Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek
- Page 1
What happens if the police didn't give me my Miranda warnings when stopping me for DUI in Norfolk?
We 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.
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?
If 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.
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.
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?
Trucking 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Virginia 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.
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?
Facing 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Swimming 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.
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.
Who is liable if a dog bites you at a dog park in Virginia?
Dog parks are popular in Norfolk and Virginia Beach and allow dogs to roam and interact with other canines freely without the constraints of a leash. However, dog attacks can occur at a dog park, severely injuring victims.
If a dog has bitten you at a dog park, it is crucial to seek legal assistance from an experienced Norfolk premises liability lawyer at Tavss Fletcher. We can help you prove the owner’s or dog handler’s liability to compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity damages, and pain and suffering.
Liability for a Dog Bite at a Norfolk Dog Park
Determining liability in a dog bite case at a dog park can be complex because dog owners use the park knowing that other people’s dogs will not be on a leash. Therefore, the park owner may not face liability if someone at the park is injured due to a dog attack.
However, the dog’s owner or handler may be responsible for compensating a victim, although liability may be harder to prove than if the dog bit the individual at another location. They may be liable if a victim can establish liability under one of these Virginia laws:
Virginia’s Dog Bite Law
Under Virginia dog bite law, a dog owner might be liable for injuries caused by their dog biting another person at a dog park if the victim can show that the owner knew or should have known their dog was dangerous or vicious. Victims can prove this if they have evidence that the dog bit someone in the past or engaged in dangerous behavior, such as jumping on people.
A dog owner and handler have a duty to exercise reasonable care to control and restrain a dog they take to a dog park. If they failed to supervise their dog in the park properly or did not take appropriate precautions to prevent an attack, they may be liable for negligence if their dog bites someone.
Negligence Per Se
In some cases, negligence per se may also apply. Negligence per se arises when a person violates a specific law or regulation enacted to protect individuals from a particular harm. If the owner violated a local ordinance or rule applicable to dog parks, and this violation directly contributed to a dog bite injury, they may be held liable under negligence per se.
Should I retain a lawyer after a minor truck accident in Norfolk?
If you have been involved in a truck collision in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, you may wonder if you should retain an attorney. Even if you believe the truck wreck was minor, speaking with an experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyer at Tavss Fletcher is always in your best interests. Truck crashes are rarely minor, and hiring an attorney is essential to protect your rights.
Reasons You Should Hire an Attorney After a Minor Norfolk Truck Collision
You should retain a skilled lawyer after a truck accident for many reasons, even when you believe the damage to your vehicle was minor or that you suffered no severe injuries. Here are a few of the most important benefits of hiring an attorney at Tavss Fletcher.
Suffering More Severe Injuries
While the initial impact of a truck accident may appear minor initially, you may have suffered long-term injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or back or spinal injuries, with symptoms that develop and worsen over time. A lawyer will work with your doctors to assess the long-term impact of the collision on your health, ability to work, and quality of life.
Valuing Your Claim
Calculating the value of your claim can be complex, especially when quantifying intangible damages such as pain and suffering. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can accurately determine the compensation you should receive in your settlement based on their experience settling and litigating truck wreck claims.
Communicating With the Insurance Company
Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they may do everything they can to deny their liability to pay you or try to get you to accept less damages than you are entitled to. Your lawyer will take over all communication with the insurance adjuster, protecting you from making statements that could harm your case.
Negotiating Your Settlement
A dedicated truck accident lawyer understands the complexities of negotiating with insurance companies. They will leverage their knowledge and experience to advocate for your best interests and push for a settlement that reflects the true extent of your damages. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer you a fair settlement, your attorney will litigate your case and take your case to a jury trial if this is in your best interests.
What is the statute of limitations to sue in car accident cases in Norfolk?
If you must file a claim for compensation after a car accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, understanding the statute of limitations laws is of utmost importance. Failing to meet this deadline can have severe consequences, potentially resulting in losing your right to pursue compensation. It is essential to retain an experienced Norfolk car accident lawyer at Tavss Fletcher who can file your complaint promptly and negotiate your settlement with the insurance company.
Deadlines to Sue in Virginia Car Accident Cases
The statute of limitations is when a lawsuit must be filed against a negligent driver after an auto collision. In Virginia, this time limit varies depending on the type of claim you are pursuing. Here are the crucial deadlines to remember:
If you sustained injuries in a car collision and need to pursue a personal injury claim, the statute of limitations to sue is two years from the accident date.
