Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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

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

    What Is a Claim?

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

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

    What Is a Lawsuit?

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

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

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

     

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

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

    How Long Will It Take to Get Your Settlement Check?

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

    Ways to Get Your Medical Expenses Paid After a Dog Bite

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

  • Do I need a premises liability attorney if I was bitten by a dog?

    Aggressive Dog Showing His Teeth While Pulling on His LeashYou may wonder if you should retain an experienced premises liability lawyer if you suffered injuries after a dog bite. Fortunately, the answer is easy. If you want to win your case, you should hire an attorney immediately after being bitten.

    How Can a Lawyer Help Settle a Dog Bite Claim?

    Under Virginia’s dog bite laws, you may be entitled to compensation if a dog bit or attacked you and you suffered injuries. However, getting the insurance company to offer you a fair settlement can be difficult—even if the dog’s owner is clearly liable. Here is how a skilled premises liability attorney can help you:

    • Investigate. A lawyer will investigate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and collect the evidence you need to win your claim.
    • Identify liable parties. An attorney will determine the dog’s owner and any other negligent parties responsible for compensating you. Identifying all the responsible parties increases the likelihood that you will receive the maximum recovery you deserve in your settlement.
    • Hire expert witnesses. Depending on the disputes the insurance company raises when you file your claim, you may need to retain an expert witness to resolve the issue or prove your case at a jury trial. A skilled lawyer will know which expert witnesses you need and have a network of qualified ones to choose from.
    • Negotiate your settlement. Your lawyer will take over communications with the insurance company and negotiate your settlement with them. They will have strategies to defeat the insurance adjuster’s arguments as to why your claim should be denied or why you should not receive as much money as you are requesting.
    • File a lawsuit. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the statute of limitations to sue will expire soon, you need a lawyer licensed to practice law in Virginia to file a lawsuit on your behalf and litigate your claim.

    Contact a Premises Liability Attorney Today

    If you or a family member suffered injuries from a dog bite in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas, our dedicated premises liability lawyers are here to answer your questions, file your claim, and fight for the compensation you deserve from the insurance company. To find out more about how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.

     

  • What does “open and obvious” mean in a premises liability case?

    It can be difficult to prove your right to compensation for your injuries in a premises liability accident. You must show that the business or property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition to hold them liable.

    Your claim can be even more complicated if the insurance company tries to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve in your settlement—which is common in these types of cases. The insurance company may try to do this by arguing that the hazardous condition was “open and obvious.”

    What Is the Open and Obvious Defense?

    If a dangerous condition is open and obvious, this means that the victim should have seen the hazard and avoided it. When raising this defense, the insurance company would be Caution Tape on the Swings at the Playgroundclaiming that the victim was wholly or partially negligent in causing their injuries. Virginia follows a harsh contributory negligence rule that prohibits anyone from obtaining compensation if they were at fault—even just one percent to blame.

    Whether a condition is open and obvious will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident and what a reasonable person would do. The court would consider the dangerous condition and whether a person of reasonable intelligence would have noticed it and avoided it.

    Even if the insurance company successfully argues that the condition was open and obvious, there may be exceptions where this defense would not apply.

    Exceptions to the Open and Obvious Defense

    • Negligence per se. In some cases, the business or property owner could be automatically negligent under the negligence per se doctrine. This exception would often apply in premises liability cases if the owner violated a building code.
    • Distraction. If the owner should expect that individuals would be too distracted to discover an obvious danger, they could still face liability for a victim’s injuries.
    • Expectation of harm. The owner can also be held responsible if they should reasonably expect that an open and obvious hazard could harm someone. In this situation, they would be required to promptly correct the problem or post a sign warning of the danger.

