Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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  • How soon should I go to a doctor after a premises liability accident?

    Empty Doctor Exam Room There is no law in Virginia that sets a deadline for being seen by a physician after a premises liability accident. However, it is best to be examined by a doctor within a day or two of your accident—even if you believe your injuries are “minor” or that you were not hurt.

    Two Reasons Why Prompt Medical Treatment Is Important

    There are two important reasons to go to the emergency room, an urgent care facility, or your physician right away after a slip and fall or other premises liability accident.

    Reason #1: You Protect Your Health

    If you suffered obvious injuries, you know to get medical care right away. However, no matter whether you know you were hurt or not, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

    Why is this so important? The symptoms of some injuries may not develop for days or longer after your accident. Some common injuries that may not be evident right away include:

    • Traumatic brain injury and other brain injuries
    • Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Internal bleeding
    • Internal organ damage

    It could become a life-threatening medical emergency if you wait until symptoms develop to see a doctor or your condition could worsen due to the lack of prompt medical treatment. You protect your health by seeing a medical professional within a day or two of your crash.

    Reason #2: You Build a Stronger Case for Compensation for Your Injuries

    When you file your claim with the negligent property owner’s or business’ insurance company, the insurance adjuster may look for reasons to deny your claim or reduce the amount of your settlement. If you delay getting medical care, you give them ammunition to dispute your claim. They could argue that your injuries were caused by another incident or that they are not very serious, or you would have sought treatment sooner.

    Were you or a loved one injured in a premises liability accident in Norfolk? Call our office to schedule your free consultation today to learn how our experienced premises liability lawyers can help.


  • How much does it cost to hire a premises liability attorney?

    Empty Wallet With Medical Bills and a CalculatorIf you were hurt in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, you may realize that settling your claim against the negligent property or business owner on your own would not be in your best interests. However, you may worry that you cannot afford to hire an experienced premises liability lawyer, especially when you have mounting medical bills and no income while you are off work recovering. Fortunately, most attorneys charge their fees in a contingency fee agreement where you would not owe any fees upfront.

    How a Contingency Fee Arrangement Works

    Most premises liability lawyers understand how difficult it is for accident victims to pay attorney fees when they are struggling to get the medical treatment they need and charge their fees on a contingency fee basis. Here is how this agreement works:

    • No upfront fees. You do not owe any attorney fees at the beginning of your case. Your lawyer would not get paid until your claim is resolved.
    • Fees only owed if you win. You will only owe attorney fees if your lawyer settles your case or wins it at a trial. If your case is not successful, you would owe him no fees.
    • Fees are a percentage of your settlement. Most premises liability lawyers charge a percentage of the amount you recover in your settlement or at trial as their fees.
    • Fees paid from your settlement. When your case is settled, you do not have to write a check to your lawyer for his fees. Instead, he will deduct the amount you owe from your settlement proceeds.

    Other Costs You Could Owe

    Attorney fees are not the only expense you will incur when filing a claim for compensation following a premises liability accident. Some attorneys will expect you to pay a retainer when you hire them to cover a portion of these costs, while others will pay these expenses for you and deduct them from your settlement. Here are some of the additional costs you may owe:

    • Expert witness fees
    • Record copying costs
    • Civil lawsuit filing fee
    • Deposition costs

    Your lawyer should explain how he would charge his attorney fees and other costs at your initial consultation with him—which should be at no cost to you. At Tavss Fletcher, we offer a free consultation with a member of our legal team to discuss your legal options, how we can assist you, and the attorney fees and costs you would owe. To schedule yours, call our office or fill out the online form on this page.


  • How soon after my premises liability accident should I retain a lawyer?

    Man With a Broken Leg After a Slip and Fall Holding a ClockIf you want to obtain all the compensation you deserve for your injuries, you should hire an experienced premises liability attorney right away after your accident. Here are four reasons why this is so important.

    Reason #1: Preservation of Evidence

    It is not easy to prove a property or business owner’s negligence in causing a slip and fall or other type of premises liability accident. Your attorney can conduct a more exhaustive investigation into the cause of your accident soon after it occurred. In addition, he can obtain time-sensitive evidence, such as surveillance videotape that may have recorded your accident or witness statements—before they are lost.

    Reason #2: Help You Avoid Mistakes

    You probably have never been injured in an accident where you needed to file a claim for compensation with the negligent party’s insurance company. It is easy to make unintentional mistakes that can weaken your case. Here are some common ones that a lawyer can help you avoid:

    • Agreeing to give a recorded statement to the insurance company
    • Signing the insurance company’s blanket authorization for release of your medical records
    • Posting about your accident on social media sites
    • Making statements to the insurance adjuster that he can use to deny your claim or try to pay you less than you are owed.