If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident and you intend to file a claim for property damages, the deadline to file a lawsuit is five years from the date of the auto wreck.
In the unfortunate event of a car accident resulting in the death of a loved one, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years from the date of their passing, which could be later than the date of the collision.
Consequences if You Miss the Statute of Limitations After a Norfolk Auto Crash
Failing to sue the negligent driver within the statute of limitations deadline in a car crash case can have severe consequences. Here is what you may face.
Inability to File a Lawsuit
If you fail to file a civil complaint within the prescribed timeframe, you may be permanently barred from filing a lawsuit and obtaining compensation for your injuries, property damages, or wrongful death. The insurance company would likely file a motion to dismiss your case, which the judge would grant.
Limited Options for Recovery
Once the statute of limitations has expired, insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident would likely be unwilling to negotiate or provide you with compensation because they know you cannot file a lawsuit. This would leave you without any means to recover your losses.
What types of retirement accounts and pensions are common in Virginia divorces?
A retirement account may often be one of the most substantial assets accumulated during a marriage. When going through a divorce in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, you need to understand the various types of retirement accounts that must be divided as part of the property settlement. Hiring an experienced Norfolk family law attorney can help protect your rights and ensure you receive a fair share of the retirement accounts or pension accumulated during your marriage.
Types of Retirement Accounts That Must Be Divided in a Virginia Divorce
There are several different retirement accounts and pensions that your spouse and you may have. A skilled family law lawyer can help you divide them and complete the specific requirements, such as entering a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to transfer retirement assets. Here are common retirement accounts in Virginia divorces:
A 401(k) plan is a popular retirement account offered by many employers. This retirement plan allows employees to contribute a portion of their salary on a pre-tax basis, which grows tax-deferred until withdrawal. In a divorce, a 401(k) plan is subject to equitable distribution, meaning the court will determine a fair division based on various factors, including the length of the marriage and the contributions made by each spouse.
Similar to a 401(k) plan, a 403(b) plan is designed for employees of certain nonprofit organizations, public schools, and tax-exempt organizations. Employees contribute to a 403(b) plan on a pre-tax basis, and the account grows tax-deferred until retirement. During a divorce, a 403(b) plan is an asset that must be considered as part of the property settlement.
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
An individual retirement account, commonly known as an IRA, is a personal retirement account that individuals can establish. It allows individuals to contribute a certain amount annually, which can grow tax-free or tax-deferred depending on the type of IRA. In a divorce, an IRA is also considered a marital asset.
A pension plan is a retirement plan sponsored by an employer that provides a regular income stream to employees after retirement. The value of a pension plan is typically based on factors such as the length of employment, salary, and years of service. In a divorce, a pension plan is subject to division, and the non-employee spouse may be entitled to a portion of the benefits accumulated during the marriage.
Federal Civil Service Pension
For individuals employed by the federal government, the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) may provide them with pension benefits based on their years of service and salary. Another retirement benefit they may have that needs to be addressed in a divorce is a federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). It is a defined contribution plan similar to a 401(k).
Military pensions are retirement benefits earned by individuals serving in the armed forces. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) allows military pensions to be split during a divorce.
How much is an average Norfolk motorcycle accident settlement?
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk and are considering filing a claim, you may want to know what an average settlement amount would be. Unfortunately, there is no set average for motorcycle crash settlements in Virginia.
Each motorcycle accident case is unique and has its own strengths and weaknesses that affect how much a motorcycle crash victim can expect to receive in their settlement. However, an experienced Norfolk motorcycle accident lawyer can evaluate your case and provide you with an idea of what you can realistically expect to obtain from the negligent driver’s insurance company.
Factors a Lawyer Will Evaluate When Determining How Much You May Receive in Your Motorcycle Collision Settlement
Settling a motorcycle crash claim can be complicated. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer will weigh many factors in determining how much compensation you deserve. Here are some issues they will consider:
One of the primary factors your attorney will evaluate is the amount of compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law if you win your case. You can recover your past and future medical costs, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The total value of these damages will be the starting point in your lawyer’s determination of your claim’s value.
Severity of Your Injuries
The severity of your injuries directly affects the compensation you should receive. More severe injuries that require expensive medical treatment, surgeries, and rehabilitation or result in long-term disabilities tend to result in higher settlements. Your lawyer will consider your medical records, expert opinions, and any long-term impact your injuries have on your health, ability to work, and quality of life when assessing how much your claim is worth.