    If you were injured in a premises liability accident and want to obtain all the compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law, you need the help of an experienced premises liability attorney. To find out how we can assist you, contact us online or call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

     

  • How much is my dog bite claim worth?

    dog attack vicious dog bite

    You might be entitled to compensation under Virginia’s dog bite laws if you suffered injuries due to a dog bite or attack. However, you need to know how much your claim is worth when deciding whether to file a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company. There are two things you need to consider when valuing your claim:

    • The amount of compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law
    • How certain factors could increase or decrease your claim’s value

    Types of Compensation You Can Recover in a Dog Bite Case

    If a dog bit you, you are entitled to your past and future damages. Compensation you should receive in your settlement includes:

    • Medical expenses, such as hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, and medications
    • Lost wages, benefits, and perks of your job, and lost earning capacity damages if you are permanently disabled
    • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress damages 
    • Property damages

    Factors That Can Affect Your Claim’s Value

    Certain factors can strengthen your dog bite claim and make its value higher. Other ones can weaken your case and reduce its value. Here are factors you need to consider when valuing your claim:

    • Seriousness of your injuries. If you suffered serious injuries that will require long-term care or are permanent, the value of your claim will be higher because you will be entitled to more compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
    • Disputes with the insurance company. If the insurance company raises legitimate concerns about the dog owner’s liability or the seriousness of your injuries, this could reduce the value of your claim. However, you need to be wary when they raise issues because they may be using bogus arguments to deny your claim or try to get you to accept less in damages for your settlement.
    • Your fault. If you were partially at fault for causing the dog to bite you, this could significantly weaken your case. Virginia follows a harsh contributory negligence law that would bar you from recovering any compensation if you were even one percent to blame for the attack.

    Let Our Norfolk Attorneys Help You Value Your Claim

    The best way to accurately determine how much your claim is worth is to hire an experienced dog bite attorney to value it for you. They will also collect the evidence you need to hold the dog owner and other liable parties responsible for compensating you and fight with their insurance company so that you receive what you are entitled to in your settlement. To find out how we can help, call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.

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

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

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

    Why it Is Best to Retain a Local Attorney

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

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

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

     

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

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

    A Landlord’s Duty to Maintain Rental Properties

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

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

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

    Importance of Proving the Landlord Knew of the Dangerous Condition

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

    Leading Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

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

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

    How to Know If Your Injuries Were Caused by Negligence

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

     

  • What is the difference between a slip and fall and a premises liability accident?

    If you suffered injuries on a property or business owner’s property, you may be wondering what type of claim you have to be compensated for your injuries. Do you have a slip and fall or premises liability claim? What’s the difference between the two?

    A slip and fall accident is a type of premises liability case where the victim suffers injuries caused by slipping, falling, or tripping due to a hazardous condition. You are entitled to the same types of compensation as in other premises liability accidents.

    Types of Premises Claims

    A premises liability claim arises when a business or property owner fails to maintain their property in a safe condition and someone is injured. A slip and Premisis Liability Book on a Deskfall accident is the best-known type of premises liability case. However, other injury claims that fall under the umbrella of premises liability, such as:

    • Negligent security. A property or business owner could be held liable for negligent security if they failed to provide adequate security and a victim was assaulted, robbed, or attacked in another way.
    • Dog bite. If a dog bites or attacks someone, their owner could be liable to compensate the victim under Virginia’s dog bite laws.
    • Toxic chemical exposure. If the negligence of a property or business owner causes individuals to be exposed to toxic chemicals, they may be liable to compensate those who suffered injuries due to the exposure.
    • Swimming pool. Individuals may need to pursue a premises liability claim if they suffer injuries in a slip and fall, drowning, or other accident at a swimming pool.
    • Elevators and Escalators. Victims can suffer catastrophic injuries or death in an elevator or escalator accident if the elevator or escalator is not properly maintained or repaired.

    How to Prove Negligence in a Premises Liability Accident

    If you were injured in a slip and fall or other type of premises liability accident, you must prove that the owner’s negligence caused your accident and injuries. To establish negligence, you must show the following:

    • The property or business owner owed a duty to you. The owner has a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe manner, correct dangerous conditions promptly, and post warning signs if they are unable to remove a hazard quickly under Virginia law.
    • The owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and breached their duty of care to you by failing to rectify the problem or post a warning sign.
    • The breach of the owner’s duty caused your injuries.
    • You suffered injuries and are entitled to damages.

