Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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  • Should I hire a lawyer in the state where my slip and fall accident occurred?

    A slip and fall accident can happen at any time and place, including when you are in another state for business, vacation, or visiting friends or family. If your accident happened in Virginia, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries if a property or business owner’s negligence caused your fall. To achieve the best outcome in your case, you will Woman Laying on the Ground After a Fallneed to retain an experienced premises liability lawyer.

    However, it can be confusing to know whether to hire an attorney in the state where you live or in Virginia where your accident occurred. Here are four reasons you should retain a lawyer in our Commonwealth.

    Why it Is Best to Retain a Local Attorney

    There are many benefits to hiring a lawyer in the state where your slip and fall accident occurred. They include:

    • Licensed in Virginia. While many slip and fall claims are settled out of court, not all are. Only a lawyer licensed to practice law in Virginia can file your lawsuit for you and litigate your claim.
    • Knowledge of the law. Your right to compensation for your injuries will be governed by Virginia law. A local attorney will have a better understanding of the laws that apply to your case than a lawyer who practices law in another state.
    • Understanding of local rules and practices. Even if an attorney in your home state is licensed to practice law in Virginia, they will not have as good of an understanding of the local court rules and practices where your lawsuit would be filed. An understanding of these procedures will make your case go smoother and be resolved quicker.
    • Consistency in your claim. You may be considering hiring an attorney where you live to try to settle your claim and then retain a lawyer in Virginia if you have a lawsuit. However, this is not the best approach for your case. You are more likely to settle your case for all the damages you are entitled to if you retain one attorney to represent you. While trying to negotiate your settlement, they would also collect the evidence you need and develop a consistent strategy to win your case.

    Were you injured in a slip and fall accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Do you live in another state? At Tavss Fletcher, we will make it as easy as possible for you to pursue your claim as an out-of-state resident. To learn more about how we can assist you and your rights under Virginia law, call our office at 877-960-3441 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.

     

  • What should I expect to happen at a free initial consultation?

    Lawyer Meeting With a Potential Client at an Initial MeetingIn order to obtain all the compensation you deserve for your injuries in a truck collision caused by a negligent truck driver, you should retain a lawyer as soon as possible after your crash. Many experienced truck accident attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Here is how you should prepare for your appointment and what you can expect to happen at it.

    How to Prepare for Your Initial Appointment and What You Can Expect

    An initial consultation would be your first meeting with a lawyer. There are a number of goals to accomplish at your appointment.

    What Is the Purpose of an Initial Consultation?

    • Determine if you have a claim against the negligent trucker and trucking company
    • Get your questions answered
    • Find out if the attorney has extensive experience handling truck collisions cases and whether they are the right lawyer for you
    • How much they charge for their services

    You should schedule a free initial case evaluation with the top two or three lawyers you are considering hiring. Your first appointment will typically be for 30 minutes to an hour. The time will go fast, so it is important to come to your meeting as prepared as possible.

    How to Prepare for the First Appointment

    • Collect the documents, such as the police report, your auto insurance policy, and medical bills. You should also collect photos of the crash scene and the truck driver, trucking company, and witness contact information.
    • Prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney about their experience settling and litigating truck accident cases and what you can expect them to do for you if you retain them.

    If you have never filed a personal injury claim before, you probably do not know what will happen at your initial free consultation.

    What You Should Expect at Your Free Initial Meeting

    • Details of your crash. The lawyer will want you to explain the details of how your truck wreck occurred and will briefly review the documents you bring to your appointment.
    • Advice on your claim. Once the attorney obtains information about your truck crash, they will give you general advice on whether you have a claim and what you can expect to happen after you file it.
    • Explanation of attorney fees. The lawyer should also explain how they would charge their attorney fees and costs if you decide to retain them. At Tavss Fletcher, we handle truck accident claims on a contingency fee basis, which means that you would not owe us any attorney fees until we settle your case.
    • Interview of the lawyer. At the beginning of your appointment, you should tell the attorney that you have prepared questions for them to answer. It is important that you interview them because this will help you determine if you can trust them to look out for your best interests if you hire them.

    Do you need to file an insurance claim for injuries you suffered in a truck accident in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Fill out our online form or call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 to schedule a free initial consultation today to learn about our track record of success helping other truck collision victims and how we can assist you.

     

  • What should be included in the insurance company’s Release of All Claims form?

    Truck Collision Victim Signing Paperwork in a Lawyer's OfficeOnce you finally settle your truck accident claim with the insurance company, you will need to go through a number of steps before you receive your settlement check. One requirement will be to sign a Release of All Claims Form.

    You should not sign the insurance company’s release or any other document without first consulting with a skilled truck accident lawyer. In addition, it is important that you understand the key provisions that you will be agreeing to before you sign it.

    What Is a Release of All Claims Form?

    A release is a legal document that states the terms of your settlement with the truck driver’s or trucking company’s insurance company. It is a legally binding agreement. The release would relieve the insurance company from further liability in exchange for their payment to you.

