Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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  • 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.

  • I’ve been told that the drug Spice is safe, natural, and legal—is it?

    More and more often you hear of “safer drugs” that are supposedly legal and still offer a pleasurable high. However, not only are these drugs typically not safer, they are actually quite dangerous and using them can get you into trouble.

    Spice is a substance that is showing up in schools and on the streets, and is being used recreationally by teenagers and adults alike. Because it’s not well-known as a conventional drug, many wrongly think it is safe and legal to use.

    The Truth About Spice

    Before you use or possess Spice, you should know a few things about the substance, including:

    • It is a synthetic cannabinoid. Also called “JWH,” Spice is a synthetic cannabinoid that is sold as incense. Labeled as an herbal product, it gives off a high that is similar to what marijuana produces.
    • It is potentially dangerous. Those who have taken Spice have reported experiencing tremors, anxiety, vomiting, seizures, agitation, and psychotic episodes.
    • It is illegal. Synthetic cannabinoids are considered Schedule I drugs, which means it has a high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use. Possessing, giving, or selling the drug is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Sale, distribution, gift, or possession with intent to sell, give, or distribute is a Class Six felony, which can result in imprisonment for one to 10 years and a fine of up to $2,500.

    We Are Here to Help

    When you’re facing charges of this nature, you’ll need the help of an expert legal team. Attempting to defend yourself or settling with a substandard attorney can result in disaster.

    The legal team of Tavss Fletcher can answer your questions regarding your charges and may be able to help. Contact us today by filling out our online form or by calling us at 757.625.1214 and find out how we have helped many people in Norfolk with their drug charges and how we may be able to do the same for you.

  • Which patients should doctors check for gestational diabetes?

    As just about any expectant mother can tell you, pregnancy is scary. Along with the dramatic changes your body goes through, there’s also the unknown of how the baby is doing. So many problems can occur, it’s enough to make any mother-to-be a bundle of nerves.

    Gestational diabetes is just one of the many complications that can occur during pregnancy. This potentially life-threatening disorder occurs as the result of hormone changes during pregnancy. Over time, the changes lead to progressive glucose intolerance, which can result in gestational diabetes.

    Are You Predisposed to Gestational Diabetes?

    Although doctors should check all pregnant women for gestational diabetes, some patients should be considered high-risk for the condition. Your chances of having the disorder are increased if:

    • Your parents or siblings have diabetes
    • You are 20 percent or more over your ideal body weight prior to becoming pregnant
    • You have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies
    • You are African-American, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian
    • You have previously given birth to a baby who weighed nine pounds or more
    • You have given birth to a stillborn baby in the past

    Did Your Doctor Fail to Diagnose You?

    Women who have gestational diabetes typically don’t exhibit any symptoms of the condition, except those found through urine and blood testing, and may not know about it until it is too late. Untreated gestational diabetes can cause life-long problems for your unborn child, including diabetes, Erb’s palsy, and cerebral palsy.

    It is your doctor’s responsibility to take care of you and your child, and when that doesn’t happen, you can take action. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve to help pay for current and future medical treatments that are needed because of the undiagnosed condition. Contact us today to learn how we have helped others in the Norfolk area and how we may be able to do the same for you.

  • What complications can occur from a fractured pelvis?

    While severe pelvic fractures are relatively rare, when they do occur, they are most commonly caused by high-speed motor vehicle accidents or falls from great heights. The pelvis is a butterfly-shaped group of bones that is held together by tough ligaments. Because of the construction of these bones, it is quite common for more than one to break when experiencing trauma.

    Pelvic fractures can become life-threatening when damage to the surrounding blood vessels and ligaments causes massive blood loss. These types of emergencies require surgery to stop the bleeding and repair the fracture.

    Complications You May Face

    Although mild pelvic fractures, such as those caused by a trip and fall or sports-related impact, can heal without difficulty, severe fractures cause more trouble. Some possible complications are merely a nuisance while others are extremely dangerous. Either way, they add to your recovery time and medical expenses. Possible complications include:

    • Bed rest problems. Bed rest is often part of the treatment plan, but lying around for extended periods of time creates the potential for problems. Deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and pneumonia are just a few of the issues that can occur, and all can be life-threatening.
    • Infection. All surgeries and breaks are susceptible to infections, but pelvic fractures are extremely so when the bone pierces through the skin. Additionally, some patients with pelvic fractures require colostomy bags during the healing process, which are also prone to infection.
    • Medication issues. Those who experience pelvic fractures often take a variety of different medications during treatment. Antibiotics and pain medicine are likely obvious, but they are also typically given blood thinners to prevent clots from forming. All medications run the risk for allergic reactions, and many can affect the gastrointestinal system, which can cause extreme discomfort.

    Should You Have to Pay for These Treatments?

    Current and future treatment for your injury can cost thousands of dollars. If your pelvic fracture was due to someone else’s negligence, such as a car crash on I-664 or a fall from an unsafe worksite, you may be able to seek financial compensation that can help pay for the treatments.