    Reason #3: Negotiate Your Settlement

    It can be challenging to negotiate your settlement with the insurance company. It is difficult to know how much your claim is really worth. In addition, the insurance company may try to pressure you into accepting a quick settlement for far less than you deserve.

    An attorney who has handled many premises liability cases will be able to value your claim accurately. He will also have strategies that he can use in negotiations with the insurance company to defeat their arguments as to why you should receive less than you deserve.

    Reason #4: File Your Lawsuit

    In Virginia, there is a deadline referred to as the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused your injuries. If your lawyer cannot settle your claim, he will sue the property owner or business before the time period to do so expires.

    Were you or a family member injured in a premises liability accident? Our dedicated and knowledgeable lawyers are here to help. To get started, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.


  • Can someone who was injured while illegally on your property sue you?

    Man Crossing Fence Behind a No Trespassing SignUnfortunately, a trespasser on your property who is injured in a premises liability accident may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against you. However, the type of guest a person is matters in Virginia, and your duties to a trespasser are limited.

    When Can a Trespasser Sue You for His Injuries?

    In Virginia, there are three types of guests: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Your duties to each are different, and you have the least duty to a trespasser. A trespasser is an individual who enters the property of another without permission or any right to do so. Your duty to him is only to not intentionally or wantonly injure him.

    Like with other rules, there are exceptions to this law. A trespasser may be able to sue you in these situations:

    • If the trespass is of such a nature and so frequent that you should have known of the trespass and the likely danger to the trespasser, you could face liability.
    • Under the “dangerous instrumentality doctrine,” you can be found negligent if you leave on your property an instrument, appliance, or machine that is easily accessible to children and that has hidden, concealed, or latent dangers. These dangerous items must be in an area that you know or should reasonably know that children gather in. If a child is seven-years-old or younger and is injured, he cannot be considered negligent under Virginia law.

    What to Do If a Trespasser Is Injured on Your Property in a Premises Liability Accident

    If a trespasser is injured while on your property, you should retain an experienced premises liability accident lawyer as soon as possible. He can help you build a strong defense to this person’s claim. In addition to showing that the exceptions discussed above do not apply, an attorney can prove that the trespasser’s comparative fault caused his injuries.

    Do you have other questions about your liability to a trespasser? Do you need to file a claim after suffering injuries in a premises liability accident? Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to get your questions answered and learn how we can assist you.


  • How do I get access to video footage that shows my slip and fall accident?

    Surveillance Camera on a Grocery Store WallMany grocery stores, malls, restaurants, parking lots, and other properties use surveillance cameras. Security camera footage can be strong evidence that can help you prove the owner’s negligence in causing your slip and fall or other premises liability accident. It can also assist you in refuting arguments by the insurance company that you were at fault in causing your injuries. However, you need to act quickly to collect this important evidence.

    How to Get Surveillance Video Footage

    Unfortunately, the business or property owner most likely will not voluntarily give you the surveillance tape if you ask for it, especially if they know that you were injured in an accident. Here is what you need to do to get it:

    • Retain an attorney. You should hire an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible after your accident. He can send the negligent owner a spoliation letter advising them of your claim and demanding a copy of the video footage. He will also advise them not to destroy the video in his letter.
    • File a lawsuit. Unfortunately, some managers and property owners will ignore a spoliation letter and refuse to turn over the footage or destroy it. In this situation, you would need to file a lawsuit quickly and ask the court to issue a subpoena ordering the negligent party to provide you with the surveillance footage. If it has been destroyed, the owner could face harsh consequences, such as a finding that they were negligent in causing your accident.

    How Long Is Surveillance Footage Kept?

    There is no law dictating how long a business or property owner must keep video footage. Many security cameras are digital and run on a loop, which means that old footage is recorded over after a period of time. The re-recording can occur daily or every few days or weeks depending on the system used.

    Because of this, you should report your accident right after it occurs to put the owner on notice of your accident and claim. You also need to retain a lawyer as soon as possible to take steps to preserve this evidence on your behalf.

    The experienced premises liability lawyers at Tavss Fletcher understand the importance of conducting a thorough investigation and preserving evidence, such as surveillance footage. To learn about how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.


  • What factors affect the value of my premises liability claim?

    Premises Liability Settlement Information and CalculatorIf you were injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, you are entitled to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the negligent business or property owner. However, determining the value of your claim and what you can realistically expect to receive in a settlement or at a jury trial is more complicated than adding up the amount of your damages.