    Were you injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident? Our experienced premises liability attorneys are here to answer your questions, collect the evidence you need to prove the property or business owner’s negligence, and fight with their insurance company to obtain all the compensation you deserve. To get started, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.

     

  • Why won’t my primary care doctor treat my injuries?

    If you were hurt in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, one of your first steps should be to seek prompt medical treatment. This protects your health and avoids Doctor Holding His Hand Out to Refuse Care disputes with the insurance company for the property owner about what caused your injuries and how serious they are.

    However, it can be distressing to find out that your primary care doctor does not want to treat the injuries caused by your accident. Here are some common reasons physicians make this decision.

    Why Your Physician May Not Treat Your Injuries

    The reasons your doctor may tell you that they will not see you often have nothing to do with you. This is a common response of many primary care doctors when their patients are a victim of a premises liability or car accident.

    Primary care doctors have many reasons for this decision. Here are a few of the most common reasons:

    • Specialist. You could suffer serious injuries in a premises liability accident, such as traumatic brain injuries, fractures, back injuries, or spinal cord injuries. Your doctor may not be qualified to treat your injuries and may refer you to a specialist.
    • Insurance company. It can be more complicated to submit bills for injuries caused in a premises liability accident to the insurance company than to a health insurance provider. Your physician may not want to go through the hassle of dealing with the insurance company or waiting to receive their payment, which is common in these cases.
    • Litigation. Your doctor may not want to be involved in a lawsuit if you are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company. They may not want to take the time it would take to give a deposition or testify at your jury trial.
    • Lien. Your physician may have to wait to be paid out of your settlement proceeds. They may not want to agree to have a lien on your settlement and wait months or longer for your bills to be paid.

    What You Should Do If Your Doctor Does Not Want to Treat You

    Getting the medical care you need for your injuries strengthens your claim and will help you obtain all the compensation you deserve from the insurance company. If your physician refuses to see you, you will need to find another doctor. Here are ways to do this:

    • Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a specialist or another physician who deals with injuries caused in premises liability accidents.
    • Ask your family, friends, and co-workers for recommendations of doctors who will treat your injuries.
    • Retain an experienced premises liability attorney. They may have a network of qualified physicians who see accident victims and can refer you to one.

    Were you or a family member hurt in a premises liability accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation today to learn how our dedicated legal team can assist you.

     

  • What should I do if I was injured in a slip and fall accident out of state?

    If you are injured in a slip and fall accident out of state, your vacation or business trip could be ruined. You may need to file a claim for Thank You, Visit Us Again Signcompensation with the negligent property or business owner’s insurance company.

    Filing your claim can be more confusing and complicated if your accident did not occur where you live. Here are the steps you will need to take if you pursue damages for an out-of-state slip and fall accident.

    What Laws Will Apply to an Out-of-State Slip and Fall Claim?

    The laws in the state where your slip and fall accident happened will apply to your claim. They will determine many aspects of your case, such as how long you have to file a lawsuit, the types of compensation you can recover, and how your own negligence could affect your claim.

    What Steps Should You Take After an Out-of-State Slip and Fall Accident?

    If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident while in another state, you will need to take the same steps you would take if your fall occurred where you live. However, it is even more crucial to take these actions right away if you were injured out of state because it may be much more difficult or impossible to take them once you return home. Here are important first steps you should take:

    • Obtain immediate medical care. Even if you do not think you were hurt, getting prompt medical treatment protects your health and avoids disputes with the insurance company over the cause of your injuries. You should be examined by a physician within 48 hours of your fall.
    • File an accident report. File an accident report with the business or property owner right after your slip and fall accident happens and obtain a copy of it. If they won’t give you one, take a picture of it with your cell phone camera.
    • Collect contact information. You should obtain the contact information for the owner, their insurance company, and any eyewitnesses to your fall.
    • Take photos. You should take photos of the accident scene that show the dangerous condition that caused you to fall and the lack of a warning sign of the danger. You need to do this right away before the owner or staff removes the hazard.
    • Obtain surveillance camera footage. If there is any surveillance camera footage that shows the location where you were injured or your accident as it occurred, you need to obtain it quickly before it is taped over or destroyed.
    • Hire a lawyer. You need to retain an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible to file your claim and to fight with the insurance company to obtain the compensation you deserve. You should select a lawyer in the state where your fall occurred. They will know the laws that apply to your claim and the procedures you must follow if you must file a lawsuit.

    Were you injured in a premises liability accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free consultation to learn how we have helped other slip and fall accident victims and how we can assist you.

     

  • How long do I have to report my slip and fall accident?

    If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident on someone’s property or at a business, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if the owner’s negligence caused you to fall. There is no set deadline to report your accident to the property or business owner in Virginia.

    However, you should file your accident report as soon as possible after your slip and fall accident. Taking this important step will strengthen your case and help you obtain the maximum recovery in your settlement.

    How Filing an Accident Report Helps Your Claim

    You should file an accident report even if you do not believe you suffered any injuries or think your injuries were minor. Here are four ways filing a report will Accident Report Paperwork and Pencilmake your claim for compensation stronger:

    1. It puts the property or business owner on notice that you suffered apparent or possible injuries in a slip and fall accident on their property.
    2. Filing a report can help you avoid disputes with their insurance company about whether or not your slip and fall accident occurred.
    3. You provide the owner with your contact information and can obtain the contact information for their insurance company, which you will need to file your claim.
    4. The accident report will provide details of how your fall happened while they are still fresh in your mind.

    You should obtain a copy of the accident report for your records. If the owner will not or cannot provide you with a copy, take a picture of the report with your cell phone camera. You should write up a statement with all the important details of your fall if the property or business owner does not have a form for you to complete.

    What Happens If I Did Not File an Accident Report?

    If you did not file an accident report because you didn’t know that you needed to, this does not mean that you cannot file a claim with the negligent owner’s insurance company. However, you need to be prepared for disputes with the insurance company about how you were injured and their liability to pay you.

    Were you or a family member injured in a slip and fall accident in Virginia Beach and Norfolk? Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation with our experienced premises liability lawyers to learn how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

     

  • How can I help my lawyer win my premises liability case?

    Injured Man Talking to Lawyer on PhoneIf you were injured in a premises liability accident, you should retain a knowledgeable premises liability attorney to negotiate your settlement with the negligent property or business owner’s insurance company. Once you hire an attorney, it is important to understand that you are a team working toward the goal of getting all the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Here are four ways you can help win your case.

    #1: Respond When Your Lawyer Contacts You

    You want your attorney to get back to you quickly when you have questions or need to be updated on the status of your case. Your lawyer needs you to do the same if they call, write, or email you. If you do not contact them, you may hurt your case or lose a time-sensitive settlement offer.

    #2: Follow Up on Your Medical Care

    If you want to build a strong case, you need to attend all of your doctor and medical appointments and follow your physician’s advice on your treatment. You would make it harder for your lawyer to convince the insurance adjuster of the seriousness of your injuries if you miss appointments, have large gaps in your medical treatments, or do not follow the recommendations of your physician.

    #3: Cooperate in the Discovery Process

    You may need to file a civil lawsuit if the insurance company does not offer you a reasonable settlement or the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to file your lawsuit, will expire soon. You may need to answer written questions, referred to as interrogatories, produce documents, and have your deposition taken as part of the discovery process.

    You help your lawyer by answering any discovery requests thoroughly and quickly. You also need to meet with them to prepare for your deposition. If you do well when giving your deposition, you make it much easier for your attorney to obtain all the damages you are entitled to in a settlement or at a jury trial.

