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FAQ: Am I Required to Hire a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney?

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

If you’ve been involved in a car accident or you suffered a personal injury in the state of Virginia, you are not required to hire an attorney.  You can represent yourself in the court of law, but whether or not you should do this is debatable.

If you are very familiar with Virginia accident injury laws and understand court procedures, then perhaps you do not need an attorney.  You may also want to consider the severity of the injury, the amount of investigation involved, and how much money is at stake when deciding whether or not to go at it alone.

It never hurts to speak with an attorney to find out if your problem is something that you can work out yourself or if it will help to have the support of an experienced attorney.  Most attorneys do offer a free consultation.  A knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorney may know laws or have resources that you may not be aware of.

Still unsure whether or not to hire a lawyer?  Read our previous article,  “5 Reasons Why You May Want to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer.  You may also want to be aware of the mistakes people make when hiring a lawyer.

We also recommend ordering our free accident injury book before you speak with any lawyer or insurance adjuster.

Richmond Police Looking For Hit-and-Run Driver

March 21, 2012 Leave a comment

From WTVR.com: A 44-year-old man was hit by a car while crossing Hull and 12th Street and now Richmond police are on the lookout for the driver.

According to witnesses, the driver did stop and walk back to see if the man was ok. However, the driver left the scene before police could arrive at the scene. The man who was hit suffered a broken arm and fractured ribs from the accident. Someone who witnessed the accident told the man who was hit that he needed to go to the hospital, but the man refused any help.

A Richmond police spokesperson said that in this type of situation, the driver could be charged with a felony hit-and-run because he/she did leave before the police arrived.

According to Virginia code § 46.2-894:

“The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in which a person is killed or injured or in which an attended vehicle or other attended property is damaged shall immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic, as provided in § 46.2-888, and report his name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency…”

If anyone has any information about this hit-and-run accident, contact Richmond Police Sgt. John Bowman at (804) 646-1369 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

If you’ve been injured in any type of car accident, contact a Richmond lawyer who specializes in car accidents and personal injury cases. The O’Bryan law firm is available at 800-372-4099.

Fauquier County Woman Sues Housing Subdivision For Wrongful Death | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

A woman from Fauquier County is suing a housing subdivision because of a boating accident that killed her husband.

The accident occurred in July 2010 when Jason Goodman was struck by a pontoon boat that was being operated by Charles Schulle who says that he was an employee of the Lake of the Woods Association at the time of the accident. Schulle was doing tours of the lake when the boat hit Goodman.

Michele Goodman is suing the association for $6 million in addition to suing Schulle for $500,000 in punitive damages. She claims that Lake of the Woods operated the lake in an unsafe manner, however, the association says that Jason Goodman contributed to his death because of his own negligence.

The state of Virginia has specific laws surrounding wrongful death cases. Here are the details of the Virginia Wrongful Death Statute. You can also read more about wrongful death and fatal accidents including frequently asked questions and resources on our website.

If you believe that your loved one was killed due to the negligence of another, it’s important to contact an experienced Virginia wrongful death lawyer to see whether or not you have a claim. Your lawyer can tell what types of damages you are entitled to depending on the circumstances of the case.

Texting While Driving May Soon Be a Primary Offense in VA. | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

Texting while driving has been a big issue these past few years as more and more people have become glued to their cell phones and smart phones. In the state of Virginia, a cop can only ticket a person for texting while driving as a secondary offense, but that may all change soon. According to an article over at CBSDC, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee approved legislation that makes texting or e-mailing while driving a primary offense in Virginia.

A survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that 90 percent of drivers said that they feel very unsafe if a driver is texting or emailing when they are passengers. In fact, 71 percent of drivers support bans on handheld cell phone use while driving and 94 percent support bans on texting while driving. The NHTSA has now partnered with the Ad Council to launch a new campaign that urges people to “Stop the texts and stop the wrecks”.

It will be interesting to see whether or not this new law will decrease accidents in Virginia. Keep in mind that texting while driving can be a lethal combination because it involves three different distractions: visual, manual and cognitive.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Richmond car accident lawyer to help you with your case.

Virginia Drivers Ticketed For Not Providing Proof of Insurance | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

January 6, 2012 1 comment

The majority of states in the U.S. require that drivers carry car insurance, but Virginia is one of the few states that allow drivers to forego coverage if they pay a $500 fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Also, it is not a crime if a driver fails to carry their insurance card on them to show to police officers if they are pulled over.

Despite this law, however, there have been reports that drivers are being fined for failing to provide proof of insurance. Apparently, police officers and members of the courts have been misinterpreting Virginia code § 46.2-707. In actuality, in order to be charged under this law, a driver must admit that the car is uninsured and that the $500 DMV fee had not been paid. The consequences include a Class 3 misdemeanor, license suspension, plus a $500 fine.

Before making any statements to any insurance adjuster, we recommend reading our free accident injury book that will provide some insider information regarding car accident claims. If you have further questions about car accidents with uninsured drivers in Virginia, don’t hesitate to contact us.

FAQ: Car Accident in Virginia: Not at Fault, But I Have No Insurance

I was in a car accident in Virginia, but I do not have car insurance. I am not at fault, though. Can I still get money for my injury and damages to my car?  

Although you do not carry insurance, it is not considered a “fault” in the state of Virginia.  You can still file an injury or damage claim with the other party’s insurance company. At the time of the accident you should have collected the other driver’s personal information including their insurance information. You can contact the insurance company on your own or hire an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer.

If you go ahead and file the claim yourself, but the other driver’s car insurance company refuses to pay, do not give up. Car insurance companies will often do this. Dealing with them can be a hassle and very time-consuming. We recommend reading our free accident injury book to help you with your case, “Hidden Inside Secrets Big Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know About Your Injury Claim“.

We understand that due to financial reasons you may not be able to purchase liability insurance, but you are putting yourself at an even greater financial risk by not carrying insurance. If you are in an auto accident in Virginia and you were at fault, you would have to pay out of pocket for any injury or damages to other parties.   

FYI:  The state of Virginia requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury/death of one person $25,000
  • Bodily injury/death of two or more persons $50,000
  • Property damage $20,000

Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Cap Increases | Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice and tort reform continues to be a hot topic amongst the medical community and legislature. Although all this debate doesn’t directly affect regular patients, it does affect people who may decide to file a malpractice lawsuit for negligence by a medical professional.

There is good news, however. A bill called HB 1459 recently became law this past April, which increases the maximum award in the state of Virginia from $2M to $3M by the year 2031. If it were up to us, there would be no caps at all on medical malpractice lawsuits in Virginia.

Consider a recent case in Norfolk, Virginia in which a jury awarded 5 million dollars to a man who filed a malpractice suit against an anesthesiologist and the Norfolk Children’s Specialty Group. That 5 million was reduced to $1.85M because of the current cap imposed on medical malpractice lawsuits by Virginia law.

The man had gone in for surgery for a sunken breastbone and the procedure allegedly caused permanent damage to the man’s spinal cord. He could not move his legs and feet because of paralysis. Although he regained his ability to walk, the man still suffered pain and difficulty with other bodily functions.

At O’Bryan Law Firm we help people in Virginia who have suffered from the negligence of a health care professional. It is a serious issue and you should not go through it alone. Consider hiring an experienced Virginia medical malpractice lawyer. We work hard to ensure that fair compensation is awarded for the pain that you or a loved one has endured.