    Provisions Contained in a Release Form

    There are a number of provisions that are typically in a release. It is important to understand what they are since they affect your right to compensation for your injuries caused in the truck collision. Your release should contain this information:

    • Details of how your crash occurred
    • Identification of all the parties to your settlement
    • Your claims for compensation, such as for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damages
    • Amount of your payment and how it will be paid
    • Law that governs your agreement

    Additional Provisions in a Release That Give Up Important Rights in Exchange for a Settlement

    • Obligation to pay. By signing the release, you are agreeing that this is a final settlement of your claim and that you are waiving your right to receive future payments for your injuries. This means that you cannot pursue a new claim if you later discover that your injuries are more serious than you thought.
    • Right to sue. You would also be waiving your right to file a lawsuit against the negligent truck driver, trucking company, and their insurance company.
    • No admission of fault. The agreement will provide that no party is admitting fault for causing your truck accident. You are waiving your right to claim that the trucker’s and trucking company’s negligence was the cause of your injuries.

    If you suffered injuries in a truck collision that was not your fault, our experienced truck accident lawyers are here to fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or fill out our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today to learn more about how we can help you.

     

  • How long do I have to file my lawsuit after a bicycle accident?

    Bicycle on the Ground in Front of a Car After an AccidentIf you were injured in a bicycle collision caused by a negligent driver, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. When pursuing your claim with their insurance company, it is important to understand the steps you need to take to build a strong case, mistakes to avoid, and important laws that apply to your claim.

    One crucial law you need to know is the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to sue, that applies in your case. If you fail to file your lawsuit under this time period, you could ruin your case.

    What Is the Deadline to File the Bicycle Crash Lawsuit?

    You have a short time to file your bicycle accident complaint in Virginia. The time period is slightly different for a claim for your personal injuries than a wrongful death lawsuit filed because a loved one died.

    Time Periods to File a Civil Complaint After a Bicycle Accident

    • Personal injuries. You have two years from the date of your bike crash to file a lawsuit for the injuries you suffered in the accident.
    • Wrongful death. You have two years from the date of the death of your family member, which could be different than the date of their bicycle crash, to file a civil complaint.
    • Property damage. You have a much longer time to file a property damage complaint. You would have five years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit.

    What Happens If You Miss the Statute of Limitations to File Your Complaint?

    If you miss the deadline to file your lawsuit, the consequences would be harsh. The insurance company would file a motion to dismiss your complaint. The judge would most likely grant their motion and dismiss your case. You would be barred from pursuing your right to compensation in court.

    While there is no statute of limitations to filing a claim with the insurance company, the reality is that they would refuse to pay your claim if you file it or try to settle it after the statute of limitations expired. They would have no incentive to pay you because they would know that you could not successfully sue their insured.

    Even if you have plenty of time to file a bicycle crash lawsuit, you should not wait to retain an experienced car accident attorney. They will have an easier time helping you settle your claim for the maximum amount you are entitled to if you contact them soon after your collision. To learn about your rights and how we can assist you, contact us online or call our office at 877-960-3441 today to schedule your free initial consultation.

     

  • Should I notify my insurance company of my truck accident if I didn’t cause it?

    Semi-Truck and Car CollisionIf a negligent trucker caused your truck crash, they are responsible for fully compensating you for your injuries. You may not see the need to contact your own insurance company since you would not be filing a claim with them. In addition, you might be worried that your insurance premiums could go up.

    However, it would be a big mistake not to notify them of your truck collision. Here are some reasons it could hurt your case and result in you receiving less compensation than you deserve for your injuries.

    #1: You Are Required to Notify Your Insurance Company

    When you purchased auto insurance coverage, you entered into a contract with your insurance company. One of the requirements in your policy is that you notify the insurance company of any accidents within a certain time period. If you fail to comply with this requirement, the insurance company may deny a claim you later decide you need to file.

    #2: You Are Not Filing a Claim

    When you contact your own insurance company to inform them of your truck crash, you are not filing a claim. You are simply letting them know about the collision and are protecting your rights under your insurance contract with them.

    #3: They Can Help You With Repairs to Your Vehicle

    It could take you a long time to settle your property damage claim with the negligent trucker’s insurance company. However, you need your car repaired quickly so you can drive it.

    If you purchased collision coverage, it may make more sense for you to file a claim with your own insurance company. They will help you to obtain immediate repairs to your vehicle.

    #4: You May Need to File a Claim With Your Insurance Company

    Even though the truck driver is fully responsible for compensating you, this does not mean that you will receive all the damages you deserve from them. Here are a few reasons you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company:

    • If the trucker had no insurance, you would need to file a claim under your own uninsured motorist coverage.
    • If the truck driver had insufficient coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries, you could file a claim under your underinsured motorist, MedPay, and collision coverage, depending on the coverages you purchased.

