Frequently Asked Questions

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  • My car was smashed up in the car crash that was not my fault, what can I expect from the insurance company for the other driver on that part of the case?

    When a person in Virginia is involved in an automobile accident with injuries there are really two separate claims that arise. The first is for the personal injury which is the kind of work that our law firm focuses on. This case is to get you back compensation for your injury, your medicals, your lost wages, your pain and suffering, your permanent injury and everything that's happened to you as far as injuries from the moment of the impact through the time that the case is resolved.

    The second aspect of the situation where there's been a car crash is the property damage claim to get the insurance company for the at-fault driver to pay to fix your car and get you a rental car while your car is repaired. To the extent that your car is totaled then the insurance company is responsible to give you a check for the fair market value of your vehicle and a rental car until such time as they give you the check. Normally, if the fault is clear, the property damage part of the case works itself out fairly easily without attorney involvement. We will try to point you in the right direction to help you find a solution to any questions you have about the property damage aspect of the case. When dealing with the insurance company it's okay to sign a release for the property damage as long as it is limited to that. If you have any questions about the handling of your property damage you can ask your personal injury lawyer to help you.

    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.

  • Will my new personal injury lawyer come to see me at my house or the hospital if I am not able to get to his office to hire him for my injury case?

    Yes. Almost all personal injury lawyers who regularly handle car, motorcycle, and truck accident cases will be happy to come visit you in your home or at the hospital to get the paperwork started for them to represent you in the case. If you are hospitalized this is typically the only way possible to meet with your attorney in the important early days before the evidence trail starts to get cold. At our firm, we also understand that if the family car has been made inoperable because of the car wreck that it may be a burden for the injured person to get to our offices in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). Our attorneys are always ready to meet with you however is most convenient for you, our prospective client. Our job is to provide the best service we can to people seriously hurt by the negligence of others.

     

  • What happens to my Virginia injury case if I file bankruptcy?

    If you are hurt in a car wreck in Virginia (VA), you may be forced to consider bankruptcy because of the huge medical bills and the loss of your job or wages because of the injury.  As a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer, unfortunately this has happened to many of my clients in auto accidents over the past 20 years.  Nobody wants to file bankruptcy, but sometimes there is no choice especially after a serious injury in an accident.  The bankruptcy does not prevent you from getting money for your injury from the insurance company in a Virginia car crash claim.

    If you have an ongoing personal injury claim or lawsuit and are considering bankruptcy, you need to tell your injury lawyer as soon as possible what's going on with you financially.  Your attorney can help you to find a good bankruptcy lawyer and stay in touch so that your car crash case and the bankruptcy case are handled properly.  In Virginia there is an exemption for the proceeds of the personal injury case, so that if properly listed in the bankruptcy case the injured person gets to keep the money from the personal injury case even though they went into bankruptcy.  This rule varies in different states.

    Generally, the value of your personal injury lawsuit in Virginia is not affected too much by a bankruptcy even one that cancels the obligation to pay back the health care providers who rendered treatment.  The Virginia case law allows the injury attorney to put into evidence the amount of the medical bills, even if those medical bills were wiped out in bankruptcy, as an indication of the amount of pain and suffering that the person went through after the car wreck.  However, to make sure that the bankruptcy does not mess up your personal injury case it's critical that you have a competent, experienced lawyer who knows their way through these issues, and that you communicate fully with that lawyer about your financial situation.

     

    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 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.

     

  • What is the Virginia (VA) statute of limitations for a personal injury in a car/motor vehicle accident?

    First, always consult a lawyer for specific legal advice as this is only a guide and never rely on such a guide for an important legal decision. In Virginia, for persons who were were 18 years of age when injured, and are not under any particular disability, Virginia follows a two-year statute of limitations on personal injuries arising from car accidents and many other types of personal injury situations,  and this is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence claims also. Again, seek specific legal advice as there are numerous exceptions, for minors and those who were incompetent or under a legal disability, and this does not necessarily apply to wrongful death situations either.  Normally, medical malpractice actions must be commenced within two years of the date of the act or omission giving rise to the claim. For VA medical malpractice actions involving the presence of a foreign object inside the body, special discovery rules apply, so seek specific legal advice as the limitation period may be more than two years.

