Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What should I say when I visit a medical doctor/provider?

    When you go to a physical therapist, stay on topic. This should be essentially talk about your care or how you were doing. Do not cozy up to the therapist and confide with them about your brother in law who was just released from the state penitentiary, or about anything that could somehow be used against you by an insurance lawyer months later.

    We do explain to every injury client that if the case gets into court, the insurance lawyer's basic strategy is to subpoena every medical record after the date of the accident, even going back for a number of years before the accident to study whether you had any condition that they can argue makes your claim less valuable. Some clients think they can hide a damaging medical record or opinion, but finding all relevant medical records is fairly easy for an insurance lawyer by simply going to a health insurance provider and getting a list of all expenses paid by that provider. They can also they simply look for cross-references between records.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • Should I send written statements to my medical doctor/provider?

    No. We've had clients fax a hand written long note to the doctor explaining that the doctor not understand how the pain of this client was significant, or why the doctor got it wrong in sending the client back to work when they were still hurt, and guess what? Once the doctor/medical provider puts that written fax or letter in your patient chart, it will find its way to the insurance defense attorney months later if the case goes to court. We have even had the injured person's wife or husband hand right the nasty note that finds its way into the file. What makes your case good or bad? Not doing faxes or hand written notes to your medical provider telling them how they don't understand your medical condition.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • What if I have long gaps in between medical care?

    This situation is if you are treated by certain doctors on a regular basis for several weeks or months, and then stop going to any of those medical providers for three months, and start back up.

    Lawyers and insurance adjusters called this a gap in treatment. Is there a good reason? When there is a good reason we, as injury lawyers, can deal with this and it's not a case killer, but an unusual lack of medical care and then a resumption of the care needs to have a rational reason or the insurance adjuster will try to claim that none of the care after the long gap is really related to the car accident injury.

    The insurance adjusters try to scour the medical records and other records to try to claim that some part of the medical care has nothing to do with the car accident case even without a major gap in care.
     

     


     

     

  • What is a wrongful death claim?

    A wrongful death lawsuit claims the victim was killed as a result of negligence, or another type of unjust action on the part of the individual or entity being sued, and the victim's survivors are entitled to damages as a result of the improper conduct. A wrongful death claim is just a negligence lawsuit in which the individual injured died from the injury.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • What if an individual dies from the injuries in an accident while the case is pending?

    A wrongful death claim is a cause of action which stems from the victim's death from an accident, is brought on behalf of the surviving beneficiaries or dependents of the deceased individual, and has different types of damages from cases where just an injury results.

    For example, say someone is married with two children and becomes injured in a severe car accident caused by the negligence of a another driver. If the victim is hospitalized and sues the person at fault, but before the victim's case is heard, they die from the injuries sustained in the car accident. The victim's spouse may proceed with the claim, after getting qualified as the personal representative of the estate, as a wrongful death matter against the person at fault.

    You also need to be aware of the "survival statute" which preserves a victim's cause of action against an at-fault party after the victim passes away from some cause other than the accident. This enables the estate to take over the victim's cause of action against the at-fault party. The damages available in a survival action include all the damages for the injury that are available to the actual victim if the individual survived.


    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • I have a feeling something is wrong at my family member's nursing home. What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse or neglect?

    Given that your family member's health and safety is at risk, your suspicions should be investigated as soon as possible. Talk to the nursing staff and anyone else at the facility in the position to witness your family member's care.

    Request copies of all records related to care, and ask for any other documentation that the nursing home can provide. If you are not convinced the nursing home is taking proper care of your family member, bring your concerns to the attention of the nursing home administrator. 

    To decide if you should bring a claim against a nursing home for abuse or neglect, it is necessary to determine if your family member suffered some type of injury as the result of poor care. You should seek the guidance of an attorney, like those working for Shapiro & Appleton who possess experience with nursing home cases. They can help decide whether or not your family member has a legitimate claim.

    Once we are involved, we can review all available records and take formal, sworn statements of the nursing home staff and administration, as needed, to find out if the elements of a legal claim exist, given the circumstances.

    If your family member has a claim, we will continue to investigate the facts specific to their care and establish, by reviewing the laws and the standards that apply to nursing homes, if your family member's care is substandard. After that, we will assess if the injury is directly related to the substandard care.


     

     

  • A family member died in a nursing home, and after talking with members of the staff, it sounds like they died due to nursing home neglect. Should I get a lawyer?

    Yes, especially if you've spoken with the nursing home's staff and they indicate a level of neglect. If you win your case, insurance should cover the claim, as long as the nursing home is insured. If the nursing home is uninsured, they will either have to pay the damages itself or the award would be uncollectible if the facility did not have the finances to pay.

    When you bring a claim against a nursing home, the insurer will be notified immediately. If there is no insurer, you will be dealing directly with the nursing home, if they can afford to respond to your claim.

    In either situation, you should have the advice of an experienced attorney instead of trying to negotiate a claim on your own.

     An attorney can determine what the insurance policy limits are and what the potential value of a claim is so you do not go in expecting more than is possible for a recovery or do not undervalue the case and agree to a low settlement. You also need to make sure you are fully aware of all your rights and the rights of your loved one.

     

     

  • Are there different rules that apply to accidents involving commercial trucks?

    Yes. The majority of federal regulations dealing with the trucking industry can be found within Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These federal regulations apply to commercial tractor-trailers in interstate commerce and are adopted by many states. 

    Trucking accident lawsuits involve a variety of elements which are different from car accident cases. For example, an extremely important piece of evidence in a trucking accident case is the driver's logs. Federal law requires truck drivers to record their driving data in a driver's log. In a trucking accident case, a thorough examination of the log is important. The driver's log may be used to show violations of federal hours-of-service regulations, illegal conduct and negligent conduct.

    The training, education, experience, traffic violations, and mental and physical status of the truck driver are all elements that should be considered in determining whether the driver and trucking company were following federal and state regulations.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • How much time do I have after a trucking accident to file a lawsuit?

    Every state contains "statutes of limitation," which determine the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. This deadline is important since if you miss it, your claim will be dismissed. The window of opportunity starts from the date of the accident. To determine how much time you have to file your suit, contact Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan immediately and we discuss the pertinent details of your case.

    Even if there is an extended period of time before a lawsuit has to be filed, that does not mean you should wait to contact an attorney. There are many details that need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. For example, you want to document your injuries, secure evidence, identify possible responsible persons, and determine insurance policy coverage along with policy limits as soon as you can.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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  • How much time does it take to resolve a truck accident case? Do most cases settle or go to trial?

    The amount of time required to resolve your case depends largely on the unique circumstances of your case. Some cases take a few months to resolve, while others take a year or longer. Due to the extensive amount of damages involved in a typical truck accident case, the trucking company insurers are more likely to authorize a time-consuming, vigorous defense. This usually means truck accident cases take longer to resolve than typical car accident cases.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.



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