    Were you or a family member injured in a truck accident? Even if you are filing a claim with your own insurance company, you need the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer. They will file your claim for you and negotiate your settlement with the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery you are entitled to. Fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free consultation to learn about your options and how we can assist you.

     

  • What is a third-party car insurance claim?

    Insurance Claim Form and Car KeysNo matter how safe a driver you are, you could be involved in a car accident caused by another driver. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries you suffered in the crash under Virginia law. When deciding how to pursue your rights, you must understand the difference between a first-party and third-party auto collision claim.

    Difference Between First- and Third-Party Auto Insurance Claims

    Virginia is an at-fault state in regard to car accidents. This means that the negligent driver would be fully responsible for compensating you for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering. There are two types of claims you may need to file:

    • Third-party claim. A third-party claim is a claim you would file with the at-fault motorist's insurance company. In order to be entitled to compensation, you would need to prove the other driver's negligence, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of damages you should recover.
    • First-party claim. A first-party claim is one filed with your own auto insurance company. The basis of your claim would be the contract between the insurance company and yourself. If you purchased collision or medical coverage, you may recover additional damages under these coverages.

    How to Determine Whether to File a First- or Third-Party Insurance Car Crash Claim

    It can be complicated to figure out whether you should file a first-party and/or third-party insurance claim and to reach a settlement with the insurance company on your own. You need the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer to determine which claims you need to file and to go up against the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve.

    You might be tempted to negotiate your settlement with the insurance company on your own to save the cost of attorney fees. However, this would be a big mistake. Your own insurance company might not treat you fairly if the value of your claim is large—which is likely if you suffered serious injuries. They could use unfair tactics to deny your claim or to pay you less money, just like the negligent driver's insurance company would do.

    At Tavss Fletcher, we handle car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you would not owe us any attorney fees until we settle your claim or win your case at a jury trial. Contact our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.

     

  • What does it mean to live separate and apart before filing for divorce in Virginia?

    Woman Packing a Moving BoxIf you want to divorce your spouse in Virginia, you must establish specific grounds for an at-fault or uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, you would need to live separately and apart for a certain period of time. This time period is:

    • Six months if there are no minor children of the marriage
    • One year if you and your spouse have minor children together

    What Does it Mean to Live Separate and Apart?

    If you are filing a no-fault divorce, you will need to prove the date you separated from your spouse and that you lived separate and apart for the required time period. You must establish two things:

    • Physical separation. In many divorces, partners become physically separated when one spouse moves out of the marital residence. However, it is possible to prove that you are physically separated from your partner even if you continue to live together if you meet certain requirements that show you are really living apart.
    • Intent. You must also show that at least one of you decided that your marriage was over and that you wanted a divorce. While this is often communicated through a conversation, it is best to follow up with an email, text, or letter that confirms your decision.

    Factors the Court Considers in Deciding the Date of Living Separate and Apart

    You will need to present facts to the court that shows the date you and your partner began living separate and apart. If there is a dispute about when this began, or the judge has questions about it, they would consider the following:

    • Whether there is a signed and dated separation agreement
    • The date you and your spouse started identifying as being separated to friends and family members
    • Whether you continue to go out or attend events together
    • Whether you live in the same home and how you live apart if you do, such as having separate bedrooms

    Do you have questions about how to prove you are living separate and apart from your spouse? Are you planning to file a divorce in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation to get your questions answered and learn how our experienced family law attorneys can help you every step of the way through your divorce.

     

  • When could my landlord be responsible for my slip and fall injuries?

    You could suffer serious injuries, such as broken bones, back injuries, or traumatic brain injuries in a slip and fall accident at the rental property where you live. This may lead to expensive medical treatments and being off work for months or longer while you recover. Depending on why you fell, you may be able to hold your landlord liable to compensate you for your injuries.

    A Landlord’s Duty to Maintain Rental Properties

    Landlord Handing Over House Keys to a TenantIn Virginia, landlords have a duty to maintain their rental properties in a reasonably safe condition and not allow hazardous conditions to exist on the property. When they breach this duty and a tenant, or their guest, is injured in a slip and fall accident, they may be responsible for compensating the victim for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

    There are many ways that a landlord can breach their duties to tenants that cause slip and fall accidents. Common examples include:

    • The landlord failed to fix broken lighting or provided inadequate lighting for the property.
    • The landlord failed to repair leaking plumbing or a leaking roof.
    • The landlord failed to replace cracked or broken flooring, or worn carpet.
    • The landlord did not repair or replace a loose or broken handrail or damaged steps.
    • The landlord allowed cracks and potholes to exist in the parking lot.
    • The landlord failed to remove snow or ice from the parking lot, sidewalks, or entrances to the rental property.

    Importance of Proving the Landlord Knew of the Dangerous Condition

    Landlords are not always liable if a tenant falls at their rental property. In order to hold them responsible for their slip and fall accident, a tenant would need to prove that their landlord knew or should have known of the hazard and failed to correct the problem or post a warning sign of the danger within a reasonable amount of time.

