Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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  • Can I represent myself in my slip and fall accident case?

    Slip and Fall Road SignYes, you have the right to represent yourself when negotiating a slip and fall accident settlement with the insurance company or litigating your case in court in Virginia. However, you would not be making a good decision if you made this choice. You are much more likely to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries if you retain an experienced premises liability accident attorney.

    Reasons Why It Would Be a Mistake to Represent Yourself in a Slip and Fall Accident Case

    There are many reasons why you should not represent yourself when filing a claim with a negligent business or property owner’s insurance company. Here are the top reasons why hiring a knowledgeable lawyer is in your best interests:

    • Preserving evidence. You will need evidence to prove the business or property owner’s negligence caused your fall, the seriousness of your injuries, and the compensation you are entitled to. A lawyer handling slip and fall cases will know what evidence you need and how to obtain it.
    • Valuing your claim. You are entitled to recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in your settlement with the insurance company. It would be extremely difficult for you to determine your future damages and how much the pain and suffering portion of your claim is worth without the help of an attorney.
    • Negotiating your settlement. The insurance adjuster could try to take advantage of you if you try to negotiate your settlement on your own. They could get you to agree to give a recorded statement, provide them with access to all your medical records, or accept a lowball settlement offer. Your lawyer would fight for your rights and have strategies to defeat the insurance company’s arguments to deny, delay, or devalue your claim.
    • Understanding of the law. Your attorney would understand the Virginia laws that apply to your case, including the statute of limitations, which is the deadline to file your lawsuit.
    • Litigating your case. It would be very challenging to represent yourself if you had to file a lawsuit and litigate your claim. A lawyer would know the laws and court procedures that must be followed and how to try your case at a jury trial if necessary.

    Do you need to file a claim for injuries you suffered in a slip and fall accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our dedicated premises liability attorneys will aggressively fight for your right to compensation and are not afraid to take your case to trial if this is in your best interests. To schedule your free initial consultation, call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our online form today.

     

  • What happens if a health care provider files a lien in my truck accident case?

    Doctor Pointing at Health Care BlocksThe trucking company and trucker would be responsible for paying you compensation for your medical bills if their negligence caused your truck collision in Norfolk or Virginia Beach. However, it could be months, a year, or longer before you settle your claim with the insurance company.

    Your medical care providers may place a medical lien on your settlement when providing you with the medical care you need while you wait for your settlement. You need to know what a medical lien is and how to deal with them in your case.

    What Is a Medical Lien?

    In Virginia, you are responsible for paying your medical bills while negotiating your settlement with the insurance company. However, if you are like most truck accident victims, you do not have the financial resources to pay these expensive medical expenses.

    Health care providers may agree to treat your injuries and wait to receive their payment until you settle your case if you allow them to place a medical lien on your settlement. The lien would enable them to be paid what they are owed when you receive the settlement check from the insurance company.

    The general rule is that health care providers are not entitled to claim a lien against a truck crash settlement in Virginia. However, many exceptions based on federal laws permit a provider to assert a lien.

    In addition, a health care provider can enter into a written agreement with you to allow them to assert a lien in your case. You most likely cannot avoid agreeing to this to obtain the medical treatment you need for your injuries. Health care providers who may claim a lien on your settlement include:

    • Ambulance services
    • Hospitals
    • Doctors
    • Physical therapists

    Will the Medical Care Provider Negotiate Their Medical Lien?

    Yes, your health care providers may be willing to negotiate a settlement of your medical liens. However, you would be at a serious disadvantage if you tried to work out an agreement on your own.

    You should retain a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer to negotiate your settlement with the insurance company and the payment of medical liens. A lawyer is likelier to get medical care providers to accept a reduced price. This can save you substantial money and allow you to keep more of your settlement proceeds.

    Were you hurt in a truck crash that was not your fault in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Do you need help negotiating a settlement of medical liens with your health care providers? Our experienced truck accident lawyers are here to help. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free initial consultation today.

     

  • What do I need to prove to win my whiplash injury claim?

    Car Accident Victim Holding Their Neck After a WreckWhiplash is a common injury caused in Norfolk and Virginia Beach car accidents. Unfortunately, victims often have a difficult time convincing the negligent driver’s insurance company of the seriousness of their injuries. If you suffered a whiplash injury and are filing an insurance claim, you need to know how to prove your case if you want to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

    What Is Whiplash?

    A whiplash injury can occur when a person’s neck is jerked back and forth in an auto collision. It is a soft tissue issue injury. You should be examined by a doctor if you experience any symptoms. Common ones include:

    • Pain and tightness in the neck
    • Limitations in the range of movement of the neck
    • Headaches at the back of the skull
    • Shoulder, upper back, or arm tenderness or pain
    • Arm numbness
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Blurred vision
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Memory and concentration problems

    What Evidence Is Needed to Prove a Whiplash Injury?