    Factors That Can Increase or Decrease the Amount of Your Settlement

    Every premises liability case is different, and a claim’s value will be based on the unique circumstances surrounding the accident and the victim’s injuries. However, there are common factors that can increase or decrease the value of a claim. Here are some top factors that may affect the amount of compensation you receive in your settlement.

    The Liability of the Negligent Party

    You must prove the business or property owner’s negligence in causing your accident in order to be entitled to compensation for your injuries. When you have strong proof that they were at fault, this will increase the value of the claim. If there are legitimate disputes about liability, this may weaken your claim and the amount you can realistically expect to receive in your settlement.

    The Seriousness of Your Injuries

    If you suffered a more severe or permanent injury, such as traumatic brain injury, back injury, spinal injury, or paralysis, you will need more long-term, expensive medical treatments, be off work for longer—if you can return at all—and have more serious limitations in your day-to-day life. This can increase the amount of compensation that you may be entitled to and increase the overall value of your case.

    The Percentage of Fault for the Accident

    If you were partially at fault in causing your accident, this may significantly reduce what you can receive in your settlement. Virginia follows the harsh contributory negligence doctrine that bars an accident victim who was at all at fault from receiving any compensation.

    However, just because the insurance company claims that you were partially to blame for your injuries does not mean that it is true. This is a common insurance tactic used to deny or reduce legitimate claims for compensation.

    If you were injured in a premises liability accident in Norfolk, you need the assistance of an experienced premises liability attorney to determine the true value of your claim and to fight the negligent party’s insurance company for the compensation you deserve. Take advantage of our free consultation to learn how we can assist you. Call our Norfolk office today to schedule your appointment.


  • What parties could be responsible if I injured myself in a slip and fall accident on a sidewalk?

    Woman Falling on a Snowy SidewalkIf you suffered injuries in a fall on a sidewalk in Norfolk, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, you will need to identify the party responsible for the sidewalk’s maintenance, which can be complicated if you do not have the assistance of an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer.

    Who Is Liable for a Slip and Fall on a Sidewalk?

    All property owners and businesses have a duty to maintain their properties—and their sidewalks—in a safe condition and to post warning signs of hazardous conditions. In some cities and municipalities, a local ordinance will place additional duties—such as to remove snow and ice from sidewalks within a certain time—on the owner of the property that may have been breached in a slip and fall accident. In other situations, public sidewalk maintenance is the responsibility of the local government.

    Because of this, there are a number of parties who may face liability when a slip and fall accident occurs on a sidewalk. They include:

    • Property owner or business. When a property owner or business has a duty to maintain the sidewalk, they can face liability if repairs are not made, snow and ice are not removed promptly, or other hazards are not taken care of. This can be true even if the sidewalk is on public property if a city or municipal ordinance places additional duties on the owner.
    • Lessee. If a business leases their commercial space, the responsibility for sidewalk maintenance may be on the business instead of the owner. Landlords may also include a provision in their apartment and home leases requiring the tenant to maintain the sidewalk in some fashion. Whenever a property is leased, the lease will need to be reviewed in order to determine whether the owner or lessee is the negligent party.
    • Homeowner’s association. In some residential neighborhoods, a homeowner’s association is responsible for maintaining the sidewalks in the subdivision. In this situation, a claim would need to be filed against their insurance company if their breach of duty caused your fall.
    • Government. If a city or municipality was responsible for sidewalk maintenance and repair where you fell, your claim will be more complicated. There are special notice and other procedural rules that must be followed when pursuing a claim against a local government.

    Did you or a loved one suffer injuries in a fall on a sidewalk in Norfolk? Our experienced slip and fall accident attorneys can help you determine who is liable for compensating you and will fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your legal options, fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation today.


  • What is premises liability?

    Man Slipping and Falling in an AirportPremises liability is a legal concept that can give you a right to compensation when a business or property owner fails to maintain their property in a safe condition or to post warning signs of a potential hazard, and you suffer injuries. Like other types of personal injury cases, it is based on the concept of negligence.

    It is not enough that you suffered injuries on someone’s property at a business or that a hazardous condition existed for you to be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You must prove the following:

    • The property owner or business owed you a duty of care.
    • A dangerous condition existed on the property.
    • The property owner or business knew or should have known of the hazard but did not take steps to remove the danger or to warn you of it.
    • You suffered an injury because the property owner or business failed to act reasonably to prevent your accident.