If the other driver’s negligence in causing your wreck is clear-cut, you will have a stronger case. The at-fault motorist’s insurance company would have a harder time disputing their responsibility to compensate you for your injuries, and you can expect a higher settlement.
Your Partial Fault
Virginia follows a harsh contributory negligence rule, meaning that if you are found even one percent to blame for causing the accident, you may be barred from recovering any compensation. Your attorney will investigate the cause of the crash, gather evidence, and build a solid case to minimize any potential fault attributed to you. However, your level of negligence, if any, can negatively affect the overall settlement amount.
What factors influence how much my dog bite claim is worth?
If you have been bitten by a dog in Norfolk, you may wonder how much compensation you could receive for your injuries. You need to keep in mind that every dog bite case is unique, and your claim’s value will depend on various factors. However, an experienced premises liability attorney can assist you in determining the approximate value of your claim based on the types of compensation awarded under Virginia’s dog bite laws and factors that can influence how much your case is worth.
Four Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Claim
Your attorney would first determine the amount of compensation you could recover if you win your case. In Virginia, you can recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in dog bite cases.
Your lawyer would also weigh several factors that can make your case stronger or weaker and might significantly affect your claim’s worth. Some factors they would consider include the following:
- Severity of your injuries. The severity of your dog bite injuries will significantly impact the potential value of your claim. More severe injuries requiring extensive, future medical treatment and resulting in long-term or permanent disabilities are generally associated with higher compensation amounts.
- Disputes with the insurance company. The dog owner’s insurance company may try to downplay the severity of your injuries, the reasonableness of your medical treatments, or their insured’s liability to try to deny your claim or pay you less money in your settlement. If any disputes are valid, this could weaken your case and the overall value of your claim.
- Your partial fault. Virginia follows the contributory negligence rule, which means that if you are found even slightly responsible for the dog bite incident, you may be barred from recovering any compensation. However, an attorney can analyze the circumstances of your case and help present a strong argument to minimize any potential fault attributed to you.
- Mistakes. If you made mistakes when filing your claim, such as delaying obtaining medical care, posting about your dog bite on social media, or agreeing to give a recorded statement, this could hurt your case. While your lawyer will have arguments to defeat the insurance adjuster’s disputes, you may have to accept less damages to settle your claim.
What is a commercial truck?
There are many types of commercial trucks on our roads in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. If you suffer injuries in a crash, you must understand the type of truck that struck your vehicle because it could impact your claim against the negligent trucker. You also need to immediately retain an experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyer who will fight with the insurance company for the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Types of Commercial Trucks
A commercial truck is one used for commercial purposes. These motor vehicles are much bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles. There are many different types of commercial trucks, such as the following:
- Semi-trailer truck. A semi-trailer truck, also known as a tractor-trailer or big rig, consists of a semi-truck cab and a trailer connected by a fifth wheel. These trucks are used for long-haul transportation of goods, with the trailer providing ample space for cargo.
- Eighteen-wheeler. An eighteen-wheeler is another name for a semi-trailer truck, referring to the total number of wheels on the vehicle. These trucks can haul heavy loads over long distances and are often seen on highways.
- Tanker. Tanker trucks are designed to transport liquids or gases, such as fuel, chemicals, or other liquids like milk. These trucks feature cylindrical tanks, which are securely sealed to prevent leaks during transportation.
- Flatbed. Flatbed trucks have an open cargo area without sides or a roof, allowing for easy loading and unloading of various items. They transport construction materials, machinery, or large equipment.
- Box truck. Box trucks have an enclosed cargo area with walls and a roof. They are frequently used for local deliveries, moving household goods, or transporting perishable items.
- Delivery truck. Delivery trucks are often seen in urban areas and neighborhoods and are designed to transport consumer goods over short distances. These trucks range in size and can include vans and small box trucks.
Why It Matters if a Commercial Truck is Involved in a Collision
When a truck is involved in an accident, this can affect a victim’s claim for compensation for their injuries. Here are several unique issues that arise in these cases:
Commercial trucks are subject to strict federal regulations imposed by agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Violations of these regulations, such as driver fatigue, improper maintenance, or exceeding weight limits, can significantly contribute to accidents and may indicate a trucker’s and trucking company’s negligence and liability.
Increased Risk of Serious Injuries
Due to the size and weight of large commercial trucks, occupants of smaller vehicles can suffer catastrophic injuries or death. This can increase the value of a victim’s claim. Unfortunately, the insurance company could fight longer and harder to deny their claim or pay them less money in their settlement.