    The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher will work hard to try and get you the justice you seek. Contact us today to learn how we have helped other victims in the Norfolk area, and how we may be able to do the same for you.

  • Is there a link between Daylight Savings Time and road rage?

    The saying “fall back, spring forward,” was created as a way for folks to remember the rules of Daylight Savings Time: in the fall, we turn out timepieces back an hour, and in the spring, we change the clocks forward by an hour. However, most people would agree they don’t necessarily feel very “springy” after losing an hour of sleep.

    Studies conducted over the years have revealed that Daylight Savings Time affects people in a variety of different ways. Folks tend to have more heart attacks during the first three days after the spring time change, and an increase of car accidents typically occurs.

    Does Daylight Savings Time Cause Road Rage?

    Daylight Savings Time can also alter motorists’ personalities. People respond to lack of sleep in different ways, and sometimes, it brings out the worst in them:

    • Irritability. You were traveling along SR 168 when a driver cut you off. You’re already feeling tired because of the time change, and this person almost caused you to get into an accident. Because you lost an hour’s worth of sleep last night, you’re on edge and this motorist is about to take you all the way over it. Daylight Savings Time triggers this type of reaction in many drivers, and when their tempers take the best of them, the result is road-rage-fueled accidents.
    • Loss of focus. No one is perfect and on this day you proved it. You accidentally ran through a stop sign and almost caused a serious accident. The time change has left you drowsy and groggy, which is likely why you missed seeing the sign. The driver you almost struck was livid, and decided to follow you for a few miles while honking his horn. Both the cause and the effect of this situation were likely the result of the time change.

    We Can Help

    If you were injured in an accident in the Virginia Beach area caused by an irresponsible or angry driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation that can cover your vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and time away from work. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher wants to help. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.

  • Can I get myself into trouble if I stay silent during a traffic stop?

    You were about to go through the Midtown Tunnel when an officer pulled you over. It was a Friday night, and you were coming home from a friend’s house. Although you weren’t intoxicated, you did have a few drinks and were concerned the officer may smell the alcohol on you.

    As the officer approached your vehicle, you remembered hearing that you should stay silent during such traffic stops. However, you wonder if you really should.

    Do You Really Have the Right to Remain Silent?

    You can’t imagine not answering any of the police officer’s questions, but you know that what you say will be used against you. Will your plan of silence backfire? Here, we take a look.

    • Silence is often perceived as guilt. If you fail to talk to a police officer, you may give off suspicion that you are guilty, especially if you are asked to participate in a field sobriety test. The officer may believe that you are too intoxicated to talk in the tests and may then arrest you on suspicion of driving while under the influence.
    • Not speaking may anger the officer. Failing to answer the officer may come off as ignoring him and that could make him angry. This anger may cause him to find a reason to arrest you.

    What Should You Do?

    If you believe that answering an officer’s question will lead to an admission of guilt, you can simply say you don’t think it is an appropriate time to talk about the matter and that you wish to speak with your attorney first. Staying polite is important, and so is not saying anything that can be used to indicate guilt.

    Having an experienced attorney on your side is your best bet in a criminal law situation. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you with your matter. Contact us today to learn how.

  • How do I know when it’s time to put my parent into a nursing home?

    Up until recently, your father was feisty, independent, and in good health. A recent illness, however, has left him weak and in constant need of care. You fear it’s time to make a decision about whether or not he should enter a nursing home.

    Although Norfolk is filled with reputable nursing homes, you worry about making the right choice. After all, nursing home abuse and neglect are common and you don’t want to expose him to that kind of treatment. The first step, however, is to decide if it is indeed time to start looking into nursing homes.

    Is it Time?

    If your father is not willing to admit he needs help, you may need to look for clues in his surroundings and behavior to confirm your suspicions that it’s time for him to move into a senior facility. Look for the following signs he’s not doing well on his own:

    • He isn’t able to perform daily tasks. Take a look at your parent’s kitchen. Is the fridge filled with take-out containers? Do pot holders carry chars that could reveal the presence of a few past kitchen fires? Is his home a mess? If so, he may not be able to perform the daily and necessary tasks he needs to stay well.
    • His sickness requires constant care. If his health is in such a state that it requires a nurse’s care, he may need to move to a facility. If he can’t administer his medication on his own, monitor his condition, or perform the other tasks his health requires, he could become critically ill if he remains living on his own.
    • He seems depressed. If your father is losing weight, doesn’t participate in the activities he used to, or seems to have a general disregard for life, he could be depressed, which may require constant monitoring. A nursing home may provide the care that prevents him from becoming even more ill.

    We’re Here If You Need Us

    It’s never easy to have to make decisions on behalf of someone you love, especially if he is resistant. You have to trust that you are doing what is best for his health and safety. Take the time to choose a high-quality facility and visit regularly to make sure your parent is safe. If you ever suspect the nursing home you chose is not taking proper care of you parent, Tavss Fletcher is here to help.