    Examples of Premises Liability Claims

    There are many types of cases that fall under the legal theory of premises liability. Here are examples of some common ones:

    • Slip and fall accidents. One of the most common premises liability claims involves slip and fall accidents. Some dangerous conditions that lead to these accidents include defective flooring, wet floors, defective staircases, potholes and cracked asphalt, inadequate lighting, debris, and spilled food and drinks.
    • Inadequate security. Inadequate security claims often arise when landlords, other property owners, and businesses fail to provide proper security to guests and they are injured or killed by someone engaging in criminal activities. Failure to provide adequate locks or lighting are a few negligent actions that can give rise to a premises liability claim. When the owner knows of increased dangers of criminal activities on his property, he can face liability if he failed to provide additional security, such as security guards.
    • Swimming pool accidents. Because of the dangers to children when swimming pools are left unsupervised or unsecured, property owners are often required to have a fence, locked gate, or other means of securing the property. When they fail to do so, they can be liable if someone suffers injuries or dies in a tragic drowning. A property owner can also be found negligent for failing to repair defective handrails or steps leading into a pool, having a dangerous pool filtration system, or allowing slip and fall hazards to exist.
    • Dog bites. Dog owners have a duty to prevent their dogs from injuring other people. They can be liable to compensate a dog bite victim if they were negligent or under Virginia’s “one-bite” rule that holds an owner liable if the dog has bitten someone at least once in the past.

    If you suffered injuries due to a property owner’s or business’s negligence in Norfolk, our experienced premises liability attorneys are here to help. Call our office to schedule your free consultation today to start learning about your right to compensation for your injuries.


  • What if I was partially at fault for my premises liability accident?

    A Slip and Fall Incident Report Can Help Show Fault in a Negligence CaseIf you were injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, you may have a claim for compensation for your injuries against the negligent business or property owner. However, if you were partially at fault in causing your injuries, you may be barred from pursuing a claim under Virginia’s contributory negligence laws.

    What Is Contributory Negligence?

    While all states have laws on how a victim’s own negligence affects their claim for compensation, Virginia is one of the few states that follow the contributory negligence law. Most other states follow a comparative negligence doctrine. Here is how each affects an individual’s right to damages:

    • Comparative negligence. In states that follow comparative negligence, an injured person’s compensation would be reduced by his percentage of fault in causing his injuries. In some states, he would be barred from obtaining any compensation if he was found to be 50 or 51 percent at fault.
    • Contributory negligence. Virginia’s contributory negligence law is harsh. It provides that if a victim is at all to blame—even by one percent—that he is not entitled to any compensation from the negligent party.

    What Should You Do If You Believe That You Are Partially to Blame for Your Premises Liability Accident?

    If you were hurt in a premises liability accident, it is crucial that you contact an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible. He will have an understanding of the negligence and contributory negligence laws in Virginia and can evaluate whether or not you really share any blame for your injuries. He will also know what evidence will be needed to establish that the negligent party was 100 percent responsible for your injuries.

    At Tavss Fletcher, we offer a free initial consultation where you can discuss your case and learn about your legal options. To schedule yours, call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form today.


  • What is an attractive nuisance that could subject a property owner to liability for a child’s injuries?

    Attractive Nuisances and Premises Liability ClaimsKeeping children safe can be challenging since they often do not understand when they face a dangerous situation. In some cases, a child becomes injured due to inherent dangers of an object on another’s property. He may even trespass on an individual’s or business’ property because he is drawn to the dangerous item. If a child suffers injuries, the property or business owner could face liability in Virginia under the attractive nuisance doctrine—even if the child was trespassing.

    What Is an Attractive Nuisance?

    Attractive nuisances are features of a property, or objects on a property, that pose risks to young children who are unable to understand the dangers they face. In many cases, the object or property feature is something intended for children to use and can be used safely under adult supervision. Common attractive nuisances that result in children suffering injuries include:

    • Swimming pools
    • Playground equipment
    • Trampolines
    • Sandboxes
    • Abandoned vehicles and appliances
    • Tool sheds
    • Construction sites
    • Railroads
    • Man-made ponds and fountains

    What Is a Property and Business Owner’s Duty to Protect Children From Attractive Nuisances?

    Property and business owners have a duty to protect children who may enter their property—even if the children are uninvited—from attractive nuisances on the property. In order to be liable, the following is usually required:

    • The owner knew or should have known that children might trespass onto the property.
    • A condition on the property could result in a child suffering an injury or death.
    • A child who suffered the injury on the property was too young to understand the danger.
    • The cost of repairing or maintaining the attractive nuisance so that it is safe is small in comparison to the potential injury to the child.
    • The owner failed to take reasonable steps to keep children from suffering injuries from the attractive nuisance. This can include installing a fence, locks, or posting warning signs.

