lack of funds—which means they might not have the money to compensate you for damages and injuries, even after a court order.

    We Want to Help You

    If you’re left with damages after a crash with an uninsured motorist and have questions about filing a UM claim with your insurance, we’re here to help. The legal team at Tavss Fletcher has been serving Virginia for over 30 years, and we can help you with your case, too. Give us a toll-free call at 877.960.3441 to get started on your case today.

  • Is it legal to drive without car insurance in Virginia?

    Here’s the short answer: if you are a Virginia resident, it is legal to drive your vehicle without purchasing auto insurance. However, it’s important to learn all the factors involved before making a decision. Driving without insurance can come with serious consequences.

    Virginia Is a Fault State

    When you purchase auto insurance and get into a wreck in a no-fault state—your fault or not—your insurance company is responsible for paying for damages. However, Virginia is a fault state, which means that your liability insurance carrier will pay only if the driver of your car was at fault. If you choose to forego auto insurance, you are required to:

    • Pay the DMV a $500/year fee to waive insurance. When you choose to drive without insurance, the Virginia DMV requires that you pay $500 in addition to your typical registration fees every year to waive insurance. You may also choose to prorate this $500 fee if you need to go without insurance for only part of the year.
    • Be 100% personally liable for any car accidents you cause. Think about what this means. If you cause a crash, you alone would be responsible for property damages, medical bills, and any lost wages. It might be a fender-bender, or it might be a fatal crash. Repairing a bumper might not be so bad, but even a few days in the ICU can cost upwards of $100,000.

    Man holding out insurance form to signWhy It’s Better to Pay for Auto Insurance

    Even though you’re not required to purchase auto insurance in Virginia, it’s important that you do. Unfortunately, the Virginia DMV reported 120,282 traffic crashes in 2014, so it’s not unlikely you’ll be involved in a crash. Even if you drive safely and responsibly, other drivers may not. Minimum car insurance coverages in Virginia follow a 25/50/20 rule:

    • $25,000 coverage for bodily injury or death of one person
    • $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people
    • $20,000 for property damage

    These coverages are the minimums for a reason. Serious car accidents need more coverage, so it’s important to buy the highest insurance coverages you can afford. Doing so will protect you, your family, and your property.

    If you’ve been involved in a car wreck and need the help of an experienced lawyer to file a claim, the team at Tavss Fletcher is here to help. We have the skills and strategy necessary to help you build your case. Start a live chat on our website to get started on your case today.

  • How much is my car accident claim worth?

    Each year, approximately 1.3 million people die in vehicle accidents, and 20 – 50 million are injured or disabled in those crashes. After a car wreck, you may feel confused, overwhelmed, and unsure if you’ve been injured or are simply shaken up. What is likely to be obvious is the damage to your vehicle, and you may worry about the cost of car repairs, time off work to get your car fixed, rental car costs, and deductibles. Additionally, you may be faced car accident claimwith expensive medical bills. Most people expect their insurance company to pay for these things; however, most people aren’t clear about how much their claim is worth.  

    How Do Insurance Companies Decide What to Pay?

    Insurance companies don’t use an exact formula to determine what they pay on insurance claims, which makes calculating the worth of a claim difficult. However, they consider many factors about the crash, including:  

    • Damages to the car. If your car was damaged in the crash, your insurance will often cover the costs of repair. If your car was totaled, your insurance might assist in replacing your vehicle and covering the costs of a rental car. Check your policy for the maximum payout on vehicle damage, gap insurance, and replacement coverages.
    • Injuries. If you were hurt in the accident, it’s important to get the medical attention you need first and worry about costs later. The at-fault driver and his insurance company will be responsible for paying your medical bills and lost wages from any time you have to take off work because of your injury. If your injuries are severe, you may be able to argue for pain and suffering compensation, also.
    • Pain and suffering. Making a claim for pain and suffering may include your emotional distress and inability to enjoy a normal life routine or engage in everyday activities. Because there is no specific monetary value associated with pain and suffering, calculating damages for this isn’t always clear. Keep in mind that once you take a pain and suffering settlement, you cannot claim additional costs in the future. Your lawyer will be able to advise you of the smartest course of action, as pain and suffering claims can become extremely complicated.

