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Why Aren’t My Car Accident Injuries Aren’t Covered By My Settlement?

When you have been in an accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately. Unfortunately, 43% of adults are inadequately insured in 2022, and if you are among that group, you may be reluctant to pursue medical care due to the inevitable high medical bills. Getting a car accident settlement from insurance, unfortunately, can take time, and hospitals often demand payment immediately. Even when you do get a personal injury settlement, it sometimes may not be enough to cover your basic medical treatment costs.

If you need help negotiating your medical expenses after a car accident settlement, the personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Montagna Klein Camden may be able to help. We will fight for your right to compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and other losses and damages after an auto accident.

How Are Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident in Virginia?

Virginia is a fault-based state for personal injury claims. According to state personal injury law, the at-fault party’s auto insurance company is required to pay your medical bills after an accident. Normally, your health insurance carrier will initially pay for your medical bills after the car accident. As normal, you will be responsible for covering any co-pays or deductibles out of pocket. It is common, however, for your health insurance provider to issue a medical lien while the case is ongoing.

A medical lien is a legal statement that the health insurance company has the right to recover money spent on your medical bills. Usually, this reimbursement comes from any personal injury settlement amount you get through the process of subrogation, but the insurance carrier can take other actions as well.

Many drivers in Virginia opt for med pay coverage on their car insurance policy. Med pay is a form of personal injury protection (PIP) that exists to cover you and those in your car in the case of an accident. If you have med pay, it can be used to pay for medical costs and lost wages after an accident. Medicare and Medicaid can sometimes also help cover costs if you have this coverage, but again, the healthcare providers may put a medical lien against your eventual settlement.

I Cannot Afford to Pay My Medical Bills. What Should I Do?

Insurance claim paperwork

Personal injury cases can take a long time to settle, and it is not uncommon for accident victims to have difficulty paying their medical bills. Even an emergency room visit, after all, can be extremely expensive.

If your healthcare provider offers an insufficient settlement that will not even cover your initial injuries, let alone those requiring long-term treatment, it may be worth fighting for a higher settlement offer. That, unfortunately, can take even longer to resolve. In the meantime, do not eschew paying medical bills. Reach out to the hospital or medical providers to see if you can arrange a payment plan.

Do Not Leave Medical Bills Unpaid

Outstanding medical bills that go unpaid can do serious damage to your credit rating that will last for years, even if your case gets resolved and you later get the settlement to pay them off. Because a personal injury case can take several years to resolve and hospital bills are issued within a few weeks, failing to address the issue could see you sent to a debt collection agency. It is vital that whatever you do, you address the issue.

Arrange a Payment Plan With the Hospital

Many healthcare providers will be willing to work with you to set up payment plans for your medical costs. Some hospitals may be willing to wait for the case to be settled. If they agree to this, be sure to have them put it in writing. This written statement will become important if you get sent to collections in the future.

If your hospital will not forbear your payment until your case is settled, see if you can work out a monthly payment with an amount of money you can afford in the meantime. Most hospitals will be understanding and simply want to get paid. They do not want to send you collections, as this can result in them getting less money overall.

If you are having a difficult time arranging payment for your out-of-pocket medical costs, your personal injury attorney at Montagna Law may be able to help. Call our law offices at 757-622-8100 or use our online contact form for a free consultation and legal advice about your case today.

What Medical Expenses Am I Entitled to Recover After a Car Accident?

It is vital that your eventual personal injury settlement covers all expenses related to your car accident. Your personal injury lawyer can help you calculate the true cost of your injuries. The portion of your settlement that covers your medical expenses should cover all of your medical bills related to the accident.

These include your doctor’s office visits, the cost of medication, diagnostics, medical procedures like surgery, physical therapy, and even transportation to and from your medical appointments. Medical bills can even include the costs of any necessary in-home care, like a visiting nurse or wound care specialist to treat you while you are recovering.

Your full injury settlement should cover more than just basic medical costs. It should also cover your lost wages and loss of potential future income as well as any non-economic damages like pain and suffering that you undergo. In a wrongful death case, you may even be eligible for funeral and burial costs, among other benefits.

What Should I Do if My Car Accident Settlement Is Not Enough to Cover My Injuries?

man wearing a leg cast looking distraught at paperwork

Many people are shocked when they discover that despite a high award, they may not recover all of the money they are entitled to receive. The higher your potential compensation amount, in fact, the more likely it is that you will exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits. The insurance company may only pay you up to the limits of the insurance coverage in this case.

It is true that the at-fault driver is still technically responsible for paying the rest out of pocket, but it can be hard to collect money that they do not have to pay. Your personal injury lawyer from Montagna Law may be able to help you pursue avenues to collect the remainder of the money they owe.

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid?

After you come to an agreement with the at-fault party’s insurance company, your money is delivered either in a lump sum or a structured payment, depending on the nature of your agreement. The vast majority of personal injury settlements are awarded in a lump sum. Structured settlements are much rarer.

It is important to note, however, that even a structured settlement is not an ongoing payment for future medical bills. It is a means of dividing your total initial award into a series of payments. Your injury attorney will estimate the total cost of your bills past, present, and future in the course of your personal injury case, and that figure is what you will receive. Structured settlements are usually best in situations where you are afraid you will spend your entire lump sum and want some security against that.

Do I Have to Pay My Medical Bills From My Personal Injury Settlement?

Yes. Oftentimes, you do have to pay your medical bills out of your personal injury settlement. As mentioned above, your medical provider may place a lien on your settlement and collect reimbursement for your costs through the process of subrogation.

Subrogation is a legal concept that allows a party to seek reimbursement from someone who is legally liable for money that the initial party forwards. In this case, your insurance company paid your medical bills, and you owe them repayment out of your award.

Virginia has complex laws regarding this reimbursement. The state code does have an anti-subrogation statute prohibiting healthcare insurance providers from including subrogation clauses in contracts that are issued within the state. Federal laws, however, pre-empt this anti-subrogation statute in certain cases.

This is one reason why it is so important to have a Virginia car accident attorney in your corner. They can help you negotiate not just a settlement for your accident but also with your insurance company regarding how they will be reimbursed.

What Will Be Deducted From My Personal Injury Settlement?

The two primary expenses that will be deducted from your personal injury settlement are medical bills and attorney fees. It is also, however, important to understand that your settlement will not be split into the amount you get for medical bills, the amount you get for lost wages, and the like. Regardless of what factors were included in the negotiations, when the settlement is delivered, it will simply be a lump sum of money.

