Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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  • Should I hire a Norfolk criminal defense lawyer if I believe I'm guilty?

    HIre a criminal defense lawyer even if you are guilty

    How Our Norfolk Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help You If You Believe You Are Guilty of a Virginia Criminal Offense 

    You may not believe there is anything you can do except accept your punishment if you think you're guilty of the crime you're accused of committing. However, not hiring a lawyer would be a big mistake. The experienced Norfolk criminal defense lawyers at Tavss Fletcher can help minimize the consequences you face—even if you're guilty.

    Facing criminal charges in Norfolk or Virginia Beach can be a very frightening experience, especially if you believe you are guilty. The consequences of a conviction can be severe, including harsh penalties such as fines, probation, and even imprisonment. However, you may be able to avoid these punishments and achieve the best possible outcome by hiring an experienced Norfolk criminal defense attorney.

    How Can a Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You If You Think You've Committed a Crime?

    Don't make the error of just pleading guilty and accepting your sentence if you believe you are guilty of the offense you're accused of committing. Hiring a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer at Tavss Fletcher can help you secure a much more favorable result in your criminal case and your life. Here are ways we can help you:

    • Understand the charges. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can explain the charges brought against you and the penalties you face if convicted. You must understand this to make informed decisions about your defense strategy.
    • Defend you. Even if you believe you are guilty, a defense attorney can identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution's case and the defenses you have. They may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence or raise violations of your constitutional rights, such as the failure to give you your Miranda warnings. This proactive approach aims to minimize the impact of the charges and, in some cases, lead to reduced penalties or even case dismissal.
    • Negotiate a plea bargain. Depending on your situation, it may be in your best interest to negotiate a plea bargain. Your criminal defense lawyer can engage with the prosecutor to secure a more lenient plea deal that reduces the charges to a less serious offense or the penalties you may face. 
    • Help you avoid a jail sentence. If incarceration is a potential consequence of your conviction, a skilled defense attorney can work to minimize or eliminate the jail or prison sentence. This may involve presenting alternative sentencing options, such as probation, community service, or rehabilitation programs. 

  • Can parents give custody of their child to grandparents in Virginia?

    Grandparent custody rights in Virginia

    When Grandparents Can Be Granted Custody of a Grandchild in Norfolk 

    If you are worried your grandchild is not adequately cared for, you may want to seek custody of them. You have limited rights to custody of grandchildren in Virginia. Let our experienced Norfolk family law lawyers at Tavss Fletcher help you assert your rights and obtain custody of your grandchild if this is in their best interests. 

    Grandparents can be awarded custody of a grandchild in limited circumstances in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. This legal process is not initiated by parents voluntarily granting custody but instead involves the court determining who should be granted custody and care of the child. 

    When Can a Grandparent Be Awarded Custody in Virginia?

    While parents cannot directly grant custody of their children to grandparents, the court has the authority to make such decisions. Under Virginia law, grandparents must show that they are a person with a legitimate interest in the care and custody of their grandchild to petition the court for custody of them. The judge must find that awarding custody is in the best interests of the child under Virginia Code § 20.124-3.

    What Are the Circumstances When Grandparents Can Be Awarded Custody of a Grandchild?

    In Virginia, there are specific circumstances under which the court can find that it is in the best interests of the child to award custody to their grandparents. Our experienced family law lawyers at Tavss Fletcher can help grandparents obtain custody of grandchildren in the following situations:

    • Unfitness of parents. When parents are deemed unfit due to issues such as substance abuse, neglect, or other factors that jeopardize the well-being of the child, grandparents can seek custody.
    • Prior divestiture order. In cases where a court has previously issued an order removing a child from the parent's home, grandparents may be awarded custody if it aligns with the child's best interests.
    • Voluntary relinquishment by parents. If parents voluntarily relinquish their parental rights or consent to grandparent custody, the court may consider this in determining that awarding custody to a grandparent is in the best interests of the grandchild.
    • Abandonment. Grandparents may seek custody if the child has been abandoned by the parents, demonstrating a lack of parental involvement and responsibility.
    • Special circumstances. The court may recognize special circumstances, such as the child having a significant bond with the grandparents, which could justify awarding custody in the best interests of the child.

  • Does my child have a claim if a dog was injured but did not bite them in Norfolk?

    Non-dog bite injury to childYour Child’s Rights to Compensation for Non-Bite Dog Injuries in Norfolk 

    Your child could suffer devastating injuries if they are attacked but not bitten by a dog in Norfolk or Virginia Beach. Consulting with an experienced Norfolk personal injury lawyer at Tavss Fletcher is crucial to understanding your child's options and what you need to do to pursue appropriate legal action for them.

    Not all injuries caused by dogs result from bites. If your child has suffered injuries in a dog attack in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, even if there was no actual biting involved, they may still have a claim for compensation against the dog owner and handlers. 

    Injuries Caused by a Norfolk Non-Bite Dog Attack

    Dog attacks can lead to various injuries, even in the absence of a bite. Dogs can knock down a child, maul them, or injure them in other ways. Understanding the potential harm your child may have experienced is essential in assessing their claim for compensation. Injuries they could suffer include the following:

    • Severe cuts, scratches, and abrasions
    • Broken bones
    • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
    • Traumatic brain injuries
    • Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
    • Anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions

    When Dog Owners and Dog Handlers Face Liability for a Non-Bite Dog Attack

    Under various Virginia laws, dog owners and handlers may be responsible for compensating your child for their injuries. Here are ways in which our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers can hold dog owners and handlers accountable for non-bite injuries caused by their dogs.