    Whiplash injury claims are often difficult to prove because the symptoms can take days or longer to develop. In addition, insurance adjusters often view whiplash as a temporary injury that will heal quickly. The reality is that it could take you months or longer to recover from a whiplash injury.

    You need to collect strong evidence to prove your case. Types of evidence that can help you win your case include:

    • Documentation of accident cause. The police report, eyewitness statements, and photos taken right after the crash can help establish its cause. It can also be essential to show the speed of your vehicle, the point of impact, where you were sitting, how the headrest was positioned, and whether the airbags deployed.
    • Medical records. You need strong medical evidence proving that you sought prompt medical care and followed your doctor’s advice on the treatments you need for your injuries. It is crucial that your medical records not show gaps in your medical care or missed doctor or physical therapy appointments.
    • Medication records. You should save documentation of the medications you took to manage the pain caused by the whiplash.
    • Diagnostic tests. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may help show you suffered whiplash or a spinal injury.
    • Documentation of damages. You will need to prove the amount of compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills and lost wages. You should save all your medical bills, prescription receipts, and documentation of your lost wages, vacation and sick time, and other perks of your job.
    • Expert witnesses. You may need a medical expert to prove that the car crash caused your whiplash and the necessary medical treatments. If you suffered a long-term injury, you might also have to hire an economic expert to calculate your future damages.

    Did you suffer whiplash in an auto collision that was not your fault in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? To schedule your free initial consultation with our experienced car accident lawyers, call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form.

     

  • What happens if my injury worsens after I settle my premises liability claim?

    Injured Woman With a Sore KneeUnfortunately, you may not have any options if you discover that your injuries are more severe than you thought when you settled your premises liability claim. That is one of many reasons you should retain an experienced premises liability lawyer before reaching a settlement with the insurance company.

    What Happens If You Have Settled Your Claim Before Discovering Your Injuries Have Gotten Worse?

    If you agreed to settle your claim and signed a Release of Claims form, which you would have to sign before the insurance company sent you your check, you would have agreed that your settlement is a final resolution of your claim. You could not reopen your case and file a claim for additional compensation if you later discovered that your injuries had worsened.

    When Can You Reopen a Premises Liability Claim?

    There are a few situations where you may be able to obtain additional compensation after settling a claim:

    • No signed agreement. If you agreed to settle your claim but have not signed the release of claims form, you may be able to get out of your agreement with the insurance company.
    • Breach by the insurance company. You may also be able to seek additional compensation if the insurance company failed to perform their obligations to pay you under the terms of your settlement.
    • Other liable parties. If there are other liable parties, you may be able to pursue a claim against them. For example, if the business where you fell was renting their commercial space, you may also have a claim against the property owner.

    Were you hurt in a premises liability accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our dedicated premises liability lawyers can collect the evidence you need to win your case and fight with the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries under Virginia law. Contact our Norfolk office at 757.625.1214 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.

     

  • How soon after a motorcycle accident should I hire an attorney?

    Motorcycle on the Road in Front of a Car After a CollisionYou should retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer immediately after your motorcycle crash—even if you do not believe you were hurt or that your injuries are serious. You could later discover that you suffered a hidden injury, such as a back, spinal, or traumatic brain injury, or that your injuries are more severe than you initially thought. Here are ways that hiring an attorney can help you obtain all the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver and their insurance company.

    Reasons to Contact a Lawyer Soon After Your Motorcycle Crash

    Although you may feel you have plenty of time to pursue your claim right after your motorcycle collision, there are many benefits to retaining a skilled motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. They include:

    • Gathering evidence quickly. A lawyer will know the types of evidence you need to prove your case and will collect it for you before it disappears. For example, you could be unable to locate helpful witnesses, or their memories could fade if their written statements are not obtained immediately.
    • Communicating with the insurance company. If you file your claim on your own, you may make a statement that the insurance adjuster can use against you or agree to do something that hurts your case, such as agreeing to give a recorded statement. Once you hire an attorney, they will take over all communications with the insurance company and negotiate your settlement.
    • Being certain you meet deadlines. Your lawyer will ensure that you meet all important deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, to file your lawsuit. If you wait to hire an attorney, you could miss a critical deadline and lose your right to pursue your claim.

    Were you injured in a motorcycle collision that was not your fault in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our dedicated motorcycle accident lawyers are here to fight for your rights. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.

     

  • Is the insurance company right when they say I don’t need an attorney to negotiate my settlement?

    Lawyer Shaking a Client's HandTelling you that you should not retain an experienced truck accident lawyer to settle your claim is a common tactic insurance companies employ in truck collision cases. If the insurance adjuster informs you that you do not need an attorney, they are not doing it to help you. Here are the real reasons they do not want you to hire a lawyer.

    #1: A Lawyer Knows the Law

    A skilled truck accident attorney knows the Virginia laws and federal regulations governing truck drivers and trucking companies that apply to your case. They will not accept the insurance company’s misrepresentations about the laws that apply to your case, which they may make to deny your claim or pay you less compensation than you deserve. They will use their knowledge to protect your rights and win your case.