This means that if your medical bills exceed the amount given, you could lose all of your settlement to medical bills, even the portion that was negotiated to cover your lost wages and pain and suffering. No portion of your settlement amount is in any way shielded from reimbursing your insurance carrier for the medical bills owed.

Montagna Law does work on a contingency fee basis, though. You can have peace of mind knowing that you will not owe us anything in attorney’s fees if we do not win your case. This also means that we will fight for you every step of the way. We not only care very deeply about the rights of our customers and value the integrity of our attorney-client relationship, but it is also in our best interest to fight for justice for you.

Can I Negotiate My Medical Bills After My Car Accident Settlement?

Several avenues are open to negotiate medical bills after a car accident settlement. The most direct of these is to simply call the hospital directly and negotiate payment. The first step is to ask the hospital for an itemized bill of your costs. This allows you to review the treatment and ensure that all of the charges are correct. It is not uncommon for hospital bills to contain incorrect information, including codes for procedures, duplicate charges, and even incorrect insurance information.

Next, look for other means to pay. You may be eligible for Medicaid and not realize it. You may have overlooked your med pay coverage. Some accident victims may be eligible for financial assistance for low-income patients under federal statutes, but the hospital may not automatically qualify you, and you may have to request this aid.

After you have explored all of these avenues, you can simply tell the hospital that you cannot afford the costs and ask them to reduce the charges. Specifically ask to be reduced to the Medicare rate, which healthcare providers are often willing to do and can come at a significant discount. Be willing to do a bit of fighting; you may even need to file a grievance with the hospital. Persistence, however, can result in significant discounts.

Have Your Lawyer Do the Talking

Woman sitting down holding crutches across from a woman talking on the phone

Never discount your attorney’s ability to help you negotiate costs. If the hospital refuses to negotiate with you, your attorney may have more pull with them. The process can take a few more months, but the attorneys at Montagna Law have decades of experience at the negotiating table and know how to stand up for your rights against at-fault drivers and your own healthcare provider if needed. While we cannot promise any specific results, you may even find that you come out of the process debt-free.

Wipe Away Expensive Medical Bills With Established Legal Representation

The personal injury lawyers at Montagna Klein Camden know how to make the law work for you. If you were hurt in a car accident or any other type of accident, you do not have to face your case alone. Our law offices can take on the fight against bullying insurance companies to earn you all the compensation you deserve while you focus on getting well again.

The law is complicated, and the defendant will have powerful insurance providers and lawyers on their side. We can stand up to even the playing field and increase your chances of securing the fair and full compensation you deserve for your hospital bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Request a free, no-obligation consultation through our online contact form, or call us at 757-622-8100.

What are Jackknife Accidents Caused by?

Truck accidents can be terrifying and oftentimes catastrophic. To avoid colliding with the biggest vehicles on the road, many drivers strive to avoid being near them at all costs. However, it is inevitable that you will be next to or in front of a big rig at some point during your travels. You may even witness or become involved in a jackknifing accident. If you or your loved one have been seriously harmed in a trucking accident, Montagna Klein Camden can help. Our Virginia truck accident attorneys are experienced and want to help you get compensation for your injuries.

What is Jackknifing?

Among the different types of accidents that can occur, jackknifing is unique to a semi-truck and can involve collisions with passenger vehicles. Jackknifing is when the trailers on larger trucks fold and swing in on themselves at a 90-degree angle and push the cab forward. The front of the truck or cab suddenly stops, and the attached out-of-control trailer continues moving and ends up sliding to one side. This action creates the shape of the folding blades of a pocket knife, giving the accident type its name.

 truck jackknife diagram

Where Do Jackknifing Accidents Mainly Occur?

Crash data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, show that jackknife accidents made up 2.5% of all truck accident cases in 2020. While this may not seem like a high amount, this type of accident is dangerous for both the commercial truck driver and any vehicles in the vicinity of the accident.

Jackknifing accidents can occur anywhere semi-trucks travel; however, they mainly occur on major highways and roads. In Virginia, these types of truck accidents are more likely to be found on I-81 or I-95 over a local road.

Trucks driving in high-traffic areas increase the chances of a jackknife occurring due to the volume of vehicles and even weather conditions. When one happens, several passenger cars can be involved in a crash and result in more injuries.

Why Does Jackknifing Happen?

Motor vehicle accidents, in general, can occur due to a variety of causes in Virginia. Jackknifing by big rigs, however, happens due to risk factors unique to large commercial trucks. These risk factors include size and weight.

More specifically, jackknifing usually happens because the large vehicle loses traction. The truck needs static friction between the tires and the ground to maintain traction. When that static friction is lost, the truck can begin to slide, with the tires failing to grip.

Here are the most common reasons for jackknifing to happen.


Improper braking, whether due to driver error or a faulty braking system, can lead to a skid and jackknifing. Slamming on the brakes can lock up the front tires, but the truck’s rear tires can keep moving, and the momentum can send it forward when the cab has already stopped.


Jackknife accidents can occur when a truck is traveling at high speed. Due to their size and weight, especially when full of cargo, trucks are harder to slow or stop when encountering an obstacle, such as a road barrier, or when approaching stopped traffic. Even tapping the brakes can cause sliding. Truckers are usually on a defined schedule and may travel at unsafe speeds to meet stringent delivery deadlines.

Road Conditions

Road conditions in Virginia can play a significant role in jackknifing accidents. Neglected or improperly maintained roadways, such as those with broken pavement, potholes, or obstructed shoulders, can cause jackknifing. Also, slippery roads due to ice or rain are dangerous for anyone, especially trucks. When tires come in contact with these surfaces, a solid grip will be difficult.

Quick Turns

Making quick turns is another reason a truck can jackknife. Turning the wheel quickly without considering the length and weight of the tractor-trailer can cause it to swing out as the truck steers in one direction. This swinging of the trailer can cause a car accident as those vehicles pass or remain in its path.

Empty Trailer

An empty trailer is lightweight compared to a full one and can more easily result in a jackknife. When the trailer is full of cargo, there will be more friction with the pavement. When it is empty or only partially loaded, there is less friction, and the trailer swings accidentally and moves forward.

When any of these cause a truck to jackknife, you only have seconds to react when nearby in a passenger vehicle. For this reason, you are at an extremely high risk of sustaining serious injuries. If this happens, consider requesting a free case evaluation, filing a personal injury claim, and working with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

How Can You Protect Against a Jackknifing Accident?

Drivers of large trucks must follow all federal rules and regulations for their vehicle, and this includes completing required certifications and tests, taking frequent breaks according to FMCSA hours of service guidelines, and refraining from alcohol or drugs. Drivers must also maintain their trucks and make regular inspections, and when driving, they need to turn cautiously.