    Did your child suffer injuries on another property? He may be entitled to compensation from the business or property owner for his injuries. For help pursuing his legal rights, call our office today to schedule a free initial consultation.


  • Will homeowners insurance cover my premises liability accident claim?

    Homeowners Insurance and Premises Liability CasesNot all premises liability accidents occur at restaurants, malls, grocery stores, or other business property. In some cases, a person can suffer long-term injuries in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident at someone’s home. If you suffered injuries at a private residence, you may be able to file a claim with the person’s homeowners insurance company to obtain compensation for your injuries.

    What Are Common Causes of Premises Liability Claims at Private Residences?

    In order to hold a homeowner responsible for compensating you for your injuries, you must prove that he was negligent. To prove this, you must show that an unsafe condition existed on the property that he knew or should have known about and that he failed to correct the problem or warn you of the danger. Common causes of slip and fall accidents at a residence include:

    • Water or other spills
    • Cracked or worn flooring
    • Torn or frayed carpeting
    • Flooring that is not level
    • Leaking roof
    • Stairways with shallow steps, defective handrails, or no handrails
    • Sidewalks with cracks or holes
    • Sidewalks that are slippery due to snow and ice

    Not all claims against a homeowner arise out of a slip and fall accident. A few other types of claims that can be paid by homeowners insurance include:

    • Dog bites
    • Swimming pool accidents
    • Negligent supervision of a child claims against a homeowner when a child is injured at his home

    Types of Homeowners Insurance Coverage

    If the property owner was negligent in causing your injuries, you will need to determine whether the owner purchased homeowners insurance coverage. Slip and fall and other premises liability accidents are generally covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. You may be entitled to compensation under the following coverages that are typically offered in these policies:

    • Liability coverage. Liability coverage will cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering up to the insurance policy limits if the homeowner was negligent in causing your injury.
    • Medical coverage. This is no-fault medical coverage, which is also known as med pay. It can pay some of your medical bills regardless of the homeowner’s fault in covering your injuries. In most cases, medical coverage is often much less than liability coverage, such as in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

    If you suffered an injury in a premises liability accident at a residence, you need the assistance of an experienced premises liability attorney to file your claim and negotiate your settlement. Learn about your legal options and our years of experience in handling these cases by starting an online chat to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.


  • How can I help my attorney in my premises liability case?

    Helping Your Premises Liability CaseRetaining an experienced premises liability attorney is essential if you want to obtain the compensation that you deserve from the negligent property or business owner that caused your injuries. However, your work is not done once you have researched and selected your lawyer. You are on a team, and there are things that you can do to make it easier for your lawyer to negotiate a fair settlement for you.

    Ways You Can Help Your Attorney Strengthen Your Case

    The actions that you take—or do not take—will have a direct bearing on how strong a case you have against the negligent party that caused your injuries. Here are some of the ways that you can do your part to help your attorney help you:

    • Be honest. You need to be honest with your attorney and not hide information from him—even if you think it will hurt your claim. Anything you tell your attorney is protected by attorney-client privilege. Your attorney can develop strategies to handle facts that may be used by the insurance company to deny or reduce your claim—but only if he knows about them. He will be at a serious disadvantage if he discovers the damaging information from the other party’s insurance adjuster.
    • Follow-up medical care. Because you are trying to obtain compensation for your injuries, your medical treatment is important to the strength of your claim. When you go to all of your doctor appointments and follow your doctor’s advice, this helps your case. Doing this avoids some arguments about how serious your injuries are.
    • Stay off social media. You avoid the problem of the insurance company finding postings that suggest that you are less injured than you claim if you stay off social media while your claim is pending. At a minimum, do not say or post anything about the accident or your injuries.
    • Provide information promptly. When your attorney requests documents and other information, he needs it to move your case along toward settlement. Help him do this by providing the information as soon as possible.
    • Follow your attorney’s advice. One of the best ways to help your attorney is to follow his advice. He has years of experience handling cases like yours and is only asking you to do things that will make your case stronger.

    Did you suffer injuries in a premises liability accident? Fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced premises liability attorneys.


  • How does a premises liability case work?

    Premises Liability Case and StepsOne frustrating aspect of filing a premises liability claim is the length of time that it can take to resolve your claim. Unfortunately, you may have to fight for a long time if you want to receive the compensation that you deserve. Knowing how premises liability cases work can help you to better understand why it is taking your experienced premises liability attorney longer than you may like to resolve your claim.