  • Who is prone to experiencing compartment syndrome?

    Compartment syndrome is a painful and often life-threatening condition that can occur after a severe injury, such as a fracture. This ailment develops when swelling or bleeding occurs in a muscle compartment, applying pressure to the tough membrane called the fascia covering the muscle compartment.

    Those who suffer from compartment syndrome potentially face damage to their nerves and muscles if not treated quickly or effectively. Additionally, if the pressure is not relieved in a short amount of time, permanent disability and muscle death can occur.

    Are You at Risk?

    Fortunately, not every fracture will have you headed to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital or another medical center in the area for compartment syndrome, but some patients are more likely than others to develop the syndrome. Conditions that put you at an increased risk for compartment syndrome are:

    • Fractures in arms and legs. Those who experience broken bones in their forearms (the part of the arm below the elbow) or in the part of the leg below the knee are more likely to develop compartment syndrome than those who have fractures in other body parts, such as the clavicle or femur.
    • When you require surgery or antibiotics. Compartment syndrome is more likely to occur when you have surgery to repair a broken bone. Additionally, those who suffer from infections related to the fracture have an increased risk of developing the syndrome.
    • When you take anti-coagulants. If you’re on medication to treat or prevent blood clots from forming, you have a higher chance of getting compartment syndrome than someone who is not.

    Fortunately, the Office of Rare Diseases of the National Institutes of Health has classified compartment syndrome as a “rare” disease, as it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans each year.

    We Want to Help

    If your experience with compartment syndrome was caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault, the legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more.

  • Can I get out of being charged with driving on a suspended license?

    You just enjoyed a wonderful trip with your family to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. On your way home, as you were traveling on 460, a police officer pulled you over for speeding. Upon running your license and registration, he informed you that you shouldn’t have been driving to begin with: your license was suspended.

    An acquaintance of yours experienced the same sort of situation and ended up paying large fines and spending time in jail. Will this happen to you?

    Defenses for Driving on a Suspended License

    Before you lose hope, know that some defenses for driving on a suspended license exist, and they include:

    • You didn’t receive a notice of suspension. If you didn’t receive a notice in the mail that your license was suspended, you may not have known that it was. If you moved without informing the Department of Motor Vehicles or the notice was simply lost in the mail, a judge may not convict you because you simply had no way of knowing about the license suspension.
    • You were stopped without probable cause. A police officer can’t pull you over simply because he wants to; he has to have probable cause to do so. You have to perform an action that is unlawful, such as driving through a traffic light or displaying signs of intoxication. If you can prove that the officer didn’t have probable cause to pull you over, the court should not allow evidence related to the suspended status of your license to be admitted into evidence for the state.

    Tavss Fletcher Can Help

    Attempting to represent yourself in such a matter will likely end in harsh penalties. Instead of taking on the extra stress and pressure, allow an experienced legal professional to do the job for you.

    Tavss Fletcher has helped many drivers in the Norfolk area with their legal matters and may be able to do the same for you.

  • What kind of problems can I face when purchasing a home in probate?

    You saw a home in Norfolk you absolutely fell in love with. It had everything you wanted and is close to the schools you adore. The only catch is that it is in probate. Apparently, the person who lived there before passed away and didn’t leave the home to anyone in a will, so now it is property of the state.

    The price is right and you think you’re ready to buy, but it almost seems too good to be true, and that’s because it very well may be.

    Prepare Yourself for Problems Down the Road

    Buying a probate home means you are taking a chance on the condition of the home and your finances, and here’s why:

    • You may lose money. Those interested in homes in probate must typically have them inspected before they make offers. This means that if the inspector finds major problems with the property and you are no longer interested, you’ll lose the money you paid for the inspection. Additionally, you may also lose the home to another bidder in probate court, and you won’t get the inspection money back.
    • The previous owner probably didn’t take care of the home. The person who lived there before you may have been elderly or sick, which means the home maintenance probably wasn’t taken care of. As a result, the home may need a lot of expensive renovations.
    • The prior owner can’t disclose problems. In a typical home purchase, the person who lived there before you would tell you about any problems with the home. Because the person is now deceased, however, he is unable to, so you may not find out about issues with the home until you move in.

    Tavss Fletcher Wants to Help

    The legal team of Tavss Fletcher is experienced in real estate matters and wants to help you resolve yours. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your situation and find out what we may be able to do.

     

  • Buyer Beware: What You Need to Know About Homes in Probate

    Because of your growing family and the need for more space, you’ve decided to move out of your apartment and purchase a home. You’ve looked at many different houses in the Norfolk area, including those in communities like Foxhall, Glenrock, and Greenwood. Your favorite so far as been a four bedroom, three bath colonial that has everything you’ve been looking for. The only problem, however, is that the home is in probate.