Complex Insurance and Legal Issues
Commercial truck accidents often involve complex insurance policies and legal considerations. Determining liability, negotiating with multiple parties, and understanding the nuances of trucking regulations require the expertise of a knowledgeable truck accident attorney.
Am I entitled to pre- and post-judgment interest if I win my Norfolk car accident case?
While most Virginia Beach and Norfolk auto crash claims are settled out-of-court, some cases must be decided at a trial when the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement. If your case goes to a jury trial, your experienced Norfolk car accident attorney can help you obtain pre- and post-judgment interest, significantly impacting the final amount of compensation you receive.
What is Pre- and Post-Judgment Interest?
Pre-judgment interest is the interest that accrues on the damages you have suffered from the time of the collision until the date of the jury's verdict. Post-judgment interest accrues on the awarded amount from the verdict date until the insurance company pays the judgment in full.
You are entitled to pre- and post-judgment interest in your car accident case in Virginia only if your case goes to trial and you win. You will not receive interest if you reach a settlement agreement during the litigation process. However, your skilled car accident attorney could negotiate this in your settlement.
Virginia's interest rate for pre- and post-judgment is generally set at six percent per year. This rate is calculated based on the total damages awarded by the jury.
How Can You Obtain Judgment Interest After a Norfolk Car Accident?
Post-judgment interest is automatically awarded to you once the jury reaches a verdict in your favor. The court will calculate the interest based on the amount of the verdict and the number of days that pass until the judgment is fully paid.
To obtain pre-judgment interest, you need to take specific actions. Here are the key steps you must take:
- Your complaint. You must make a specific request for pre-judgment interest in your complaint. If you fail to do this, you cannot receive pre-judgment interest if your case goes to trial.
- Jury instructions. Your car accident attorney should request the inclusion of pre-judgment interest in the jury instructions. The judge would instruct the jury to consider the interest when calculating the final award.
- Verdict form. The verdict form should explicitly allow the jury to award pre-judgment interest separately from other damages. Your lawyer will ensure that this provision is included in the form submitted to the jury.
- Closing arguments. During closing arguments, your attorney should ask the jury to award pre-judgment interest. This reminder can significantly influence the jury's decision.
The award of pre-judgment interest is discretionary. The jury can choose not to award it even if they find you deserve all the compensation you request. However, following these steps increases the chances of receiving pre-judgment interest, which can significantly increase the amount of money you receive, especially if it has taken a year or longer to resolve your case.
Can I receive punitive damages if I was injured in a motorcycle accident in Norfolk?
If you were hurt in a motorcycle wreck caused by a negligent driver in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas, you can seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. While compensatory damages aim to reimburse your losses, you can be awarded punitive damages in rare cases to punish the at-fault party for their egregious behavior. An experienced Norfolk motorcycle accident attorney can fight with the at-fault driver's insurance company so that you receive the damages you deserve under Virginia law.
What Are Punitive Damages and When Are They Awarded?
Punitive damages are compensation paid to the victim of a motorcycle accident in addition to compensatory damages. They are awarded if the negligent driver acted maliciously or in willful and wanton disregard for others' safety when causing a motorcycle collision.
Punitive damages are not typically awarded in motorcycle accident cases, as they require specific circumstances and evidence of extreme behavior. Here are the purposes of punitive damages:
- Punish the motorist. One purpose is to punish the driver, not compensate the victim.
- Deterrence. Another goal of these damages is to stop the at-fault driver and others from engaging in these dangerous driving practices in the future.
When Can Punitive Damages Be Awarded in Drunk Driving Motorcycle Crashes?
In collisions involving drunk driving, punitive damages may be more likely to be awarded to motorcycle accident victims. However, certain conditions must be established to seek punitive damages in such cases:Intoxication. The at-fault driver must have been intoxicated during the accident, and their blood alcohol content (BAC) must have been 0.15 percent or higher.
- Knowledge of impairment. The drunk driver must have known or should have known that their alcohol consumption impaired their driving abilities.
- Causal connection. A motorcycle accident victim must prove that there is a clear causal connection between the drunk driver's intoxication and their injuries.
Is there a damage cap on the amount of compensation I can recover for my truck accident injuries in Virginia?
