Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What questions should I ask when selecting a doctor or surgeon?

    While you can never find out every small detail about your doctor or surgeon, there are a few things you can do to make a better informed decision. First and foremost, ask questions. For example...

    Where did you go to medical school?
    What American Board of Medical Specialty Certifications do you have?
    How long have you been practicing?
    Are there any disciplinary actions outstanding against you?

    All of these are perfectly legitimate questions to ask. Do not hesitate. If you'd like to learn more about surgical safety, medical negligence and ways not to become a victim, download our free report.

  • Is there a medical malpractice "damage cap" in North Carolina?

    Unfortunately, yes. The North Carolina state legislature passed a damage cap of $500,000 for "noneconomic damages".  Noneconomic damages compensate a victim for “pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, inconvenience, and any other non-pecuniary compensatory damages.”

    It's an unfair and illogical law that punishes victims. Nevertheless, it is the law of North Carolina.

  • 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 truck accident case depends primarily on the circumstances of your specific case. Some truck wreck 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 crash case, the truck company insurers are more likely to authorize a time-consuming, all-out vigorous defense. This usually means truck accident cases take longer to resolve than typical car accident cases.

  • How does a court calculate loss of comfort, sorrow, mental anguish and solace in a wrongful death claim?

    When someone you love dies in a serious accident, it is never possible to fully replace the loss. However, our justice system tries to provide some semblance of justice through a wrongful death suit. A successful wrongful death case tries to make amends for the loss by awarding an amount of money that is "fair and just." It is virtually impossible to precisely calculate how much sorrow or mental anguish a survivor experiences. The facts of each case will influence the amount that is determined to be fair and just. For example, the nature of the relationship in the family is taken into account. In addition, the length of marriage and the kinds of love, help and support your spouse gave you are important considerations. 

     

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  • What if a victim dies before their case is hard by a court?

    A wrongful death claim usually stems from the victim's death from an accident and is brought on behalf of a relative or loved one.

    For example, say someone is married with three children and becomes injured in a serious truck accident caused by the negligence of a trucker. 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 truck wreck. 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 individual 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.

  • MY doctor says my injuries are from before the wreck but it never gave me problems before, does this mean my case is worth less?

    Many times, we have pre-existing conditions that we do not know about or just haven't bothered us too much.  A car wreck can irritate this condition and make it more bothersome and noticeable.  In Virginia like many states, you are legally entitled to compensation for aggravation of an existing injury.  It wouldn't be fair for the insurance company to say that because you suffered from an ailment before, they are not responsible for making it worse.  Often this scenario will make the case a little more difficult but a good lawyer knows how to handle this issue.  It is a matter of proving that the injury did not give you trouble before the wreck.  If we can prove that than the injury should not impact your case too severely. 

  • MY doctor says my injuries are from before the wreck but it never gave me problems before, does this mean my case is worth less?

    Many times, we have pre-existing conditions that we do not know about or just haven't bothered us too much.  A car wreck can irritate this condition and make it more bothersome and noticeable.  In Virginia like many states, you are legally entitled to compensation for aggravation of an existing injury.  It wouldn't be fair for the insurance company to say that because you suffered from an ailment before, they are not responsible for making it worse.  Often this scenario will make the case a little more difficult but a good lawyer knows how to handle this issue.  It is a matter of proving that the injury did not give you trouble before the wreck.  If we can prove that than the injury should not impact your case too severely. 

  • What am I entitled to if I'm involved in a car accident?

    According to the Virginia Model Jury Instructions for civil cases, you are entitled to receive "full and fair compensation" for any damages sustained because of the at-fault driver's negligence. These include any bodily injuries and effects on your health because of those injuries, any physical pain, any disfigurements or deformities, and any humiliation, inconvenience caused, medical expenses, lost earnings, and property damage.

    How do you obtain these monetary damages? The first step is to consult with a car accident injury lawyer so you can determine your legal options. The next step is to have your lawyer file a personal injury claim. Some cases will settle quickly while others may go all the way to trial.


  • What am I entitled to if I'm involved in a car accident?

    It depends on a variety of factors including: (1) the type of case you have, (2) the extent of your physical injuries, (3) whether you've missed time from work or had to retire early because of your injuries, (4) the amount of available insurance coverage, and so forht.

    How do you obtain these monetary damages? The first step is to consult with a car accident injury lawyer so you can determine your legal options. The next step is to have your lawyer file a personal injury claim. Some cases will settle quickly while others may go all the way to trial. 

     

  • If I am attacked and bitten by a dog, do I have the right to seek compensation for my injuries?

    It depends on the circumstances. Virginia, along with 19 other states, adheres to the "one bite rule," which generally prevents civil claims for monetary damages from being successful against an animal owner the first time one of their animals bites another person if the attack was unintentional. However, the dog owner may be held liable if a personal injury lawyer can prove the dog has a history of attacking and biting people or that the owner violated a local or state ordinance such a leash law and that failure to comply with rules and regulations regarding pet ownership led to the attack.