Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek
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Is my premises liability settlement taxable?
When you settle your premises liability claim, it is important to understand whether you will owe taxes on your proceeds so that you do not get into trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Unfortunately, it can be complicated to figure this out because some parts of your settlement may be taxable, while others are not. Here is what you need to know so you can plan ahead for any taxes you may owe.
Compensatory Damages That Are Not Taxed in Premises Liability Cases
In general, settlements in personal injury cases for injuries suffered by the victim are not taxable. You will not owe taxes on the portion of the compensation you receive that is to pay you for the physical injuries you suffered in the premises liability accident. The following amounts would be tax-free:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Property repairs or replacement
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress related to your physical injuries
- Wrongful death damages
- Legal fees
Compensation That Could Be Taxable in Your Settlement
There are some types of damages awarded in premises liability cases that could be taxable. They include:
- Interest. If you are awarded interest on your settlement amount, the interest would be taxable income.
- Lost wages. You are entitled to recover your lost wages and lost earning capacity if you must make a career change or are unable to work due to your injuries. The IRS considers these types of damages as income and would require you to pay taxes on them.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the negligent party when their actions were grossly negligent. They are rarely awarded in premises liability cases. However, if you receive them, you should expect to pay taxes on this portion of your settlement.
- Pain and suffering with no injuries. Although damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress are generally not taxed, they are taxable if you did not suffer any physical injuries.
Were you or a family member injured in a premises liability accident in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Our experienced premises liability lawyers are dedicated to helping you recover all the compensation you are entitled to in your settlement with the negligent property or business owner’s insurance company. To learn more about how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.
I was temporarily unemployed at the time of my auto accident. Can I still recover lost income in a car crash case?
If you suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries from their insurance company. This includes receiving damages for the past and future wages you cannot earn while you are off work recovering from your injuries, your medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Your claim could be more complicated if you were temporarily unemployed at the time of your auto crash. However, you still can receive your lost wages in your settlement if you can prove the other driver’s negligence caused your collision and the amount of compensation you should receive.
Types of Lost Wages Recoverable in a Car Accident Case
In an auto crash case, a victim is entitled to their past and future wage losses for the period they cannot work due to their injuries under Virginia law. A lost wage claim can include the following:
- Past and future wages, bonuses, and commissions
- Past and future lost sick and vacation time
- Past and future perks of their job
- Lost earning capacity if they must make a career change due to their injuries or are permanently disabled
How to Prove Your Lost Wages Claim If You Are Temporarily Unemployed
If you are unemployed at the time of your accident, you will need to prove that your unemployment is temporary. This will be easier to establish if your loss of job was recent or was not your choice, such as a layoff by your employer. You may have to obtain documentation of when you lost your job and your efforts to seek future employment. Showing the types of work you are seeking and their salary range can also help you establish your future wage loss claim.
You will also need to prove the wages that you lost and will lose in the future. This can be more challenging to show when you are temporarily unemployed. If you are looking for work in the same profession, you may be able to use paystubs from your old job to help prove the amount of wages you are losing. Your income tax returns for prior years can also help establish what you earn when you work.
You may also need to hire an expert witness, such as an occupational and economic expert. An expert can testify to how your injuries have affected your ability to find employment and the salary you can expect to receive in the jobs you can now perform—if you can return to work at all.
The best way to prove your right to lost wages if you are temporarily unemployed is to retain an experienced car accident lawyer. They can help you collect the evidence you need and will have a network of qualified experts you can hire if this is necessary.
Were you or a family member injured in a car accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Call our Norfolk office today to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you.
Will I need to sign a release of claims form when I settle my premises liability claim?
When you and the negligent property or business owner’s insurance company agree on the amount of compensation you will receive for your injuries in your premises liability accident, you will need to go through a few more steps before you get your check. One important document you will need to sign is a release of all claims form.
What Is a Release of All Claims Form?
A release of all claims form is a document prepared by the insurance company that absolves the parties of liability after a premises liability accident. When you sign the document, you are dismissing your claim and agreeing that you cannot file a claim for your injuries in the future. The negligent party’s insurance company will require you to sign this legal document before they will release the settlement proceeds to you.
What Information Is Contained in a Release of All Claims Form?
While every insurance company will use their own release of claims form, there is some common information in most of them. The release of claims form you will be asked to sign will most likely include the following:
- Details of your premises liability accident
- Your claim for your injuries and any property damages
- Identification of the parties to the settlement
- Amount of money you are receiving
- What law governs
In addition, you are waiving important legal rights in the release of claims form in exchange for the settlement proceeds that the insurance company will pay you. You are releasing the insurance company and the negligent party from:
- Obligation to pay. By signing the release, you are giving up the right to receive future damages for your injuries. If you later discovered your injuries were more serious than you thought, you would not be able to reopen your claim to obtain more money.