    Virginia's Dog Bite Law

    In Virginia, dog owners can be held strictly responsible for injuries caused by their dogs if they knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous or aggressive under Virginia's dog bite law. They can be liable for compensating victims for bite and non-bite injuries.


    Dog owners may be liable if they were negligent in controlling their dogs or failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent an attack. Negligence involves a breach of duty, such as allowing a known aggressive dog to roam freely. Dog handlers could also be held accountable for compensating a victim if their negligence in controlling a dog under their care resulted in non-bite injuries.

    Negligence Per Se

    If a dog owner or handler violates local leash laws or other regulations, it may establish negligence per se. This legal doctrine means that the owner or dog handler is presumed negligent because they violated a law designed to prevent the type of harm that occurred.

  • What are some common defenses raised by insurance companies after Norfolk truck accidents?

    Defenses used for truck accidentDefenses the Insurance Company Could Raise to Fight Your Claim for Compensation After a Norfolk Truck Accident 

    If you must file a claim for compensation for the injuries you suffered in a Virginia Beach or Norfolk truck collision, you need to be prepared for the insurance company to raise defenses to try to deny your claim or pay you less money. The experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyers at Tavss Fletcher can aggressively pursue your claim and have strategies we have successfully used to defeat the insurance adjuster's arguments.

    If you have been injured in a Norfolk or Virginia Beach truck accident, the value of your claim can be substantial, considering the severity of the injuries you could suffer and the potential damages you may be entitled to under Virginia law. When filing your claim, it is crucial to anticipate the common defenses that insurance companies representing the trucker and trucking company may raise. 

    Common Defenses Raised by Insurance Companies in Norfolk Truck Accident Claims

    The insurance company is a business, and they may raise whatever defenses they can to deny your claim or try to convince you to accept less compensation in your settlement. Here are common defenses we see insurance companies raising in truck collision cases.

    Your Fault

    The insurance companies may attempt to shift blame onto you, arguing that your actions, such as speeding, failing to signal, or distracted driving, contributed to the truck crash. They love to raise this defense because Virginia follows a harsh contributory negligence doctrine, which prohibits you from receiving compensation if you were at fault for causing the wreck.

    An experienced personal injury attorney can help you defeat this defense. They will gather evidence, such as witness statements, traffic camera footage, and accident reconstruction analysis, to demonstrate that the trucker's and trucking company's actions or negligence were the primary cause of the accident.

    Other Liable Party

    Insurance companies may try to attribute the accident to another party, such as a third driver, a shipper, or a truck maintenance facility. While many parties can share liability for a truck crash, the truck driver and trucking company are often the primary negligent parties.

    Exaggeration of Your Injuries

    The insurance companies may dispute the extent of your injuries, claiming they are not as severe as you allege. They may challenge medical reports, the necessity of your medical treatments, or the limitations your injury places on your ability to work.

    You can defeat these arguments by obtaining prompt medical care within 72 hours of the truck accident and following your doctor's advice on your treatment plan. In addition, your experienced truck accident lawyer can work with medical professionals to provide comprehensive documentation of your injuries, including diagnostic tests, treatment plans, and expert opinions. This evidence can establish a direct connection between the accident and the severity of your injuries.

  • Do stepparents have custody rights in Virginia?

    How Our Norfolk Family Law Lawyers Can Protect Your Rights to Visitation and Custody If You’re a Stepparent 

    The attorneys at Tavss Fletcher help individuals in Norfolk and Virginia Beach file for divorce and assist with other family law issues. If you are a stepparent, our experienced Norfolk family law lawyers can explain your options and will protect your rights to custody and visitation of your stepchildren. 

    Stepparent custody rights in VirginiaIf you are a stepparent in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you may wonder about your rights regarding custody and visitation of your stepchild if you are getting a divorce or are separating from your spouse. In Virginia, the rights of stepparents in custody matters are limited, but they can be pursued under specific circumstances. 

    Stepparents' Legal Rights in Virginia

    Stepparents do not have legal rights unless they have adopted a stepchild in Virginia. Unless you have legally adopted your stepchild, you do not have inherent rights to custody, visitation, or decision-making authority over the child. This means that in the absence of a formal adoption, you may not have access to the child or the right to be involved in decisions about their upbringing.

    Stepparents' Ability to Pursue Custody or Visitation Under Virginia Law

    Virginia considers stepparents to have a legitimate interest in a child's well-being. This recognition allows stepparents to petition the court for custody or visitation rights if the biological parent objects to this, provided they can prove that awarding such rights is in the best interests of the child under Virginia Code § 20.124.3.

    To establish their case, a stepparent must demonstrate that the child would be harmed if custody or visitation is not granted and that the stepparent has an ongoing, sincere relationship with the child. Our experienced Norfolk family law lawyers understand the factors the court will consider when making this determination and can help you present evidence showing that your request is in the best interests of your stepchildren. Here are the factors the court will weigh.

    • Length of relationship. The court will assess the duration and depth of your relationship with your stepchild.
    • Stepparent’s involvement. The court will consider how actively you have been involved in the child's life, especially in the absence of the biological parent.
    • Emotional and financial ties. If you can show that you have strong emotional ties with the child and provide for the child's financial support, this will help you convince a judge that you should be granted custody or visitation.
    • Shared activities. The court will consider your shared activities and interests with your stepchild, which can demonstrate the strength of your bond with them.
    • Harm to the child. You must establish the potential harm the child would suffer if custody or visitation is denied to persuade a judge to grant your petition. 

  • What types of compensation am I entitled to if I suffer a TBI in a slip and fall accident in Norfolk?

