Avoid Legal Issues during Your Summer Vacation

School will soon be out for summer, which likely means you are in the midst of planning a vacation for your family.  By following the tips below, you can avoid potential legal issues that might arise while traveling. Make sure travel documents for you and your family are taken care of well in advance.  For example, if you are going abroad, everyone in your family will need a current passport, which can take approximately four to six weeks to process.  Additionally, you should visit … [Read more...]

Protect Yourself Legally When You Have Houseguests

Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is just around the corner.  During the summer months, you may be planning to invite friends over more often than usual to enjoy some time outdoors at your home.  As you do, keep in mind that as a homeowner, you are responsible for the safety of the guests on your property.  If someone is injured on your property, you can be sued, particularly if they were injured as a result of a hazard you were aware of and did not fix.  It is important to always … [Read more...]

Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have recently been injured in some type of accident, it is likely you are feeling pretty overwhelmed.  Not only are you in pain, but you are dealing with phone calls and paperwork requests from insurance companies, physicians, and possibly the police department.  In your current state of mind, how can you be sure you are taking actions that will be best for you in the long term?  The best way to know for sure is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney.  Below are just a few of the … [Read more...]

What happens if Your Child is injured at a Sports Facility?

Each year, more than 3.5 million children age 14 and under receive medical treatment for sports related injuries.  As a parent, the thought of your child suffering a sports related injury is likely one of your major fears.  After all, nobody wants to see their child going through physical and emotional pain.  If such an incident occurs in your family, you may wonder if you have any legal recourse against the facility in which the injury occurred.  The answer depends upon if the injury was the … [Read more...]

Is Getting Sick on a Cruise Ship Grounds for a Lawsuit?

If illness has ruined your well-deserved vacation on a cruise ship, you may wonder if you are entitled to sue the cruise line for medical expenses and other damages which occurred as a result.  Just as with any personal injury case, your ability to file a lawsuit against the cruise line depends on if you can prove that 1) The cruise line or one of its employees was negligent (did not exercise reasonable care), and 2) That negligence caused your illness. There are three main causes of illness … [Read more...]

Hands-Free Driving Does Not Equal Risk-Free Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2013, 3,154 people were killed and 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.  Distracted driving is defined as any activity which could divert an individual’s attention away from their primary task of driving.  These can include cell phone use, texting, grooming, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, reading maps, using a navigation system, watching a video, or adjusting the car … [Read more...]

Workers’ Compensation Claims

As an employer, you of course make safety an utmost priority and hope you never have an employee injured while on the job.  However, it is important to be prepared should that day ever come. First of all, it should be stated very clearly in your company policy that any accident which occurs in the workplace should be immediately reported, even if the injured worker feels the injury is minor.  From there, your first priority is to make sure your employee has any medical assistance needed.  … [Read more...]

Auto Accidents and Your Insurance Rates

If you are involved in an auto accident, chances are you will be very grateful to have your insurance company on your side as they help you work through the many decisions you need to make after the fact.  Your insurance company will talk you through the process of getting your car inspected and then either repaired or replaced to get you safely back out on the road again.  However, once the initial shock of the car accident has worn off, you may be wondering if what occurred will mean an … [Read more...]

How Social Media Can Impact Your Personal Injury Claim

In today’s world, it is very common for people to chronicle their daily lives on various social media platforms.  While these activities make it easier to stay connected with friends and family near and far, it is important to know that legally, everything posted on social media is considered to be public information.  Therefore, if you are involved in a personal injury claim, your social media postings could be used against you in court. For this reason, an experienced personal injury … [Read more...]

Safety Trends and Personal Injury Cases

Vehicle safety features can figure prominently into personal injury cases.  On the one hand, automobiles now have a wide variety of safety features meant to protect their occupants from injury in an accident.  On the other, there are some times where these features fail to do their job properly. First, let’s review some of the car safety features that are designed to keep people safe in the event of an accident: Antilock brakes prevent cars from spinning out on slippery surfaces during … [Read more...]

Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable?