    #2: An Attorney Knows How to Value Your Claim

    Another reason the insurance adjuster does not want you to hire a lawyer is that they want to try to convince you that their lowball settlement offer is a fair one. However, a lawyer will know the value of your claim and go up against the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery under Virginia law.

    #3: A Lawyer Can Prove Your Case

    You will need to establish that the trucker and trucking company’s negligence caused your truck crash, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to to be compensated for your injuries. An attorney can collect the evidence you need to prove your case. They will also have strategies to defeat the insurance company’s arguments about why they are not liable to pay you, which you would be unable to do if you try to settle your claim on your own.

    #4: An Attorney Is on Your Side

    The insurance adjuster knows that you may be vulnerable if you are injured and struggling to pay your medical bills and daily expenses when you are off work with no income. They would take advantage of your vulnerabilities and try to convince you to accept a settlement of far less than you deserve.

    If you retain a lawyer, they will be on your side and would be looking out for your best interests. You are much more likely to receive a higher settlement if you are represented by a lawyer—which is why the insurance company does not want you to hire one.

    #5: A Lawyer Can Litigate Your Claim

    If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement or the statute of limitations, which is the deadline to sue, will expire soon, you will need to file a lawsuit against the trucking company and truck driver. An attorney licensed in Virginia can file the complaint and litigate your case for you.

    Were you injured in a truck collision in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas? Call our Norfolk office at 757.625.1214 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free initial consultation to learn how our dedicated truck accident lawyers can assist you.

     

  • What could happen if I exaggerate my injuries in a car accident?

    Doctor Talking to a Patient After an AccidentExaggerating your injuries after an auto collision in Virginia is never a good idea. You could make it harder to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

    How the Insurance Company Could Discover the Exaggeration of Your Injuries

    Before offering you a settlement, the insurance company would investigate your claim. One of their investigation goals would be to search for any information they could use to deny your claim or pay you less than you are entitled to under Virginia.

    They would most likely discover your exaggerations about your injuries during their investigation. Here are three ways they could discover this:

    1. Surveillance. The insurance company could hire a private investigator to engage in surveillance multiple times while your claim is being settled. The investigator could follow you, stake out your house, and take photographs of you doing activities you could not do if you were as hurt as you claim. If you are exaggerating how serious your injuries are, they will discover this when they spy on you.
    2. Social media. The insurance adjuster could also search your social media accounts for statements you make about your injuries and for posts about activities you are engaged in that you could not do if you were really hurt as much as you claim.
    3. Medical records. The insurance company will review all your medical records and look for inconsistencies in how you describe your injuries and your pain level to what your medical records show.

    How Not Being Truthful About Your Injuries Could Hurt Your Claim

    Exaggerating the severity of your injuries is always a bad idea. Here are ways this could weaken your claim:

    • Your credibility. If the insurance company finds out you were not truthful about your injuries, this will weaken your credibility as a witness. They may question other statements you made, such as the cause of the car accident.
    • Compensation. You may exaggerate your injuries in hopes of obtaining more compensation from the insurance company. However, this strategy could backfire. If the insurance adjuster discovers your exaggerations, it would significantly weaken your case, and you could be forced to accept less money to settle your claim.
    • Fraud. Your exaggerations may be considered insurance fraud. This may be grounds for the insurance company to deny your claim or to sue you to recover any damages they paid you.

    Were you injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to learn how our experienced car accident attorneys can help you.

     

  • What is the difference between a premises liability claim and a lawsuit?

    Premises Liability Law BookAlthough the terms are often used interchangeably, a premises liability claim and lawsuit are different in Virginia. It is essential to understand their differences, so you know how to best pursue your rights to obtain the compensation you deserve for injuries you suffered in a premises liability accident.

    What Is a Claim?

    If you were hurt in a premises liability accident, your first step to seek the damages you are entitled to would be to file a claim with the negligent property or business owner’s insurance company. This is an out-of-court process of trying to settle your case.

    The best way to file your claim is to retain a knowledgeable premises liability lawyer to file it for you. They would send the insurance company a demand letter explaining their liability to pay you, your injuries, and the amount of compensation you are seeking. The insurance adjuster would investigate your accident and injuries before responding to the demand letter. They would most likely begin by offering you a lowball settlement offer you should not accept. Your attorney and the insurance adjuster could go through a series of offers and counteroffers before your claim is settled.

    What Is a Lawsuit?