    Caution sign slip and fallLet Our Norfolk Premises Liability Lawyers Help You Obtain These Types of Compensation If You Suffered a TBI in a Slip and Fall Accident 

    Tavss Fletcher’s personal injury lawyers are dedicated to assisting Norfolk and Virginia Beach slip and fall accident victims to recover the compensation and justice they deserve for their injuries. Our experienced Norfolk premises liability lawyers are here to help you obtain the types of damages you are entitled to under Virginia law if a slip and fall accident caused your traumatic brain injury (TBI). 

    A TBI caused by a Norfolk or Virginia Beach slip and fall accident can result in devastating changes to your mobility, cognitive abilities, and overall quality of life. If your injury resulted from a property or business owner's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to help you cope with the long-term physical, emotional, and financial tolls a TBI can take. 

    Long-Term Symptoms of a TBI

    A jolt to the head or penetration of an object into the skull or brain can cause a traumatic brain injury. A TBI can have devastating, long-lasting consequences, affecting various aspects of your life. Some common long-term symptoms of a TBI include:

    • Memory loss
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Impaired decision-making abilities.
    • Coordination and mobility problems
    • Changes in personality, mood swings, anxiety, and depression
    • Speech problems
    • Reduced vision and hearing
    • Seizures.
    • Sleep disorders

    Compensation Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Recover for a TBI Caused by a Virginia Slip and Fall Accident

    When pursuing compensation for a TBI resulting from a slip and fall accident in Norfolk, you may be eligible for various types of compensation. The damages you might be able to recover will depend on how severe your TBI is, the liability of the property or business owner, and other factors. 

    Our experienced personal injury attorneys will determine how much your claim is worth and fight with the negligent property or business owner's insurance company so that you receive the past and future damages you are entitled to under Virginia law. Here are the types of compensation you may be able to recover in your settlement.

    Medical Expenses

    Compensation should cover all medical costs associated with your TBI, including hospitalization, surgery, doctor's appointments, medications, physical therapy, and mental health counseling. Our skilled personal injury lawyers understand that obtaining your future medical expenses is critical to ensure you can pay for the medical treatments you may need throughout your life.

    Lost Income

    If your TBI has prevented you from working, you can request compensation for your lost wages. You may also recover your lost earning capacity damages if your TBI will reduce your future income or you become permanently disabled. Our attorneys can work with an expert witness to determine how much you can seek for your future wage losses and lost earning capacity damages.

    Pain and Suffering 

    This compensation compensates you for the physical and emotional distress you endured and will continue to experience due to your injury. You need the assistance of a knowledgeable Norfolk personal injury lawyer to value your pain and suffering damages.

    Property Damages

    If personal property, such as glasses or electronic devices, was damaged during the fall, you may deserve compensation for their repair or replacement costs.

    Home Modifications

    If your TBI symptoms necessitate home modifications, such as ramps or assistive devices, you can seek reimbursement to cover these costs.

    Long-Term Care Costs

    You may need ongoing medical care or assistance with daily living activities if your TBI symptoms are severe. Our Norfolk personal injury lawyers will aggressively fight with the insurance company to ensure you are compensated for these expenses.

  • What should I do if the truck driver lies about how my Norfolk truck accident happened?

    What to Do If Trucker Lies About AccidentIt can be very frustrating and challenging to be involved in a truck crash in Norfolk or Virginia Beach when the truck driver provides false information about how the truck accident occurred. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. 

    Our experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyers at Tavss Fletcher share tips on the steps you need to take to protect your right to compensation for your injuries. We also encourage you to contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation to learn how we can assist you in pursuing your claim with the insurance company. 

    Why a Trucker Might Lie About How a Norfolk Truck Collision Occurred

    Truck drivers may lie about the cause of a collision for various reasons to protect themselves. Here is why they may be untruthful.

    Avoiding Legal Consequences 

    If the truck driver's actions directly contributed to the accident, they might lie to avoid legal repercussions, such as fines, penalties, suspension of their CDL license, or losing their job. They may be worried about being arrested if they tell the truth and are intoxicated.

    Protecting Their Employer

    Trucking companies can be held responsible for compensating victims for truck accidents caused by their truckers. In some cases, a trucker might lie to shield their employer from legal liability.

    Insurance Concerns

    Admitting fault could lead to increased insurance premiums or jeopardize the trucker's driver's future insurability, which can be a significant motivator to provide a false account of the truck wreck.

    Steps to Take if the Truck Driver is Lying

    If you suspect that the truck driver is lying about how the truck accident occurred, you must take steps to protect your rights and prove that their negligence caused the collision. Here are immediate steps to take.

    Remain Calm

    Do not confront the trucker or argue with them if they lie at the scene about how your truck crash occurred. Calmly get the contact information for the trucking company, the insurance company, and them.

    Gather Evidence

    Collect evidence at the truck accident scene to help you prove how the truck wreck happened. Take photographs to document the accident scene, damage to vehicles, and any visible road conditions. Also, seek out eyewitnesses and obtain their contact information to corroborate your version of events.

    Police Report

    Call the police right after the truck accident and obtain a copy of the police report. It will provide helpful information, such as the following:

    • Date, time, and place of the collision,
    • Narration of how the truck crash occurred,
    • Law enforcement officer's conclusions as to who caused it
    • Any traffic tickets issued

    Stay Truthful

    Be honest and consistent when discussing the truck accident with police officers, insurance adjusters, doctors, your lawyer, or anyone else.

    Retain an Attorney

    Contact a skilled truck accident attorney in Norfolk as soon as possible. They will investigate the collision's cause and gather evidence and witnesses to support your case. They will also send the trucking company a spoliation letter informing them not to destroy or tamper with evidence you may need to prove your claim. Your lawyer will also fight with the insurance company so that you receive the maximum damages you are entitled to in your settlement.