- Right to file a lawsuit. You are also waiving your right to file a lawsuit against the negligent property owner or business responsible for your accident.
- Non-admission of fault. The release of claims forms will provide that no party is agreeing that they are liable for your injuries. You are releasing them from liability by signing the document.
You should never agree to a settlement or to sign a release of all claims form or other document from the insurance company without first consulting with an experienced premises liability attorney.
If you were injured in a premises liability accident, we’re here to help. Call our office or fill out our convenient contact form to schedule your free consultation today.
What should I do if the insurance company offers me a quick settlement of my claim?
If a truck driver caused your injuries in a truck accident, you will often receive a quick offer to settle your claim from their insurance company. You may consider taking it because you need the money to replace your lost income while you are off work recovering from your injuries and to pay your expensive medical bills.
However, accepting the first offer from the insurance company would not be in your best interests if you want to receive all the compensation you deserve under Virginia law. Here are three reasons why you should say no to the insurance adjuster’s offer.
#1: The Offer Is Too Low
The insurance company knows that you probably need the money right away and is trying to take advantage of this fact to entice you to settle your claim quickly. However, their first offer will most likely be for far less than you deserve. They are offering it to you because they know that they face liability to pay you and will save money if you accept their first offer.
#2: Your Settlement Will Be Final
Another reason not to accept the first amount offered by the insurance company is that your settlement will be final once you complete it. The insurance adjuster would require you to sign a Release of All Claims form where you would agree that the settlement would be a complete resolution of your claim before sending you your check.
This means that if you later discovered that you needed more medical treatments or had to be off work for longer than you thought, that you would not receive any additional compensation for these losses. You would not be able to reopen your claim or file a new one.
#3: It’s Too Early to Know How Seriously You Were Injured
You should not accept any settlement from the insurance company until you reach your maximum medical improvement. This is one of the following stages in your recovery:
- You fully recovered from your injuries.
- You recovered as much as you can from your injuries, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis on the medical treatments you will need in the future. They will also be able to advise you on how your injuries will impact your ability to return to your current or another job.
It could take you months or longer to reach this stage of your medical care, especially if you suffered more than one injury. However, it is crucial not to settle your claim before then so that all of your future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering are included in your settlement.
In addition, you should never accept any offer from the insurance company without first consulting with an experienced truck accident lawyer. They will be able to accurately value your claim and will fight the insurance company to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery.
Do you need help negotiating your settlement with the trucking company’s and trucker’s insurance company? Call our Norfolk office today to schedule a free initial consultation to learn about your options and how we can assist you.
What is subrogation and how could it affect my car accident claim?
If you were hurt in an auto collision caused by a negligent driver in Virginia, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, your medical insurance provider could place a lien or subrogation claim on your settlement proceeds. This could significantly reduce the amount of money you receive in your settlement.
How Subrogation and Liens Work in Car Accident Cases in Virginia
Subrogation and liens are different but can have the same practical effect in your auto crash case. A lien is a claim on your settlement award that would entitle your health insurance provider to be reimbursed for the medical expenses they paid on your behalf. If they claim a right to subrogation, the health insurance company would take your place in filing a claim against the negligent motorist for the medical bills they paid and demand that the payment be made directly to them.
The laws on subrogation and liens are complicated in our state. Unlike other states, Virginia has laws that prohibit health insurance contracts issued in our commonwealth from having a subrogation clause in their contract. Liens are also often not permitted to be placed on a victim’s car accident or other personal injury award.
However, there are exceptions to these laws. The anti-subrogation and lien laws would not apply in these situations:
- Contracts issued out-of-state
- Insurance policies issued to federal employees under the Federal Employee Health Benefit Act
- Self-funded health benefit plans by employers who are compliant with the Employees Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
- Federal health insurance providers, like Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare
- Workers’ compensation plans
How Can You Know If a Lien or Subrogation Claim Will Reduce Your Car Crash Compensation?
The best way to determine if your health insurance provider can make a subrogation claim or place a lien on your award is to retain an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney can review your health insurance policy and the medical expenses your provider claims reimbursement for to determine if they are valid.
If your lawyer determines that your health insurer has a valid claim against your award, they can negotiate the amount to be paid to the insurance company. However, these negotiations must be completed before the settlement of your car accident claim.
Were you injured in an auto collision in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Call our office to schedule your free case evaluation to learn how our knowledgeable and dedicated car accident legal team can assist you.
Should I accept a quick settlement of my premises liability accident claim?
If the insurance company for the negligent property or business owner offers to settle your premises liability case soon after you file your claim, you may be tempted to accept their offer in order to pay your medical bills and replace your lost wages. However, it is rarely a good idea to accept a quick settlement. Here are three reasons why you should say no to the first offer you receive.