Even if they do all of this, staying cautious near big rigs is imperative to your safety and that of your passengers. Smaller cars must understand that trucks take longer to brake and require more room for changing lanes. Since we all have to share the road, knowing how to drive defensively in your motor vehicle can help prevent or limit accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides the following prevention tips for motorists to help prevent truck crashes.

Avoid Blind Spots

Avoid staying in a truck’s blind spot. To determine when you are in one of these spots, see if the driver’s face shows up in their side mirror. If not, you are blind to them.

Lookout for Wide Turns

Trucks require extra time and space to strategically and cautiously make wide turns. Watch for big rigs making wide turns, and wait until the turn is complete before continuing. Also, if the truck is making a right turn, it may need to do so from a lane further out.

Maintain Safe Following Distance

Maintaining a safe following distance is crucial to your safety. Trucks may need to brake suddenly or slip backward when going up an inclined part of the roadway. You want to be far enough back to avoid a collision if either of these happens.

Practice Patience

Instead of losing patience or becoming overly frustrated, understand that trucks are heavy and large. They need more time to turn, accelerate, and merge. Stay back and give them space while remaining patient.

What Kinds of Injuries Are Associated with Jackknifing Accidents?

Jackknifing accidents often involve other vehicles, meaning there are usually injuries involved. The most common injuries sustained in truck crashes in Virginia include the following.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can occur when you receive a head injury, such as with a sudden jolt, collision with an object, or penetration of the skull. Due to the sheer size of trucks, a jackknifing accident can result in intense trauma to the head and brain and require extensive medical treatment.

Neck and Back Injury

The impact often encountered in a crash can injure the neck and the back. You may experience whiplash, herniated discs, compression fractures, or a spinal cord injury. These injuries often present delayed symptoms, such as mild or severe lumbar pain and stiffness or numbness in the lower extremities. Back and neck injuries will need to be diagnosed and treated after the accident.


A common injury sustained by truck accident victims is a concussion. This injury can result from a blow, strike, jolt to your head, or shaking of the brain violently. A crash can violently force your head forward, causing your brain to slam into the skull. Symptoms often include severe headaches, difficulty concentrating, loss of memory, and problems with coordination and balance.

Broken Bones

Due to the force involved in accidents, broken bones can happen in different parts of the body. These breaks can be hairline or compound fractures and other types as well and require long-term treatment to heal properly.

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries are serious, and in a crash, you may sever your spine and be left partially or fully paralyzed. You may experience ligament, disk, or nerve damage and lose feeling or mobility from such severe injuries.

Wrongful Death

Fatalities can happen to those involved in a jackknifing accident. This sudden and unexpected death may be due to the truck driver’s negligence, and if so, survivors of a family member may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

What Types of Benefits Can You Receive After a Jackknifing Accident?

Following a jackknifing accident, a personal injury attorney can determine which benefits you may be eligible to receive. Here are some common ones you can receive after a truck accident in Virginia.

Medical Bills

Injuries sustained during the accident can leave you with high medical bills. Damages can cover any visits to the emergency room, doctor treatments, surgery expenses, prescriptions, and more.

Lost Wages

Missing work while healing from injuries can result in a loss of income. You may be able to receive damages to cover your hourly wages or salary for the lost time and also benefits you missed out on while away from your job, such as 401k earnings and healthcare coverage.

Pain and Suffering

Damages for pain and suffering compensate you for emotional distress, anxiety, anguish, and loss of a loved one.

Loss of Companionship

Damages for loss of companionship are for the sudden loss of a parent or spouse, which can result in a loss of income in the household and more.

What is the Difference Between a Jackknife Accident and a Rollover Accident?

Tractor-trailers are often involved in both jackknife and rollover accidents. These two types of accidents may result from speeding, mechanical failures, poor road or weather conditions, or unsafe turns. However, in a rollover accident, the semi-trailer has fallen over on one side, whereas in a jackknife truck accident, the trailer is still standing upright, although it is pushed forward at a 90-degree angle.

Should You Hire an Attorney After a Jackknife Accident?

After a jackknife truck accident, hiring an attorney will be highly beneficial, as liability insurance companies and adjusters are never willing to hand over fair compensations. Your personal injury lawyer can negotiate with each insurance company on your behalf and take your case to court should you decide to sue.

All too often, some form or level of negligence is involved in a jackknife crash. Your truck accident attorney will compile and evaluate all the evidence and identify all the liable parties, which may include the driver and the trucking company, as well as others. With legal representation, you have a better chance of receiving a higher payout to meet your needs and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

Do You Know Your Legal Options After a Truck Accident?

Following a truck accident, you need to know your legal options. The experienced personal injury lawyers with Montagna Law can help. We will provide the legal advice you need to make informed decisions and work side-by-side with you to seek deserved compensation. We value our clients and will work diligently for you and your family. If you live in the Hampton Roads area, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, contact our law firm today by calling 757-622-8100 or using the online contact form to schedule your free consultation and case review.

Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

Suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is different from other types of personal injuries because damage to brain cells does not heal, unlike broken bones or skin cells. As a result, a TBI, even mild ones, can have a devastating and lasting effect. If you, or a loved one, suffers any type of head injury, no matter how mild it seems, seek professional medical attention immediately. Even if you do not think an injury to the head is serious, it is important to still be seen.

TBIs can be silent and deadly. Any head trauma is cause for serious concern, and the worst part is that people who are injured might not even know they have a traumatic brain injury until it is too late. TBI has long been known as the “silent epidemic” because for decades it was difficult for people to be correctly diagnosed. With modern knowledge and technology, doctors know a lot more about brain injuries now than they even did as recently as the 1990s. The earlier treatment is sought, the better chances are for recovery.

The kind and compassionate Virginia traumatic brain attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden understand the difficulties you might face after sustaining a TBI. Call our law office at 757-622-8100 or contact us online to see how to receive help getting the compensation you deserve after your personal injury.  

Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics

TBI can be caused in two different ways: internal or external. External brain injury is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetration through the skull. Internal brain injuries can be caused by birth defects, stroke, or aneurysms. Regardless of the type or cause, brain injury is life-changing and often permanent. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year in the United States:

  • More than 1.5 million Americans experience TBI
  • 230,000 individuals are hospitalized with TBI and survive
  • Over 50,000 traumatic brain injury cases are fatal
  • Somewhere between 80,000 to 90,000 experience onset of long-term disability

Despite these chilling numbers, there are those who manage to beat the odds. Not only do many survive a traumatic brain injury, but they are able to recover. The personal injury lawyers at Montagna Klein Camden want to spread awareness and knowledge about this serious and life-changing condition.