    Proving a landlord knew or should have known about an unsafe condition can be challenging. Some of the ways a tenant can establish this include:

    • Their testimony that they told the landlord about the problem or sent them an email or letter informing them of it
    • Testimony of other tenants who reported the hazardous condition to the landlord
    • Landlord’s inspection records of the property
    • Employee statements
    • Photos of the dangerous condition
    • Building inspection reports
    • Other business records of the landlord

    If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident at a rental property, you need the assistance of an experienced premises liability attorney to prove your case and go up against the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve. At Tavss Fletcher, we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only owe us attorney fees when we settle your claim. Contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation to learn about your rights and how we can help you.

     

  • How can I find out what caused my truck accident?

    If you were injured in a truck crash, you must prove that the truck driver’s negligence caused it in order to receive the compensation you deserve from the insurance company. However, it can be more complicated to determine why your truck wreck happened than if you were involved in a car accident. Conducting a thorough investigation is essential if you want to win your case.

    How Will a Truck Investigation Help Prove How a Truck Crash Occurred?

    Damaged Car on the Side of the RoadYou may not know the cause of your truck accident right after it happened. There could have been many contributing negligent actions of the truck driver, trucking company, shipper, and others that caused it. You will need to conduct a thorough investigation and collect evidence to prove your case.

    Because truck accident claims are so complex, you should not try to conduct an investigation on your own. It is best to retain an experienced truck accident lawyer right away. Here are some of the ways a lawyer can help determine why your truck collision happened:

    • Obtain a police report. Your attorney will review the police report because it can contain helpful information, such as the officer’s conclusions as to the cause of the crash, who was at fault, and whether any traffic citations were issued. However, a knowledgeable lawyer will know this is only one step in the investigation.
    • Investigate the collision scene. Your lawyer will review any pictures or videos taken at the accident scene and interview witnesses and obtain their statements. They may also want to look at the crash scene if it appears that the trucker’s negligent driving or a road condition caused your accident.
    • Send spoliation letter. Even if the trucker was speeding, engaged in distracted driving, or driving unsafely in another way, lack of truck maintenance, violations of hours of service regulations, or other violations of federal regulations could have contributed to the crash. Your lawyer will send the trucking company a spoliation letter notifying them of your claim and not to destroy or modify documents that could help prove how the trucker’s and trucking company’s negligence caused your wreck.
    • Check for hours of service violations. Under federal hours of service rules, a truck driver is only allowed to drive for a certain number of hours before taking a break. Your lawyer will need to examine the log book, receipts for gas and food, and other documents to determine if these regulations were violated.
    • Review trucker’s personnel file. Your lawyer would obtain a copy of the trucker’s personnel file from the trucking company. They would review it to determine if the driver was licensed to drive a truck, had medical conditions that affected their driving, or had a drug or alcohol problem. They would also inspect their driving record.
    • Trucking company records. The trucking company is also required to conduct a background check of truckers, properly maintain the truck, and test drivers for drugs and alcohol use. A lawyer would review the trucking company records to determine if the trucking company’s negligence also caused your truck collision.

    Were you injured in a truck accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Do you believe the trucker’s negligence caused it? Call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn how can investigate your claim and fight with the insurance company so that they fully compensate you in your settlement.

     

  • How much is my pedestrian accident claim worth?

    Man Driving His Car By a Busy Road With PedestriansYou may have many questions if you were injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver. If you are like many of our clients, one of your biggest worries may be about the value of your claim.

    Unfortunately, there is no set formula for valuing a pedestrian injury claim, and each case is unique. However, here’s what goes into determining a ballpark figure of how much you can expect to receive in your settlement with the insurance company.

    Compensation You Can Recover in a Pedestrian Collision Case

    The first thing that you need to determine to value your claim is how much compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law. You should keep in mind that you should receive your future damages as well as your past damages if you have not fully recovered from your injuries or have sustained a permanent injury.

    You are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity, property damages, and pain and suffering. While it can be easy to determine the cost of your medical treatment, prior lost wages, and property damages, it can be complicated to figure out your future damages and what you should recover for your pain and suffering without the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer.

    Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Claim

    The value of your claim is also affected by certain factors that make your case stronger or weaker. Here are the top factors that can have an impact on your claim’s value:

    • Your evidence. If you have strong evidence that proves the motorist’s negligence in causing your pedestrian accident and the seriousness of your injuries, this will strengthen your claim and increase its value.
    • Disputes with the insurance company. If you have disputes with the insurance company over who caused your collision or how serious your injuries are, this could weaken your case and force you to accept less in your settlement. However, this only applies if the insurance company has legitimate arguments about their liability to pay you and not made-up ones to deny your claim.
    • Your injuries. If your injuries are serious, you will have more medical expenses and lost wages. You will also experience more pain and suffering and a reduced quality of life. This can significantly increase the value of your case.