    Probate Precautions

    You’re not sure what probate is, and if buying a house in such a state is advantageous or even possible. Here, we look at the ins and outs of probate, and what it means for you as the buyer:

    • Probate specifics. A home goes into probate when the previous owner dies intestate, meaning the home wasn’t left to anyone in a will. When this type of situation occurs, the state takes over ownership and attempts to sell it to the right buyer.
    • Probate homes are often affordable. The state and the bank don’t want to hold onto this property because they want money for it. Accordingly, the house is priced to sell so that it moves quickly. Often the house is sold for much cheaper than other houses in the neighborhood, which can bring down the value of homes nearby.
    • Probate homes can have problems. Often, probate homes were previously cared for by those who are elderly or sick. As a result, they often don’t receive the maintenance they require. This means the buyer typically has to put in a good amount of money in order to get the house in a suitable condition.

    Tavss Fletcher Can Help

    Purchasing a home is already stressful, especially when you’re interested in property that is in probate. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you in this process. Contact us today to learn how. 

     

  • When creating a prenup, what types of things should my partner and I be aware of when listing premarital assets and debts?

    When planning a prenuptial agreement, it is imperative that both you and your future spouse disclose all of your financial assets and property at the time of marriage. Prenups are designed to help protect personal property and finances and to make sure property is fairly divided in case of a divorce. When one partner fails to disclose certain premarital assets, it could raise red flags for the divorce judge and potentially cost you more during divorce proceedings.

    Premarital assets are defined as any assets you have acquired before your marriage. These types of assets can include savings, stock options, personal property (car, house, jewelry, etc.), and promised holdings (inheritances, retirement, etc.). In addition to financial securities, debts must also be disclosed within premarital assets (even though a debt isn’t generally considered an asset).

    Identifying Premarital Assets

    In order to ensure that all assets are divulged, the American Bar Association highly recommends that you and your partner create extensive lists of all of your personal property, assets, and debts. While creating your lists, it is important to ask yourselves where you both stand on particular financial issues going forward. This will not only reiterate the need for a prenup, but will also help clarify future financial dependencies.

    To help make sure you’re both on the same page, you should ask yourselves the following questions:

    • How will you handle premarital assets and debts during your marriage? How will you handle them in the event of a divorce?
    • Will your personal property become co-mingled with your marital property? Do you wish to have your assets and debts remain separate property so they will go back to the spouse who acquired them before the marriage?
    • If you use your premarital assets to help pay off your fiance’s debts, will you expect to be reimbursed in the event of a divorce or was the payoff a gift?
    • What if you use premarital property to buy a home you’ll own together? Will the paying spouse need to be reimbursed or is it a gift?
    • Would you like to set up a trust in order to keep certain personal property from being declared as premarital assets?

    Prenup Setup

    Once you’ve made the decision to create a prenuptial agreement, setting it up is easier than you may think. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and we’ll walk you through the process. With specialized and diligent representation you will not only have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your agreement is secure, but you’ll also have the support and guidance you need to ensure your prenup is what you and your fiance want.

    No one expects her marriage to end in divorce, but with separation rates being what they are, planning for the future is a wise decision. Let us help you make sure you’re covered. Call us today for a free consultation. Remember, we take our job (and our clients’ futures) very seriously. Take advantage, and let us help you!

     

  • What items are considered weapons under Virginia’s concealed weapons law and what are the penalties if I’m caught carrying such a weapon?

    Gun control and enforcement is a hot-button issue in the United States. As such, the federal government tries to limit its control over gun laws and instead leaves specific gun laws up to each individual state’s government. For example, there is no federal law that prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons.

    However, each state has its own laws regarding rights, enforcement, and punishment for weapon concealment. Although the state of Virginia has slightly more lenient gun laws than some other states, it still has a black-and-white view of concealed weapons.

    Classifying Concealed Weapons in Virginia

    In Virginia, a concealed weapon is defined as any weapon or artifact that is hidden from plain view, or has such a deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's true nature, and could potentially cause harm to another person. Although the assumption is that the term weapon refers to a gun or knife, Virginia’s law incorporates a broader sense of what a weapon can be.

    Under the law, weapons are defined as objects that could reasonably cause harm to another person. The law specifically states that the following items can be considered weapons and, if hidden from view, can fall under the concealed weapons mandate: 

    • Guns: any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed to expel or propel missile-like objects by action of an explosive combustible.
    • Knives: any dirk, bowie, switchblade, or ballistic knife, machete, or razors that are able to cut or impale a human body.
    • Blunt objects designed to inflict harm: blackjacks, nun-chucks, fighting chains, or any instrument designed with rigid parts meant to flail and swing freely.
    • Propelling tools: any instrument designed to propel or shoot objects at high velocity such as potato guns, slingshots, blow darts, etc.
    • Sharp tools: any instrument with sharp edges that could potentially be used to cause harm, for example, makeshift shivs, throwing stars, needles, broken glass, etc. 