You may have suffered severe injuries if you were the victim of a truck accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach and may be worried about your expensive medical bills when you have no income while you recover from your injuries. When pursuing your claim against the negligent trucker and truck company, you should understand the damage caps in Virginia. An experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyer can explain these laws and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Damage Cap on Punitive Damages in Virginia
A damage cap reduces the amount of compensation that you can recover. Virginia has a cap on punitive damages in truck accident cases. You would be awarded punitive damages to punish the at-fault trucker and trucking company, not to compensate you, and are rare in truck accident cases.
To be eligible for punitive damages, you must show that the truck driver or trucking company acted especially recklessly or outrageously when causing your truck wreck. You may also receive punitive damages if the trucker was intoxicated when they caused the crash. If punitive damages are awarded, the cap is $350,000.
No Cap on Economic and Non-Economic Compensation
Virginia does not have a cap on economic or non-economic damages in truck collision claims, such as pain and suffering. You can recover the total compensation for these damages, up to the total amount of your actual losses. Types of damages you can recover include the following:
- Medical expenses. The negligent trucker and trucking company should reimburse you for all past and future medical bills you incurred due to your injuries, such as hospitalization, surgery, doctor appointments, physical therapy, and medications.
- Lost wages. If you were off work because of your injuries, you should be compensated for your past and future wages in your settlement. If you can no longer work due to your injuries, you may also be able to recover lost earning capacity damages.
- Pain and suffering. Another type of compensation you can recover is damages for the physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life that resulted from the truck accident. You need the assistance of a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer to determine how much you should receive for your pain and suffering.
- Property damage. If your motor vehicle or other property was damaged in the truck collision, you should receive the cost of repairs or replacement.
Can I file a car accident claim in Norfolk if I'm here illegally?
If you are in the country illegally and injured in a car accident in Norfolk, you may be afraid to file a claim for damages with the negligent driver's insurance company. However, it is vital to understand that you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Retaining an experienced Norfolk car accident lawyer to pursue your claim and ensure your rights are protected is essential. Find answers to some common questions and concerns that illegal immigrants may have when filing a car crash claim in Virginia here.
What Rights Do Illegal Immigrants Have to File a Claim After a Norfolk Auto Crash?
Individuals in the United States illegally have the same rights as U.S. citizens to pursue a claim after a car accident in Virginia. Your immigration status should not affect your ability to seek compensation for your injuries. No one should ask about your immigration status when you file your claim with the insurance company or a lawsuit.
However, you may face unique challenges in pursuing your claim as an illegal immigrant. It is crucial to retain a skilled auto collision attorney in Norfolk who will understand these challenges and work to protect your rights.
Can You File a Claim If You Do Not Speak English?
Even if you do not speak English, you can still file a claim with the insurance company after a car crash. You can also file a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the statute of limitations to file your complaint will expire.
Your pleadings would have to be in English. However, a knowledgeable car crash lawyer can help you with the legal process and ensure all pleadings are in English.
What Types of Compensation Can You Recover?
An immigrant here illegally has the same rights to compensation as someone here legally. You may be entitled to these types of compensation:
- Medical expenses. You can recover the cost of medical treatment for your injuries, including hospital bills, doctor's fees, medication, and rehabilitation expenses.
- Lost wages. If you cannot work due to your injuries, you can seek compensation for the wages you lost while recovering.
- Pain and suffering. You may receive compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you have suffered due to the auto collision.
- Property damage. If your car suffered damages in the accident, you could obtain compensation for the cost of repairs or the value of your vehicle if it was totaled. You can also receive reimbursement to cover the cost to repair or replace other property damaged in the crash.
What is considered a contested divorce in Virginia?
If you want to get divorced in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, it is essential to understand your options and know the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce. An experienced family law attorney can help you decide the best choice for your circumstances.
Differences Between a Contested and Non-Contested Divorce in Virginia
An uncontested divorce can be filed when both spouses agree on all the issues related to the divorce, including property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. They must file a contested divorce if they cannot agree on one or more issues, and a judge must resolve the disputes.
To obtain a no-fault divorce in Virginia, a couple must have a written and signed separation agreement and be separated for at least six months (or one year if they have children). Both parties must agree to the divorce and all issues, or the court will not grant a no-fault divorce.
Grounds for a Contested Divorce in Virginia
If both parties cannot agree on getting divorced or all the issues that must be decided on, the divorce is considered contested. One party must establish fault to obtain a divorce. Here are the grounds that must be established in Virginia.
Adultery happens when one spouse engages in a sexual relationship outside the marriage. The spouse claiming adultery must provide clear and convincing evidence of the affair.