Did You Lose Consciousness in a Serious Accident?

TBIs are categorized as mild, moderate, and severe. About 80% of TBI cases are classified as mild, but do not let the “mild” designation fool you. These injuries—which include concussions—can still cause serious injury or permanent disability.

If a person experiences a loss of consciousness during an accident, it should be taken very seriously. Medical treatment should be sought immediately because the longer a person is unconscious, the more serious the traumatic brain injury might be. Even if the injured person feels dazed or dizzy, symptoms should never be dismissed.

Non-Traumatic Brain Injury

Non-traumatic brain injuries are typically caused by internal health complications. These can be caused by strokes, blood clots, seizures, oxygen deprivation, infection, tumors, or exposure to substances that can lead to brain injury. Medical malpractice or negligence often contributes to non-traumatic brain injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries occur when the head suffers an injury from an external force, such as impact, shaking (excessive motion), or penetration. Common ways people are injured include car accidents, bike accidents, being struck by an object, slips and falls, gunshots, and other types of violence.

The symptoms of TBI may not surface until weeks, days, months, or longer after the injury, especially if the injured person is a child since their brains are still developing.

What Are the Primary Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

The CDC estimates that 5.3 million Americans currently suffer a permanent TBI-related disability and the latest CDC data indicates numbers are growing. Leading causes of TBI include:

  • Falls – 35.2%
  • Motor vehicle accidents – 17.3%
  • Struck by/against – 16.5%
  • Assault – 10%
  • Unknown/other – 21%

When it comes to traumatic brain injuries, much like no two brains are alike, neither are types of injuries to the brain. Unfortunately, there are several types of TBIs that cause life-altering changes in an instant.


A concussion is a mild TBI and is typically caused by a blow, bump, jolt to the head, or rapid shaking to it. There is no such thing as “just a concussion”—concussions should always be taken seriously.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) occurs when shearing (tearing) is experienced on the brain’s connecting nerve fibers (axons). This is a serious type of TBI and can lead to a person falling into a vegetative state.


Edema occurs when the brain (or head) experiences swelling. While swelling is a body’s reaction to an injury, when it occurs in the brain it is serious because the skull cannot accommodate the swelling or interferes with fluid circulation; sometimes surgery is necessary to relieve pressure.


Hematoma is bleeding occurring in the brain that can lead to the formation of a blood clot, creating a buildup of blood and pressure that can cause brain damage.


Hemorrhaging in the brain is when uncontrolled bleeding occurs and can lead to irreversible brain damage.

Skull Fracture

Skull fractures are when an external object breaks the bone due to a severe impact that the skull cannot absorb.


Contusions are bruises on the brain caused by bleeding—they are often serious and can lead to permanent injury or the necessity of surgery.


Coup-contrecoup TBIs are when the brain experiences a hard impact and the brain (or skull) “slams” into the opposite side, causing injury to both halves of the brain.

Brain Stem

Damage to the brain stem can impact heart regulation, body temperature control, eye movement, breathing, blood circulation, swallowing, and consciousness.

What Are Common Causes of TBIs in Virginia?

TBIs can occur in a variety of ways. Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injury include:

Auto Accidents: Car, Truck, and Motorcycle

In car or truck accidents, the head can strike the dashboard, windshield, side window, or another hard surface, such as being thrown to the ground. Shaking and coup-contrecoup injuries can also occur on impact. Any of these scenarios can lead to a severe brain injury.

Slipping and Falling

A fall down the stairs, slipping on a wet floor or ice, or other causes of tripping can lead to the head suffering a jolt or shock and a TBI.

Medical Negligence

Ways patients suffer TBIs from medical negligence include lack of oxygen to the brain, prolonged surgery, and anesthesia errors. Birth injuries can also lead to TBI due to poor decision-making or delayed action by a medical professional. Sadly, TBIs occurring due to medical negligence are often preventable.

Sports Injuries

Concussions and more severe TBIs are common in sports. Being hit by a ball, tackled and slammed on the ground, or another type of impact can lead to a life-altering TBI.

Physical Attack

Domestic violence and criminal acts against a person often involve altercations where the brain is injured, especially if the victim is hit, pushed, struck by an object, or shot at with a firearm.


Firearms can cause either penetrating or perforating TBIs. Penetrating is when a bullet enters the skull but does not exit. Perforating TBI is when the bullet enters and exits the skull.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

The long-term effects of TBI will depend on the location of the head injury. It is also unfortunately common for TBI victims to suffer more than one type of TBI which also further impacts their long-term outcome.

For instance, injury to the frontal lobe (including the forehead) can affect reasoning, problem-solving abilities, judgment, impulse control, planning, and other executive functioning skills. Injury to the left side of the brain can lead to problems with speech, comprehension, and logic, while injury to the right side of the brain can result in visual processing deficiencies and the ability to perform routine or familiar tasks.

Balance Issues

Individuals suffering from TBI often have difficulty with motor skills, including balance. The inability to balance oneself puts a person at risk of falling or hitting their head, causing further injury.


The dizziness that can accompany a TBI can lead to everyday problems, causing a decrease in the quality of life.

Eyesight Issues

Traumatic brain injuries causing eyesight issues affect the actual ability to see (including blindness), but they also affect the ability to perform eye movements, such as downgaze or convergence. Eyesight problems can negatively impact everyday activities, ranging from reading the pages in a book to driving.


People suffering TBIs tend to tire easily, and this fatigue affects their stamina, meaning victims often cannot work long days, struggle in the classroom, or suffer from an inability to stay awake for extended periods of time.


Recurring and persistent headaches often accompany TBI, causing disruption in everyday life, leading to distress and ongoing suffering.

Long-Term Memory Loss

Long-term memory loss from TBI can be temporary or permanent. In these cases, the person has difficulty remembering past events or people. It can also affect the ability to remember how to perform tasks or remember common words.

Short-Term Memory Loss

Short-term memory loss from TBI occurs when a person forgets events that have recently happened. Essentially, conversations, things seen or heard, and other events are never processed to be stored in short-term memory. For example, injured people may not remember people they have met, whether they have eaten, or where they were going.

Mood Swings

Many people who have a loved one suffering from a TBI describe them as a “different person” from before the injury. Depending on the nature of the injury and where in the brain it occurred, a person may experience unusual mood swings or display behaviors deemed inappropriate in social or professional situations.