    #4: Be Truthful

    You must be honest with your lawyer. Do not hide details about your accident, lie, or exaggerate your injuries. If your lawyer finds out you were not being truthful from the insurance company or their attorney, this could significantly weaken your claim and the amount of compensation you will be able to recover.

    If you were injured in a premises liability accident in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas, our experienced premises liability attorneys are here to go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve. Call our Norfolk office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation to get started.

     

  • Is my premises liability settlement taxable?

    Writing on Paper With a PenWhen 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.

     

  • Will I need to sign a release of claims form when I settle my premises liability claim?

    Lawyer With a Release of All Claims FormWhen 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.

     

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

    Insurance Adjuster Offering Settlement PaperworkIf 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 documents should I bring to my first appointment with my slip and fall accident attorney?

    Lawyer Holding a Folder of PapersIf 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.

     

  • How long will it take to settle my dog bite case?

    Calendar With a ClockIt is not easy to know how long it will take to resolve your dog bite claim because every case is unique. However, there are some common factors in these cases that can make it take longer to settle your claim. Understanding what they are can give you a better sense of how long you may have to wait to receive your money.

    Factors That Affect How Long it Will Take to Settle Your Dog Bite Claim

    Under Virginia dog bite laws, you may be entitled to compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the dog’s owner. However, it may not be easy to reach a settlement for what you deserve with their insurance company. Here are some factors that can affect how long this process will take:

    • Your recovery. It is important to wait until you fully recover from your injuries, or as much as you will, to settle your case. You cannot know how much you should receive in your settlement for your future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering until you reach this stage of your medical treatment.
    • Seriousness of your injuries. If you suffered serious injuries, the value of your claim will be higher. You may need to fight longer and harder to convince the insurance company to pay you all the compensation you deserve than if you suffered a minor injury.
    • Litigation. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the statute of limitations, which is the time period to sue, will expire soon, you will need to retain an experienced premises liability attorney to file a lawsuit against the dog owner. It can take longer to go through the litigation process, although it is still likely that your case will be settled before it goes to a jury trial.

    If you suffered injuries in a dog attack, our skilled premises liability lawyers are here to explain your options to you and how long it could take to settle your case. To get started, call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation today.

  • Who could be liable when a dog bites someone?

    An Aggressive Dog on a LeashUnder Virginia dog bite laws, dog owners are liable to compensate victims if they knew or should have known their dog was dangerous or aggressive, failed to use reasonable care to control their dog, or violated a law or ordinance relating to the dog’s care. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a dog bite, other parties, in addition to the owner, could face liability. If you were injured in a dog attack, you need to identify all the responsible parties if you want to obtain the maximum recovery you are entitled to.

    Parties Who May Liable in a Dog Bite Case

    Even if you have a strong case against the dog owner, they may not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries fully. That is why it is so important to pursue claims against other liable parties if there are any. Who is liable will depend on the facts in your case. However, here are some parties who may face responsibility:

    • Dog owner. In most cases, the dog owner would be partially or fully responsible if their dog bit you.
    • Dog keeper. If someone was taking care of the dog at the time of the attack, they could face liability if they knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous tendencies or failed to reasonably control the dog, and this caused the victim’s dog bite. Violation of a local dog ordinance could be another way to hold them liable.
    • Landlord. A landlord has a duty to protect against dangerous conditions on their property, which can include aggressive dogs. They also have a duty to regularly inspect for hazardous conditions and to take steps to protect others from these dangers. If they breach these duties, they can be liable to compensate a dog bite victim.
    • Parents. If a child under 18 years old owned or was taking care of a dog who bit you, they might not be held responsible due to their age. However, their parents could be responsible depending on the circumstances surrounding the attack.
    • Business. If the dog attack occurred on business property, the business owner might have breached their duty to protect against dangerous conditions and be an additional party to pursue a claim against.

    Did you or a loved one suffer a dog bite in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Our experienced premises liability attorneys can identify all the liable parties and pursue claims on your behalf. To learn how we will aggressively fight for your rights, fill out our convenient online form on this page to schedule your free consultation today.