Reason #1: You Don’t Know How Much Compensation You Should Receive
Soon after your accident, you cannot know the compensation you should receive for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You can only determine this once you reach your maximum medical recovery. This is the stage in your medical treatment where you have fully recovered or recovered as much as you can, and your doctor can tell you what future medical care you will need and whether you can return to work.
Reason #2: The Offer Will Be Too Low
The insurance company is most likely trying to get you to settle your case quickly so that they can pay you much less than the compensation you deserve for your injuries under Virginia law. Once you settle your claim, your settlement would be a final resolution of your claim. You could not reopen your case if you later found out that your injuries were more serious than you originally thought.
Reason #3: There May Be Disputed Issues
If the insurance company disputes their liability to pay you or the seriousness of your injuries, they may make a low-ball settlement offer. However, if you hire an experienced premises liability lawyer, they can provide the insurance company with additional evidence to resolve the dispute and convince them of their obligation to pay you all the damages you are entitled to.
What Should You Do If the Insurance Company Offers to Settle Your Claim?
You should never accept a settlement offer from the insurance adjuster or sign any documents until you consult with a knowledgeable premises liability attorney. They will be able to accurately value your claim and be certain that you do not waive important legal rights by settling your case or signing insurance company documents.
If you suffered injuries in a premises liability accident, our skilled and compassionate lawyers are here to help. To get started, call our Norfolk office or fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
What can I do to help my attorney win my case?
If you were injured in a truck crash caused by a negligent truck driver, you need to retain an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to negotiate your settlement with the insurance company. This will dramatically increase the likelihood that you will receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
While you are hiring an attorney to help you, you should not forget that you are a team working on the common goal of settling your claim. You can and should take steps to make your lawyer's job easier and help them build a winning case. Here are five important ways that you can help them.
Respond to Your Attorney's Requests Quickly
Just like you want your lawyer to contact you quickly if you have a question or want an update on your case's status, you need to respond right away if they call or email you. They may have an important question that they need answered or need you to collect additional documents in order to move forward in resolving your claim with the insurance company.
Follow Up on Medical Treatment
One of the most important ways that you can build a strong case against the trucker and trucking company is to seek prompt medical care after your crash and follow your doctor's advice on your medical treatments for your injuries. You should also attend all of your appointments, so there are no gaps in your medical care.
If you fail to do this, you could make it harder for your attorney to settle your claim for its full value. You would be giving the insurance company ammunition to deny your claim or argue that you should receive less than you are asking for in your settlement. They could make these arguments:
- Another incident caused your injuries.
- Your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
- You made your injuries worse by not following your doctor's orders and not getting all the medical care you need.
Cooperate With the Discovery Process
Your attorney may need to file a lawsuit if the insurance company does not offer you a fair settlement or the deadline to sue, referred to as the statute of limitations, will expire soon. You will need to cooperate with them during the discovery phase of your case. You may have to answer written interrogatories, produce documents, and attend a deposition where the insurance company's lawyer asks you questions about the truck accident and your injuries.
Stay Off Social Media
Ideally, you should stay off Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites while the claim is being resolved. If you do continue to post on these sites, avoid discussing your truck collision or your injuries. You should also be careful not to post pictures of you being at locations, such as on a hiking vacation, or doing activities that you should not be able to do because of your injuries.
Follow Your Lawyer's Advice
Another crucial way that you can help your attorney is to follow their advice and be patient while they work to resolve your case. They have your best interests at heart and know what you need to receive the maximum recovery from the insurance company.
If you must file a claim with the insurance company after a truck crash, our knowledgeable and compassionate truck accident lawyers are here to help. Call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.
What is a free initial consultation?
It can be a traumatic experience to suffer injuries in an auto collision that was not your fault. One of your first steps after getting the medical treatment you need should be to retain an experienced car accident attorney.
However, it can be difficult to find a knowledgeable lawyer that will fight so that you receive all the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver who caused your crash. One way to find the right attorney for you is to take advantage of most car accident attorneys’ offer of a free initial consultation.
What Can You Expect at a Free Initial Consultation?
A free initial consultation is a short meeting that you would have with a lawyer to discuss your case and determine if you can work together to settle your claim. Your appointment would last for about 30 minutes to an hour. You would not be charged for this initial consultation—even if you decide not to hire them.
At this meeting, you would tell the attorney about how your accident occurred and the injuries you suffered. You should expect to learn the following from this meeting:
- Whether you have a claim. After you describe the details of your auto collision, the lawyer should be able to advise you whether you have a valid claim against the negligent driver and other liable parties and the types of compensation you should be able to recover from their insurance company.