    Were you or a family member injured in a pedestrian accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Call our office or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn how our skilled car accident legal team can assist you in obtaining justice and the compensation you deserve.

     

  • Will I lose my health insurance when I file for divorce?

    Filing for divorce can be very stressful, especially if the divorce is contested. You will need to resolve complicated issues, such as how to divide property and debts, child custody, and child support.

    One ramification of your divorce that you do not want to overlook is its effect on your health insurance coverage. Because health insurance costs are expensive, this can be a difficult issue if you do not have your own insurance coverage through your employer.

    Health Insurance While Your Divorce Is Pending

    Health Insurance Paperwork and StethoscopeYou are entitled to continue with your current health insurance coverage while your divorce proceedings are pending. This is true whether you or your spouse filed for divorce.

    If your partner tries to cut off your health coverage, you can take action to force them to reinstate your coverage. Under Virginia law, the judge in your case can order that your current health insurance plan continue until your divorce is finalized.

    Your Options for Health Insurance After Your Divorce

    Once your divorce is finalized, your spouse would not be able to keep you on their health insurance policy, even if they wanted to. Unless the court orders them to pay the cost of your health insurance as part of an alimony award to you, you will need to purchase your own health insurance coverage. Your options include:

    • COBRA. Under COBRA laws, you have the right to keep your health insurance through your former spouse for 36 months if you pay for it. You would need to notify the administrator of the plan within 60 days of the finalization of your divorce.
    • Your employer’s health insurance. You could sign up for health insurance coverage through your employer if you have this benefit. A divorce is a triggering event that permits you to obtain health insurance benefits even if you are not in the open enrollment period.
    • Private insurance. If you do not have health insurance through your job and cannot afford to stay on your spouse’s policy under COBRA, you will need to purchase your own health insurance through a private company. You may be able to reduce the costs of your premiums through the Obamacare Marketplace.

    Are you considering filing for divorce in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our experienced family law lawyers are here to help. Fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free initial, no-obligation initial consultation today to learn about your options and to get your questions answered.

     

  • How soon should I see a doctor after a motorcycle accident?

    Scene of a Motorcycle and Car CollisionIf you were involved in a motorcycle accident, you need to be examined by a physician within 72 hours of your collision. You should do this even if you do not believe you were hurt. Here are three reasons why this is important for your health and for your claim for compensation from the negligent driver who caused your crash.

    #1: You Protect Your Health

    You could suffer serious injuries—even if you were in a minor rear-end collision. However, you may not realize you were hurt right away because the symptoms could take days or longer to develop. Common long-term injuries that may not be immediately obvious include:

    • Whiplash
    • Back injuries
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Soft tissue injuries
    • Traumatic brain injuries
    • Internal bleeding

    You protect your health and avoid a medical condition developing into a life-threatening emergency by seeing your doctor within 72 hours of your motorcycle accident.

    #2: You Strengthen Your Claim

    If you must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you want to do everything you can to build a winning case so that you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Getting prompt medical care is one way you can strengthen your claim. It will help you show the direct connection between your motorcycle crash and injuries and may make it easier to get the insurance adjuster to offer you a fair settlement.

    #3: You Avoid Disputes With the Insurance Company

    Even if the insurance company knows they are liable to compensate you, they may try to deny your claim or pay you less damages than you are entitled to for your injuries. You do not want to give them ammunition to dispute your claim.

    However, this is precisely what you would be doing if you delayed obtaining the medical care you need. Common arguments the insurance adjuster could raise are that your injuries were caused by another incident or are not as serious as you claim.

    Filing an insurance claim after a motorcycle crash can be complicated. You need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve. To learn about our track record of success in these cases and how we can help you, call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.

     

  • What are the most common causes of slip and fall accidents?

    You could suffer serious injuries, such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries, in a slip and fall accident at any time and place. If you are like many Woman Falling Down a Set of Stairsvictims, you might blame yourself for your fall.

    However, most slip and fall accidents are caused by dangerous conditions on the property. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident at a business or on private property, you need to know the common negligent actions that may have caused your injuries and may entitle you to compensation from the business or property owner.

    Leading Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

    In order to hold the owner responsible for compensating you for your injuries, you must prove that they knew, or should have known, about a dangerous condition on their property and failed to correct it. Common ways that a property owner or business causes slip and fall accidents include:

    • Wet surfaces and spills. Owners have a duty to clean wet surfaces, such as wet and icy entrances, sidewalks, parking lots, and spills on floors. When they fail to do so, an unsuspecting guest could slip and fall.
    • Defects in flooring. One of the most common causes of falls is when a property owner or business fails to maintain its flooring properly. Bulging and torn carpeting and cracked and uneven flooring can create a fall hazard if not repaired or replaced.
    • Debris and other hazards. Debris and trash left strewn on floors and electrical cords running along areas where people must walk can be an unsafe tripping hazard.
    • Inadequate lighting. When the lighting is poor in a parking lot or inside a building, it can be impossible for a victim to see a pothole, wet surface, dangerous handrail or stairs, or other hazards to avoid a fall.
    • Stairs. Stairways can become very dangerous if the stairs are broken and worn, or there are missing or loose handrails. An individual can suffer life-altering injuries in a fall on stairs.
    • Inadequate training. Business owners have a duty to train their employees on how to properly maintain the property and correct hazardous conditions when they arise. If they breach this duty, the dangerous conditions discussed above can be allowed to remain on the property and result in patrons being injured due to a fall.
    • Lack of warnings. If an owner cannot correct a hazardous condition immediately, they must post a warning to alert guests to avoid the danger. When they fail to do this, they can be responsible for compensating a victim who suffered injuries.