    Steps in a Premises Liability Case

    Whether you have a slip and fall, negligent security, dog bite, or other premises liability claim, there is a certain progression of steps that your case will take until you settle with the insurance company. Here is how a premises liability case works once you retain an attorney:

    • Investigation. The first steps in your case will be for your attorney to investigate your accident. He will also obtain evidence proving the other party’s negligence, and collect your medical records, medical bills, wage loss documentation, and other proof of your damages. This will help him to evaluate the strength of your claim and how much your claim is worth.
    • Maximum medical improvement. Your maximum medical improvement is the stage in your medical treatment where you have recovered as fully as possible. You need to reach this stage before moving on with the settlement of your claim to be certain that you know your prognosis and what future medical and wage loss damages you will incur. This is so that these amounts are included in the settlement.
    • Demand package. Your attorney will send a demand package to the insurance adjuster outlining the other party’s negligence, your injuries, your medical treatment, and the amount you are entitled to in settlement. Then there will be a period of negotiation where your lawyer would try to settle your claim without the need for litigation.
    • Litigation. If your attorney is unable to settle your claim or the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit is about to expire, he will file a complaint and litigate your case. Once the answer to the complaint is filed, your attorney will engage in a lengthy discovery phase where written questions are answered, documents are provided pursuant to requests for production of documents, and depositions are taken. He will also try to settle your case at various times, and at some point it will most likely be resolved. If not, your case would be decided at trial.

    Do you need to file a premises liability claim? Fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation to learn more about how filing your claim would work and the possible value of your claim.


  • What happens if my auto accident is caused by a negligent driver’s medical condition?

    In some cases, a driver could cause a car accident not due to negligence, but because of a medical condition. Seizures, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes are a few of the medical problems that a person could experience when causing a wreck. Who compensates the victims who suffer catastrophic injuries or death in these situations?

    Is a Negligent Driver Liable to Accident Victims If He Causes an Accident Due to a Medical Condition?

    A person experiencing a seizure, heart attack, stroke, or other medical condition while driving could lose consciousness or be unable to focus on his driving due to the symptoms he experiences. Even the side effects of medications can affect a person’s reasoning ability and reaction time when driving. These guidelines apply when determining whether or not the driver would be considered negligent and responsible for compensating an accident victim:

    • The determination as to whether the condition caused the accident will be based in part on the type of impairment the driver suffers with. A minor impairment, such as high blood pressure or a sinus infection, may not be a contributing factor in the crash—despite the negligent driver’s claims that it caused the wreck. However, having a seizure, stroke, or heart attack could.
    • If a driver knew or should have known about his medical condition at the time of the crash, he could be found negligent if his medical condition caused or contributed to the wreck. He may be considered negligent for failing to take necessary precautions to prevent an accident or driving when he knew or should have known that it was not safe to do so. For example, he may not be permitted to drive if he suffers from epilepsy.
    • In limited circumstances when the driver truly had no knowledge of his medical condition and it was not foreseeable, he may be able to raise the emergency medical condition defense to avoid liability.

    Is the negligent driver who caused your injuries claiming that a medical condition he suffers from caused your accident? An experienced car accident attorney can help you refute this claim or show that he failed to take necessary safety precautions. To discuss your situation and your legal options, fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.


  • What happens if I suffer injuries in a car accident while traveling out of state?

    Car Accidents That Occur When Visiting Another StateAny car accident that causes the victim to suffer injuries can be complicated and leave the injured person feeling overwhelmed by the claim filing process. The stress and worries can become magnified if the victim is injured in a wreck caused by a negligent driver while traveling in another state. Let’s look at what you need to know if you get into an accident out of state.

    What Happens If Your Auto Crash Happens in Another State?

    The good news is that you will have insurance coverage and options for compensation if you are involved in a car accident in another state. Here is what happens in this type of accident:

    • Your insurance company will most likely provide you with insurance coverage as if you were injured in your home state. This means that if you purchased additional coverages, such as medical payments, collision, and underinsured and uninsured coverages, that you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company.
    • Your claim is governed by the laws of the state where your accident occurred. Each state has its own laws that apply to car accident cases, and it is important to understand relevant laws, such as the statute of limitations, for where you were hurt. In addition, you would most likely need to file any lawsuit against the negligent driver in the state where the crash happened.
    • You need an experienced local car accident attorney. He will understand important state laws, have a network of qualified local experts, and have a working relationship with other local attorneys and judges involved in these cases.

    Are you an out-of-state resident who was injured in a car accident in Virginia? Our experienced car accident attorneys are happy to any questions you may have. To schedule a free consultation, start an online chat today.


  • What is the statute of limitation to file a lawsuit in my premises liability case?

    Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability CasesOne of the most important laws that you need to understand in relation to any personal injury case is the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. This is a critical law to comply with if you suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident at a swimming pool or amusement park, or in any other type of premises liability accident. Waiting beyond this time limit could have dire consequences for your claim.