- Whether you need an attorney. They should inform you whether you should retain a lawyer or whether you can settle your claim on your own. If you suffered any injuries, it is almost always in your best interest to hire an attorney to negotiate your settlement.
- Whether this is the right lawyer. Your initial consultation is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the attorney and their track record of success in settling and litigating claims for car accident victims like you. This can help you decide whether this is the right lawyer for you.
- What your next steps are. If you decide to retain the attorney, they should tell you the next steps that they need to take in your case. They will also advise you of what you need to do to help them build a winning case against the negligent driver.
How to Prepare for Your Free Initial Consultation
You need to prepare for your appointment so that you get the most benefit from it. You should organize the documents, such as the police report, pictures, and your medical reports, to show the lawyer. You should also prepare a list of questions to ask them. You need to know how much of their practice is devoted to car accident cases, their track record of success, how much they charge for their services, and how they will keep you updated on the status of your claim.
Do you need to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company? Take advantage of our free consultation offer to learn how our dedicated car accident lawyers can help you. Call our Norfolk office to schedule your appointment today.
Should I sign an authorization to release my medical records to the negligent driver’s insurance company?
If you must file a claim for compensation for your injuries in a motorcycle accident, the negligent driver’s insurance company may ask you to sign a release to obtain your medical records. They may claim that they need them as part of the investigation of your claim.
While it is true that you will have to submit your medical records, having the adjuster get them directly is not a good idea. You could actually weaken your case. Here are three reasons that you should say no to this request.
#1: You Could Hurt Your Settlement
While the insurance company needs your medical records to settle your claim, they may also have other motives when asking you to sign a medical release. The insurance company’s authorization for medical records is most likely a blanket release that would allow access to all of your medical records.
The insurance adjuster could look through your entire medical history to see if you complained about or were treated for an injury to the same body part hurt in your motorcycle accident. They could argue that your current injuries were due to a prior incident and not your crash. They would use this tactic to try to deny your claim or force you to accept less than the full amount you deserve in your settlement.
#2: Your Privacy Would Be Invaded
Giving the insurance company access to your entire medical history would be an invasion of your privacy. There could be sensitive, private information about you that the insurance company does not need to know to settle your claim and that you have a right to keep private.
#3: Your Records Would Be Incomplete
Another reason that you do not want to let the insurance company obtain your medical records is that they would be incomplete so soon after your motorcycle collision. You could need months or longer of medical treatments before you fully recover or receive a final prognosis if you suffered permanent injuries. You do not want the insurance adjuster to base a decision on how much to offer you in a settlement on medical records that are not complete.
What Should You Do If the Insurance Company Asks You to Sign a Medical Authorization?
If the insurance adjuster asks you to sign their medical release, you should politely say no. Then you should retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer immediately if you have not already done so. A lawyer will take over all communications with the insurance company, provide them with the medical records they truly need, and negotiate your settlement.
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, call our office today to schedule a free consultation. Our skilled and compassionate attorneys will explain your options to you, answer your questions, and fight with the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery you are entitled to.
Who could be liable if my roof collapsed in my car accident?
You could suffer devastating injuries if your auto rolls over and your roof collapses in a car accident. Unlike other collisions where only the negligent driver is responsible for compensating the victim, there can be multiple causes and liable parties in a roof collapse accident. It is important to pursue claims against any potentially negligent party if you want to receive all the compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law.
Who Could Be Responsible to Compensate You If Your Car Roof Collapsed?
The liable parties in a roof collapse collision will depend on the cause of the crash. Determining this can be complicated. You need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to identify why your auto roof collapsed and who the negligent parties are. They can include:
- Another driver. If a motorist’s negligence caused your car accident, they would face at least partial liability for compensating you for your injuries.
- Automobile manufacturer. Roof collapses are often caused by a defect in the manufacture or design of the roof. The pillars could have been too weak or situated improperly, or other vehicle parts may not have been strong enough to support the roof. If your roof collapsed for this reason, you can pursue a product liability claim against the auto manufacturer.
- Parts manufacturer. You could also file a claim with the parts manufacturer who designed or manufactured the defective part that caused your roof collapse, as well as the car manufacturer.
- Governmental agency. If a road defect or hazard caused your vehicle to roll over in the crash, you would need to file a claim with the governmental agency responsible for road maintenance. You may need to file your claim much quicker and follow other special rules when the negligent party is a city, county, or other governmental body.
Why Is it Important to File Claims With All Negligent Parties?
If you know that the other motorist’s negligence caused your accident, you may be tempted to just file a claim with their insurance company and not pursue claims against any other parties. This would be much easier and less time-consuming. However, you would be making a big mistake that could result in you not being fully compensated for your injuries.