    We Can Help

    If you’ve been in a car accident and the other driver was at fault, you may have questions about your accident, claims, and insurance policy. The attorneys at Tavss Fletcher can help. Contact us at 877.960.3441 to schedule a consultation.

     

  • Is riding my motorcycle during the winter dangerous?

    No matter who you are or where you are riding, you always take some risks by getting on the road. Even the safest drivers face dangers when behind the wheel due to other motorists on the road and inclement weather. Motorcyclists, however, experience even more risk when they ride during the harsh Virginia winter.

    Why Your Safety Is in Jeopardy When You Ride in the Winter

    The city of Norfolk experiences cold temperatures and its fair share of snow, sleet, and rain during the winter months. These elements are dangerous enough on their own, but can create major problems and put riders at risk for experiencing common motorcycle accident injuries when combined. Be aware of the following dangers when riding this winter:

    • The risk of hypothermia. You may feel like you’re freezing, but it’s likely that you have produced a good amount of sweat while riding. When against your body, this moisture can cause your body temperature to drop and you can become hypothermic as a result. Bundle up in layers when on your bike, and choose clothing that wicks away the sweat from your body.
    • Slippery surfaces. Cold tires don’t have the same amount of traction as warm tires, which puts riders at risk for slips. Poor traction is dangerous enough, but when combined with wet or icy roads, it is downright deadly. Ensure your tires have the proper amount of pressure before each trip, and never go for a ride if your tires are low on tread. Avoid speeding, taking on tricky turns, and riding when ice is on the road. Doing so can result in serious injuries.
    • Distraction. Have you ever been so cold that your discomfort was all you could think about? Motorcyclists often experience the same feeling. Avoid becoming so cold that you aren’t able to focus on riding safely. If you are unable to do so, consider staying off the road until the weather warms up.

    Motorcycle Accident Victims Deserve the Very Best

    Trusting the insurance company after a motorcycle accident is often a mistake, as you likely won’t receive the compensation you deserve. Having the attorneys of Tavss Fletcher on your side, however, increases your chances of getting a fair settlement. Speak to a legal professional about your situation by calling 877.960.3441.

  • What should I do if I think the truck driver near me is falling asleep at the wheel?

    If you’re driving along the freeway and see a truck swerving back and forth, stopping and starting, and just acting in a way that looks dangerous, there’s a good chance the driver may be falling asleep behind the wheel.

    You likely know the dangers of a truck driver who is drowsy. In fact, actor Tracy Morgan recently suffered a traumatic brain injury and the loss of his close friend because a truck driver who was allegedly awake for 24 hours fell asleep behind the wheel.

    What You Can Do About a Drowsy Truck Driver

    Fortunately, you don’t have to allow a truck driver to possibly endanger your life and those around you. You can take the following actions to prevent serious injuries or even death:

    • Get to a safe location. If possible, pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot to get away from the dangerous truck driver. Never put your life in danger to stop the driver. Make your safety your first priority.
    • Call the police. You can report the unsafe driver to the police by calling either 911 or the non-emergency number for the police. You’ll need a description of the vehicle, the tag number, trucking company, and the location where the truck is traveling. The police may send an officer to look for the truck in question.

    If a Truck Driver Has Caused You Injuries

    Fortunately, you can fight back against a driver that has caused you injuries. An attorney from Tavss Fletcher will work hard to help you receive the compensation you need to cover medical bills, vehicle repairs, and loss of work. Contact us today to learn more.

  • Despite the complaints I have filed, my homeowner's association has not taken care of my noisy neighbors. What can I do?

    Many communities in Norfolk have homeowners’ associations (HOAs), and belonging to one has many advantages. When you pay good money every month to the HOA, you expect it to take care of you if you have concerns.