Some TBIs result in paralysis because the injury has disrupted the brain’s ability to communicate with muscles. When signals are interrupted, the muscles never receive the brain’s direction.


Seizures, or abnormal electrical activity in the brain, are common with TBIs, and it is difficult to predict when and if they will occur. Many brain injury victims are considered to forever be at high risk of seizures. The severity of a seizure is also unpredictable—some are barely noticeable while others result in grand mal seizures.

Speech and Language Problems

Depending on the area of the brain injured, some people struggle with the ability to speak, pronounce sounds, or cannot extract the words to speak even if they know what they want to say; this disconnect can dramatically impact the ability to engage in everyday conversations.

The long-term effects of TBI are often difficult to assess; most people will find their injury changes at various stages of their life, either for better or worse. TBI victims often struggle with permanent physical, behavioral, or cognitive changes—all of which can affect their ability to do tasks or negatively impact their relationships and other interactions requiring social skills.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Virginia

In Virginia, the Commonwealth places a two-year statute of limitations from the date of an accident. This means the clock “starts ticking” when the injury occurs. This is why it is very important to seek treatment as soon as possible to ensure the injury is well-documented.

How Does an Attorney Help TBI Victims?

Having an attorney by your side is important when any type of personal injury occurs. When TBI occurs, you will want an attorney experienced in brain injury cases who understand the long-term effects. Proving seen—and not yet seen—deficiencies and impairments can be challenging. TBI victims will also benefit from a law firm that can help them deal with insurance companies to help them obtain compensation.

Sensitive and Professional Personal Injury Attorneys in Virginia

If you or a family member have suffered any kind of head injury or wrongful death, it is important to speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The Virginia brain injury lawyers at Montagna Klein Camden are ready to fight on your behalf to help you or a loved one regain health and recovery. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Our sensitive and professional attorneys can help you to obtain the compensation needed to pay for medical bills, surgeries, loss of wages, rehabilitation, and other medical care expenses to help you make the best recovery possible.

To request a free consultation from a Virginia traumatic brain injury lawyer, call our legal team at (757)-622-8100.

How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

In the last two decades, the advent of the internet has changed a lot of things. Technology and the internet have made it possible for people in one area to reach out to hundreds of people across the world. The changes introduced by the internet continue to shape the way people live and interact with one another. Social media platforms allow even more people to reach out, relate, and keep themselves updated with the latest events and happenings. However, according to any experienced personal injury attorney, the use of social media can make or mar a legal action, for example, a personal injury claim.

While social media offers an avenue to share news and media, it can also become an avenue for other parties to gather information about you and your personal injury case. Being a public diary, your social media pages can be accessed when the need arises. Having information that is counterproductive to your case anywhere on social media may be the end of your legal action. To better understand how social media can affect your personal injury case, read on.

Social Media Privacy Doesn’t Offer as Much Protection as You Would Think

When registering on social media platforms, you are given a privacy agreement to sign. While this privacy agreement creates an illusion of protection, you should know that nothing is truly protected. As an internet user, privacy disclaimers and settings are only to protect you, to an extent, from other users. However, the information contained on your social media pages may be obtained if the other party is granted authority by a court to file a subpoena.

What this means for your case is that your recount of the accident or other posts or images uploaded online may be reviewed as part of the investigative process. Once your social media pages have been combed through, the insurance investigators begin to piece the information you have offered to your online friends together. This information, if exaggerated or inconsistent with your claim, may be used against you.

You should understand that insurance companies are businesses, and they are particular about making profits. The less an insurance company has to pay you in damages, the more they profit. They will fight tooth and nail to ensure that you do not get the amount you deserve.

A cited example is a well-known slip and fall accident case between Nucci v. Target. Nucci, in this case, filed for compensation after being involved in a slip and fall accident. As part of the investigative process, Target Corp requested and was granted court access to examine the photographs posted before and after the date of the claim. The request was granted because the information contained in the photographs was deemed more important than the privacy of the injured claimant. In essence, any information you post online before or after your accident can be used against you.

Social Media Creates an Illusion

One of the biggest issues on social media is that most people are on there to impress others. Impressing others could be in the form of photos, videos, exaggerated life experiences, and more. It is important to keep the details of the accident and case between you and your lawyer in a personal injury case. However, the illusion created by the internet and social media may force an injured party to dramatize their story to make it seem more believable or to draw the attention of many more internet users. The sensationalism of the story may, in the end, rob the claimant of their chance of winning the personal injury case.

Imagine a scenario wherein a personal injury accident victim sustained mild bruising and property damage from a car accident. Should such an account be posted on social media, there is a significant chance that other users may wish to know the details of the accident. If, in the comment section, the injured party were to claim they were fine and suffered no harm, the insurance company may pick up on this and use this as a counter to your claim.

With social media, especially when you are in the middle of an insurance claim battle, you can never be too careful. However, below are some of the ways to protect yourself.

Check your Privacy Settings

While privacy settings may not protect your social media information if a court order has been granted to investigate it, it can protect you from other users. To be on the safe side, it is recommended that you check your privacy setting to be sure that it is set properly. Doing this can help you to limit who sees your social media information.

Be Mindful of What you Share

A great piece of advice to follow is always to be mindful of what you share on the internet. As an internet user embroiled in a legal battle with an insurance company, it is best to stay off social media until your case has been finalized. The chance that you may post incriminating or sabotaging information exists, and this would be counterproductive to your personal injury claim.

Scrutinize New Friend Requests

There are hundreds of people looking to connect with new people across the internet. There is a decent chance that you may get innocent friend requests while your personal injury claim is ongoing. There is also a decent chance that an insurance adjuster is interested in gathering information from your social media pages. It may be wise to hold off on accepting new friend requests until your case has been finalized. However, if you must accept these requests, make sure that you have conducted thorough research on the profiles and the handlers to be safe.

Watch Your Comments

Your social media comments are as powerful as the posts you make. Whether the comments are on the posts you initiated or other posts, you should keep in mind that they can be used against you and your case. It is recommended that you speak to your personal injury lawyer further on keeping yourself protected online during your personal injury claim process. For more information on personal injury claims, contact us online today.

Montagna Law
425 Monticello Ave
Norfolk VA 23510
(757) 622-8100

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Should You Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Every time we get behind the wheel, we know there is some risk involved. All it takes is a single mistake to turn our lives upside down.

A lot of the time, the error was not our own. It was someone else who happened to be texting while driving or had one too many alcoholic drinks and made the wrong choice to get behind the wheel. Before we know it, we are facing months, or even years, of recovery, battling insurance companies, paperwork, and even court cases. Should you hire a personal injury attorney? If so, when is the right time to do it?