The at-fault motorist would only be responsible for compensating you for their percentage of negligence in causing your collision. For example, if they were found 50 percent at fault, they only have to pay you half of the amount of compensation you deserve. In addition, they may not have enough insurance to pay you all the damages you deserve if they purchased the minimum coverage required under Virginia law.
If a manufacturing or road defect contributed to your roof collapse, you should file a claim with these liable parties’ insurance companies as well. They will have higher liability insurance coverage to pay you for your losses.
Did your roof collapse in a car accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Our skilled legal team can identify why it happened and who is responsible for compensating you. To get started learning about your options, fill out the convenient online form on this page to schedule your free consultation today.
Will I have to complete VASAP if I’m convicted of DUI?
If you are convicted of DUI in Virginia, you may be required to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Program, which is also referred to as VASAP or ASAP. You will most likely need to successfully complete this program in order to complete the terms of a suspended sentence and to restore your ability to drive in our state.
How VASAP Works After a DUI Conviction
Under Virginia law, you are required to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Program if you are convicted of a first or second DUI offense. VASAP is a government program that has the mission of reducing drunk driving crashes.
If you know that you will be convicted of DUI, you may want to take the class early. However, you need to obtain a court order referring you to this program before starting it. Here is what this program entails:
- Assessment. Your first appointment will be an intake meeting with a case manager. They will assess how dependent you are on alcohol and the number of classes you will need to attend.
- Classes. Your case manager will refer you to an approved treatment center or addiction program where you will enroll in the education program. You will most likely be required to attend 10 two-hour sessions, which are mandatory. You may also have to undergo drug and alcohol testing while taking this course.
- Probation. If this is your first or second DUI, you will probably be sentenced to unsupervised probation where you do not have to meet with a probation officer. However, if you violate any of the conditions of VASAP, your case manager could report this to the judge who sentenced you, and you could face harsher consequences.
How Much Does VASAP Cost?
It will cost you approximately $300 to enroll in VASAP, and you will also have to pay an $100 intervention fee. You are required to pay these costs when you enter the program. However, if you cannot afford to pay them upfront, you can work out a payment plan.
Were you arrested for DUI in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Our experienced DUI lawyers are here to mount a strong defense, so the charges against you are dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. We will also explain the requirements of VASAP and any other punishments you could face if you are convicted. Call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.
How much is my motorcycle accident claim worth?
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you will need to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Before you take this step, you want to know the value of your claim so that you understand what to expect. It will also help you decide whether it is worth the time and effort it will take to fight with the insurance company for a fair settlement.
How much your claim is worth will depend on the unique circumstances in your case. However, there are some common factors in these cases that can help you determine how much your claim is worth.
#1: Damages You Suffered
One crucial factor that will determine the value of your claim is the type of losses you suffered. In Virginia, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver who caused your motorcycle crash. Types of damages you can recover include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Wrongful death damages if a loved one was killed in the collision
#2: Liability of the Negligent Driver
In order to hold the motorist who struck your motorcycle responsible for compensating you, you must prove their negligence in causing your collision. If their fault is clear-cut, you will have a strong case against them that will make the value of your claim worth more.
However, if there are real disputes about their liability or you were found to be partially at fault, this could significantly weaken your case. Virginia has a harsh contributory negligence law that would prevent you from obtaining any damages if you were at all at fault—even if you were only one percent liable.
#3: Settlement vs. Trial Value
The value of your claim can also be affected by whether your case is settled out-of-court or through a jury trial. The trial value will most likely be higher than the settlement value.
Why is there a difference? When you take your case to trial, you ask for all the compensation you deserve. However, there is no guarantee on the outcome of a trial, and you may be awarded less damages.
If you settle your claim with the insurance company, you will most likely accept a little less than the full value of your case. You would most likely have to compromise for the certainty of receiving a settlement.
Were you or a family member hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver? Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can advise you on the value of your claim and fight so that you receive the compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law. To learn more, call our office to schedule your free consultation today.
What documents should I bring to my first appointment with my slip and fall accident attorney?
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident at someone’s property or a business, an experienced premises liability attorney can help you receive a fair settlement from the insurance company. In order to find a qualified lawyer that you believe you can trust to fight for your rights, you should take advantage of the free initial consultation that most lawyers offer. If you want to get the most out of your meeting, you should bring the right documents to your meeting.
Documents to Bring to Your Initial Consultation
You should be organized when you go to your first meeting with your lawyer. The purpose of this appointment is to get legal advice about your right to compensation for your injuries and to determine if you want to hire this attorney. They can give you better advice on your claim if you bring these documents with you:
- Accident report. Hopefully, you reported your slip and fall accident immediately to the property or business owner, and an accident report was prepared. It could include important details, such as how your fall occurred and witnesses to it, that can help you prove the cause of your accident and that you suffered injuries.