    Filing a lawsuit involves having your case decided through the court system. You would need to file a civil complaint if the statute of limitations to file your lawsuit is expiring soon, or the insurance company denied your claim or refused to offer you a fair settlement. Here are the basic steps in litigating your case:

    • Complaint. Your lawyer would file a complaint explaining your premises liability accident, how the owner’s negligence caused it, your injuries, and the damages requested.
    • Answer. After being served with the lawsuit, the home or property owner, referred to as the defendant, would file an answer to it, admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint.
    • Discovery. Discovery is the phase of your case where the defendant’s attorney and your attorney obtain documents, testimony, and other information from each other and third parties. Common types of discovery include interrogatories, which are written questions to be answered, requests to produce documents, subpoenas for documents or additional information, and depositions.
    • Mediation. Some courts require civil cases to go through court-ordered mediation before scheduling a jury trial date. In addition, your lawyer will enter into settlement negotiations with the defendant’s attorney, which would most likely result in a settlement of your case at some point in the litigation process.
    • Trial. If your case is not settled, it would be decided at a jury trial.

    If you were injured in a premises liability accident in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas, our experienced premises liability attorneys are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation today.

     

  • Why won’t my doctor treat me after my truck accident?

    Truck Holding His Hand Up and Saying NoYou can suffer long-term injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or another head injury, spinal injury, amputation, or back injury in a truck accident in Virginia. You can feel even more distressed if you contact your doctor and find out they do not want to treat your injuries. Here are the reasons your primary care physician may not see you and how to obtain the medical care you need.

    Reasons Your Doctor May Not Treat You

    It is not uncommon for primary care physicians to refuse to treat injuries caused by a truck accident. Common reasons your doctor may not want to see you include:

    • Insurance company. Your doctor may not want to get involved in billing one or more truck insurance companies for payment of their bills. It can be complicated and time-consuming to deal with these insurance companies for payments than a health insurance company.
    • Litigation. Your physician may not want to be an expert witness in your case, have to give a deposition, or testify in court if your claim has to be litigated.
    • Complicated injuries. Primary care doctors are trained to treat common medical conditions or minor injuries. Your doctor may not have the expertise to treat the severe injuries you could suffer due to the truck collision.

    How to Obtain the Medical Care You Need After a Truck Accident

    If your doctor refuses to treat you, you will need to find another physician to treat your injuries. Here are some options for getting the medical care you need:

    • Get a referral. Your primary care physician may be willing to refer you to a specialist who has experience treating your injuries. Before you schedule an appointment, be sure the specialist accepts truck accident victims.
    • Find a doctor. You can also find another physician who treats accident victims’ injuries like yours. They will know what treatments will help you recover and will be able to document the seriousness of your injuries and the medical care you need to help you prove your right to compensation for your injuries.
    • Retain a lawyer. Another good option is to hire a knowledgeable truck accident attorney immediately. They will most likely know qualified physicians who accept truck collision victims and who could be an expert witness in your case.

    Were you injured in a truck crash that was not your fault in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas? Is your doctor refusing to treat your injuries? Our experienced truck accident lawyers are here to help. Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free initial consultation to learn about your rights and how we can assist you.

     

  • How much will hiring an attorney to handle a pedestrian accident claim cost?

    How Much Does It Cost Word CloudFortunately, you can afford to retain an experienced car accident lawyer to settle your pedestrian collision claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Most attorneys in Virginia handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. Here is what you need to know about how you would be charged attorney fees in your case.

    How Do Contingency Fee Agreements Work?

    If your lawyer charges their fees for handling your pedestrian accident claim on a contingency basis, you would not owe any upfront attorney fees. Here is how a contingency fee agreement would work:

    • You would only owe attorney fees if your lawyer was able to settle your claim or won your case at a jury trial.
    • Your attorney would charge you a percentage of your settlement or judgment as their attorney fees. The typical fee is 33 percent, but it could range from between 20 and 40 percent of your award.
    • The attorney fees you owe would be deducted from your settlement or judgment proceeds before you receive your check.

    Will You Owe Other Costs and Expenses?

    You will also be charged any costs and expenses incurred in your case. These include the costs to obtain medical records and the police report, expert witness fees, court reporter fees for depositions, filing fees, and other costs if your claim must be litigated.

    You may have to pay for these expenses upfront, or your attorney could pay them and deduct them from your settlement. Your lawyer should explain how they charge their attorney fees and these expenses at your initial consultation. If you agree to hire them and they agree to take your case, you should sign a retainer agreement stating what you will owe and how the attorney will be paid.

    Are There Other Considerations You Should Think About When Deciding on a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?

    When you are deciding which lawyer to hire to handle your case, their attorney fees should only be one consideration in making your decision. You should also evaluate their experience in handling pedestrian accident claims and their track record of success in settling and litigating these types of cases. You want an attorney who is not afraid to take your case to a jury trial if the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement.

    Were you injured in a pedestrian accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free initial consultation today to learn how we can assist you.

     

  • What are the consequences for refusing a breathalyzer test in Virginia?

    Driver Refusing a Breathalyzer If the police stop you for a suspected DUI in Virginia, they will almost certainly ask you to take a breathalyzer test to measure the blood alcohol content on your breath. If you are arrested, they would ask you to take another breathalyzer test or blood test at the police station. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test once you have been charged with DUI, you could face harsh consequences in addition to the punishments that would be imposed if you are found guilty of DUI.

    Are You Required to Take the Initial Breathalyzer Test in Virginia?