    One of the many reasons the lawyer should be consulted is that each state has special rules on what is usually called "the discovery rule" which essentially means sometimes a statute of limitations may be extended if the person could not reasonably discover that they had a case. Also persons who are “incompetent” (states have legal definitions on what this means) or under some type of (legal) disability, may have additional time to bring a lawsuit under certain state rules.

    Also, which state's statute of limitations applies to a particular type of personal injury is not always clear, for example, if a resident of North Carolina suffers an injury in Virginia, which state’s statute of limitation that applies may be complicated and depend on the precise types of claims that apply to the particular case. . It may depend on where a lawyer chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit. So, depending upon what type of personal injury action, whether under a state law or federal law or statute, as well as where the action is going to be filed in court, may have bearing on what statute of limitations applies, as well as what other exceptions to the statute of limitations may allow a personal injury victim/claimant to extend the period by which a suit may be filed.

    In complicated situations this is a very important legal determination that should only be made by a qualified, experienced, personal injury lawyer. This is another reason that you should obtain a confidential, free, initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer with our law firm if you are uncertain about the statute of limitations that may apply to a particular claim/case or personal injury situation.


    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.

  • What is the North Carolina (NC) statute of limitations for a personal injury in a car accident, and in a medical malpractice case?

    In North Carolina, there is a three-year statute of limitations on personal injuries arising from car accidents and this limitation period usually applies to medical malpractice cases. Again, there are exceptions and specific legal device should be sought out.

     

    Medical malpractice actions must be commenced within three years of the act or omission giving rise to the injury, or within two years of the date of discovery, to a maximum of four years following the date of the act or omission. In cases involving wrongful death, the limitations period is usually two years. Medical malpractice actions for objects left inside the body may be commenced within one year of the date of discovery, to a maximum of ten years after the date of the act giving rise to the injury. Under North Carolina law, a minor must usually file suit within one year of his or her eighteenth birthday.

     

    One of the many reasons the lawyer should be consulted is that each state has special rules on what is usually called "the discovery rule" which essentially means sometimes a statute of limitations may be extended if the person could not reasonably discover that they had a case. Also persons who are “incompetent” (states have legal definitions on what this means) or under some type of (legal) disability, may have additional time to bring a lawsuit under certain state rules.

     

    Also, which state's statute of limitations applies to a particular type of personal injury is not always clear, for example, if a resident of North Carolina suffers an injury in Virginia, which state’s statute of limitation that applies may be complicated and depend on the precise types of claims that apply to the particular case. . It may depend on where a lawyer chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit. So, depending upon what type of personal injury action, whether under a state law or federal law or statute, as well as where the action is going to be filed in court, may have bearing on what statute of limitations applies, as well as what other exceptions to the statute of limitations may allow a personal injury victim/claimant to extend the period by which a suit may be filed.

     

    In complicated situations this is a very important legal determination that should only be made by a qualified, experienced, personal injury lawyer. This is another reason that you should obtain a confidential, free, initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer with our law firm if you are uncertain about the statute of limitations that may apply to a particular claim/case or personal injury situation.

     

  • What is the Virginia (VA) general statute of limitations for a personal injury?

    First, always consult a lawyer for specific legal advice as this is only a guide and never rely on such a guide for an important legal decision. In Virginia, for persons who were were 18 years of age when injured, and are not under any particular disability, Virginia follows a two-year statute of limitations on personal injuries arising from negligence,  and this is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence claims also. Again, seek specific legal advice as there are numerous exceptions, for minors and those who were incompetent or under a legal disability, and this does not necessarily apply to wrongful death situations either.  Normally, medical malpractice actions must be commenced within two years of the date of the act or omission giving rise to the claim. For VA medical malpractice actions involving the presence of a foreign object inside the body, special discovery rules apply, so seek specific legal advice as the limitation period may be more than two years.

    One of the many reasons the lawyer should be consulted is that each state has special rules on what is usually called "the discovery rule" which essentially means sometimes a statute of limitations may be extended if the person could not reasonably discover that they had a case. Also persons who are “incompetent” (states have legal definitions on what this means) or under some type of (legal) disability, may have additional time to bring a lawsuit under certain state rules.