- Pictures and video. If you took pictures or videos that show the dangerous condition that caused your fall and injuries, they can help the lawyer understand more about how your accident happened and how the owner’s negligence caused it.
- Medical records. You should bring your medical records for any treatments you have received, along with your medical bills. This will document how serious your injuries were and the types of medical care you need.
- Wage loss documents. If you missed time off work due to your injuries, you are entitled to be compensated for your wage losses in your settlement. You should bring your pay stubs, documentation of the days you were off work, and your tax return to your appointment.
- Contact information. Bring the contact information for the property or business owner, their insurance company, and any witnesses to your slip and fall accident.
- Communications with the insurance company. If the insurance company for the owner has already contacted you, bring any written communication, such as letters and emails, to your appointment.
You should also have a list of questions prepared so that you can interview the lawyer about their experience handling slip and fall accident cases, how they will keep you informed about your claim, and how much it will cost to retain them.
Were you injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident in Norfolk? Call our office to schedule a free consultation with our premises liability accident lawyers to learn about our track record of success in helping clients like you and how we can assist you.
What types of compensation can I recover if a loved one died in a truck accident?
It is never easy to lose a family member. However, the grief can be even more intense when their death was caused by a preventable truck accident.
Fortunately, you may be able to file a wrongful death action to hold the negligent trucking company and trucker responsible for compensating you for your injuries. While money will not bring back the joy of having your loved one with you, it can help compensate you for your losses and help you move on with your life.
Compensation You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Action
A wrongful death action is a type of claim that can be brought by a victim’s heirs when their loved one was killed in a truck accident caused by the trucker’s negligence. Only certain family members are allowed to file a wrongful death claim in Virginia. This includes the individual’s spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings.
The compensation awarded is slightly different than what a victim can recover if they had survived the truck accident. The damages are to compensate family members and the victim’s estate. Types of compensation that can be recovered include:
- Medical expenses. The cost of the deceased’s medical care for the injuries they suffered in the truck collision before their death can be recovered in a wrongful death claim.
- Funeral costs. Reasonable funeral and burial expenses should be included in the settlement.
- Pain and suffering. Family members are entitled to be compensated for the pain, suffering, and grief they suffered due to the loss of their loved one.
- Loss of income. Surviving family members who relied on the victim’s financial support are entitled to lost wages and benefits, which include the income and benefits the deceased would have earned if they had lived.
- Loss of care. Another type of compensation awarded in wrongful death actions is damages for the loss of the care, comfort, advice, and guidance of the victim.
- Punitive damages. While punitive damages are not awarded in all truck accident cases, this type of compensation can be recovered if the trucker’s or trucking company’s actions were especially reckless. They are awarded to punish them for their actions rather than to compensate the family of the victim.
Were you or a family member injured in a truck accident that was not their fault? Our compassionate and skilled truck accident lawyers are here to take over all the steps in filing and settling your claim for the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your grief and going on in life without your loved one. Call our Norfolk office today to schedule your free consultation.
What type of doctor should I see after a car accident?
No matter how extensive or minor the damage is to your vehicle, you could suffer serious injuries in an auto accident. If another driver caused your collision, you may be able to file a claim for compensation with their insurance company. Seeing the right doctors is essential to protecting your health and building a winning case so that you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Why You Always Need to See a Doctor After an Accident
Getting prompt medical care after an auto crash is crucial. You should be examined by a doctor within two days of your auto collision, even if you believe you are fine. Whiplash, back and spinal injuries, brain injuries, and internal bleeding are a few of the serious injuries you may not realize you suffered until days or longer after your crash since you may not experience symptoms right away.
You avoid an injury getting worse or turning into a life-threatening emergency by getting medical care right after your wreck. In addition, this helps you prove that your injuries were caused by the collision and that they are serious enough to entitle you to compensation.
In addition, you need to take these steps to protect your health and avoid disputes with the insurance company:
- Follow all of your physician’s instructions.
- Go to all of your appointments with your doctor, physical therapists, and others who are treating your injuries.
- Do not have any gaps in your medical treatment for your injuries.
Types of Physicians You May Need to See
The types of medical treatments and doctors you need will depend on what injuries you suffered and how serious they are. They could include:
- Emergency room doctor. If you suffered a life-threatening or apparent serious injury, you should be examined by an emergency room doctor immediately. You should either be transported there by ambulance or have someone drive you there.
- Urgent care. If you do not need to go to the emergency room, you should be examined at urgent care if you start experiencing symptoms in the hours or days after your crash or cannot be seen by your doctor right. The benefit of going to urgent care is that you do not need an appointment and can get fast treatment for your injuries.