    What Is the Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability Cases?

    The statute of limitations is the time period you have to file a lawsuit. Every state has its own laws regarding the statute of limitations for different types of lawsuits. For example, the statute of limitations for filing a breach of contract lawsuit could be very different than for filing a slip and fall accident case. In North Carolina, the following statute of limitations rules will apply to premises liability cases:

    • You must file your lawsuit in a premises liability case within three years.
    • This three-year time period begins on the date of the accident that caused your injury.

    What Happens If You Wait Longer Than Three Years to File Your Premises Liability Lawsuit?

    If you fail to file your civil complaint before the statute of limitations expires, the consequences are severe. You lose your right to file your lawsuit. If you did file a complaint more than three years after your accident, it would most likely be dismissed by the judge. While your right to file a claim with an insurance company is not affected by this law, practically speaking, you would not be very successful in resolving your claim after this time period to sue ended. The claims adjuster would know that the statute of limitations had expired and would not be willing to settle your claim.

    Even if the statute of limitations is years away in your premises liability case, you do not want to wait to contact an experienced premises liability attorney. Your attorney can complete a much more thorough investigation of your claim and build your case against the negligent party if you retain him soon after your accident.

    If you or a family were hurt on another party’s property, the experienced premises liability attorneys at Tavss Fletcher are here to help you file your claim. To learn what your first steps are, call our office to schedule your free consultation.


  • Who could be liable for compensating me in my premises liability claim?

    Who Is Liable for a Premises Liability Injury?If you suffered a slip and fall, assault on another’s property, swimming pool accident, or other premises liability accident, it may be more complicated than you think to determine the parties liable for compensating you. In some cases, the business may rent and not own the property where you hurt yourself, and another party could be responsible for maintaining the hazardous condition that caused your injury. Identifying the proper party is vital when you need to make a claim for compensation for your injuries.

    Common Liable Parties in Premises Liability Cases

    When deciding which party to pursue, you want to be certain to identify all the possible parties. Why? More parties mean more insurance companies to file claims with and more money to pay you what you deserve. Common negligent parties in premises liability cases include:

    • Property owner. An owner of a residence, business property, commercial property, or any other property would be one of the most likely parties responsible for compensating you. If a business also owns the property where it conducts its business, its responsibility for your injuries would be fairly clear cut.
    • Renters. If an owner leases out the building or other property to a tenant, the lease agreement may be needed to determine who was responsible for the dangerous condition that caused your injury. In some cases, such as a retail store, the business renting the store space could be responsible for keeping debris out of the aisles, cleaning up spills, and certain maintenance items. However, the owner could be responsible for the upkeep of other areas, such as a common area shared with other businesses, the business grounds, and the parking lot. Even in the rental of residential property, some tenants are responsible for the upkeep of the property and not the owner. Where you injured yourself and the cause of your accident will be important factors in sorting out which party is liable.
    • Property managers. Some owners will hire a management company to perform many duties for the owner, such as leasing apartments, commercial retail and office space, or other properties, and keeping the property free of hazards and in good repair. In this situation, you may need to review the contract between the property manager and owner to determine who should be sued.
    • Business owners. When a business leases property and is responsible for the condition of the property where it conducts business, such as a restaurant or a store in the mall, the business owner rather than the property owner could be the party you should file a claim with.
    • Security company. If you suffered an assault on property where the owner hired a security company, you may have a claim against this company if its employees’ negligent security was the cause of your attack.

    An experienced personal injury attorney can help you to identify the proper parties to pursue and build your case for compensation. Review our testimonials to see how we have helped other clients. Then call our office to schedule a free consultation to learn the next steps you should take to pursue your claim.


  • How long will it take to settle my premises liability claim?

    One of the most common questions accident victims have once they decide to file a claim is how long it will take to resolve their claim and receive their settlement money. While there are no specific rules or timelines for settling these cases, an experienced premises liability attorney can give you an idea of how long your case will take to complete. In addition, understanding the factors that influence how long your case could go on will also help you be realistic about when you will be able to put this accident behind you.