    The police would use a small handheld breathalyzer device to administer a breathalyzer test after you are pulled over for DUI. This is known as a preliminary breath test (PBT). The police would use the test results to establish probable cause to arrest you.

    In Virginia, you are not required to take a PBT, and your refusal to take the test cannot be used to convict you of DUI. However, if you refuse the test, the police officer would look for other signs of intoxication that they could use to arrest you.

    Can You Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test if You Are Arrested for DUI?

    The police would use a breathalyzer or take a blood sample when they book you for DUI. Under Virginia Code §18.2-268.2, our state’s Implied Consent Law, you impliedly consent to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test if you are driving a vehicle and are charged with DUI. When you are arrested, the police officer must inform you of this requirement and the penalty you face if you refuse to take the test.

    What Are the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test?

    The first violation of Virginia’s Implied Consent Law is a civil infraction. A second or subsequent offense would be a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. You could face these penalties:

    • First offense. Your driver’s license would automatically be suspended for one year in addition to any driver’s license suspension for your DUI offense. You would not be able to get a restricted license during the one-year suspension.
    • Second or subsequent offense. You could face up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,500. In addition, your driver’s license would be suspended for three years.

    Have you been charged with DUI or a violation of Virginia’s Implied Consent Law in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Our experienced traffic ticket lawyers are here to mount an aggressive defense strategy to fight the charges you face. To learn more about how we can assist you, fill out our online form or call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 to schedule a free consultation today.

     

  • Who gets custody of a pet in a Virginia divorce?

    Divorcing Couple Holding a Dog's CollarWhile you may consider your pet a member of your family, they are considered personal property in Virginia. If you and your spouse cannot agree on who gets custody of your pet in the divorce, the judge will decide who gets to keep them as part of the division of your marital property.

    Factors the Court Will Consider When Decides Who Gets Custody of a Family Pet

    Virginia is an equitable distribution state. In a divorce, the judge must distribute the property fairly but does not have to split the property evenly. Factors the court would consider when deciding who will get custody of a pet include:

    • Pet’s acquisition. The judge would consider when the pet was acquired or adopted. If one spouse owned the pet before the marriage, they would most likely be awarded custody of the pet.
    • Primary caretaker. Another factor to be considered is who the primary caretaker of the pet is. If one partner has taken on the responsibility for the animal care, the judge may determine that they should be the pet’s owners.
    • Best living environment. The judge would also consider which spouse can provide the best living environment for the pet and has the most time and finances to care for the animal. The spouse awarded custody of the children will most likely also get the family pet.
    • Abuse and neglect. If either spouse abused or neglected the pet in the past, it is unlikely that the judge would give them ownership of the animal.

    How to Increase Your Chances of Being Awarded Custody of a Pet

    The best way to increase the likelihood of keeping a family pet may be to work out an agreement with your spouse. You may have to bargain with them and give up other property you may be entitled to or work out a visitation schedule where they have some time with the pet too. You can also collect evidence to help convince the judge to award you the family pet. Helpful evidence can include:

    • Adoption paperwork, bill of sale, veterinarian bills, and other documents with your name on them
    • Statements and testimony of family and friends who can confirm you are the pet’s primary caregiver
    • Pet’s name tag if it has your name and cellphone number on it
    • Pet’s license with your name and signature

    Are you planning to file for divorce in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Do you have questions about your right to keep a family pet? Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation with our experienced family law lawyers to get answers to your questions and learn how we can help you.

     

  • Should I accept a quick settlement of my motorcycle accident claim?

    Woman Holding a Settlement Offer in an EnvelopeWhile it can be tempting to accept the insurance company’s first offer if you suffered injuries in a motorcycle collision that was not your fault in Virginia, it is rarely in your best interests to settle your case so quickly. Here are reasons why you should be extremely wary when you receive a first settlement offer from the insurance company—especially if you get it right after your motorcycle accident.

    Why Does the Insurance Company Want You to Accept a Quick Settlement of Your Claim?

    You need to understand why the insurance company may offer you a quick settlement of your case. They are most likely doing this because they realize that the value of your claim is high, and they want to save money by trying to get you to accept their first offer. They know that you may find it difficult to pay your expensive medical bills when you cannot work due to your injuries and may want to take advantage of you.

    Reasons Not to Accept a Quick Settlement of Your Case

    To obtain all the compensation you deserve under Virginia law, you need to wait to settle your claim. Here are three reasons why you should reject the insurance adjuster’s first offer:

    • Low-ball offer. The insurance company’s first offer will most likely be for far fewer damages than you are entitled to under Virginia law.
    • Your maximum medical improvement. You should not settle your claim until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the stage in your medical treatment where you have recovered from your injuries or have recovered as much as possible. You won’t know the amount of future compensation you deserve until you reach your MMI.
    • Final settlement. The insurance company's settlement will be a complete settlement of your case. If you accept the insurance company’s first offer, you will not be able to reopen your claim if you later discover that your injuries are more severe than you thought or realize that the settlement does not fully compensate you.