Desertion or Abandonment
Desertion can be grounds for divorce if a spouse leaves the marriage and has no intention of returning. The abandonment can involve the spouse leaving the marital home or can be established if they constructively desert the marriage. To establish desertion, the spouse claiming desertion must prove that the other spouse has been absent for a year or more with no intent to return.
A criminal conviction is also a fault-based ground for divorce in Virginia. If one spouse is convicted of a felony and is sentenced to more than one year in prison, their partner may file for divorce.
Cruelty is another ground for divorce in our state. To establish cruelty, a spouse must prove that the other spouse has been physically or mentally abusive and that they are in danger of bodily harm.
What can I do if my slip and fall accident claim is denied?
If you suffer any injuries in a slip and fall accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent property or business owner. However, insurance companies often deny or lowball slip and fall claims.
If your claim is denied, you should hire an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible. They can explain your options and go up against the insurance adjuster for the damages you are entitled to under Virginia law.
Reasons Why Your Slip and Fall Accident Claim May Be Denied
There are many reasons that the insurance company could deny your claim. While some may be legitimate, others are unfair tactics used to save the company money. Here are common reasons slip and fall accident claims are denied:
The insurance company may dispute your claim if you do not provide enough evidence, such as medical records, witnesses, or photographs, to support your claim.
Denial Without Proper Investigation
The insurance company could deny your claim without conducting a proper investigation. They may fail to interview witnesses, review documents, or inspect the accident scene.
Disputes About Liability and Injuries
The insurance company could deny your claim if they dispute who is liable for the accident or the cause of your injuries. They may raise these arguments even if you have a solid claim against their insured.
Misrepresentation of Insurance Coverage
Unfortunately, the insurance company may misrepresent the terms of their insurance coverage as an excuse to not settle your claim.
Options if Your Slip and Fall Accident Claim Is Denied
You should not give up if the insurance company denies your claim. You still may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You have several options:
Your first step should be to ask the insurance adjuster to explain their denial of your claim in writing. You can provide them with evidence to refute their arguments and try negotiating with them to get your claim approved. You have a better chance of success if you retain a skilled premises liability lawyer to negotiate your settlement.
Pursue a Claim With Another Party
If your claim was denied for a legitimate reason or the property or business owner did not have insurance coverage, you may be able to pursue your claim against another party, such as the contractor who installed the dangerous condition.
File a Lawsuit
If you cannot resolve your claim through negotiations, you may have to file a lawsuit against the property owner or another responsible party. Litigating your claim can be complex and time-consuming, so hiring a knowledgeable premises liability attorney is essential.
Can I recover my paid time off if I was injured in a truck accident?
Truck accidents in the Norfolk and Virginia Beach areas can cause devastating injuries that leave victims unable to work for months or longer while they recover. If you had to use your sick or vacation time due to injuries sustained in a truck collision caused by a negligent trucker, you may be entitled to recover your paid time off (PTO). You are more likely to obtain all the PTO you deserve if you retain an experienced truck accident lawyer to settle your claim with the insurance company.
When Can You Recover PTO in Your Truck Crash Settlement?
If you suffered injuries in a truck wreck, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries from the negligent trucker and trucking company under Virginia law. As part of your wage loss claim, you can ask to be reimbursed for the paid time off you had to use while you were recovering from your injuries. Here are situations where you may be entitled to PTO compensation:
- Recovery time at home
- Doctor appointments
- Calls and meetings with the insurance company
- Court hearings
- Appointments with your lawyer
How Do You Document the PTO You Took Due to Your Truck Collision Injuries?
You must prove your right to recover your PTO as part of your settlement with the insurance company. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can explain when you can recover your paid time off and help obtain the evidence you need to document the time you took off work. Documentation can include the following:
Letter From Your Employer
A letter from your boss listing your salary and the PTO you took while recovering from your injuries can help you prove your right to reimbursement of your PTO. If your case is decided at a jury trial, your employer may need to testify about the paid time off you took.
Employee Handbooks and Policies
Your employee handbook may outline how PTO is accrued and how it can be used. This documentation can help support your PTO claim.
Records of Any Appointments
If you had to take time off work for medical appointments, meetings with the insurance company or lawyer, or court hearings, you should keep records of these appointments. This documentation can help establish that you took time off work because of your injuries and not for other reasons, such as a vacation or a doctor’s appointment for a non-related medical condition.