    Living with a noisy neighbor is difficult and can even affect your quality of life. Most HOAs have rules regarding noise levels, including noise curfews. In fact, even the city of Norfolk has a noise ordinance that citizens are supposed to follow. But when your neighbor is defiant and disturbs you and your neighborhood, you want help.

    When Your HOA Won’t Help

    If you’ve filed numerous complaints with your HOA regarding your neighbor and haven’t received any help, you may still be able to get the results you seek in the following ways:

    • Talk to your other neighbors. Chances are, if you’re having problems with a particular neighbor, others are as well. Compose a formal complaint and ask your other neighbors to sign it, then turn it into your HOA. Seeing that several residents are a united front against those making the noise may prompt your HOA to take action.
    • Talk to the authorities. You’ve probably already called the cops several times to report your neighbors, but if you haven’t, do so the next time they are rowdy. You may also be able to request that a test is conducted to measure exactly how much noise your neighbor is making. If the level is high enough, the noise enforcement officer may issue a citation.

    Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

    When you feel that no one is on your side and willing to help, it’s time to take legal action. The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher believe you should be able to enjoy yourself in your own home, and we want to make that happen. Contact us to find out how we can help.

  • What are the safety concerns surrounding Palcohol?

    Drinkers who are looking for an easy and convenient way to knock back a few may look into using Palcohol, a powdered alcohol substance that is set to hit the stores in the summer of 2015.

    This freeze-dried alcohol, which is available in five different flavors, turns into a mixed drink when water is added. Although this may sound like a dream come true for those who wish to consume alcohol on hiking or camping trips, others are doubtful of its safety.

    Palcohol: It is Safe to Use?

    The makers of Palcohol praise its convenience and claim it is just as safe as conventional liquid alcohol. Others, however, are more critical of the product and its safety for consumers, and here’s why:

    • The potential for overdose is high. Since the alcohol is in powder form, critics worry that consumers will inhale the powder, which can offer an immediate high. Additionally, they fear that youngsters and others will eat the powder itself, which could end up in overdose. In fact, the company claims consumers can sprinkle the powder on their food for an “extra kick.”
    • Palcohol is easily accessible. A child may know not to drink alcohol, but what about eating it? A youngster could easily confuse the powder with sugar or another edible substance and ingest the product. Although the company claims ingesting the powder isn’t pleasurable because it turns gummy when mixed with saliva, the child could still feel the effects of the alcohol even if he stops eating it after a few bites.
    • Drinking and driving is now easier. Some critics fear that drivers will be able to get away with drinking alcohol when behind the wheel more easily with Palcohol, which could result in more deadly crashes.

    Do You Have Questions About Your Rights?

    If the driver who hit you and caused injuries was under the influence of Palcohol or other alcohol, you may have a claim. The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher want to help you find out. Contact us today to speak with a legal professional about your situation.

     

  • Why do emergency room mistakes happen?

    A hospital emergency room is the last place anyone wants to be. They are often overcrowded and understaffed. Patients are scared and stressed out, and staff members are tired and short-tempered. With long waits, rushed examinations, and quick diagnoses, it’s no wonder mistakes are made.

    Why Your Condition May Become Worse in an Emergency Room

    When you go into the emergency room, you expect to have your condition resolved. You don’t expect to come out worse than when you went in, but, unfortunately, that could happen. In the name of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, hospitals often make cuts that harm the patient. The following are common occurrences in busy emergency rooms and could lead to harm to patients:

    • Inadequate staff
    • Lack of hospital beds
    • Not obtaining medical history
    • Deviating from standard protocol
    • Staff that is stressed and fatigued
    • Overcrowding
    • Lack of equipment or resources
    • Rushing from one patient to another

    As a result, patients can endure a variety of painful and difficult events, including receiving the wrong medications, being injured by rough and unsympathetic staff, having the wrong tests performed, and even undergoing unnecessary surgery.

    You Don’t Have to Suffer in Silence

    Emergency room mistakes are inexcusable. Not only can they harm you, they can end up costing you thousands of dollars. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes, and the attorneys of Tavss Fletcher want to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Fill out or online form or call us at 757.625.1214 to get the justice you seek. 