    You should never settle your motorcycle crash claim without first consulting with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. To learn how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.

     

  • How long will it take to get my check after I settle my premises liability case?

    Man Opening a Check in the MailOnce you settle your premises liability claim, you will be anxious to get your settlement check and move on with your life. Unfortunately, you will not receive your payment immediately. Here’s what you need to know about the steps you will need to complete before you can get your check.

    How Long Will It Take to Get Your Settlement Check?

    It will take approximately four to six weeks to receive your money from the insurance company. It could take slightly longer if the insurance company tries to delay paying you or the steps in finalizing your settlement take longer to complete.

    What Steps Must Be Completed Before You Receive Your Settlement Check?

    You will need to complete a number of steps after you reach a settlement with the insurance company. They include:

    • Signing a release. You will need to sign a release of all claims form where you agree that this is a final settlement of your claim. It could take a few weeks for the insurance company to draft this agreement and your premises liability attorney to review it.
    • Issuing a check. The insurance company will issue your check after they receive your signed release. Depending on their procedures, it could take them a week or two to send your check.
    • Depositing your check. Your check will be sent to your lawyer. They will deposit it in a client trust account.
    • Paying liens. If you have any liens on the settlement, such as a medical lien, your attorney will pay these out of your settlement proceeds. They may negotiate settlements to reduce what you owe first. While this can take time, it can be highly beneficial to you.
    • Deducting attorney fees. Your lawyer will deduct the attorney fees and litigation costs you owe them next.
    • Issuing your check. Once all of these steps are completed, your attorney will send you your check. This completes the settlement of your claim.

    Were you or a loved one injured in a premises liability accident in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas? Our experienced premises liability lawyers are here to explain your options and go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation today.

     

  • Can I file a claim if I can’t remember how my truck accident happened?

    Man Struggling to Remember His Car AccidentIn Virginia, you are still entitled to compensation for your injuries caused in a commercial truck collision, even if you cannot remember how the crash occurred. You can use other evidence to prove that the truck driver’s negligence was the cause of the accident.

    Reasons for Memory Loss After a Truck Crash

    There are several reasons victims do not remember how their truck accident happened. The emotional trauma of being in a terrifying truck collision can cause a person’s brain to shut down to avoid dealing with the memories of what happened—especially if someone suffered catastrophic injuries or was killed.

    Victims also might not remember their truck accident if they suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A common symptom of a TBI is memory loss. Even a concussion can prevent a person from remembering how the truck collision occurred.

    Types of Evidence to Collect if You Cannot Remember the Truck Accident

    You can collect other evidence to prove how your truck crash occurred and that the truck driver was the negligent party. Types of evidence that can help you include:

    • Police report. A police report can provide valuable information, such as the details of how the accident occurred, the truck driver and witness statements, the officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault, and whether any traffic citations were issued.
    • Eyewitness statements. Eyewitnesses can give a written statement and testify in court if necessary about how the trucker caused your crash. Third-party witnesses who have no stake in the outcome of your case can be especially persuasive witnesses.
    • Photos. Photos of the damage to the truck and your vehicle can help a knowledgeable truck accident attorney or an accident reconstruction expert determine the cause of your wreck.
    • Black box data. The truck’s black box data can contain helpful information, such as the truck’s speed, braking, and steering.
    • Surveillance video. A traffic camera or business surveillance camera may have recorded your collision. You need to obtain the footage as soon as possible before it is destroyed or taped over.
    • Accident reconstruction expert. An accident reconstruction expert can review all the evidence and determine the cause of the crash. They may also be able to create a computer-generated reenactment of the collision to show to the jury.

    Were you injured in a truck crash caused by a negligent truck driver in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas? Our experienced truck accident lawyers are here to collect the evidence you need to win your case and fight for your right to damages for your injuries—even if you do not remember how your crash occurred. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about your options and how we can assist you by calling our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or filling out our convenient online form.

     

  • Can I choose a repair shop after a car accident?

    Car Repair ShopYes, you can choose where to get your motor vehicle repaired after an auto collision in Virginia. However, there are many considerations that you need to think about when making this decision.

    Can the Insurance Company Insist That I Use Their Preferred Repair Shop?

    Under Virginia law, insurance companies cannot demand that a policyholder or car accident victim take their auto to a specific shop for repairs. They also cannot require selecting a repair facility or mechanic from a list of repair facilities or body shops. However, they do have the right to provide a list of preferred shops that they recommend the person use.

    What Are the Pros and Cons of Using the Insurance Company’s or Your Own Repair Shop?