    How to Know If Your Injuries Were Caused by Negligence

    It can be difficult to determine if you fell at a business or someone’s property due to their negligence. You need the help of an experienced premises liability lawyer who can investigate the cause of your fall and collect the evidence you need to win your case. Fill out our convenient online form or call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.

     

  • What should I do if the insurance company denies my claim?

    You are entitled to compensation if you were injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent trucker. However, even if you have a strong case, the insurance company for the truck driver and trucking company could deny your claim. Fortunately, you have options to protect your right to damages for your injuries.

    Why the Insurance Company May Deny Your Claim

    Denied Paperwork in a Manilla EnvelopeThere are many reasons why an insurance company could deny your claim. Some are legitimate reasons, while others are just excuses to try not to pay you. Here are some top reasons:

    • Liability disputes. The insurance company could claim that you were partially or completely at fault in causing the truck accident or that another incident caused your injuries. They may raise these issues, even if they are not valid, in order to deny your claim or try to pay you less money in your settlement. This is the most common reason that victims’ claims are denied.
    • Policy exclusions. The insurance policy will have a number of exclusions of coverage. The insurance adjuster could claim that the trucker’s or trucking company’s actions fell within one of these exclusions and that the truck crash is not covered under their policy.
    • Lapsed coverage. If the trucker or trucking company did not pay their insurance premiums on time, the policy would have lapsed and not been in effect at the time of your truck collision.
    • Failure to notify. The insurance policy would have a provision that the company must be notified of your claim within a certain amount of time after the accident. If you, the trucking company, or the truck driver delayed notifying them of your claim, this could be a basis to deny liability to pay you.

    Steps to Take If Your Claim Is Denied

    You should not give up on obtaining the compensation you deserve if your claim is denied. The insurance company should send you a written notice of the denial that states why they are denying your claim. You should read the letter carefully. Then you should take these steps:

    • Hire a lawyer. If you have not already done so, you need to retain an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible to fight the denial of your claim.
    • Submit evidence. Your lawyer will conduct an investigation into the cause of your truck collision and into the issues raised by the insurance company to deny your claim. They will collect additional evidence to submit to the insurance company and may hire expert witnesses to help resolve any disputes so that your claim can be settled.
    • File a lawsuit. If the insurance company will not reverse its decision to deny your claim or refuses to offer you a fair settlement, your attorney will need to file a lawsuit and litigate your claim. You will most likely settle your case at some point in the litigation process.

    Do you need to file a claim following a truck accident? Did the insurance company deny your claim? Our dedicated truck accident lawyers will go up against the insurance company so that you obtain justice and the compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law. Fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about your options and how we can help you.

     

  • Should I represent myself in my car accident case?

    If you were injured in an auto collision caused by a negligent driver, you have the right to represent yourself when filing your claim with their insurance company. However, this does not mean it is a good idea. You will almost certainly obtain far less compensation if you do not retain an experienced car accident lawyer to negotiate your settlement.

    Five Reasons You Should Not Represent Yourself

    Woman Standing in a Court RoomYou would run the risk of making a mistake that weakens your case or being taken advantage of by the insurance adjuster if an attorney does not represent you. Here are five reasons you should not handle your own case:

    • Evidence. You will not understand the evidence you need to prove the other driver’s negligence, the seriousness of your injuries, and the damages you should recover. You must prove all these elements of your case if you want the insurance company to agree to a fair settlement of your claim.
    • Value of your claim. You do not have the experience to determine the amount of compensation you deserve from the negligent driver. You need the help of a lawyer who has a track record of success in settling and trying car accident cases to determine the amount of past and future medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity damages, and pain and suffering you should receive.
    • Negotiations. It takes skill to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company because their goal is to deny your claim or pay you less money than you deserve. You would not be able to anticipate the arguments they will make or have strategies to refute them. However, an attorney will know how to effectively handle disputes with the insurance adjuster.
    • Deadlines. You must file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to sue, and comply with other deadlines in your case. You could be precluded from obtaining any compensation if you miss a crucial deadline.
    • Litigation. If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, you will need to litigate your claim. You would be at a serious disadvantage if you tried to represent yourself in your lawsuit. You need the help of a lawyer licensed in Virginia who is not afraid to take your case to a jury trial if this is in your best interests.

    Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident in the Norfolk or Virginia Beach area? Our dedicated car accident legal team is here to answer your questions and go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve. Call our office or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.

     

  • What should I do if there is a warrant out for my arrest?

    In most cases, you would not know that there is a warrant for your arrest until the police come to arrest you. However, if you are a suspect in a criminal investigation, violated the terms of your probation, or missed a court hearing, you may expect that you will be arrested in the future. Here are the steps you need to take to protect yourself.

    Two Types of Warrants in Virginia

    Arrest Warrant Paperwork and HandcuffsThere are two types of warrants in Virginia. The first is an arrest warrant. A judge would sign it after the police collected enough evidence to charge you with committing a crime.

    The second type of warrant is a bench warrant, which a judge can issue if you violate the terms of probation, fail to comply with court orders, or miss a court hearing. It is also referred to as a capias warrant if you fail to appear in court. A bench warrant gives the police the authority to detain and arrest you.

    Steps to Take If There Is a Warrant for Your Arrest

    You need to take immediate actions to protect your legal rights when you discover that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. These are the first steps you should take:

    • Call a lawyer. You should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can advise you on what you should do and be present when the police interrogate you. They can also mount a defense for you—even if you are guilty—that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.
    • Arrange for bond. If you were arrested for a serious offense, you would most likely have to post bond in order to be released from jail. You will need to contact a bail bonds person to arrange for this.
    • Turn yourself in. After consulting with your lawyer, you will need to surrender to the police. It is important to do so in the correct jurisdiction so that you do not have to remain in jail for any longer than is necessary.
    • Remain silent. You should exercise your constitutional right to remain silent. Any statements you make to the police could be used against you. You should also not discuss your criminal case with a cellmate or on the telephone at the jail.

    Is there a warrant out for your arrest in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Call our Norfolk office or fill out our contact form to learn how our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys can help you achieve the best outcome in your case.

     

  • What is a parenting plan?

    It can be hard to take the step of filing for divorce, especially if you have children. Unfortunately, the stress and challenges you could experience may not end when your divorce is finalized. One way to make your divorce easier on your children is to develop a parenting plan with your spouse.

    Understanding What a Parenting Plan Is

    Parenting Plan Word Clouds in the Shape of Family MembersA parenting plan is a legal document that helps divorcing parents understand their joint responsibilities in parenting their children. The plan can detail how many issues will be handled in the future, such as custody, visitation, child support, other anticipated expenses, and how to resolve disputes. Having a parenting plan in place when you divorce can make parenting your children go smoother and reduce the costs of divorce and post-divorce proceedings.

    What to Consider When Creating a Parenting Plan

    You are not required to have a parenting plan in a divorce in Virginia. However, having one will make things easier for you, your kids, and your spouse. You and your partner will need to develop the plan together if you want it to work. Things you should consider when creating a parenting plan include:

    • Your child’s age. Your child’s needs will change as they grow older. There could be additional costs as they go through middle and high school. Their interests and activities could also change over time, which can affect a visitation schedule. It is important to deal with any known future changes and recognize that you may have to change your parenting plan in the future as your child grows older.
    • Where you and your spouse live. When creating your plan, you will also have to consider how far away your partner lives from you. If your spouse lives nearby, you will be able to split up your time with your child more equally. You will have to be more creative about a visitation schedule and how to pay for travel costs if you and your partner live far away from each other.
    • Holidays and special events. You will need to develop a schedule for seeing your child at their birthdays, holidays, and special events so that you and your spouse get an equal amount of time with your child during these important times in their life.
    • Flexibility. You may need to be flexible about changing your parenting plan in the future. It can help to spell out when and how modifications to the plan will be made to avoid disputes and the costs of fighting about the changes in court.

    Do you need to file a divorce in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Do you need help creating a parenting plan? Our experienced family law attorneys are here to explain your options and to make your divorce go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.

     

  • What happens if I reject the insurance company’s settlement offer?

    Man Ripping Up a Settlement OfferIf a trucker caused your truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the trucker and trucking company. However, the insurance company will most likely not offer you all the damages you deserve when you file your claim. Here is what you need to know about your options if you are not happy with their offer.

    Can You Reject a Settlement Offer?

    Yes, you have the right not to accept an offer to settle your claim if you do not believe it fairly compensates you for your injuries. It is very likely that the insurance company’s initial offer will be a low-ball offer to try to get you to accept a quick settlement of your claim for far less money than you are entitled to under Virginia law. They may make other offers that also do not sufficiently compensate you. You have the right to reject these offers too.

    What Happens After You Reject a Settlement Offer?