- Primary physician. You should schedule an appointment with your primary doctor within a day or two of the wreck if you think your injuries can wait or do not believe you were hurt. However, you should be aware that some doctors do not want to see car accident victims because they do not bill to insurance companies or do not want to testify in court. Go to urgent care in this situation.
- Specialists. Your primary doctor will most likely refer you to a specialist, such as a surgeon, neurologist, or orthopedic physician, specializing in treating your injuries if you suffered a serious injury.
Were you or a loved one injured in an auto wreck caused by another driver? Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation with our experienced car accident legal team to get your questions answered and learn how we can assist you in fighting for the compensation you deserve.
My spouse served me with divorce papers. What should I do?
Whether you have discussed divorce with your spouse or it is a complete surprise to you, getting served with divorce papers can be a traumatic experience. It is important to know what to do so your legal rights are protected.
Actions to Take If You Are Served With Divorce Papers in Virginia
If your spouse files for divorce, you would be served with a summons and complaint. Under Virginia law, they must be served upon you by a process server, local sheriff, or another appropriate person. Here is what you should do after you receive them.
Do Not Refuse Service of the Divorce Papers
You should not refuse to accept the service of the divorce papers. It will not delay the legal process to do this. If you refuse to be served, it could cost more to serve you, or you could be served in another way where you do not actually receive the court documents.
Read the Summons and Complaint
You should not ignore the legal documents you received. Your first step should be to read the summons and complaint. Here is what these documents are:
- Complaint. The complaint is the petition for divorce filed by your spouse. It will state the grounds for divorce that they are relying on and what they are requesting in the divorce, such as custody of any children, child support, spousal support, and property acquired during the marriage.
- Summons. The summons advises you that you must file a written answer to the complaint and the deadline to file it with the court. In Virginia, you have 21 days to file your answer. If you do not file it within this deadline, a default judgment could be entered against you giving your spouse what they are requesting in the complaint.
Retain a Lawyer
You should hire an experienced divorce attorney immediately after being served with the divorce papers so that they can file an answer on your behalf. Even if you and your partner are in basic agreement on the issues in your divorce, your interests are different. Your lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected and that a custody agreement, child support obligations, and property settlement are fair to you. Were you served with divorce paperwork in the Norfolk or Virginia Beach area? Call our office today to schedule your free consultation to learn how we can assist you.
Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company after my motorcycle accident?
No, you should not agree to give a recorded statement when you file a claim for compensation for your injuries in a motorcycle collision caused by a negligent driver. It could seriously weaken your case and give their insurance company reasons to deny your claim or offer you less money than you deserve in your settlement.
Why You Should Not Agree to a Recorded Statement
A recorded statement is a tape-recorded session where the insurance adjuster asks you questions that you answer. An adjuster may make it sound like a perfectly reasonable request and that they need as part of their investigation of your claim. However, here is why agreeing to give one is a bad idea.
You Don’t Have to Give a Recorded Statement
You are under no legal obligation to give a recorded statement. Although the insurance adjuster may claim otherwise, they can fully investigate your motorcycle accident and your injuries and settle your claim without a recorded statement from you.
You Could Make Inconsistent Statements
Even if you are trying to be completely honest, you could say something when giving a recorded statement that is inconsistent with what you told the police, your doctor, or others. One reason that the insurance adjuster wants to take your statement is to compare it with other statements you made. Inconsistent statements can be used to argue that you are not being truthful and are not a credible witness.
You Do Not Know How Serious Your Injuries Were
Because the majority of your claim is for compensation for the injuries you suffered in the motorcycle accident, the insurance adjuster would ask you questions about your injuries in your recorded statement. However, it is unlikely that you will understand how serious your injuries are so soon after your crash. The symptoms may not have developed fully, and you do not know yet if you will fully recover from your injuries.
Any statements you make in your recorded statement may not be accurate. However, the insurance adjuster could use what you say to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
Your Recorded Statement Could Be Used in Court
If you give a recorded statement to the insurance company, it would be transcribed into a written transcript. The insurance company could use your statements against you in settlement negotiations and at your jury trial.
How to Handle a Request for a Recorded Statement
Ideally, you should contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney immediately after your crash and let them handle all communications with the insurance company. However, if you speak to the insurance adjuster before you do this and they ask you to give a recorded statement, politely say no to their request and inform them that you will have your lawyer contact them. Then hire an attorney right away.
Were you hurt in a motorcycle crash in Norfolk caused by another driver? Our knowledgeable motorcycle accident legal team is here to file your claim and go up against the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery allowed. To get started, fill out our convenient online form on this page to schedule your free consultation today.
How long will it take me to get my check after I settle my truck accident claim?