  • Is it worth it to sue an uninsured driver who caused a car accident in Norfolk?

    Suing a Negligent Uninsured DriverVirginia is one of the few states that does not require drivers to carry the minimum liability auto insurance coverage if they pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee. If you were injured in a car collision caused by an uninsured driver in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you may be very worried about whether you will be compensated for your injuries. 

    However, it is important to remember that you may still be able to pursue your right to damages. Consulting with an experienced Norfolk car accident lawyer at Tavss Fletcher is crucial to understanding your options and determining whether suing an uninsured driver is worth the effort and litigation costs.

    Can You Sue an Uninsured Motorist Who Caused Your Norfolk Car Collision?

    Legally, you have the right to sue an uninsured motorist who caused your car accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach. However, before proceeding, it is essential to consider whether it is worth filing a lawsuit against them. 

    Uninsured drivers often lack liability auto insurance coverage because they cannot afford it. If they cannot pay for insurance, it may also mean they have limited assets to pay you. Suing an individual without assets can lead to difficulties in collecting compensation, even if you win the case. In addition, you will incur litigation costs when you file your lawsuit.

    What Are Other Options to Recover Your Damages If an At-Fault Driver is Uninsured?

    While suing an uninsured driver is one option, alternative avenues exist to recover the compensation you deserve if the at-fault driver lacks insurance. Consider the following options:

    Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage

    Under Virginia law, you are required to purchase uninsured motorist personal injury and property damage coverage as part of your auto insurance coverage. You must purchase a minimum of $25,000 per injury person and $50,000 per collision in uninsured and underinsured motorist personal injury coverage and $20,000 in property damage uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. You can file a claim under this coverage if the negligent driver had no insurance or insufficient coverage to compensate you fully.

    If you purchased other optional insurance coverages, you may have additional options for filing a claim under your auto insurance policy. Coverages you may have include:

    • Collision 
    • Comprehensive 
    • Medical payments (MedPay)
    • Lost income

    Another Negligent Driver

    If you were involved in a multi-vehicle wreck, multiple parties may be at fault for the accident. If another negligent driver contributed to the collision, you could pursue a claim against them to recover damages.

    Other Parties 

    Depending on the circumstances of the car accident, other parties may be partially or entirely responsible for the collision. This could include a defective vehicle part manufacturer, a negligent repair facility, or a governmental agency responsible for road maintenance. In such cases, you may be able to seek compensation from these parties.

  • Can I be charged with reckless driving for failing to use my turn signal in Norfolk?

    Failing to Use Turn Signal ChargeBasic traffic laws dictate that drivers must use their turn signals when making turns and in other situations on Virginia Beach and Norfolk roads. Unfortunately, failing to follow this traffic law in Virginia can lead to a reckless driving charge. 

    In our commonwealth, reckless driving is a serious offense with severe consequences, far more significant than a simple traffic ticket. Our experienced Norfolk traffic ticket attorneys at Tavss Fletcher are here to help you mount an aggressive defense if you have been arrested for this criminal offense.

    When Can You Be Charged With Reckless Driving for Not Using a Turn Signal in Norfolk?

    Under Virginia traffic laws, you are required to use your turn signal in the following situations:

    • Turning or partially turning your vehicle
    • Slowing down
    • Stopping
    • Backing up

    Virginia Code §46.2-860 provides that you can be guilty of reckless driving when you fail to use a turn signal when turning, partially turning, slowing down, or stopping. In addition, you are required to give adequate and timely signals of your intent to partially or completely turn, slow your vehicle, or stop it.

    What Are the Penalties You Face If Charged With Reckless Driving for Not Using a Turn Signal?

    Reckless driving for not using a turn signal is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. If you are convicted of this offense, you could face the following penalties.

    Jail Time

    You could be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail for a first-offense reckless driving conviction. Your incarnation could be longer if this is a second or subsequent offense.


    The court may order you to pay fines of up to $2,500. This penalty could be instead of or in addition to a jail sentence.

    Driver's License Suspension

    In addition, your driver's license could be suspended for up to six months.

    Points on Your Driving Record 

    Reckless driving convictions in Virginia result in six demerit points on your driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to additional consequences, including mandatory driver improvement courses or a license suspension.

    Insurance Premium Increases

    A reckless driving conviction can significantly increase your auto insurance premiums, potentially costing you thousands of dollars over time.

    Criminal Record 

    A reckless driving conviction is a criminal offense, and it will result in a permanent criminal record. This can impact your employment prospects, education, loans, and more.

  • Should I sell my house during my Norfolk divorce?

    Selling House in VA DivorceDeciding what to do with your house when going through a divorce in Virginia Beach or Norfolk can be a challenging and emotionally charged decision. Your marital home is often more than just a property. It is a place filled with memories and shared experiences. 

    However, making informed choices about your real estate assets during divorce proceedings is essential to secure your financial future. Our experienced Norfolk family law attorneys at Tavss Fletcher can help explain your options and guide you in making the right choice for your unique situation.

    Options for Dealing with Your Marital Home in a Norfolk Divorce

    In a Virginia divorce, the fate of your marital home is a significant consideration. Since a marital home is considered marital property, it is subject to equitable distribution, meaning it must be divided fairly. However, that does not necessarily mean it will be distributed equally. Here are some options you have when it comes to handling your marital home.

    Buy Out Your Spouse

    If you have the financial means and desire to remain in the marital home, you can buy out your spouse's share of the property. This typically involves refinancing the mortgage to remove your spouse's name and paying them their share of the home's equity.

