Richmond attorney Wayne O'Bryan has over 40 years experience to help answer your most pressing questions.
Should I give a recorded statement about my personal injury?+
Never give a recorded statement to the other person’s insurance company. Usually one of the first things the adjuster will do in a personal injury case is to ask you to give them a recorded statement about what happened. They are trained to seem nice and pleasant but remember that their goal is to pay you as little as possible for your case.
The only reason the adjuster asks you to give them a recorded statement is so they can use your own words against you. They are hoping that you will slip up and say something that the insurance company can use to deny your claim or give you less money.
The insurance company won’t care if you tell them that your medication made you woozy and you didn’t know what you were saying or said the wrong thing. Once it is on tape it is on the record. They will try and pick apart and twist your words to try and use them against you.
Remember, there is no legal requirement for you to make a recorded statement to the insurance company.
You can give a statement to your own company, and you may be required by your policy to do so.
Can I get a second opinion about my lawyer and how he is treating my personal injury case?+
You are entitled to call another lawyer at any time and get a second opinion about how he or she is handling your case.
According to Leslie A. T. Haley, Assistant Ethics Counsel for the Virginia State Bar, in a recent article published in the Journal of the Virginia Trial Lawyer Association:
“Clients at all times retain the right to counsel of their own choosing. That right includes the right to fire and replace their attorneys at any time. As part of that right, a client may need to consult another attorney regarding the case to eb able to make an informed decision as to whether a change in attorney is warranted. Comment to Rule 4.2 makes clear that it is not improper for an attorney to speak with a represented party regarding that person’s legal matter. Of course, an attorney would be prohibited from such contact if he represented any other party in the matter. Whle an attorney may provide a consultation in the manner of a second opinion, he should take no action in the matter and decline actual representation of the person unless and until te orginal lawyer is fired, withdraws or agrees to joint representation as co-counsel. [See, LEOs 369, & 1328]”
In plain english this means that you can always pick who you want to be your lawyer. You have the right to get a different lawyer at any point in your case, and as part of that right you may get a second opinion from another lawyer so you can decide if a change of attorney would help you, but it is not okay for a lawyer with a conflict of interest to give a second opinion. Another lawyer can not take over your case until you fire the original lawyer or the two lawyers make arrangements somehow.
Wayne O’Bryan is available to give you a second opinion on your Virginia accident, injury, malpractice or wrongful death case. If you feel that you are not being treated in a fair and friendly manner by your current lawyer call Attorney Wayne O’Bryan. If you are interested in having a second attorney look at your case please give Wayne O’Bryan a call at 1-800-372-4099.
What if I can’t afford to pay my doctor to treat all my injuries?+
It is the most important thing for you and your personal injury claim to finish ALL of the treatment that your doctor recommends and get completely well.
If you are having trouble with docotor’s bills then please let us know. We are happy to talk to the doctor’s office and tell them that we are representing you in your injury case. It is common for doctor’s to place a lien on people’s cases. A lien is essentially a guarantee that the doctor will get paid after your claim is settled. If there is a lien then the doctor gets paid out of your settlement money before anybody else gets their share.
Remember that your health is the most important thing and to listen to your doctor. Try not to miss any appointments because the doctor’s office won’t write down why you did not show up for your appointment. They will only write down that you missed the appointment and the insurance adjuster will try and use that against you and pay you less money.
After I slipped and fell while shopping at a convenience store, my friend said I might have a tort case. What exactly is a tort?+
Tort is a legal term for an injury to you or your property. It’s different from a crime, but still causes you harm. If someone attacks you physically, misuses or damages something you own, hurts your reputation unfairly, or takes away your freedom to act, then you have a tort case. To recover damages from a tort, you have to prove that the other party either committed the act on purpose, or that they were negligent. And you must prove that damages or injury occurred as a result.
Some examples of tort law include personal injury, wrongful death, defective products, and medical malpractice. O’Bryan Law specializes in just this type of law, and consultation is free. If you think you have a case, it is always wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible, while information is still fresh in your mind and any witnesses are still available.
If injured by someone else’s fault, what am I entitled to?+
I want you to know that if you are injured through no fault of your own but by someone else’s negligence, the law entitles you to recover various types of damages:
- Pain And Suffering: Ordinarily, the most “valuable” element of your bodily injury claim is the right to compensation for physical pain and mental anguish you have suffered and will endure in the future because of your injury. These general damages are in addition to and may be far more than the amount of your lost earnings and medical expenses.
- Medical Expenses: The cost of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred and that are reasonably certain to be incurred in the future because of your injury, are recoverable. These expenses include past (already-incurred) medical expenses and also future medical expenses, which may be the product of the original injury or that result from an increased susceptibility to future injury.
All forms of care and treatment, whether hospital, medical, therapy, nursing, diagnostic testing, surgery, physical rehabilitation or pain management are included.
You can recover the full value of your medical expenses from the responsible party even if your health insurer has paid all or part of your bills. Your health insurer may be entitled to reimbursement.
- Loss Of Earnings: You are also entitled to recover the loss of earnings suffered from your injuries. Thus, wages, commissions, bonuses and all other earnings and fringe benefits are recoverable.
- Future Loss Of Earnings: If your injuries permanently limit your ability to earn, you can recover the value of the reduction in earning capacity, with reasonable probability, which will occur in the future. These damages compensate you for your lost earning power over the remainder of your working years.
- Death: Damages for “wrongful death” are available for the wife, husband, parent and child of the deceased person. Sometimes, persons related by blood or marriage, who were dependent upon the deceased, may recover.
- Damages are not limited to economic loss and may include damages for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care, filial care, attention, advice, or counsel.
- Disfigurement: If the injury causes scarring or other unsightly marks, you are entitled to recover for the disfigurement and humiliation or embarrassment associated with the disfigurement.
- Damage To The Marital Relationship: Serious injuries to one spouse may cause damage to the marital relationship. If this occurs, you are entitled to recover for the loss of society, affection, assistance, conjugal fellowship and loss or impairment of sexual relations that occurs.
- Damage To Your Vehicle Or Other Personal Property: You are entitled to be made whole for any damage to your personal property. Where they can repair your vehicle, you are entitled to recover the reasonable cost of restoring the vehicle to its condition before the collision. In addition, you may recover the cost of substitute transportation necessarily incurred while they are repairing your vehicle. If the cost of repair is more than the value of your vehicle (a “total loss”), you are entitled to recover the fair market value of your vehicle before it was damaged.
(WARNING: CHANGES IN THE LAW CONCERNING DAMAGES OCCUR FREQUENTLY. YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY WITH RESPECT TO THESE CHANGES.)
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