You will most likely feel a huge sense of relief when you finally settle your truck accident claim after months or longer of arguing with the trucker’s and trucking company’s insurance company. Understandably, you want to receive your compensation from them as soon as possible.
However, there are a few more steps that must be completed before you are paid. It can take four to eight weeks to finish this process.
What Happens After You Agree to a Settlement?
It can help to understand what needs to get done before your attorney can call you to pick up your check or have it mailed to you. That way, you can be sure that things are moving as quickly as possible and avoid any delays. Here is what must happen:
- Sign release. You will need to sign a Release of All Claims form where you agree to accept the settlement amount and that this is a full and final settlement of your claim. It will be prepared by the insurance company or their lawyer. It could take longer for this document to be completed if your attorney finds objectionable clauses that need to be revised to protect your interests.
- Check sent. Once the insurance company receives your signed release, they will process your check and mail it to your attorney. Depending on the company’s procedures for writing this check, it could take two to three weeks to complete this step.
- Check deposited and bills paid. Your lawyer will deposit your check in a client trust account. Once the check clears, your lawyer will pay any debts owed, such as a medical lien placed on your proceeds by your health care provider.
- Attorney fees are deducted. After any bills are paid, your attorney will deduct any costs paid on your behalf, such as court filing fees, expert witness fees, and attorney fees from the remaining settlement proceeds.
- Your payment. After all of these steps are taken, your check will be issued. Congratulations! Your truck accident case is really finished, and you can move on with your life.
Do you need help negotiating your settlement after a truck accident in the Norfolk or Virginia Beach area? Call our office to schedule a free case evaluation with our experienced truck accident lawyers to get your questions answered and learn about your options.
Should I hire an attorney in the state where my car accident happened?
You could be seriously injured in a car accident in Virginia that was not your fault while here on vacation or business. If you reside in a nearby state, you may be tempted to retain a lawyer where you live.
However, if you want to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries from the negligent driver’s insurance company, your best strategy is to retain a local experienced car accident attorney. Here are three reasons why this is important.
#1: License in Virginia
While your claim could be settled out-of-court with the insurance company, you will need to file a lawsuit in Virginia if they refuse to offer you a fair settlement or the time period—called the statute of limitations—will expire soon. Only a lawyer who is licensed in Virginia can file a civil complaint and litigate your case for you.
#2: Knowledge of Virginia Law
You need an attorney who understands the negligence laws of our state and what you need to prove to win your case. While a lawyer in a nearby state may be licensed to practice law in Virginia, they will not have as much knowledge about the statutes and case law in our commonwealth that could affect your claim. You have a better chance of obtaining the maximum recovery you are entitled to if you retain local counsel.
#3: Familiarity With Local Laws and Procedures
Courts in different counties may have their own special procedures that must be followed in civil cases. A local lawyer will have much more understanding of the local laws and procedures that must be complied with in your case.
In addition, there is another advantage to hiring local counsel. A local attorney is more likely to have relationships with court personal, lawyers for the insurance company, and insurance adjusters handling claims where your crash occurred. This can help them reach a settlement that fully compensates you and make the litigation process go smoothly and quickly.
Were you injured in a car accident in Norfolk? Our knowledgeable car accident lawyers are here to help. Call our office to schedule your no-obligation initial consultation today.
Can a passenger sue both drivers in a car accident case?
If you were a passenger in an auto collision, you are entitled to be fully compensated for your injuries under Virginia law. You should pursue claims against any driver that was negligent in causing the crash. Depending on how the wreck happened, you may need to file a claim with the insurance companies for the driver of the vehicle you were in and another motorist involved in the accident.
Why it Is Important to Sue Both Drivers
In Virginia, a driver is only responsible for compensating injured passengers if they were negligent in causing the collision. In some car accidents, only one motorist is responsible for causing it, but this is not always the case.
In addition, drivers are only liable up to their percentage of fault in causing the crash. For example, if the driver of your vehicle were 50 percent to blame, they would only have to pay half of the total compensation you should receive.
You protect your rights by pursuing claims against both drivers if there is any possibility that their actions caused the collision. Here is why this is so important:
- Both drivers could point the finger at each other and claim the other one was the at-fault party. If you only sued one driver and they were found not to be negligent, you would not receive any compensation. If they were only found partially to blame, you would not receive all that you deserve from them.
- If more than one motorist was at fault, you could file a claim with both their insurance companies. This would increase the likelihood that you would receive the maximum recovery in your settlement because there would be more liability insurance coverage to pay you.
Why You Need an Auto Accident Attorney
If you were a passenger in a car accident, you have a strong case for compensation since it would be extremely unlikely that you would have been at all at fault in causing it. However, it can be complicated to determine the cause of the crash and who was the negligent party. You need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer who will aggressively fight for your rights. To learn how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.