    If you are pursuing this choice, you need to have the home appraised to determine its current value accurately. Our knowledgeable family law attorneys can help you negotiate a fair buyout amount with your spouse.

    Sell the Home

    Selling the marital home is a common option, especially when neither spouse wishes to keep it or when selling is the most practical solution to divide the assets. If you co-own your house, you and your partner must agree on the sale of the home.

    The proceeds from the sale are typically split between the spouses based on the agreed-upon distribution formula or court order. This distribution aims to ensure an equitable division of marital assets.

    Co-Own the Residence

    In some cases, divorcing couples choose to continue co-owning the marital home. This decision is often made for the children's sake or due to financial constraints.

    This arrangement can be complex, as it involves determining each party's responsibilities for mortgage payments, property maintenance, and other costs and how to handle a potential future property sale. It is essential to have a clear and detailed co-ownership agreement in place to address these issues in your judgment of divorce.

  • Does it matter if I was hit by a truck rather than a car in a motorcycle accident in Norfolk?

    Virginia Motorcycle AccidentYes, it matters if you were struck by a truck and not a car when riding your motorcycle in Virginia Beach or Norfolk. Motorcycle accidents involving trucks are often more serious and complex than those involving cars. 

    If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash caused by a truck driver, it is essential to speak with an experienced Norfolk motorcycle accident lawyer who also represents truck accident victims. At Tavss Fletcher, our dedicated attorneys handle both types of claims and understand the unique complexities of your claim.

    How Motorcycle Collisions Claims Involving Trucks Differ From Crashes Involving Cars

    If a negligent truck driver caused your motorcycle wreck, you must know how your claim is different than if you were struck by an automobile. Here are crucial differences in these cases that could affect your settlement.

    More Serious Injuries

    Motorcycle accidents with trucks often result in more severe injuries than those involving cars due to the sheer size and weight disparity between motorcycles and trucks. The force of impact from a truck can cause devastating injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, and limb amputations.

    More Liable Parties

    Truck accidents typically involve multiple liable parties, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, and possibly other third parties like maintenance or loading contractors. This can make your claim more complex, but it also means that you may be able to recover compensation from multiple sources.

    Federal Regulations

    Truck drivers are subject to a different set of regulations than car drivers. The trucking industry must follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA ) regulations. Violations of these regulations, such as those related to trucker hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and cargo securement, can significantly determine liability.

    Higher Settlements

    Due to the increased severity of injuries and the potential for multiple liable parties, settlements in motorcycle accidents involving trucks tend to be higher than those involving cars. You may be entitled to compensation that may cover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damages.

  • Should I go to the doctor if I was bitten by a dog in Norfolk?

    Dog bite injuryIt is important to seek immediate medical attention within 72 hours of a dog bite in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, as you may have suffered a serious injury without realizing it. This will protect your health and your claim for compensation under Virginia’s dog bite laws. You should also contact the experienced Norfolk premises liability attorneys at Tavss Fletcher to discuss your options. 

    Warning Signs You Should See a Doctor

    While a physician should always examine you after suffering a dog bite, there are warning signs that you should seek medical care immediately. Watch out for the following warning signs that indicate the need for medical attention:

    Deep or Puncture Wounds

    If the dog bite has caused deep puncture wounds, it may have damaged muscles, nerves, or blood vessels beneath the skin. This is also a sign of an infection.

    Bleeding That Does Not Stop

    If the bleeding from the dog bite wound persists despite applying pressure, it requires immediate medical attention to prevent infection and control bleeding. You may also need stitches.

    Signs of Infection 

    Look out for redness, swelling, warmth, or discharge from the wound. These are signs of a possible infection.

    Fever or Chills

    If you develop a fever or experience chills after a dog bite, it could be a sign that an infection is spreading through your body. You may have also suffered internal bleeding or organ damage.

    Symptoms Do Not Improve

    If your symptoms do not get better, seek medical treatment right away. You could have suffered a more serious injury than you think. Do not wait until your symptoms become an emergency.

    Signs of a TBI

    If your head struck the ground when the dog attacked you, you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI symptoms include dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, confusion, memory loss, and trouble concentrating.

    How Seeing a Doctor Can Strengthen Your Norfolk Dog Bite Claim

    Seeking medical attention right after a dog bite is essential for your health and can significantly impact your claim for compensation for your injuries. Here are several reasons why seeing a doctor is crucial for the success of your case.

    Documenting Your Injuries 

    Prompt medical care provides crucial evidence of the severity of your injuries and the treatments you need, which can be used to support your claim. Proving that you suffered severe injuries is essential to obtaining the maximum recovery in your settlement. 

    Establishing Causation 

    Obtaining medical care within 72 hours of your dog bite will help you establish a direct link between the dog bite and your injuries. Showing this will make it easier to prove the dog owner’s liability to compensate you.

    Avoiding Disputes

    Having medical documentation that you were examined by a physician immediately, have followed your doctor’s advice on your treatment plan, and have no gaps in your medical care can prevent arguments with the insurance company over the cause of your injuries and their severity. This will strengthen your position during negotiations with the insurance adjuster and help you receive a fair settlement.

  • Why are truck accidents more dangerous than car collisions in Norfolk?

    Car and Truck Accident Truck accidents can lead to far more devastating injuries and fatalities than car crashes in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. If you have been injured in a truck wreck in Virginia, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering. The experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyers at Tavss Fletcher are here to explain your legal rights and fight for the damages you deserve.

    Four Reasons Truck Collisions Are More Dangerous Than Auto Wrecks

    Due to several significant factors, truck accidents are inherently more perilous than auto crashes. A victim’s injuries could be more severe, and the value of their claim may be worth more than a car accident case. Here are some reasons truck wrecks are more dangerous.