The reality is, not every case is so open and shut, even if you believe you are in the right. You can be 100% sure that the other party caused the accident, leaving you injured and buried in hospital bills, but there are always two sides to every story. Insurance companies often will want to investigate the claims further, holding out from paying as long as possible. Even if they do agree to a settlement, it is certainly not going to be a generous offer.

Let us look at why you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney, when you should do it and t:

Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

The law is complicated. Most of the time, you are going to face an uphill battle to receive the settlement you think you deserve. So many variabilities exist that, unless you know your way around the law, it is going to be nearly impossible to navigate your way to victory. Hiring a lawyer does not guarantee a win, even if they have a great track record.

So, you might be thinking about what the value of hiring a personal injury lawyer might be. What you may not expect is that the other party’s insurance company will probably hire a defense attorney to challenge your claims. In this situation, you would certainly be at a disadvantage at a time when you are still recovering from a major accident. Are you up to subjecting yourself to months or even years of paperwork and stress on top of what you are already going through?

The main benefit of hiring a personal injury attorney is the fact that you get to sit back, relax, and leave the work to someone who knows what they are doing. The casework will be completely on their shoulders. At the very least, you should seek out a consultation with a local attorney to see what the possibilities are. It may be a simple case you can settle in court or see if it is worth holding out for a larger settlement with their help.

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Are there benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer? The simple answer to this question is a resounding yes! There are plenty of additional benefits you probably will not think of at the time you need to make the decision. One of those is a lawyer’s ability to investigate the accident.

The police will have their own investigation, as well as the insurance company. But lawyers have their own personal investigators, detectives, and even employees of the court who can help put your case together. You will truly have a team at your side to guide you.

Another benefit to hiring a personal injury attorney is how the insurance company often reacts to the news that you have representation. It is a fact that they will often offer higher settlements than they would if you didn’t. They usually think they can pull the wool over your inexperienced eyes, but if you have seasoned representation by your side, they know you are not playing any games and will shell out more money to make the situation go away. You may choose to accept the higher settlement if it means you get paid, the bills get taken care of, and you don’t have to battle in court.

You have knowledge and experience on your side

After an accident your focus should be on getting better, not figuring out finances and fighting insurance companies.

Since they deal with this on a daily basis, personal injury attorneys know the ways around the legal technicalities that insurance companies use to take advantage of vulnerable clients. 

We know which documents to file, can help you fill out forms correctly, and educate you on certain statutes of limitation. A great personal injury lawyer knows when to pass up an offer and hold out for the compensation you deserve.

Many entities work against underrepresented folks 

There are so many ways someone without an attorney is taken advantage of in court. Insurance companies might offer smaller settlements to encourage early signing or force you into litigation if they claim you weren’t injured. Access to medical care might be less available since unrepresented claimants and care payments aren’t guaranteed. 

Fighting back against product defects or large companies is nearly impossible without an attorney. Having someone with experience on your side is important and necessary in many cases.

No consequences if you lose your case 

When it comes to complicated laws within the Offers of Judgement, the opposite side might be able to get attorney fees and costs from you. At Montagna Law, our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t owe us any payment if we don’t win your case.  

An unbiased, clear-headed partner is important 

With the stress of being in an accident or hurt on the job, having someone who has experience with these fields takes much of the burden off you. Objectivity is crucial in winning a personal injury case, and emotions such as pain, anger, and frustration usually felt after an accident can cloud your judgment. A personal injury lawyer has both the cognitive dissonance and consideration of your best interest to wait for a better offer.

They can help you make an informed decision 

Sometimes a personal injury claim might not even be worth pursuing if the chances of winning the case are slim. No attorney wants to waste your time or money and will be honest about what you should do. In some cases, a settlement can be negotiated instead of going to trial. If the settlement isn’t good enough, personal injury lawyers will fight for you as long as it takes. Either way, they have the knowledge and experience to know what you should do next.

They can negotiate and minimize financial consequences 

There are ways you can determine how much you’re owed, such as using online personal injury calculators. However, each case has so many nuances, such as future medical care, severity of injuries, and more. A personal injury lawyer will comb through every detail to make sure all your bases are covered. 

A team of investigators creates added support 

Your personal injury lawyer is your partner and wants to win just as much as you do. That’s why they usually come with backup in the form of an investigation team to comb through all the evidence and use every tool to your advantage. Anything you can remember from your incident helps, such as any witnesses you might recall, any medical providers who helped your injuries, or how your life has changed since the injury.

When Is the Right Time to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

When looking at whether you should hire a personal injury attorney, you must look at your opposition. The odds are good that the other party and/or their insurance company, which has deep pockets, will also have personal representation on their side. Unless you have your own experience and dedicated knowledge of the law yourself, hiring an attorney is a good idea. In order to win the case, there are a lot of factors that need to be worked out.

Every moment counts and whether you realize it or not, the other side is already preparing their defense. They are looking at the facts, interviewing witnesses, and even have their own copy of the police report. Their job is to put a spin on the details of the case to ensure the judgment is ruled in their favor. That means you have little time to spare to even out the odds. They will have experience on their side, having fought the same battle hundreds or even thousands of times before. Insurance companies do not make money by paying out large settlements and will use every trick in the book to keep from paying you a dime.

Once you decide you need a heavy hitter on your team, you should call them immediately. In fact, it is best to call a personal injury attorney right after the accident happens. That means your memory of the incident is still fresh in your mind and your lawyer can get right to work representing your interests. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to recall every detail.

Really, hiring an attorney to help you through this difficult time in your life is a personal one. Unless you know your way around the law and a courtroom, it is advisable to hire someone who is battle-tested and ready to represent your interests. You shouldn’t face the insurance company on your own. To learn more about hiring representation or to schedule a free consultation contact us through online form or call (757) 622-8100 today.

Montagna Law
425 Monticello Ave
Norfolk VA 23510
(757) 622-8100

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When To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve sustained an injury during an accident, you may be wondering whether you should handle the case yourself or hire a personal injury lawyer. Filing a personal injury lawsuit requires a comprehensive knowledge of the complex legal system and specialized skills and training that a personal injury lawyer can offer you. 

Unfortunately, we’ve seen many individuals attempt to handle their own personal injury lawsuits and fail. There are countless studies proving that a plaintiff represented by legal counsel will net more than three times the money than had they handled their own claim. A claimant generally lacks the knowledge to prove liability and truly validate the severity of the injuries they’ve sustained. 

If you’ve been involved in any of the following situations or suffered very serious injuries as a result of an accident, you should get in contact with us right away. 