    Enforcement

    If you’re found to be concealing or hiding an object which could be considered a weapon under Virginia’s weapons classification, you could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Depending on the severity of the offense as well as past convictions, your penalty can range from misdemeanor charges to felony charges. The following is an overview:

    • First violation: you could be ticketed and charged with a class one misdemeanor, which could lead to jail time, fines, or both.
    • Second violation: if you’ve previously been charged with a class one concealment misdemeanor and are found to be illegally carrying again, you could be charged with a class six felony. Conviction can lead to up to five years imprisonment, a $2,500 fine, or both.
    • Third or subsequent violations: when you violate the law more than twice, you could be charged with a class five felony; if convicted you could serve up to 10 years in prison, fined up to $2,500, or both.

    Legal Help

    Being aware of different states’ gun laws can be extremely confusing. Unfortunately, this confusion could potentially land you in the back of a cop car. However, with proper representation, you don’t need to fear punishment. If you were a victim of a concealed weapon misunderstanding and need legal advice and support, contact us today. Our extensive knowledge and experience with Virginia’s laws will help you avoid jail time and keep your record clean. Don’t allow your future to be tarnished because you were unaware of the law. Call us today to get the advice you need.

    Make sure your family and friends are aware of the law before it’s too late. Share this page with them via Facebook, or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about carrying concealed weapons.

     

  • How can I tell if my hysterectomy caused internal damage?

    You had a hysterectomy last week due to painful fibroids in your uterus. Your surgeon assured you that everything went smoothly and any residual pain should subside quickly. However, after seven days of cramping, residual bleeding, and painful urination (not to mention fatigue and bloating), you’re starting to believe something went very wrong. Fortunately, your husband agreed and convinced you to go to the emergency room.

    After an x-ray and two MRIs, the attending physician informed you that you not only had a perforated bladder but a perforated bowel as well. You were shocked and angry as he prepped you for another surgery, but grateful your husband made you come to the ER. You can’t even imagine what would have happened if you had ignored the signs any longer.

    Have other women had this issue when having a hysterectomy? How did they figure it out?

    Symptoms of Hysterectomy-Related Injuries

    The National Women’s Health Network estimates that over 600,000 women undergo hysterectomy surgeries each year. Clearly, this is a common procedure in the United States and with such a large number of surgeries there are bound to be many women affected by hysterectomy negligence and injuries. According to the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, up to10% of hysterectomy patients (60,000) suffer from adverse complications due to the surgery. These complications can vary from small cuts in the abdominal wall to perforated bowels leading to sepsis.

    Unfortunately, if the injury isn’t identified during the time of surgery, long-term effects could ensue, resulting in embarrassing, painful and even fatal consequences. It is important to stay alert and watch for symptoms of injury following a hysterectomy so that you may seek medical attention as quickly as possible. These symptoms include:

    • Weakness
    • Bloody stool
    • Blood in the urine
    • Noticeable vaginal bleeding
    • Rapid breathing
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Pain or tenderness in your abdomen that gets more intense with motion or touch
    • Abdominal bloating or distention
    • Constipation or the inability to pass gas
    • Painful urination
    • Difficulty urinating or passing only a small amount of urine
    • Poor appetite
    • Excessive thirst
    • Fever and chills
    • Cold symptoms due to a suppressed immune system

    Taking a Stand Against Negligence

    Malpractice is a growing concern in the medical profession, and carelessness, negligence and misconduct need to be addressed and stopped before more tragedies occur. If you feel your doctor or hospital has acted irresponsibly and has caused you additional pain or discomfort, don’t be afraid to speak up. Contact us for a free consultation and review of your case. You could be entitled to a medical malpractice settlement and compensation for long-term effects your doctor’s negligence may have caused. Don’t hesitate any longer. Time has already cost you, don’t let it cost you more. Call today to get your life back on track.

    Did this article help answer your questions? Let us know by liking us on Facebook for periodic updates and tidbits, or email us directly for more information at Tavss Fletcher.

     

  • How can I protect myself from a slip and fall accident?

    It all happened so fast. One second you were walking into the movie theater, the next you were flat on your back with your hand lodged between your bottom and the floor. By the time you realized that you had tripped over a bad patch in the carpet, a searing pain was flooding your hand, wrist, and forearm. You tried to sit up but when you put even the slightest bit of pressure on the trapped wrist, the pain was unbearable. Your stomach turned and your vision became blurry.

    Thankfully, your husband was there to help. He carefully braced your torso against his and gingerly pulled your hand out from under you and placed it over his shoulder. He tried not to make a face as he saw your writs was already swelling up and turning purple. He hoisted you up to a standing position and stabilized you by putting his arm around your waist.

    As you tried to move in closer to him, you noticed that your foot was still caught in the carpet. You forcefully kicked the offensive material away from you as the manager of the theater approached. He took one look at your swollen hand and told his assistant manager to call an ambulance. He helped your husband move you to a table and brought you some ice.

    As you sat waiting for the ambulance and your husband filled out an incident report, you watched as the manager, assistant manager, and janitor padded down the section of carpet that tried to kill you and set up a caution sign to warn others of the flap.

