Frequently Asked Questions
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What is social media surveillance in a personal injury case?
In today’s society, millions and millions of people post all kinds of personal information on their social media pages. Photographs, check-ins, statuses all show up on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. But an insurance company can use all of your social media posts against you in order to try to prove your claim is invalid. Even if you have all of your accounts set to private, the insurance company can file a motion with the courts to have you turn over this information as evidence.
What is video surveillance in a personal injury case?
It is not uncommon for an insurance company to utilize the services of investigators to follow and watch a victim while they go through their day to day activities. The investigator will usually video record or take photos of any activity they think could be used to prove the victim is not really injured as they claim they are. This evidence can all be presented during litigation as evidence against the victim. However, the victim’s attorney can also use the recordings to prove the victim is injured and can request all videos and photos during the discovery phase of litigation.
Is it legal for an insurance investigator to “spy” on a victim while their claim is pending?
It is legal and it is also likely, especially if the amount of the claim is a significant amount. As long as the investigator is not infringing on your privacy, then it is legal. In order to avoid any issues that could jeopardize your claim, it is important to always be honest about your injury. Do not exaggerate the extent of injuries, but also do not push yourself to do things your body is not physically ready to do, such as go back to work too soon or work on household chores.
How are the income taxes determined when the punitive damages are included in a settlement amount and not an award?
In order to avoid paying the government more in punitive damage tax than you should, it is critical that the settlement agreement your accident attorney draws up is specific in what dollar amount – if any – is specifically dedicated for punitive damages. Otherwise, the IRS could turn around and make that determination and the amount could be much more than what was actually intended to be punitive damages.
How are taxes determined for the punitive amount of a personal injury award?
The economic and non-economic damages a victim received in a personal injury award are not taxable, however, if punitive damages are awarded, those are taxable under the federal tax code. However, before the tax is determined on that amount, the victim is allowed to deduct the attorney’s fees related to that punitive damage amount first. In the majority of personal injury cases, attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless they are successful in getting financial compensation for the victim. Typically, the fee is one-third of the amount the victim is awarded.
Is a personal injury award taxable?
According to the federal income code, any damages received for personal physical injury or illness is not to be included in a taxpayer’s gross income, making that settlement or award exempt from federal taxes. Each state in the country also follows this rule. However, punitive damages are not included in this rule and any punitive damages awarded are taxable.
How does a Virginia malpractice attorney prove negligence in a dental malpractice case?
A malpractice attorney, using medical records, photographs, and witness statements, will take the following steps to prove dental malpractice:
- Prove the dental provider owed the patient a duty of care
- Prove the dental provider violated that duty of care
- Prove the patient suffered an injury
- Prove that injury was caused by the dental provider’s negligence
- Prove the patient suffered losses as a result of that injury
What are the most common types of dental malpractice?
- Extraction of the wrong tooth
- Improperly placed bridge, crowns or implants, which can cause pain and infections, as well as issues with chewing
- Dental anesthesia errors
- Injuries, such as errors in root canals
- Failure to diagnosis
Can I sue my dentist for malpractice?
Yes. Just as a patient can sue their medical provider for injury or illness they suffer because of negligence on the part of that provider, a patient who has suffered harm because of negligence on the part of their dentist or dental provider (orthodontist, oral surgeon, periodontist, dental hygienist) may pursue a dental malpractice lawsuit.
What kind of damages can a victim receive for the losses a defective hip replacement device has caused them?
A personal injury attorney can pursue damages on behalf of the victim for financial compensation for additional medical expenses the victim needs for surgery, therapy, and other medical care they require, loss of income from being unable to work during the extended recovery, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and more.