    Also, which state's statute of limitations applies to a particular type of personal injury is not always clear, for example, if a resident of North Carolina suffers an injury in Virginia, which state’s statute of limitation that applies may be complicated and depend on the precise types of claims that apply to the particular case. . It may depend on where a lawyer chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit. So, depending upon what type of personal injury action, whether under a state law or federal law or statute, as well as where the action is going to be filed in court, may have bearing on what statute of limitations applies, as well as what other exceptions to the statute of limitations may allow a personal injury victim/claimant to extend the period by which a suit may be filed.

     In complicated situations this is a very important legal determination that should only be made by a qualified, experienced, personal injury lawyer. This is another reason that you should obtain a confidential, free, initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer with our law firm if you are uncertain about the statute of limitations that may apply to a particular claim/case or personal injury situation.

     

    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.

     

  • What is the Virginia (VA) statute of limitations for personal injury in a medical malpractice case?

    First, always consult a lawyer for specific legal advice as this is only a guide and never rely on such a guide for an important legal decision. In Virginia, for persons who were were 18 years of age when injured, and are not under any particular disability, Virginia follows a two-year statute of limitations on personal injuries arising from car accidents and many other types of personal injury situations, and this is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence claims also. Again, seek specific legal advice as there are numerous exceptions, for minors and those who were incompetent or under a legal disability, and this does not necessarily apply to wrongful death situations either.  Normally, medical malpractice actions must be commenced within two years of the date of the act or omission giving rise to the claim. For VA medical malpractice actions involving the presence of a foreign object inside the body, special discovery rules apply, so seek specific legal advice as the limitation period may be more than two years.

     One of the many reasons the lawyer should be consulted is that each state has special rules on what is usually called "the discovery rule" which essentially means sometimes a statute of limitations may be extended if the person could not reasonably discover that they had a case. Also persons who are “incompetent” (states have legal definitions on what this means) or under some type of (legal) disability, may have additional time to bring a lawsuit under certain state rules.

    Also, which state's statute of limitations applies to a particular type of personal injury is not always clear, for example, if a resident of North Carolina suffers an injury in Virginia, which state’s statute of limitation that applies may be complicated and depend on the precise types of claims that apply to the particular case. . It may depend on where a lawyer chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit. So, depending upon what type of personal injury action, whether under a state law or federal law or statute, as well as where the action is going to be filed in court, may have bearing on what statute of limitations applies, as well as what other exceptions to the statute of limitations may allow a personal injury victim/claimant to extend the period by which a suit may be filed.

    In complicated situations this is a very important legal determination that should only be made by a qualified, experienced, personal injury lawyer. This is another reason that you should obtain a confidential, free, initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer with our law firm if you are uncertain about the statute of limitations that may apply to a particular claim/case or personal injury situation.

     

    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.

  • What is the Virginia medical malpractice cap, and what does it mean to a patient injured by a medical mistake?

    The medical malpractice cap in Virginia (VA) is a law put in through the Virginia legislature which gives special treatment to healthcare providers like doctors and hospitals when they are sued for medical malpractice. The healthcare industry and insurance companies have very strong lobbyists in Richmond, Virginia (VA), the state capitol. They had a law passed that says that no matter what harm is caused to a patient by a medical error, the patient or her family can only receive two million dollars maximum. If a lawsuit for medical negligence goes to a jury and results in an award greater than two million dollars, then the judge will reduce what the jury thought was a reasonable verdict down to the cap level of two million dollars. This law gives doctors and their insurers an advantage over consumers and patients that no other industry enjoys in Virginia.

    Unlike medical malpractice caps in some other states, the Virginia (VA) limit on damages on a medical malpractice case applies regardless of the economic loss to the person. For example, if your father became a quadriplegic as a result of a neck surgery messed up by a doctor, the most that could ever be received from the lawsuit is two million dollars. This limit applies even if the medical bills, past and future, to provide your dad treatment for the rest of his life costs ten million dollars.