    You need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of selecting the repair shop to repair your vehicle vs. using one recommended by the insurance company. Some of the pros of using the insurance company’s choice of repair shop include:

    • Quicker process. You may be able to get your auto repaired faster if you use the insurance company’s repair shop. Because the repair facility has an ongoing relationship with the insurance company, they may repair your vehicle quicker. In addition, you could avoid the need to get multiple estimates before getting the work done.
    • Less paperwork. The insurance company may take care of more of the paperwork if you use the shop they recommend.
    • Additional costs. If additional costs are incurred while your car is being repaired, the insurance company may be more likely to pay them or not argue about whether they are covered if you are using their preferred repair shop.
    • Payment of claim. If you are seeking compensation for your injuries and reimbursement for the cost of repairing your vehicle, the negligent driver’s insurance company could separate the claims and pay the property damage claim immediately. They may be more likely to do this if you use a recommended repair facility.

    There are also benefits to selecting the shop where your auto will be repaired:

    • Your mechanic. You may have a long-term relationship with a repair facility or mechanic. You may trust them more than the one selected by the insurance company to do a good job when repairing your vehicle.
    • Long distance. The insurance company's repair facility could be a long distance from your home. It may be more convenient to use a shop closer to where you live.
    • Better quality repairs. The quality of repairs may be better if you choose who does them. The repair shop for the insurance company could use cheaper parts or not completely repair a problem to cut down on the costs.

    Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Today

    Do you have questions about where to take your auto for repairs after a car accident or your right to compensation for your injuries? Call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today with our experienced car accident lawyers to learn about your rights and find out how we can help you.

     

  • How do I pay my medical bills after a dog bite?

    Aggressive Dog Lunging at a ParkYou could suffer serious injuries if bitten by a dog and may worry about how to pay your mounting medical bills. Fortunately, you may be able to seek reimbursement of your medical expenses from the dog’s owner in Virginia. Here are the common options that dog bite victims have for recovering the cost of their medical treatments.

    Ways to Get Your Medical Expenses Paid After a Dog Bite

    Under Virginia’s dog bite laws, you are entitled to be compensated for your injuries caused by a dog attack if you can show that the dog owner knew or should have known that their dog is aggressive or dangerous. If you can prove this, you have several options to recover reimbursement of your medical bills, such as:

    • Homeowner’s insurance. If the dog’s owner has a homeowner insurance policy, it would most likely cover injuries caused by the dog’s owner. However, some policies will exclude coverage if the dog is a dangerous breed or has aggressive tendencies.
    • Animal liability insurance. If the dog’s owner purchased animal liability insurance, you could file a claim with this insurance company for reimbursement of your medical bills. They would be responsible for compensating you up to the policy’s insurance limits.
    • Car insurance. You may be able to file a claim with the owner’s car insurance company if the dog attacked you while you were in the dog owner’s vehicle or the dog jumped out of the window and bit you
    • Dog owner. If the dog’s owner had no insurance or insufficient insurance to fully pay your medical bills, you could still hold them responsible for compensating you. However, you need to realize that they may not have the financial resources to pay you all the damages you are entitled to or may have to pay you in small monthly payments.

    Should You Submit Your Medical Bills to Your Health Insurance Provider?

    Even if the dog’s owner has insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries, settling your claim with their insurance company could take a long time. In the meantime, you still owe your medical bills to your health care providers. You do not want them to refer your account to a collection agency, report the bills on your credit report, or sue you.

    The best way to avoid these problems is to submit your bills to your health insurance provider if you have health insurance coverage so that your medical bills are paid. However, they may place a lien on your settlement that must be paid when you receive your payment from the dog owner’s insurance company.

    Were you bitten by a dog in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Do you have other questions about paying your medical bills? Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today with our experienced premises liability attorneys to learn how we can assist you.

     

  • Should I talk to the insurance company after a truck accident?

    Injured Woman on the Phone With an Insurance CompanyNo, if at all possible, you should avoid speaking to the insurance company for the negligent trucker and trucking company. Your best strategy would be to let an experienced truck accident lawyer take over all communications with the insurance company if you want to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Here is how talking to the insurance company on your own could hurt your case.

    What Are the Dangers of Speaking to the Insurance Company?

    If you were not at fault in causing your truck accident, you may expect the insurance company to treat you fairly and pay you all the damages you are entitled to under Virginia law. Unfortunately, they may not be looking out for your best interests. They will try to save money by denying your claim or paying you less damages in your settlement. Here are the dangers of talking to them on your own:

    • Your statements. Even if you are careful and know that the insurance adjuster is not your friend, you could say something that could be misconstrued as an admission of fault in causing your truck crash.
    • Recorded statement. The insurance company will try to convince you to give a recorded statement, which is a question and answer session that is transcribed into a written document. The insurance adjuster is trained to ask confusing questions designed to get you to make damaging statements they can use against you.
    • Medical release. The insurance company may also attempt to get you to sign their medical release. Their form is often a blanket authorization to obtain all of your medical records. The insurance adjuster would search your records for another incident or injury they could claim caused your current injuries. Do not sign any documents until an attorney reviews them for you.
    • Quick settlement. If the insurance company knows that you suffered serious injuries, they could offer you a quick settlement of your claim. However, it is most likely an offer for far less compensation than you are entitled to. You should not accept any settlement without consulting with a lawyer to ensure the settlement is fair.