  • I can’t seem to get over losing my baby in a car crash. Is it normal to feel this way?

    You were 21 weeks along in your first pregnancy when you were t-boned by a drunk driver on Chesapeake Blvd. The collision left you unconscious, and when you woke up you were lying in a bed at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

    Naturally, your first thoughts were of the safety of your unborn baby. The doctors told you that the accident caused a placental abruption, where the placenta tears away from the uterus. If you were further along, the doctors would consider delivering the baby now, but since they can’t, you are to stay on bed rest.

    The Aftermath of a Miscarriage

    Despite your best efforts, your baby was not able to survive the trauma. Experiencing a miscarriage is devastating enough, but particularly when it is at the hands of a negligent driver. Many moms who lose their unborn children experience a range of emotion, including:

    • Guilt. Even though the accident and subsequent miscarriage weren’t your fault whatsoever, you may still feel like there was something you could have done to prevent it. The guilt can become crippling and affect your quality of life.
    • Anger. Feeling anger towards the negligent driver, and even at the medical team and yourself after the miscarriage is common. Visiting a therapist to learn how to cope with the anger is often a viable solution.
    • Depression. Perhaps the most common psychological effect mothers feel after miscarriage is depression. The overwhelming sadness can cause physical and emotional symptoms, and taking anti-depressant drugs or speaking with a counselor can help.

    Having to Pay for Someone Else’s Negligence

    You’ve already suffered enough because of someone else’s mistake; don’t allow yourself to pay for the negligence, as well. Medical bills from your current treatment, as well as treatment you may need in the future because of the miscarriage, will end up costing you thousands of dollars. Unless you have the help of an experienced attorney on your side, you may end up footing the bill, which isn’t right.

    The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher don’t think you should have to pay for expenses related to another driver’s error. Contact us today to learn how we may be able to help.

  • Who doesn’t have to buckle up behind the wheel in Virginia?

    After an officer pulled you over for speeding on Rte. 60, he issued you two tickets: one for speeding and the other for your 16-year-old daughter who was riding in the front passenger seat without a belt. Although you know the importance of wearing the safety gear, you didn’t think to check that your daughter was buckled up. Now you’re facing fines.

    Who Isn’t Required to Wear a Seat Belt?

    This has left you wondering: is every driver required to wear a seatbelt in Virginia? As a driver, are you responsible for your passengers buckling up?  Virginia law says that, while you are liable for underage passengers who are not wearing seatbelts, passengers over age 17 are responsible for themselves and could be ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt. While it is always safer to be bucked up, the truth is, not every driver is required to wear a seatbelt. Some exceptions to the law are:

    • People with medical reasons aren’t obliged to buckle up. Those for whom a licensed physician determines that they are medically incapable of wearing seatbelts are pardoned from doing so.
    • Law-enforcement officers. When law enforcement officers are transporting people in custody or are traveling in circumstances in which wearing a safety belt is impractical, they aren’t required to buckle up.
    • Certain professional deliverers. Those who are actively delivering mail for the United States Postal Service and those who are performing duties as newspaper route carriers, newspaper bundle haulers, or newspaper rack carriers are exempt from wearing seat belts.
    • Other drivers and passengers. Taxi cab drivers and passengers, along with certain personnel of public works, don’t have to wear seatbelts when driving or being transported in such vehicles.

    Do You Need Help With an Alleged Driving Infraction?

    If you’ve been wrongly accused of driving without wearing a seatbelt or are facing another driving infraction, the legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help.  Contact us today to speak with an experienced attorney about your situation and find out if we can help.

  • Do I really need to hire a lawyer for my work zone accident? What will one do for me?

    The construction work on N. Shore Rd. seems like it has gone on forever, and it doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon. You’ve passed by the work zone hundreds of times to and from your job and never had any problems with it, until today, that is.

    Misplaced cones caused you to drive into the guardrail. As a result, your airbags deployed and you suffered injuries. You were taken to Sentara Leigh Hospital where you received treatment for your injuries and underwent lots of expensive testing.