You’ve Suffered Long-Term or Permanently Disabling Injuries

If you’ve sustained injuries in an accident that will require long-term care, have left you permanently disabled, or significantly affect your physical abilities or appearance require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. It can be difficult in these situations to calculate how much the injuries you’ve sustained are worth and furthermore, it’s challenging to determine how your injuries will affect your earning capabilities over time. You need a lawyer with an extensive knowledge of this process to pursue all applicable forms of compensation for your injuries and loss.

You’ve Suffered Significant Injuries

The amount of compensation you ultimately receive is largely dependent upon the severity of your injuries which is measured by the dollar amount of your medical bills, the type of injuries sustained, and the length of your recovery. The higher your potential compensation amount, the more likely you are to surpass the policy limits of the at-fault party’s insurance policy, which means that the insurance company may only pay you a fraction of what you deserve. Hiring a personal injury lawyer ensures that you will receive the total amount of compensation that is owed to you.

Several Parties Are Involved or Fault Is Not Clear

If you were involved in an accident where several parties could potentially be liable for the injuries you sustained, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. When multiple parties with multiple insurance companies are involved, it can become very complicated to juggle. Several people may have been injured during the accident which means there won’t be as much settlement money when split between the involved parties or you could ultimately have your settlement reduced due to your proportional fault in the accident. 

When Medical Malpractice Is Involved

If you have suffered an injury or illness due to unprofessional, incompetent, or negligent conduct at the hands of any medical care provider, you will find yourself overwhelmed taking into account both the medical and legal laws in your particular case. We do not recommend attempting a medical malpractice case on your own as they can become very complex.

When You’ve Sustained Toxic Exposure

It can be difficult to prove that you’ve fallen ill due to exposure to contaminants in products, food, or in the air, soil, or water. These claims often require complex scientific data and evidence that can be very hard to come by, particularly because the chemical and other similar industries have protected themselves so diligently from legal trouble. This is yet another situation where we strongly recommend against going it alone.

When the Insurance Company Refuses to Pay

In some circumstances, insurance companies simply refuse to make a settlement offer or one that is fair. If you find yourself in this situation with the at-fault party’s insurance company or negotiations with said insurance company have broken down, contact a personal injury lawyer right away. 

If you have been involved in any of the situations described above or find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney, contact us right away. We will represent your best interests in settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company and will do so in court if that is determined to be the best course of action.

How Pre-existing Injuries Affect Personal Injury Claims

A preexisting injury or medical condition refers to injury or condition that you suffered prior to the injury for which you are currently filing a lawsuit. In this situation, you are required to disclose the presence of any preexisting injury. Having a preexisting injury or condition won’t keep you from recovering damages when you file a personal injury claim in Norfolk but it is considered when calculating an award for damages and may impact the value of your claim. 

What is considered a preexisting injury or condition?

While any injury or condition that existed before you sustained new injuries can be considered a preexisting medical condition, the most important in a personal injury case are those that affect or interact with the new injuries. These are a few common examples of preexisting injuries:

  • Injuries that have not healed properly or are still in the process of healing
  • Injuries you have sustained from a previous, unrelated accident
  • Medical conditions that surface only during times of stress
  • Birth defects or congenital abnormalities

Preexisting injuries can be aggravated by a new injury to the same part of the body and that aggravation can increase resulting pain and suffering and delay your recovery. 

Why you need a personal injury attorney

Without an attorney, you have to defend your medical history and prove that your current injuries are largely due to the accident and not your preexisting medical condition. In order for your previous injuries to significantly impact your personal injury claim, you have the burden of proving that your preexisting injuries have a causal relationship with your current injuries. An attorney is able to defend your medical history and prove that your current injuries are primarily due to your recent incident and not your prior medical condition. 

In order for an attorney to properly prepare for your particular situation, it is imperative that you disclose your prior medical history, no matter how unrelated your current injuries may seem. An attorney can then employ past medical records and diagnostic tests and compare them with past records and tests to determine how the accident worsened the preexisting condition. The attorney can also use clinical records to compare the plaintiff’s extent of necessary care, degree of pain, or disability before and after the incident. 

If you or a loved one is pursuing a personal injury claim and has a preexisting condition, it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer at Montagna Law for assistance. We’ll help you to understand how your preexisting condition may impact your claim, why the defendant might use it to discredit your new injuries, and how you can help us to present the most effective case under your particular circumstances.

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What to Expect in a Personal Injury Consultation

If you’ve been wrongfully injured and are looking to file a personal injury claim, you probably have hundreds of questions about the process of hiring a personal injury lawyer, preparing for your settlement or trial, and the aftermath of the case. We are here to take the guesswork out of what you can expect in a consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.

Your first meeting with a personal injury attorney is important because it gives you a chance to learn more about the process of filing personal injury claims and it also allows you to evaluate the lawyer’s level of expertise in a case such as yours.

-Jon Montagna

You can expect to have an open discussion with your attorney about the following topics:

Understanding the legal process

An experienced lawyer is aware that the legal process can be difficult to understand for the common citizen so they will take the time to explain how best to proceed with your case for a favorable outcome. Your attorney should walk you through the legal process step-by-step and give you a look into the behind-the-scenes action that leads up to the culmination of your trial and the aftermath. 

Filling out documents, legal briefs, and requests for replies can be time-consuming and your attorney should discuss these steps with you.

Examining your case

It’s important that you are completely open and honest with the personal injury lawyer you are meeting with in order for him or her to decide how best to proceed with legal action. They will ask you the who, what, when, where, and why of your case, which will lead to a detailed discussion of the specifics surrounding your case. It’s important to remember that the lawyer is not making you relive what was potentially a traumatic event for any other reason but to get you the best results possible.

Setting expectations for your role in the case

You play a significant role in the outcome of your case. At your first consultation, the personal injury lawyer should walk you through the steps you need to take in order to ensure success. This may include never missing doctor appointments and being completely open and honest through every step of the process. 

Discuss fees and communications

Whether you’ve decided to move forward with the personal injury lawyer or not, he or she should explain the next steps and everyone’s responsibilities as you proceed, including fees. They should explain to you the fee agreement which includes what services the law firm will perform and how and when they should be paid. Make sure you understand all aspects of the costs and ask for an estimate of what you will be required to pay. 

Once you understand all money-related aspects, your lawyer should discuss how the case will proceed. They should understand the goals for your claim and explain how they will help you achieve them.