    Another situation that could happen in Virginia, where this arbitrary limit is unfair, is if your husband or wife is killed at a relatively young age when they had a good job that you and your children were depending on to pay the family’s bills in the future. If a physician or a nurse causes a permanent injury and your spouse can never work again as a result, the most you can ever receive is two million dollars, even if an economist estimates that over their work-life expectancy, your husband or wife would have made five million dollars.

    These medical malpractice limits apply in any case where you are alleging that you or a loved one was harmed by a healthcare provider while you or your loved one was a patient of that healthcare provider. The limits even apply to wrongful death cases where the patient was killed as a result of some botched procedure. For example, if your son or daughter dies in a hospital because the anesthesiologist let them die by mistake during the administration of general anesthesia, the cap applies in Virginia for your dead child. It does not matter how much of a loss was suffered by the parents or the brothers and sisters of the child who died, the Virginia legislature has set down what the maximum amount that their life was worth. Rather than leaving it to the jury or judge after hearing the facts about damages in a medical malpractice case, the Virginia legislature has substituted in its judgment without reference to the facts of the medical malpractice, the losses to the family, or the economic harm caused.

    The Virginia medical malpractice cap is, in my opinion as a personal injury attorney having practiced over twenty years in Virginia, completely unfair. It is nothing more than a special favor to the medical system and medical malpractice insurance companies. Ironically, studies have shown that caps do nothing to increase the availability of healthcare or lower the premiums that doctors pay for medical malpractice coverage. The insurance companies just pocket the extra profit.



  • I was hurt in a car wreck, so what is my case worth?

    If you had been hurt in a car wreck and suffered serious injuries, you want to know the value of your case as soon as possible. As an experienced injury and wrongful death lawyer in Virginia, I can tell you that it is a more complicated question than you might think. First just because a lawyer tells you that your case is worth a million dollars don't think that is necessarily the case, especially if a lawyer is trying to get you to sign up with them. An honest attorney should not promise you the stars and the moon just to get you to hire them.

    What I tell people at the beginning of a case is that I don't yet have enough information to know what the value of the case is going to be until I have seen the medical records and bills and find out whether you have a permanent injury which could involve future lost wages or additional medical care. There will come a time when your attorney should show you how they analyze your case to figure out what it is worth in their opinion. That time is not at the beginning of your case,but once the necessary information has been collected and your medical care has happened so that your prognosis is known. You don't want to settle a case one day and find out the next that you still need a surgery for the injuries from the accident.

    Once you settle your case with the insurance company there is no coming back later. So when I get to the point in your case where I'm telling the client what I think of the case value, I want to be sure that I have all the information including what the future is likely to hold for you. The factors that go into the value of the case are many including the amount of your economic losses like medical bills and lost wages as well as the intangible loss of quality of life items which are often called pain and suffering. However, your damages include everything that's happened to you as a result of the wreck from that time until the case is resolved including all of the out-of-pocket expenses, hassles, embarrassment, physical suffering, anguish, and psychological effect of the injury on you. Other variables also come into effect like the venue or court where the case would have to be heard as some jurisdictions are better than others because the juries are more generous with people who are hurt and less favorable to the insurance defense lawyers. In car crashes these days the amount of property damage to the vehicles makes a lot of difference in that the more messed up the vehicles are the easier it is for the jury to believe that the person was injured as an occupant of the vehicle. Finally there are lots of other issues like how bad the defendant's conduct was, whether they were a drunk driver or a big corporate defendant and how likeable and honest the plaintiff, that is you the injured person, will come across to the jury.

     

    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.

     

  • Are the laws or rules applying to a wrongful death claim different from a personal injury not involving death?

    Yes, there are many different laws that apply in each state.  Most such cases arise under state laws (but some federal laws set forth the rules/laws) and each state provides evidence laws on the types of losses/damages that can even be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit (caused by negligence, carelessness, or violation of a relevant statute/regulation). 

    The state limitation period to even file a wrongful death suit is sometimes different than the statute of limitations for a personal injury suit. 

    Also, many states have laws on who can file the suit for the deceased person.  We highly recommend you obtain a free consultation very early on to protect your family.