The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
- Page 1
How long does it take for a typical case to settle or get decided in court?
Each case is different, but our Norfolk personal injury law firm's default policy is to wait at least until our clients have finished the medical treatment before beginning the negotiation process with the insurance company unless there are extenuating circumstances dictating otherwise. Once the insurance company has received our demand package, it takes between 2-4 weeks to for a review. Almost always, your attorney will be able to tell if you case is going to be one that will settle without the filing of a lawsuit, or will need to undergo litigation to resolve. Either way, your attorney will keep you informed as to the progress of your case. Some cases resolve in a matter of months, other cases take over a year or more.
Are costs and fees the same thing in a contingency basis fee?
No. An attorney’s fee in a contingency contract is a set percentage of whatever is recovered on behalf of the client. The costs are litigation costs advanced to that client in order to process his or her claim, and those costs must be recovered separately from any fee. A client always has the right to pay his or her own costs if preferred.
Who brings a personal injury claim if my child was hurt in an accident?
Typically, a parent or legal guardian of the injured child has the authority to pursue legal action against the at-fault party. For example, if your child was seriously hurt in an auto accident and you decided to file a lawsuit against the other driver, your name would appear on the Complaint as "on behalf" of your child.
Our team of Chesapeake car accident lawyers have extensive experience with injury cases or wrongful death lawsuits involving children. We understand the complexities of negotiating these types of serious injury and death claims.
If I have suffered an amputated toe, finger, thumb, what are some of the things I should look for in a personal injury attorney to help me recover for the amputated body part?
In our prior cases, we have worked closely with surgeons and doctors involved in treatment to explain the permanent aspects of the amputation injury of a finger, a thumb, a toe or other body part. By having represented workers in the past, we are familiar with the massive psychological impact of an amputated body part. It goes well beyond disfigurement and it goes to how it affects the psychological state of our client, not only in the short term but for the rest of their life. We have experience in developing a team of necessary expert witnesses who can help with this type of claim.
If I suffer an amputation injury at work, I can only get workers' compensation right? Do I have any claim or can I bring a lawsuit against any other party besides my workers compensation claim through my employer?
On-the-job injuries are typically covered by workers' compensation, that part is true. You get workers compensation on a “no fault” basis, but the bargain means you can’t sue your own employer.
Whether a claim can be brought against a separate party such as a product supplier, or a supplier of some other equipment that led to the failure causing the amputation, could lead to a possible third-party negligence claim. When we say third-party claim, we mean a negligent party besides your own employer who is responsible for paying workers' compensation benefits. If there is a possible defect of an equipment supplier's product, or if the negligence of a party besides your employer caused the amputation injury, consult with one of our attorneys for a free confidential consultation.
Click below to find out more information on VA amputation injuries
I crushed one of my fingers at work, and I'm concerned about whether it will survive or need to be amputated. What should I know about whether I need an attorney to help with this claim?
If there is a party that provided a defective product or supplied something defective which led to the crush injury, you should consult with one of our product liability and personal injury lawyers about your crush or possible amputation injury. An attorney can explain how we will present psychological and physical aspects of a serious injury like this in order to obtain maximum compensation, as we have handled these type cases in the past.
Click below to find out more information about VA amputation Injuries
How much will I have to pay your firm when my case is over?
The fee our firm is paid is based on a percentage of the total recovery we obtain on your behalf, whether through settlement or verdict. If we recover nothing, you owe us nothing. This is called a "contingency fee" agreement. Most personal injury law firms operate on such agreements. We will explain the fee structure in detail at our first confidential consultation.
What kinds of benefits must my employer pay me if I’m entitled to workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation covers seven categories of benefits. Your employer must pay you for each category that applies to your specific situation. Here is a brief explanation of the seven categories:
1. Wage Replacement: You are entitled to 2/3 of your gross average weekly wage, up to 500 weeks, but not including the first seven days you are injured unless the disability lasts more than 3 weeks.
2. Lifetime Medical Benefits: As long as you file a claim within the time limit, your employer must pay your medical expenses from covered conditions for as long as necessary.
3. Permanent Partial Impairment: If you have lost the use of a body part such as an arm, you are entitled to benefits based on the percentage of loss, even if you are working, as long as you have reached maximum medical improvement. Unfortunately, back, neck, and whole body impairment is not included.
4. Permanent and Total Disability: If you have lost your hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any two in the same accident, or if you were paralyzed or disabled from a severe brain injury, you are entitled to lifetime wage benefits.
5. Death Benefits: Some family members, such as a surviving spouse or minor child, may be entitled to benefits for lost wages when their loved one has died on the job. They may also be entitled to up to $10,000 in funeral expenses and up to $1,000 in transportation costs.
6. Cost of Living Increase: If you are receiving temporary total, permanent total, or death benefits, you can request this benefit each October if the combination of workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits is less than 80% of pre-injury earnings.
7. Vocational Rehabilitation: If you are well enough for a light duty job and are actively looking for one, even if you expect to return to your regular job, you may be entitled to retraining at no expense to you.
What types of injuries entitle me to workers’ compensation benefits?
If your injury is by accident or work-related disease, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. As soon as possible after the injury, you should file a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Commission will look at your claim and decide whether it is a covered injury.
To be covered as an accident, the accident must:
- Occur at work or during a work-related function
- Be caused by a work activity
- Happen suddenly at one specific time. Injuries caused gradually are generally not covered.
To be covered as a disease, it must be caused by your work. However, diseases of the back, neck, or spinal column are not covered.
If you aren’t sure whether your injury is one that entitles you to workers’ compensation benefits, consider contacting our firm, or visiting the Workers’ Compensation Commission website: https://www.workcomp.virginia.gov/portal/vwc-website
What do I do if my employer denies my workers’ compensation claim?
It is frustrating when you follow the rules, expecting that your employer will too, only to find out that your employer is refusing to pay for your injury. Your employer doesn’t get the final say, though. The Workers’ Compensation Committee has the ultimate authority to decide whether your employer must pay for your injury.
If your employer denies your claim or refuses to make payments for wages or medical bills, you should send a written request for a hearing to the Workers’ Compensation Committee. During your hearing, you have the opportunity to prove through your own testimony and medical records, and your witnesses’ testimony, that your work caused your injury or disability. If you were cleared for light work, you also must show that you have looked for work with your employer, filled out applications for other jobs, and registered with the Virginia Employment Commission.
This may sound like a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone. You are entitled to hire an attorney to represent you at the hearing. Our firm can help you prepare, and we will be there with you at your hearing to make sure you make the best case for your employer to pay you.