    Although you’re happy that they’re warning others of the danger, you can’t help but wonder why it wasn’t marked earlier. Shouldn’t public spaces have preventative measures in place to avoid these types of accidents?

    Avoiding Slip and Fall Dangers Whether Marked or Not

    Research performed by the National Safety Council discovered that every year, an average of nine million people are admitted into emergency rooms across the U.S. due to slip and fall accidents. Further investigations found that approximately 63% of these accidents in which injuries occurred happened in public areas. Due to the alarming risk of slip and falls, it is important that you and your family take proper precautions to avoid such accidents and know what to do to help prevent others from suffering a tragic fall.

    These safety and preventative measures include:

    • Paying attention to your surroundings. Seeing hazards before they become a problem is the best way to avoid an accidental fall. If you see a problem, make sure you walk around it and bring it to the attention of the area’s owner or maintenance person.
    • Not dragging your feet. Uneven sidewalks, bunched carpeting, or small obstacles in your path can easily catch your toes if you slide your feet. Make sure you pick your feet completely off the ground to avoid trips.
    • Removing tripping hazards (paper, boxes, toys, clothes, shoes) from stairs and walkways. The best way to avoid a tripping accident is to make sure your path is clear. Remove any excess dangers and ensure that rugs and carpets are secured. This will not only keep you safe but will also prevent someone else from tripping over your property.
    • Periodically check the condition of walkways and steps. Time, weather and traffic can wreak havoc on sidewalks and stairs. Make sure you pay attention to any signs of disrepair and either avoid those areas or make sure they are properly fixed as soon as possible.
    • Clean up all spills immediately. One of the main causes of falls is slipping on wet surfaces. If you spill liquid on the floor or otherwise cause a puddle, make sure you clean it up as quickly as possible or put out a caution sign. Clear liquids are especially dangerous as they are hard to see, so be extra diligent when it comes to water, rain, and melting snow.

    When Negligence Leads to Disaster

    Slip and fall injury claims are one of the most common types of compensatory claims against businesses and workplaces. However, they’re also unfortunately difficult to pursue without proper evidence, witness statements, and representation. An experienced accident attorney can help ease the difficulty and get you the justice you deserve.

    Don’t allow someone else’s negligence, incompetence or laziness to cause you pain and suffering. Call us today to see how our experience, know-how, and need to help our clients could help you get back on your feet. We’re waiting to help you—all you have to do is call.

    Did you find this article interesting and helpful? Let us know by liking us on Facebook or sharing this page with your friends, family and coworkers on Twitter and Google Plus. You never know, they may even thank you for it.

     

  • I see a lot of drivers use the shoulder as a passing lane. Isn’t this dangerous?

    About once a week, when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic, you see at least one person bypass the congestion by driving on the shoulder. This infuriates you because not only is it illegal, but that kind of reckless driving could make traffic worse if it causes an accident. Then again, there are days that you wish you could do the exact same thing, but you’re worried about the dangers.

    The AAA Foundation estimates that 12% of all interstate highway deaths result from shoulder accidents. In other words, 600 people a year are needlessly killed and thousands more are injured due to the misuse of highway shoulders. Some of these victims obeyed emergency laws and used the shoulder for safety. Instead of continuing to drive during an emergency situation, they pulled off the highway, thinking they’d be safer on the shoulder. Unfortunately, poor decisions by other drivers turned their lawful actions into horrific accidents.

    Shoulder Passing Stupidity

    If shoulders are supposed to be a safe place to pull off for emergencies, as stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, why are so many people dying? The answer to this question is actually sadder than you may think. Over 90% of these deaths occur because other motorists, for whatever reason, use the shoulder as their own personal passing lanes.

    When stuck in traffic, or behind a slow-moving vehicle, some motorists decide that their time is more precious than the drivers around them. Instead of obeying traffic laws, they use the empty shoulder as an easy way to pass slow traffic. However, when traveling at speeds close to 60 mph, the shoulder can quickly become hazardous.

    If you’ve ever wondered whether or not it would be a good idea to drive on the shoulder, remember these potential shoulder risks: 

    • Emergency pullovers blocking the lane. Due to the speed at which you’re traveling, it can be difficult to see stopped cars, let alone the drivers who are bent over changing tires, calling a tow truck, or comforting their children. If you can’t see them, you can’t avoid causing a disastrous collision.
    • Pedestrian accidents. Since the shoulder is used for emergency situations, there is the potential that pedestrians are standing near their cars to wait for assistance.
    • Driver confusion. Drivers don’t expect to see cars driving on the shoulder; this confusion can lead some drivers to swerve toward you or to completely ignore your presence when you’re attempting to reenter traffic.
    • Road rage. Never underestimate the danger of anger and frustration. By using the shoulder to pass traffic, you’re basically telling the drivers you pass that you’re more important than them. This is a bad idea when they’re already stressed and tense from sitting in a back-up. Some drivers may even take that rage and focus it on you by moving in front of you, blocking you, or running you off the road altogether.
    • Re-entering collisions. If you successfully manage to pass traffic without road rage incidents or encountering shoulder hazards, you still must be able to re-enter traffic. If you’re not careful, the few seconds it will take to match highway speed could be your last.