    Reason #1: Size and Weight

    A commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, while an average car weighs around 4,000 pounds. This stark difference in size and weight means that the truck's momentum can cause catastrophic injuries or death in a collision. The structural integrity of a passenger car is no match for the sheer force of a truck, making these accidents far more dangerous.

    Reason #2: Strict Deadlines

    Truck drivers often face intense pressure to deliver their loads under strict deadlines. Whether transporting goods across the country or within Virginia, these deadlines can lead to unsafe driving practices. Truck drivers may drive when fatigued to stay on schedule and often violate federal hours of service regulations on taking rest breaks.

    Drowsy driving can impair a truck driver's reaction time and decision-making abilities, increasing the likelihood of accidents. In contrast, most car drivers are not subjected to the same demanding schedules, reducing the risk of fatigue-related collisions.

    Reason #3: Dangerous Cargo

    Trucks frequently carry hazardous cargo, including flammable materials, chemicals, and heavy machinery. The consequences can be catastrophic if a trucking company or driver fails to follow strict safety regulations. Chemical spills, explosions, or the release of toxic fumes can endanger the victims directly involved in the accident and nearby residents and motorists.

    Reason #4: Limited Maneuverability

    Trucks have limited maneuverability compared to passenger cars. Due to their weight and size, they require more time and distance to come to a complete stop. This limitation can lead to rear-end collisions when a truck driver cannot react in time to a sudden stop or slow-moving traffic.

    Additionally, trucks have wider turning radii, making them more prone to wrecks when negotiating tight turns or navigating congested urban areas. This reduced maneuverability can result in collisions with nearby autos, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

  • Can you sue the insurance company directly after a Norfolk car accident?

    Navigating the aftermath of a car accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach and seeking compensation for your injuries can be a confusing experience, especially if you've never been in such a situation before. You may wonder whether you file your civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver or their insurance company. Our experienced Norfolk car accident lawyers at Tavss Fletcher are here to guide you through the process, explaining your options and helping you obtain the damages you rightfully deserve under Virginia law.

    Your First Step: Filing a Claim With the Negligent Driver's Insurance Company

    Car Accident LawsuitAfter an auto crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, your first step is to file a claim with the at-fault motorist's insurance company. Filing a claim is different from filing a complaint in court. 

    While you can initiate this process independently, retaining an auto crash attorney to represent your interests is highly advisable. Insurance companies often employ tactics to deny claims and minimize payouts. Having a lawyer represent you can level the playing field and help you obtain the settlement you deserve.

    Who You Sue If You Must File a Lawsuit in a Norfolk Car Collision Case

    If negotiations with the insurance company are unsuccessful, your next step is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, not their insurance company. When you file a civil complaint against the at-fault driver, their insurance company will typically step in to defend them. This means that even though you're suing the driver, the insurance company retains a lawyer and handles the legal proceedings on their behalf.

    Reasons You May Have to Litigate Your Claim

    While most car accident cases are settled during the insurance claims process, there are situations where filing a lawsuit becomes necessary. Here are two common reasons.

    Insurance Company Refuses to Be Reasonable

    If the insurance company denies your claim or offers an unreasonably low settlement that does not fairly compensate you for your injuries and losses, filing a lawsuit may be your best option. Even after starting the litigation process, you will still likely settle your claim before it goes to a jury trial. Many car wreck cases are resolved through negotiated settlements while they are being litigated in Virginia.

    Statute of Limitations Will Expire 

    Virginia has a statute of limitations that imposes a two-year deadline from the car accident date for filing a lawsuit. If this deadline is approaching and negotiations with the insurance company are still ongoing, filing a complaint against the driver may be necessary to protect your right to seek compensation for your injuries.

  • What happens if the police didn't give me my Miranda warnings when stopping me for DUI in Norfolk?

    Miranda Rights After DUIWe have all seen the police telling people of their Miranda rights on TV, but what happens if the police didn't give you your Miranda warnings when you were arrested for DUI in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? What occurs if they were given to you too late in your traffic stop? 

    These are critical questions, and your rights may have been violated if the police did not give you these warnings in a timely fashion. If you are facing DUI charges, you should consult with an experienced Norfolk traffic law lawyer at Tavss Fletcher who can advise you if your rights were violated and what defenses may be available to you.

    What Are Miranda Warnings?

    Miranda warnings are vital to the criminal justice system and are designed to protect your Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. When a police officer arrests you, they must inform you of your Miranda rights. These rights include:

    Right to Remain Silent 

    You have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions law enforcement officials ask you.

    Right to an Attorney 

    You have the right to a criminal defense attorney. If you cannot afford one, a lawyer will be provided at no cost to you.

    Your Statements

    The warning that anything you say can and will be used against you in court.

    When Must the Police Inform You of Your Miranda Rights?

    The police must provide you with Miranda warnings when you are in custodial interrogation. You would be considered in custodial interrogation if you are in police custody and being interrogated. Being in custody means you are not free to leave. Before questioning you when placing you in custody, the police must tell you of your Miranda rights.

    What Happens if the Police Don't Give You Your Miranda Warnings?

    If the police did not provide you with Miranda warnings during a DUI arrest in Virginia, any statements you made during custodial interrogation without being properly Mirandized may not be admissible in court. This means the prosecution cannot use these statements or a confession as evidence against you during the trial.

    However, it is important to note that the failure to give you your Miranda warnings does not affect the admissibility of physical evidence or observations made by the police officer during the DUI stop. If the police have other valid evidence, such as field sobriety tests, blood alcohol content  results, or dashcam footage, it can still be used against you.