    What Should You Do if the Insurance Company Contacts You?

    It is not uncommon for an insurance company to call a truck accident victim within a few days of the collision. If the insurance adjuster contacts you, you should politely refuse to discuss the collision or your injuries with them. Get their contact information and your claim number. Then inform them that you will have your attorney contact them.

    Were you or a family member injured in a truck crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free initial consultation to learn how our dedicated truck accident lawyers can assist you.

     

  • Should I file my car accident claim or talk with an attorney first?

    Frustrated Woman on the Phone With a LawyerYou may be in a hurry to settle your auto accident claim if you suffered injuries due to another driver’s negligence, have mounting medical bills, and cannot work. You may think you will speed up the process by filing your claim first, especially if you need to search for an experienced car accident lawyer to assist you. However, it would be best to hire an attorney before contacting the insurance company.

    What Are the Dangers of Contacting the Insurance Company First?

    If you want to receive all the compensation you deserve under Virginia law, you should avoid filing your claim with the insurance company before you hire a lawyer to represent you. You could make mistakes when speaking to the insurance company that weakens your case and gives them ammunition to dispute your claim. Here are the dangers of contacting the insurance company first:

    • Your statements. You could inadvertently say something, such as “I’m sorry,” that the insurance company can argue is an admission of your negligence in causing the auto crash.
    • Your injuries. Right after your collision, you do not know how serious your injuries are, the treatments you need, or whether you will make a full recovery. If you discuss your injuries with the insurance adjuster when filing your claim, you may make statements suggesting your injuries are not severe.
    • Recorded statement. You could agree to give a recorded statement, which is a question and answer session with the insurance company that is recorded and transcribed into a written document. Even if you are careful, you could make a damaging statement that hurts your case.
    • Quick settlement. You could agree to a quick settlement of your case for far less compensation than you are entitled to.
    • Other mistakes. You could make another mistake, such as agreeing to sign the insurance company’s medical release, that raises disputes in your case.

    What Are the Benefits of Talking to a Lawyer Before Filing Your Claim?

    There are many advantages of retaining a skilled car accident attorney before filing your insurance claim. The process of settling your claim could go faster. Other benefits include:

    • Your best interests. Your attorney will have your best interests at heart. The insurance company’s goal is to save money by denying your claim or paying you less compensation in your settlement.
    • Communications. Your lawyer will take over all communications with the insurance company and file your claim. This will help you avoid making damaging statements or agreeing to something that weakens your case.
    • Evidence. An attorney will collect the evidence you need to prove your case so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement.
    • Value of your claim. A lawyer can advise you on the strength of your case and how much money you can realistically expect to receive from the insurance company.
    • Settlement. Your attorney will negotiate your settlement for you and have strategies to defeat the insurance company’s unfair tactics to deny your claim. If necessary, they would file a lawsuit and litigate your claim.

    Do you need to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company after a car accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to get your questions answered and learn how we can assist you.

     

  • Can I be placed on house arrest in Virginia?

    Wooden House in Side of a Pair of HandcuffsIf you have been convicted of committing a crime in Virginia, you could be facing a jail or prison sentence. Being placed on house arrest would be a better option. However, you need to know how this program works in our state, so you know what would be required of you.

    Who Is Eligible for House Arrest in Virginia Criminal Cases?

    In Virginia, house arrest is referred to as a “home-electronic incarceration program.” The program’s purpose is to allow a defendant to continue to work, go to school, and take care of their children. The eligibility requirements a defendant must meet include:

    • They must be convicted of a non-violent crime.
    • Their sentence must be for less than a year.
    • They could be required to remain employed while under house arrest.

    How Is a Person Monitored While Being Placed on House Arrest?

    An individual sentenced to house arrest would be required to wear an ankle bracelet that would track their location at all times. Some monitors can also detect whether they have consumed any alcohol. A probation officer would also supervise their compliance with the house arrest program and any other rules they are required to follow.

    Does a Person on House Arrest Have to Stay at Their Home 24/7 in Virginia?

    A defendant sentenced to house arrest may not have to remain at home all the time. They would most likely be allowed to leave to go to work, school, doctor appointments, and other approved activities during specified times.

    Are There Costs Assessed for Being Placed on House Arrest?

    Yes, a person would be responsible for paying the costs associated with house arrest. Under Virginia law, these fees could be garnished from their wages if they fail to pay them.

    Can a House Arrest Sentence Be Shortened for Good Behavior?

    No, a defendant would be required to serve their entire sentence under house arrest. Unlike a jail or prison sentence, they would not be given credit for good behavior.

    Do you have questions about whether you are eligible for Virginia’s house arrest program? Are you facing criminal charges? Our experienced criminal defense lawyers are here to mount an aggressive defense strategy for you to achieve the best outcome, given your situation. To learn more about how we can help you, complete our convenient online form or call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 to schedule your free initial consultation.