    Factors That Influence How Quickly Your Case Can Be Settled

    Even if you take the right step in retaining an attorney soon after your accident, this does not mean that your claim will be settled quickly. It could take months before you receive your settlement proceeds. Here are some factors that influence the speed at which these claims are resolved:

    • Disputes as to liability or injuries. If there are no or few disputes about the liability of the negligent party or your injuries, your claim may be resolved quickly. However, if there are serious disputes between you and the insurance company about these issues, your attorney may need to file a lawsuit before convincing the adjuster to settle your case for what it is worth.
    • Your medical prognosis. Like many accident victims, you may not understand the importance of waiting until you have reached your maximum medical recovery—whether or not you fully recover—and a final prognosis. Because your doctor will often start with less invasive treatments, such as physical therapy, it could take months before he decides that you need surgery. You need to wait until you reach the point of maximum medical recovery or your doctor is able to give you a final prognosis so that you request the future medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you could be entitled to in your settlement offer.
    • Complete demand package. Your attorney will prepare a demand letter and package that includes other helpful documentation of liability, your injuries, and the amount of compensation you are asking to be paid. It can take time for your attorney to obtain the necessary medical records and other documents he needs to include with the letter. However, preparing a compelling demand package can ultimately quicken the time it takes to resolve your claim.
    • Negotiations. Negotiations between your attorney and the insurance adjuster can take time, especially if there are areas of dispute. Your attorney could decide to obtain further documents or hire an expert to help persuade the adjuster to settle for what you are requesting. Just the back and forth of offers and counteroffers that is often part of the process of settling an injury claim can be longer than you think.
    • Insurance company. What insurance company you are dealing with can also have an impact on how long settlement will take. Some companies and adjusters have a reputation for being less reasonable and slower in resolving disputes.

    You definitely should ask your attorney for his opinion on how long it will take to settle your claim. But then keep in mind that this is just a guideline. You want to wait so that you receive what you deserve. If you or a family member was injured in a premises liability accident, fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn how our experienced legal team can help you.

  • Who can file a wrongful death action in Virginia?

    wrongful-death-claimsUnder Virginia law, a wrongful death action can be brought when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of a person or corporation. If the deceased would have been able to file a personal injury action if he had survived, then a family member can file a wrongful death claim on his behalf. The right to file a wrongful death action is based on Virginia statutes. These laws give the right to sue for wrongful death due to many types of fatal accidents, including:

    • Car accidents
    • Truck accidents
    • Motorcycle accidents
    • Medical malpractice
    • Premises liability accidents like slip and fall or drowning
    • Other accidents caused by negligence

    Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

    Under Virginia law, only surviving family members defined as statutory beneficiaries are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The law has a very specific order of who can sue. In addition, the lawsuit is not filed in the name of the deceased person or filed by the statutory beneficiaries. The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate files the lawsuit on behalf of the statutory beneficiaries. These beneficiaries are as follows:

    • Spouses and children have the first right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If their parent is deceased, grandchildren can file the suit.
    • If there is no spouse, and no children or grandchildren, then the parents, brothers, and sisters, and any other family member in the deceased person’s household who was dependent on him can file a wrongful death action.
    • If the deceased person left a spouse but no children or grandchildren, the spouse and the deceased person’s parents can file a wrongful death claim.
    • If the deceased person left no family members described above, other family members who would inherit under Virginia’s intestacy laws would have the right to file a wrongful death action.

    Determining who can file a wrongful death action and the proper form of the lawsuit is complicated. If you need to file a wrongful death claim, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through the process. Call our Norfolk office to schedule your case evaluation to discuss your situation.

  • How does a wrongful death action work in Virginia?

    wrongful death actionIt is never easy to lose a loved one, but it can be especially heartbreaking if he died because of another person’s negligence. While it will never replace the loved one who has been lost, the family of an injury victim may be able to obtain compensation from the negligent party in a wrongful death action.

    What Is a Wrongful Death Action?

    Under Virginia law, the family of a person who died in an accident can file a claim for compensation in a wrongful death action if the death was caused by “the wrongful act, neglect, or default" of another party. The deceased person must have had a valid claim that he could have pursued if he had lived. Only certain family members can file this type of claim. They include the following:

    • Surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren of the deceased person
    • Surviving parents, siblings, or other relatives who shared a household with the victim and were his dependents
    • A surviving family member who is entitled to inherit from the deceased person’s estate under Virginia’s intestate laws.

    Compensation in Wrongful Death Actions

    In a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family may be entitled to damages which are slightly different from those that the deceased person could have received had he suffered injuries but lived. The family may receive compensation for:

    • Their pain and emotional trauma
    • Loss of the deceased person’s companionship, care, comfort, and advice
    • Loss of the value of the person’s wages and benefits, including future amounts that they would have received if he had lived
    • Medical bills from the victim’s last injuries and death
    • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
    • Punitive damages—awarded to punish the negligent party if his actions were especially negligent

    If a loved one died as a result of the negligence of another person or business, we are here to help you hold the negligent party responsible and to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to get you questions answered and learn about your legal options.