  • Who pays my ambulance bill after a slip and fall accident in Norfolk?

    Cost of Ambulance after a Slip and Fall AccidentIf you suffered a serious injury in a slip and fall accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you may need to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Ambulance bills can be substantial, adding financial stress to an already challenging situation. Our experienced Norfolk premises liability lawyers at Tavss Fletcher are here to provide guidance on your options for paying these bills and seeking compensation if a negligent property or business owner caused your slip and fall.

    Who is Responsible for Paying an Ambulance Bill After a Norfolk Slip and Fall Accident?

    After a slip and fall accident, the obligation to pay the ambulance bill typically falls on the negligent property or business owner. If your fall occurred due to hazardous conditions on their premises, they may be legally obligated to reimburse you for the costs associated with your injuries, including ambulance transportation. 

    However, you most likely will not receive this payment directly from the property owner. Their insurance company would pay it in the settlement of your claim.

    Can You Wait to Pay an Ambulance Bill Until Your Claim Is Over?

    Settling your slip and fall accident claim could take a long time. While you can technically wait until your claim is resolved to pay the ambulance bill, it is essential to recognize that the ambulance service provider is not obligated to wait to be paid. If you delay payment, you risk having your account referred to a collection agency, and in some cases, you could even be sued for non-payment.

    To avoid these consequences, consider the following options for paying the ambulance bill while your claim is ongoing:

    Health Insurance Coverage

    If you have health insurance, it may cover ambulance transportation costs. Contact your insurance provider to find out whether the bill can be submitted to them. Keep in mind that you may need to pay a deductible or co-pay, but this can alleviate immediate financial strain.

    Payment Plan 

    Reach out to the ambulance service provider to discuss the possibility of setting up a reasonable payment plan. They may be willing to work with you on a schedule that fits your financial situation.

    Medical Lien 

    Some medical providers, including ambulance services, might agree to place a lien on your potential settlement and wait to receive payment from the settlement proceeds rather than demanding immediate payment.

  • Are trucking companies and truckers in Norfolk regulated by the Federal government?

    Truck accident regulationsTrucking companies and truck drivers play a vital role in transporting goods across Norfolk and beyond, keeping the economy moving. However, with their massive size and weight, commercial trucks can pose significant risks on the road. 

    To ensure safety and prevent truck crashes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations governing many aspects of the trucking industry. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, an experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyer at Tavss Fletcher can determine if violations of these federal regulations contributed to the crash and work towards securing the compensation you deserve.

    Common FMCSA Regulation Violations Leading to Truck Collisions in Norfolk

    The FMCSA enforces various regulations to ensure commercial trucks operate safely and prevent tragic wrecks that cause victims to suffer devastating injuries or be killed. Some common violations of these regulations that often lead to truck crashes include:

    Hours of Service Violations 

    Truck drivers should comply with hours of service regulations limiting their driving hours to prevent trucker fatigue. Violations of these rules can lead to drowsy driving and reduced reaction times, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

    Distracted Driving 

    The FMCSA prohibits truckers from using handheld mobile devices while driving. Truck drivers engaged in texting, talking, or other forms of distracted driving can lose focus on the road and cause serious accidents.

    Lack of Proper Maintenance

    Trucking companies must follow FMCSA rules on maintaining their trucks in safe operating conditions. Failure to perform regular inspections and necessary maintenance can result in truck crashes if mechanical failures occur while the trucker is on the road.

    Inadequate Training 

    Truck drivers are expected to have proper training and qualifications to operate commercial vehicles. Inadequately trained drivers may struggle to handle unexpected situations, leading to collisions.

    Driving Under the Influence 

    FMCSA regulations prohibit truck drivers from driving when intoxicated and establish strict alcohol and drug testing requirements for commercial drivers. Driving drunk or high on drugs can impair a driver's judgment, vision, and response time, resulting in a dangerous drunk driving collision.

    Negligent Hiring 

    Trucking companies must follow federal rules to hire qualified and safe drivers. Negligent hiring practices that lead to employing drivers with poor driving records or insufficient qualifications can contribute to accidents.

    Log Books 

    Truck drivers are required to accurately record their driving hours in a logbook to ensure compliance with hours of service regulations. Unfortunately, some truckers falsify or fail to maintain these records when driving more hours than permitted, often with the encouragement of the trucking company.

  • Do I need to purchase uninsured or underinsured auto insurance in Norfolk?

    Uninsured Motorist AccidentVirginia law does not mandate the purchase of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. However, this additional protection could prove invaluable if you are injured in an auto crash in Norfolk or Virginia Beach that a negligent driver caused, and the driver has insufficient or no car insurance. 

    Unfortunately, filing a claim under one of these coverages with your insurance company can be complex. Having an experienced Norfolk car accident lawyer at Tavss Fletcher represent you can ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

    What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Insurance in Virginia? 

    Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance is optional car insurance coverage that offers protection when the at-fault driver in an accident either lacks insurance coverage or has inadequate insurance limits to compensate you fully for your losses. In such cases, your insurance policy will provide coverage up to the limits you have chosen for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

    What Are Uninsured and Underinsured Insurance Benefits After a Norfolk Car Collision?

    If you buy uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have an added layer of protection if you are in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Here are ways this insurance can help you:

    Coverage for Medical Expenses

    If you sustain injuries in an auto crash caused by a motorist with no or insufficient liability insurance, this coverage can help pay for your medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgeries, medications, and ongoing treatment, up to your policy limits.

    Compensation for Lost Wages

    If your auto wreck injuries prevent you from working, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can reimburse you for the wages you lose during your recovery period.

