Personal injury law is concerned with protecting the mind, body and reputation of people. It shifts the burden of an injury or damage from an innocent person to a culpable person. Our firm believes in personal injury law. We believe people should have a right to seek compensation if injured at the hand of another.
One of the most developed and well known areas of personal injury law relates to auto accidents. As drivers, we are all required to carry automobile insurance to help protect against a car accident or injury. In Virginia, there are minimum insurance requirements, but frankly, the minimum requirements are often insufficient to pay for injuries from a car accident. We have dedicated a page to discussing the importance having good coverage in the event of a serious accident, and you may find it here.
Insurance is a great thing to have if you are involved in an auto accident, but let’s face it, auto insurance companies interested in protecting their a bottom line. They have shareholders who demand profits and executives who want bonuses.
Proving you have been hurt in an accident, especially for an injury that develops or changes over time, is much different than proving the cost of a broken bumper. The claims are treated differently by claims adjusters. The phrases “we accept liability” and “we will take care of everything” can mean different things depending on whether a claim for property damage or personal injury. We have dedicated a page to discussing these phrases and what they can mean in a car accident personal injury case and you can find it here.
Aside from auto accident personal injuries, three other important areas of personal injury law are 1) accidents on someone’s property, also known as "premises liability
" law; 2) injuries caused by dangerous products; and 3) personal injuries that are intentional. These areas of personal injury law have some similarities and some differences.
For example, the legal standard for a “slip and fall” in a grocery store can be very different from the legal standard for a slip and fall in a hotel
. For product liability claims (injuries caused by dangerous products) the nature of claims and defenses can change just by labeling the case a “breach of warranty” as opposed to "negligence."
When someone injures you intentionally, through anger, or even recklessly, a whole new area of personal injury law is implicated. In this area of intentional torts, the damages can be increased to punish the wrongdoer for an intentional act. In some special cases, the law will assume there are significant damages, even if there is absolutely no proof of the item of damage. These wrongs are called “intentional torts” and they include claims like assault
, battery and defamation
With intentional torts the compensation can be great, but the rules can be tricky. For example, a claim for assault has a two-year statute of limitations, but a claim for defamation, or damaging someone’s reputation, only has a one-year statute of limitations in Virginia.
At the end of the day, it may seem to you that right is right, and wrong is wrong, and you do not need an attorney to handle your case. Won’t the attorney just take money that you would otherwise be entitled to? Won’t the insurance company just do the right thing?
There is no simple way to answer this question, but suffice to say, you don’t want to find out the hard way. One way to think about it is to ask yourself the following questions.
Did the insurance adjuster inform me that there are rooms filled with books containing rules that control my case? Did the insurance adjuster tell me that the company can deny liability in a case, even after offering a settlement? Did the insurance adjuster inform me that the police crash report is not admissible as evidence
in court? Did the insurance adjuster inform me that later in the case the company can dispute that a medical bill is related the accident, even though it said it “accepted liability” and said it “will take care of everything?”
Thinking of a personal injury claim by asking yourself questions, and if you are unsure, getting answers from a professional is a great way to help protect yourself during a difficult time. Serious personal injury cases are high stake endeavors.
It is not a good idea to guess about the rules, or rely on someone whose interests are different than yours. After a serious car accident or other injury, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. At our firm, all personal injury consultations are free and we will take the time required to explain your rights.
Most reckless driving and traffic infractions do not result in jail time or a license suspension in Northern Virginia. After a ticket, you can expect to receive unsolicited mail from attorneys warning of dire consequences. Rather than attempting to scare you, an experienced traffic attorney should be able to give you an honest evaluation of potential outcomes, which in most cases, does not involve a trip to jail or suspension.
Generally speaking, employment law is based on the ancient concepts which governed the master and servant relationship. Nowadays, it is called the at-will employment doctrine. For centuries, workers had no rights, and no liberty. Over the past few decades there have been substantial advancements which aid workers who have been discriminated against, paid improperly or otherwise retaliated against for standing up for what is right. If you believe you have been wronged, call us, and if we can help, we will. If we cannot help, we will explain why. We believe it’s your right to know.
Discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly on the basis of their race, gender, national origin or other criteria. There are numerous laws, both local and federal, which prohibit discrimination in the providing of public accommodations, contracts, employment and housing. Proving discrimination requires careful analysis and investigation. Failing to pursue claims of discrimination, however, leads to an even worse effect on society – because it leaves wrongs unaddressed.
Harassment is sometimes unlawful. Whether or not you are the victim of unlawful harassment is based on the motivation behind the harassment. If the harassment is based on an unlawful criteria, such as race or gender, and rises to a level of seriousness where it becomes a condition of your employment, you may have the right to sue. Here is a link to more information on sexual harassment.
In the 1930’s during the epidemic of the Great Depression, our country passed the Fair labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA prohibits child labor, requires the payment of a minimum wage for work performed, and for many wage earners, guarantees overtime pay at the rate of time and a half for every hour worked over forty hours in a week. Over the years many employers have devised tricks to cheat workers from their wages. This is called Wage Theft. Sometimes workers are misclassified. Sometimes their tips are skimmed. Sometimes, they are paid in cash or forced to work off the clock to avoid detection. Do not leave your money on the table. If our firm cannot recover money in your wage and hour case, you pay no legal fee.
In 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. To pursue a claim of discrimination under this Act, one must filed a notice of charge with the EEOC. We can help you navigate this process. More recently, local agencies, including the Alexandria Office of Human Rights, the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs - Human Rights Division, the Arlington County Human Rights Commission, the Prince William County Human Rights Commission and the D.C. Office of Human Rights have undertaken the task of investigating these claims on behalf of the EEOC as well as prosecuting violations of local anti-discrimination laws. Before you file, call us to discuss your case.
The right to be free from overreaching government is a bedrock of our constitution. To be truly free from overreach, one must be able to pursue remedies for violations of rights. Open access to courts is essential. Having a lawyer with you in court is an important consideration, because legal claims turn so heavily on the law and its application to the facts. If you feel your civil rights have been violated, we will discuss your options with you.