    Thinking of Fighting Alone? You May Want to Think Again

    The insurance company will attempt to nickel and dime you when it comes to a settlement. Not only will a representative not give you the compensation you deserve now, but you likely won’t get enough to cover problems that happen in the future because of your injuries. When you hire a law firm, however, they will go the extra mile to help you, by:

    • Dealing with your medical bills and paperwork so you can focus on recovery, not fighting with an insurance company that doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
    • Collect evidence, work with experts, interview witnesses, and speak with investigators to help build your case and present compelling evidence to the judge and jury so that you have a better chance of winning.
    • Answer your legal questions and track your deadlines so that you have one less thing on your mind and feel confident in your case.

    Don’t Trust the Insurance Company to Give You What You Deserve

    The insurance company doesn’t have your best interests in mind, but the legal team of Tavss Fletcher does. Contact us today to learn what we can do so that you can get over your injury and on with your life again.

  • Can I file a dispute against my homeowners’ association?

    You’re not sure what you’ve done, but you feel like your homeowners association (HOA) is attacking you personally. It seems to you that the HOA goes out of its way to make accusations against you that are false, or it allows other residents to get away with the very things it accuses you of. Most recently, you received a violation notice for unauthorized trash can placement, but you know the person across the street from you places her cans in the same spot and isn’t targeted for it.

    When Your Dispute Turns Major

    You believe your HOA’s latest accusations and demands against you are in violation of your contract and you want to take action. Fortunately, you can, with the help of an attorney. You should be aware of the following:

    • The law may be on your side. HOA members have certain rights under the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act and the Virginia Condominium Owners’ Association Act. If you feel your HOA is going against its contract, these acts may protect you.
    • File a dispute. Contact the president of your HOA to discuss your problem. The association may schedule mediation or arbitration to resolve the issue. However, this may take some time and is often stressful. If your complaint is minor, you may not feel the time and effort you have to put into it is worth it.
    • Hire a lawyer. If you don’t think the HOA will take you seriously or you’re not satisfied with the results, hiring a real estate attorney is your best option. You can then make a legal claim against the HOA that will make them take notice and possibly comply, or take your case to court and let a judge decide.

    Don’t Allow Your HOA to Take Advantage of You

    Homeowners associations are legal entities, which means you can take legal action against them. Real estate law is complex, and having an attorney on your side will increase your chances of success.

    The lawyers of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn how.

  • Am I jeopardizing my financial future by keeping my house for the wrong reasons after divorce?

    You moved into your home right after you married. It’s the home you brought your children to from the hospital and you have hundreds of happy memories associated with it. As a result, it was only natural for you to tell your spouse that you wanted the home when you decided to divorce.

    Unfortunately, some spouses hold onto their homes for all the wrong reasons, and doing so can cause financial troubles down the road.

    Are You Holding on to Something You Shouldn’t?

    Before you decide to go through the process of becoming the sole owner of your home, evaluate your reasons for doing so. If you find you are wanting to keep the home for any of the following reasons, you should reconsider:

    • You are keeping the home out of spite. Some spouses want to make the divorce process difficult for their exes every step of the way. If you didn’t want the divorce or have ill feelings towards your spouse, you may fight for the home just because you know he wants it. If so, you’ll likely regret your decision down the road, especially if it causes you financial hardship.
    • You want to hold on to the marriage. Feeling a sense of loss is understandable after a divorce. After all, you are losing someone who used to be a major part of your life. Keeping your home because of all of the memories you have, however, may not be such a good idea, as it won’t allow you to move on, which you’ll need to do eventually.
    •  You don’t want to uproot the children. Although this is a valid reason, keeping the kids there can cause problems down the road if you can’t afford your home. You’ll need to ask yourself if keeping the children comfortable is more important than staying on top of your finances.

    We Can Help

    The divorce process is beyond stressful and is full of fears and doubt. The good news is you don’t have to go through this alone. The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher are here to help. Contact us today to learn how and to begin moving on with your new life.