Forbes magazine posted an article about an Illinois man who won a $21.5 million dollar verdict after being struck in the head by a door on a Holland America Cruise ship, leaving him prone to vertigo and seizures.  The reason a business magazine chose to report on this is because $16.5 million of the verdict was awarded for punitive damages, meaning the man will have to pay taxes on that money to the Internal Revenue Service.  As Forbes reports, prior to 1996, all types of personal damages were … [Read more...]

Common Mistakes Related to Personal Injury Claims

If you have suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is likely a very confusing and stressful time for you.  Unfortunately, because of your own vulnerability and the unscrupulous nature of some insurance companies, you could make a mistake that results in you settling for less financial compensation than you deserve as a result of your injury.  Here are some things to keep in mind if you have recently suffered a personal injury. Do not give a recorded statement.  … [Read more...]

Wrongful Death

The legal definition of wrongful death is “the taking of the life of an individual resulting from the willful or negligent act of another person or persons.”  A lawsuit for wrongful death may only be pursued by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate.  A representative may also pursue action pertaining to pain and suffering, personal injury, and/or medical expenses occurring prior to the decedent’s death.  Any damages collected will become property of the estate and thus distributed … [Read more...]

School Bus Accidents

Does your child ride the school bus to school each day?  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school.  They have found students are 50 times more likely to arrive alive if they take the bus than if they drive themselves, are driven by a family member, or ride with friends.  However, no mode of transportation is perfect. NHTSA also reports that from 2004-2013, there were … [Read more...]

Can I Be Sued if I Wasn’t Driving?

In most car accident cases, liability for the accident falls to the person who is determined to be at fault.  Usually, fault is placed on the driver of one of the vehicles involved, due to that person’s reckless driving or negligence.  However, there are some special circumstances in which you could be held liable for a car accident and sued for negligence when you were not the person driving at the time of the accident.  In fact, it can happen even if you weren’t in the car at all.  Being held … [Read more...]

Does Driving Without Insurance Harm My Personal Injury Claim?

It is important to note that all drivers should carry insurance.  First, the state of Virginia requires that drivers must have a way to pay for injuries or property damage that result from a car accident.  You can do this by either: 1) Paying an uninsured driver’s fee of $500, which must be paid each time you renew your vehicle’s license plates, or 2) Purchasing car insurance with a minimum coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury/death of one person, $50,000 for bodily injury/death of two or more … [Read more...]

What to do when a Mechanic has Damaged Your Vehicle

The ability to get from place to place, such as from your home to work or to the grocery store, is a key component of your daily life.  Therefore, when your car breaks down, it is a major inconvenience, and you trust in a mechanic to fix your vehicle the right way the first time.  So what happens if you leave your vehicle with a mechanic and it is returned with issues that weren’t present before you dropped it off? There are two types of claims that you may be able to pursue.  First, if there … [Read more...]

The Role of Social Media in Personal Injury Claims

If you are currently involved in a personal injury case, chances are that your attorney has advised you not to post about your case on social media, and may have even asked you to steer clear of social media use altogether.  The reason for this is that social media postings are increasingly being used as evidence in personal injury cases.  You may post something you believe to be perfectly innocent to your social media page, not realizing that it can be used as evidence against you in … [Read more...]

Traumatic Brain Injuries

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year.  Of those, 1.365 million result in emergency room treatment, 275,000 result in hospitalization, and 52,000 result in death.  Over 35 percent of TBIs are caused by slip and fall accidents, and more than 17 percent are the result of automobile accidents. Traumatic brain injuries are categorized as mild, moderate, or severe, as determined by the … [Read more...]

Who is Liable for a Slip and Fall Injury on Your Property?

According to National Specialty Underwriters, there are over 540,000 slip and fall injuries requiring hospital care in North America each year.  Of those, over 300,000 are disabling, and over 20,000 are fatal.  As a business owner or homeowner, it is important to be aware of your potential liability if a slip and fall injury occurs on your property. In order for you to be held liable for a slip and fall injury that takes place on your property, at least one of the following conditions must be … [Read more...]