How to decide if the personal injury lawyer is right for you

You should not feel like you have to commit after the first consultation. It’s wise to shop around to find someone you feel comfortable with and someone you feel can get you the best possible outcome. In this case, it’s important to remember that the lawyer is not the only one that should be asking questions. It’s a good idea to treat this like an interview to determine if he or she is right for you. 

Use the conversation to gauge if this particular personal injury lawyer has experience with your situation. For example, if you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury, you want a lawyer who has experience with proving these injuries and obtaining fair compensation – someone who has connections with experts who can testify how your injuries will impact your future. The more experienced the lawyer is with the specifics of your case, the more likely they are to obtain a favorable outcome. 

While many lawyers will offer online consultations, we don’t recommend proceeding with someone until you’ve met them in person. 

If you’ve been through a traumatic experience, the most important thing to focus on is healing from the situation. The last thing you’ll want to do is spend all of your time fighting to be compensated for it. At Montagna Klein Camden, we will support you and do all the difficult legal work for you so that you can focus on recovery. If you’ve been injured, meeting with one of our personal injury lawyers will help take the stress of the case out of your hands and place the task on someone with the expertise to achieve the compensation you deserve.

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Learning the Basics of Personal Injury Law

When put simply, a personal injury is an injury that does not involve issues with property and is, therefore, involving a person’s body and/or mind. It allows the injured person to go to civil court seeking compensation for losses stemming from an accident that occurred as a result of someone else’s carelessness or intentional misconduct. If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of someone else, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer like Montagna Law. 

How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?

Because no two accidents are the exact same, no two personal injury cases will be the same. This makes it difficult to develop a standard across all personal injury cases, which makes it that much more important to consult with a legal professional who can work with the nuances of your case. However, there is a typical timeline that most personal injury cases follow when you look at the bigger picture:

The Defendant Injures the Plaintiff

As you can imagine, there are many different ways that the plaintiff can be injured by the defendant. The only exceptions that still fall under personal injury are contractual breaches, which are handled under a separate body of law called “contract law.”

The Plaintiff Establishes That The Defendant Breached a Legal Duty

The specific measure of legal duty is going to be completely dependent upon the situation in which the plaintiff sustained the injury. For example, manufacturers have a duty to produce a product that is not defective or unreasonably dangerous. Employers have the duty of understanding those products and teaching their employees how to operate it properly to avoid injury. 

Settlement Outside of Court May Occur

If it is clear that the defendant has breached a legal duty, they may choose to settle outside of court. This would mean they, or the insurance company representing him or her, offer monetary compensation to the injured party in exchange for the injured person’s promise to not file a lawsuit. 

The Case Ends

If the plaintiff accepts the settlement, that is the end of the case. If the plaintiff does not accept, the plaintiff may go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit. Settlement negotiations may continue beyond this point and can be reached at any time prior to the civil case being handed to the jury. 

The Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations sets a time limit on how long you can wait to file a claim. In Virginia, the time limit is two years from the date of your accident, which may seem like there’s no need to rush. However, two years can easily become two months if you procrastinate, so get in touch with your personal injury lawyer as soon after the incident as possible.

A Claim Involving Government

Virginia law dictates particular actions you must take if the liable party in your accident is a city, county or state government entity. For example, if a dangerous hazard on a city street, such as an unmarked, open manhole, caused your car to jerk out of your control and crash, you may find yourself suing the city government for compensation.

In such situations, your first step is to inform the powers that be that you are planning to make a claim. Your attorney must prepare a formal document and send it to the government entity involved. If you are dealing with a city or town in Virginia, the deadline for submitting this document is six months after your incident. If state government is involved, the statute allows you one year’s time. You can only file a legal claim after you have completed this notification.

Shared Liability in Virginia

Virginia is among only four states and the District of Columbia that sanction pure contributory negligence in personal injury cases. This means that if a judge finds you were even one percent to blame for your injury, you are not eligible to receive any compensation whatsoever. Therefore, an attorney’s assistance is critical in proving your claim.

Limits on Damage Awards

On a brighter note, the state of Virginia does not impose general limits on the potential amount of compensation you can receive. The exceptions are medical malpractice actions, in which damages are limited to $2 million or less, and punitive compensation, which the state limits to $350,000.

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How to Receive Compensation for a Construction Accident

When it comes to working on a construction site, workplace accidents are practically inevitable. 

Even small scale construction sites host an array of hazards. Construction involves the use of potentially dangerous power tools and often there are many contractors and subcontractors performing different tasks on the same site. There may be heavy equipment, machinery, and building materials involved in the process. 

Taking all of this into consideration, you should never underestimate the risk of serious injury on a construction site. As a construction worker, you may wonder how you may be compensated after involvement in a construction accident.

Workers’ Compensation

Most accidents that occur on a construction site are caused by the worker’s own error or by the negligence of the employer or a co-worker. Due to this fact, most injured construction workers will be able to resort to workers’ compensation benefits to cover lost wages, medical care, and necessary rehabilitation. 

However, if you’ve been involved in an accident where a third party is partially or fully responsible for your injury, it may be possible to bring on a lawsuit in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Personal Injury Claims

Most injuries that occur on construction sites are caused by the mistakes or carelessness of either the injured party, a coworker, or the employer, falling under the theory of negligence.  However, under the exclusive remedy rule, it is typically impossible to bring a negligence act against your own employer or coworker. 

When multiple contractors or subcontractors are involved or operating at the same construction site, your injury may be caused by a third party. In this situation, it may be possible to pursue a personal injury action against that individual and that individual’s employer.

Product Liability Claims

A product liability claim is filed as a result of an allegation that the plaintiff’s injury was caused by a product that was unsafe, typically by way of a design defect, production defect, inadequate warning labels and instructions, or foreseeable misuse. In this case, the third party (someone outside of that employment) is responsible for the design, installation, maintenance, and appropriate warning labels associated with operating that machinery. Therefore, that person is negligent in carrying out their duties and you may be able to pursue a product liability action against that third-party in relation to the injuries you suffered. 

Exceptions in Construction Accidents

Construction site accidents can also come in the form of long-time exposure to workplace or environmental toxins. For example, shipyard workers have found decades later that they suffered from asbestos-related illnesses. Welders are potentially exposed to manganese in welding rods, causing manganism.  Similarly, use or exposure to lead paint can cause lead poisoning. 

Construction injury cases can pose a bit of difficulty in determining the role of the employer and in some cases can make it harder to determine that an injury is actually work-related. 

No matter what situation they find themselves in, injured construction workers will generally benefit from at least a consultation with a qualified workers compensation lawyer like Montagna Law. A lawyer will be able to review your case for workers’ compensation and also for potential recompense from third-party defendants if applicable.

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