    Staying Safe Before and After a Shoulder Collision

    You’re a smart person who knows that you should always obey traffic laws. However, other motorists aren’t so inclined to put caution and security above their egos. Unfortunately, their ignorance can put you and your family in jeopardy.

    If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a shoulder accident, contact us today. We can help ensure that you get the compensation your injuries deserve. Don’t let your insurance company make you pay for someone else’s mistake. Call now!

    Do you want to protect your friends and family from a highway shoulder accident? You can use your social media connections to make sure they have the knowledge and resources they need to stay safe and make good decisions. Simply click the Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus icons to keep your loved ones safe and our roads clear.

  • My fiancée and I are getting ready to buy our new home but I’m worried! What if something is wrong with it? Since we’re both first-time homebuyers, can you describe the types of problems we should look for before buying?

    Buying your first home is an exciting time. It’s also very scary. What if something goes wrong? What if the seller scams you? These are all worries homebuyers face no matter how experienced they are at buying houses, but it is especially worrying for first-time buyers.

    Protecting Yourself During the Home Buying Process

    As real estate lawyers, we are very familiar with the problems Virginia homebuyers often run into when buying a home. The best way to avoid falling victim to these hidden defects is to know what to look for before you sign the contract.

    Here are some of the most common costly problems people find in homes after buying:

    • Termites. Termites can eat away at the structure of your home and do serious damage. Make sure you have a pest control expert inspect the house before you buy.
    • Water damage. This can lead to mold, warping, and other serious home issues. A thorough inspection will uncover the damage before it’s too late.
    • Gas leaks. All homes, new and old, should be inspected for gas leaks. Carbon monoxide and radon are both colorless and odorless, but very dangerous. Have the home tested before you buy and always have a working radon and CO detector in your home.
    • Faulty foundations or roofing. The outside of the home must be inspected for faulty structures. An expert should examine the roofing, siding, and foundation.

    Unfortunately you cannot expect the seller to disclose all of the issues with the home. Take matters into your own hands and hire a home inspector before you buy.

    If you notice any defects after purchasing your home, don’t just live with the damages. Get the necessary repairs done by holding the seller accountable. We can help. Contact one of our real estate lawyers as soon as you notice the damage to discuss the details of your case.

     

  • What is probate, and how does it affect my will?

    You know that having a will is essential in order to protect your family once you die. Although it was difficult to face the reality that you may not always be with them, you went through the proper will-making procedures to secure your family’s future. You had a lawyer draft your will, friends witness you signing it, and you even had it notarized to ensure its legality. However, now what?

    What happens to the will now? If you die tomorrow, where does it go to guarantee your wishes are carried out?

    Probate: The First Step Toward Implementing Your Will

    As a general rule, a will has no legal effect until it has gone through the process of probate. Probate is the first process that your will must go through before its contents are distributed. A probate court will establish the validity of the document to ensure that the wishes contained within are indeed your last requests, and no one else’s. Once the court accepts that the document is legal, it officially appoints the named executor—the person you requested in the will—and hands the document over to them for completion.

    Unfortunately, as in most legal proceedings, before the court can sign off on the document, it must follow certain administrative regulations. These regulations include:

    • Notifying creditors and publishing legal notices to make sure all outstanding debts are accounted for.
    • Teach executors how and when to distribute assets, as well as how to take creditors' rights into account.
    • Possibly file a petition to appoint a personal representative if an executor is unnamed or unable to perform his duties under the law.
    • Determine tax deductions from assets in the estate.

    Making Sure Your Will Goes Through Probate Without a Hitch

    You never know what issues may come up after you’ve gone. However, it’s a guarantee that by then, it’ll be too late to do anything about it. Thankfully, with our help, you don’t have to worry about it. Call us today to review the legality of your will. Not only will we make sure your will is valid and secure for probate, but we’ll give you the added confidence and serenity that comes with knowing that your family will be protected. Call now to get the assurance you and your family deserve!

    Make sure your family and friends are aware of the intricacies involved with executing a will. Use your social media to share this page with them via Facebook, or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about their own wills. We’ll be more than happy to help them get the comfort we hope to give to you.

     

  • Does trying a juvenile as an adult benefit or deter his rehabilitation and future options?

    Sentencing for juvenile crimes is discretionary based on individual state opinions and law. However, every single state has at least one legal bylaw which allows juveniles to be tried in adult courts based on the severity of their crimes. These provisions are put in place to allow for two separate but equal assumptions:

    1. Severe crimes, no matter what age they are committed, deserve equal punishment.
    2. The threat of harsher punishments will deter juveniles from committing these types of crimes in the first place.