    You should never accept a settlement offer from the insurance company or sign a legal document without first consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney. A lawyer can advise you on your rights and the reasonableness of the insurance adjuster’s offer. If it is in your best interests to reject the offer, they can notify the insurance company of this. Here’s what else you can expect to happen:

    • Counteroffer. Your lawyer will put together a written counteroffer when rejecting the insurance adjuster’s offer. They will include a detailed explanation of the insurance company’s liability to pay you, the seriousness of your injuries, and how much compensation you are seeking. They may go through several rounds of negotiations, offers, and counteroffers before your claim is settled.
    • Collection of evidence. If the insurance company raises legitimate disputes about your claim, your lawyer may need to collect additional evidence or hire expert witnesses to help resolve these issues.
    • Litigation. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the deadline to sue, referred to as the statute of limitations, will expire soon, your attorney will file a civil lawsuit on your behalf. It is likely that settlement negotiations will result in a settlement at some point in the litigation process.

    Were you or a family member injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver? Call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation to learn about your options and how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

     

  • What should I do if the negligent driver lies to their insurance company?

    Woman Talking to a Police Officer After a WreckIf another driver was at fault in causing your car accident, they are responsible for compensating you for your injuries under Virginia law. However, they may lie to the insurance company to avoid liability for paying you. If you find yourself in this situation, take these steps to protect your rights and build a winning case.

    #1: Remain Calm

    If the motorist plans to lie to their insurance company, they will most likely begin by accusing you of causing the auto collision and by being dishonest when discussing the crash with the police. You should stay calm and avoid arguing with them. You will not change their mind.

    #2: Be Honest

    If you know the other driver is not being truthful, it is important that you be honest and concise when talking to the police and insurance adjuster. You should calmly explain what happened to the police when they interview you. Hopefully, they will also talk to witnesses who will corroborate how your accident really happened. Then, obtain a copy of the police report to provide to the insurance company.

    You should also be truthful and not exaggerate how the collision occurred or the severity of your injuries when talking to the other motorist’s insurance company. You should stick to the basic facts.

    #3: Collect Evidence

    You should begin obtaining evidence that will help you prove the other driver’s negligence at the accident scene. Important evidence to collect includes:

    • Photos and videos of the damage to the autos, weather and road conditions, and your injuries
    • Surveillance footage from nearby businesses
    • Witness contact information and statements
    • Police report

    #4: Retain a Lawyer

    You will have a harder time convincing the insurance company of their liability to pay you if their insured is lying about how your collision occurred. You should hire an experienced car accident lawyer immediately after the crash. They can collect all the evidence you need to win your case, take over communications with the insurance adjuster, and negotiate your settlement so that you obtain the damages you deserve.

    Were you or a family member hurt in a car accident that was not your fault? Is the other driver lying about how it happened? Fill out our online form to learn how we will fight for your right to compensation for your injuries.

     

  • When should I settle my motorcycle accident case?

    It can be very hard to decide when it is the best time to settle your motorcycle accident claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. You may want to resolve your claim quickly so that you receive your check if you have mounting medical bills and no income coming in to pay them. However, you do not want to accept significantly less compensation than you are entitled to. Here are some considerations that you should consider when making this important decision about your case.

    Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Settle Your Motorcycle Collision Claim

    Most motorcycle accident claims settle without the need to go to a jury trial, and yours will most likely be resolved before trial too. However, you should Motorcycle Wreck in the Middle of a Busy Roadnever settle your motorcycle collision case without first consulting with a motorcycle accident attorney who will be able to accurately value your claim and the strength of your case. They will weigh your options with you and help you make the best decision that meets your goals. Here are some of the factors you should consider whether it’s the right time to settle your case:

    • First offer. Is this the first offer by the insurance company? If it is, it is probably a low-ball settlement offer they are hoping you will accept to settle your claim quickly. It is best to wait until they offer a fairer settlement.
    • Your injuries. If you suffered serious injuries, which is common in motorcycle crashes, you should wait until you fully recover or learn your final prognosis if you will not make a complete recovery. This will ensure that all your future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering are including in your settlement. It could take months or longer to reach this stage in your medical treatment.
    • Value of your claim. If the value of your claim is higher, the insurance adjuster will fight harder to deny your claim or pay you less than you are entitled to save the insurance company money. This can make the process of settling your claim take longer.
    • Complexity of your case. If there are complex disputes that are delaying your settlement, your attorney could need to collect additional evidence, hire expert witnesses, and argue more with the insurance company before they agree to be reasonable. It could be best to wait out the process rather than accept an unfair offer.
    • Weaknesses in your case. If there are legitimate disputes in your case, your attorney may advise you to accept a quick settlement that does not fully compensate you. This may be a better choice than risking receiving no money if you go to trial.
    • Statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the deadline you have to file a lawsuit. If it expires soon, your lawyer will need to file a lawsuit for you. While your case will still most likely be settled, you may have to go through the litigation process before this happens.

    At Tavss Fletcher, we understand how a motorcycle accident can turn your life upside down and the challenges you face in fighting with the negligent driver’s insurance company. We’re here to help you build a strong claim for compensation and to make the best decisions in your case. Call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation to find out more about how we can assist you.