    Protection in Hit-and-Run Collisions

    In a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault driver cannot be identified or located, this coverage can provide a financial safety net, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

    Additional Compensation

    If the negligent driver's insurance is insufficient to cover all your damages, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can step in to bridge the gap and provide the compensation you need.

    Coverage for Passengers

    Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage may cover the passengers in your vehicle, ensuring their protection as well.

  • Should I accept a plea agreement to reduce my reckless driving charges in Norfolk?

    Plea bargain for reckless drivingFacing reckless driving charges in Norfolk or Virginia Beach can be an overwhelming experience. Reckless driving is not a traffic ticket. An individual would be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor and face severe penalties in our state. 

    One of the most critical decisions you will most likely have to make in your criminal case is whether to accept a plea bargain. Our experienced Norfolk traffic ticket lawyers at Tavss Fletcher are here to raise your defenses and help you weigh your options carefully if the prosecutor offers a plea agreement. 

    Benefits of Accepting a Plea Bargain

    Most reckless driving cases in Norfolk and Virginia Beach are resolved through a plea agreement. Here are the benefits of this option.

    Reduced Penalties 

    Accepting a plea bargain often reduces penalties compared to a conviction on the original charges. The agreement may involve pleading guilty to a lesser offense, such as a traffic violation or a reduced misdemeanor charge, which can significantly mitigate your consequences.

    Certainty and Closure

    Accepting a plea bargain can bring closure to your case and avoid a potentially lengthy and uncertain trial. Entering into a plea agreement can relieve the stress and anxiety of being prosecuted and allow you to move forward with your life more quickly.

    Mitigation of Collateral Consequences 

    Reckless driving convictions can have long-term consequences beyond fines and potential jail time. These may include a driver’s license suspension, higher insurance premiums, and demerit points added to your driving record. Accepting a plea bargain may help minimize these collateral consequences.

    Lower Costs

    You will save money if you do not have to pay more expensive attorney fees. The cost would increase significantly if you took your case to a trial.

    Drawbacks of Agreeing to a Plea Bargain

    Every reckless driving case is unique, and accepting a plea agreement may not be in your best interests. Here are some cons of entering into one.

    Admitting Guilt 

    Accepting a plea bargain requires you to plead guilty to a lesser offense. It is essential to consider the punishments you face when making your decision.

    Waiving Defenses 

    By accepting a plea bargain, you forego the opportunity to present a robust defense in court. If you believe the charges can be successfully challenged, you might consider going to trial to present your arguments and evidence.

    Having a Criminal Record 

    While a plea bargain may offer immediate benefits, assessing the potential long-term consequences is crucial. You would have a permanent criminal record, which may impact future employment prospects, professional licenses, and other aspects of your life.

  • When can a homeowner be liable for a swimming pool accident in Virginia?

    Homeowner liability for swimming poolsSwimming pool accidents at residences in Norfolk and Virginia Beach can result in life-altering injuries or fatalities, with the victims often being children. Homeowners could face liability if their negligence caused the individual's injuries or death. If you or a family has been injured in a swimming pool accident, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Norfolk premises liability attorney at Tavss Fletcher who can assist you in pursuing a claim for compensation from the property owner.

    The Duties of Homeowners to Maintain Their Pools Under Local Ordinances

    Homeowners in Virginia have specific duties and responsibilities to maintain their swimming pools to avoid tragic accidents and drownings. While no Virginia law specifies the actions property owners must take, local ordinances often require homeowners to take specific measures to ensure the safety of their pool area. This may include the following:

    • Installing and maintaining proper fencing around the pool area.
    • Using self-closing and self-latching gates with locks to restrict access to the pool.
    • Posting clear warning signs indicating the presence of a pool.
    • Following safety guidelines for pool equipment, such as maintaining proper water quality and ensuring the pool is free from hazards.

    Failing to comply with these ordinances can significantly impact a homeowner's liability in the event of a swimming pool accident.

    Leading Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents at Homes in Norfolk and Virginia Beach

    Several factors other than the failure to comply with local safety ordinances can cause swimming pool accidents at homes. Understanding these causes can help shed light on the pool owner's potential liability. Here are some common causes:

    Lack of Supervision 

    Inadequate supervision is a leading cause of swimming pool accidents. If a homeowner fails to provide adequate supervision or allows unsupervised access to the pool, they may be liable for resulting injuries or drownings.

    Poor Maintenance 

    Neglecting to maintain the pool properly, such as failing to clean debris, repair broken equipment, or address hazardous conditions, can create dangerous situations. This can increase the risk of swimming pool accidents.

    Defective Pool Equipment

    If a swimming pool accident occurs due to a defective pool ladder, drain cover, diving board, or other equipment, the homeowner may be liable if they fail to address known defects or properly maintain the equipment. When the defect is caused by a design or manufacturing defect, the victim may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

    Inadequate Pool Design 

    Poorly Designed Pools, such as those with steep slopes, inadequate depth markers, or insufficient barriers, can increase the risk of swimming pool slip and fall and other tragic accidents. Homeowners may be held liable if a guest suffers injuries.

    Duties of Homeowners to Protect Children From an Attractive Nuisance

    Under Virginia law, swimming pools are considered an attractive nuisance, particularly for young children. Homeowners have a heightened duty to take precautions and protect children from potential harm. The following factors are considered in determining liability:

    • Whether the homeowner knew or should have known that children could access the pool area.
    • Whether the homeowner could reasonably foresee that the pool could cause injury or attract children.
    • Whether the child who entered the property was not old enough to understand the danger
    • Whether the homeowner took reasonable steps to prevent children from accessing the pool, such as installing proper fencing, locks, or pool covers.