    Unfortunately, these assumptions aren’t proving to be as accurate as previously thought.

    Juvenile Risks in Adult Court Verdicts

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that over 7,000 juveniles each year are convicted in criminal courts and sentenced as adults. Although these sentences are based on individual crimes, felony status, and severity of violence or damage inflicted—the form of punishment is considered questionable by many.

    The basic notion behind judicial justice is to rehabilitate the guilty in order to preserve their—hopefully crime-free—future. However, when it comes to severe crimes, adult sentencing completely goes against this notion of rehabilitation.

    Recent studies have found that besides the lack of crime rate changes, adult tried juvenile statistics are actually much worse than anticipated. Risks include:

    • Educational disadvantages. Minors in criminal justice systems have less access to education and other age-specific programming than those in the juvenile justice system, putting them at a serious disadvantage upon release.
    • Higher victimization rates. Minors have an increased risk for both sexual and physical violence within adult prisons and confinement.
    • Higher risk of suicide. Due to higher victimization, longer punishments, and psychological immaturity, depression and suicide can run rampant for youths in adult systems.
    • Increased chance for re-arrest. Rates among previously convicted minors are higher than those for any other age group for repeat offenses. Even low-risk minors in the criminal justice system have re-arrest rates twice as high as low-risk juvenile offenders.
    • Poor rehabilitation. An astonishing 85 percent of juveniles tried in the adult court system are repeat offenders, compared to 15 percent over those retained in the juvenile justice system

    Defending Your Future

    Felonies, violent crimes, and sexually explicit transgressions can all be considered severe enough to be prosecuted in an adult court, with adult crime punishments. If you need help defending yourself, or need an experienced criminal attorney for the defense of a loved one, contact us today. We know what’s at risk, and we’ll fight to make sure justice is upheld for everyone involved. Don’t allow a stupid decision to be blown out of proportion and affect the rest of your life. Call today to review your options and get the defense you deserve.

    Juvenile crimes have become an increasingly alarming problem in the United States. Help lower the chances that your loved ones, or friends will become part of this statistic. Share these risks via Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus, and maybe, just maybe, you can stop a juvenile crime before it even happens. It doesn’t hurt to pass along the information, but it may hurt to keep it to yourself. Please, share now!

     

  • Are some types of surgeries more at risk than others, for the likelihood of a retained object?

    Your doctor said the procedure was routine. He said that the probability of anything going wrong was next to nothing. He answered all of your questions with precise confidence and affirmation. Perhaps what you should have asked him was whether or not he could count.

    After two weeks of pain and suffering, your primary physician suggested going to the emergency room for an X-ray of your abdomen. Low and behold, the doctors at the emergency room discovered three sponges that were left inside you during your hysterectomy.

    Seriously!? Three sponges!? Although your surgeon never mentioned the possibility of something like that happening, is leaving equipment or tools inside a patient common for certain surgeries?

    Surgeries That Put You Most at Risk for a Retained Object

    Retained surgical instruments (RSIs), also known as retained foreign objects, should never be an issue after a surgical procedure. However, NoThing Left Behind, a national surgical patient-safety project designed to prevent retained surgical items, estimates that 2,000 patients a year in the U.S. suffer from an RSI. These incidents generally occur as a result of surgeons being rushed or having to quickly perform intricate surgeries. Unfortunately, hurried actions can, and do, lead to mistakes and forgotten equipment—which ultimately leads to you paying a high price.

    The types of procedures most commonly linked to retained foreign objects include:

    • Obstetrical surgery. Vaginal deliveries and cesarean sections account for 25 percent of retained foreign object incidents. This alarmingly high rate is most likely due to the chaotic nature and necessity to deliver the baby as quickly as possible.
    • Digestive system procedures. Internal abdominal exams using a laparoscope (an instrument equipped with a camera, scissors, and forceps to aid in surgical endeavors), hernia repairs, colon removals, and partial stomach removals account for 16 percent of RFOs.
    • Hysterectomies. These surgeries account for 10 percent of RFOs, including both abdominal and vaginal approaches and procedures that had to be converted from vaginal to abdominal mid-procedure.
    • Cardiovascular procedures. Heart bypass surgery and the insertion or extraction of pacemakers, account for an additional 10 percent of RFO cases. In most of these cases, the RFO was a sponge that was packed into the wound pocket and became forgotten.

    Fighting Back

    Living with a foreign body inside you as a result of someone else’s negligence is inexcusable. Not only should you be able to trust your surgeon with your life—which you did—you should also be able to trust him to keep track of his instruments. Unfortunately, the chaotic nature of a surgery can cause mistakes to be made, in which you wind up paying the price. That is—unless you fight back.

    If you’re a victim of surgical malpractice, contact us today to learn more about your rights and options for a malpractice lawsuit. Surgeons rely on their hospital’s lawyers to free from them from blame—but you don’t have to allow their blatant mistakes to go unpunished. You owe it to yourself to get compensation and justice for your injuries.

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