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                    [post_content] => Do you remember Regis Philbin’s famous question from the TV show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? You remember, right? The game show from the late 90's and early 2000's where a contestant was challenged to  select one of four potential answers to questions that get progressively more difficult to answer as the stakes correspondingly escalate all in an effort to win one million dollars.

business man writing trust building concept

Prior to answering a question worth significant amounts of money, the contestant had three opportunities to use a lifeline. I always found the phone a friend option particularly interesting. Almost every time a contestant phoned a friend, the friend’s answer was the answer given. I was always shocked at how some people would trust that friend’s intelligence. The contestant picked that friend prior to the show for that 30 seconds spot where the friend would answer a potentially million dollar question. During that 30 seconds, it was pivotal that the friend is not only a good friend, but also a trusted advisor.

After the contestant picks an answer, Regis would always ask the contestant, “Is that your final answer?” Sometimes the answer would be right and sometimes the answer would be wrong, but either way, the answer was final.

It is just as important to pick the right lawyer. Your lawyer is your trusted advisor. He or she should be helping you along the way to make informed decisions. This is likely your one and only personal injury case in your life. This is your one opportunity to phone a friend. Hopefully, you’ve chosen a lawyer who practices personal injury law so frequently that he or she knows how to work up and value your case. And when the time comes for you to phone a friend, you will know that you are making the best decision possible because you trust 100% that you picked the smartest, most skilled friend to help you make good decisions.

Your lawyer is there to help you make good decisions. Of course, you can disregard your lawyers advice and pick a different answer, if you wish. You may be right or you may be wrong. Either way, settlement of your personal injury case is final. You cannot have a do over and you can never recover a dime more for your injuries. Once you accept that check and sign that release, then you are forever precluded from revisiting that cause of action. Make sure that you chose a lawyer that specializes in personal injury cases.

Is that your final answer?

Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq.
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                    [post_content] => After you’ve been injured in a car wreck and you have scheduled your free consultation with a reputable law firm, it is time to gather your records. Get your things together so that you will be prepared to give all of the necessary information to the attorney who is evaluating your case.

The insurance section of a collision report.

Here is a simple list of the top four things you need to bring with you to your free personal injury consultation.

Exchange of Information Form

After every accident, you should call the police so that a report can be made detailing what happened, who was involved, and who, if anyone, will be charged. The Officer or Trooper investigating the case will not give you a copy of the police report on the scene, but he or she will give you small piece of paper with all of the necessary information about the person that hit you. Bring this with you. This small piece of paper has several things that your attorney will need. For example, name, address, and insurance company of the Defendant. This information will be essential to getting all of the right people involved in your claim.

Discharge Summary from the hospital

If you are injured and you go to the hospital, they will either admit you for treatment, or check you over and discharge you. When they discharge you, they always give you a discharge summary detailing your diagnoses, your treatment, your follow up recommendations and symptoms to look for in the future related to you injuries. Bring this paper with you. It gives your attorney a quick look into the type of injuries you have sustained. If you have received additional treatment since your visit to the emergency room, bring whatever treatment records you have so that your attorney can accurately assess your case.

Your Insurance Policy

Sometimes, the people who cause wrecks do not have insurance. If that is the case, your attorney may advise you to make a claim against your own insurance company’s uninsured motorist coverage or under-insured motorist coverage. Additionally, you may have med pay insurance which will pay for your medical bills up to a certain amount. Your attorney will need that information in order to make such claims.

Pictures of your car and any other cars involved in the wreck.

Pictures can tell a thousand words. Often, I have heard insurance adjusters say, "Well, there was only $600 of damage to the vehicle so it was just a minor impact." Pictures often tell a different story. If you have pictures of your car, bring them.  If you have pictures of the other cars, bring them. Sometimes, the damage to your car may be minimal, but the damage to the other car may be much more. Again, pictures tell a thousand words. Bring them to your attorney, so he or she can get the whole picture (pun intended). I hope this helps you prepare for your first meeting with your personal injury attorney. Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq. [post_title] => Four Things to Bring With You For Your First Personal Injury Consultation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => four-things-to-bring-with-you-for-your-first-personal-injury-consultation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-21 14:22:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-21 14:22:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=294 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 280 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2014-12-04 21:17:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-04 21:17:04 [post_content] => If you have been injured in a car accident, then it is likely you have had several unpleasant conversations with an insurance adjuster for the person who hit you.  You may remember that I posted here about these types of conversations. Worried Senior Hispanic Woman Checking Mailbox After you have hired your lawyer, I have said before that you will not hear from the adjuster again.  You can read about that here. Indeed, it is one of the benefits to hiring a lawyer sooner rather than later. But that is not 100% true.  In fact, there is potentially one other time when you will receive a letter directly from the insurance adjuster, right after your case settles. The General Assembly enacted Code § 38.2-236 which requires upon payment by any insurer of at least $5,000.00 in a single check to a Virginia attorney, the insurance company must send you a notice of such payment.  The notice must have the following language which is quoted from the statute: "Pursuant to § 38.2-236 of the Code of Virginia, you are hereby notified that a payment was sent on (insert date on which payment was sent) by (insert name of insurer) to your attorney or other representative (insert name, address, and telephone number of attorney or other representative known to insurer), in satisfaction of your claim or judgment against (insert name of insurer, or insured, whichever is appropriate). If you have any questions, please contact your attorney or other representative." In our experience, since this statute went into effect, the insurance company will send this notice to you immediately upon issuing the check. Once the letter arrives clients often ask if that means that they can stop by and pick up the check.  The answer is generally no and this results in confusion. This is not unusual.  In fact, you may have received the notice before your attorney received the check, especially in cases that are in active litigation. In those cases, the insurance company will send the check to their attorney who will draft a release and dismissal order and send all three to your attorney at the same time. The statute, however, requires that the insurance company send you the notice directly “upon payment.” To be safe, the insurance company will interpret that to mean, when I cut the check, payment is made. Once your attorney receives the check, it has to be deposited into a trust account and it has to clear the bank; then you have to sign a release and send it back to the insurance company.  This usually takes about a week. This notice is designed to protect those who have been injured and that is a good thing. Make sure that you openly communicate your expectations to your lawyer, and ask him or her to explain the intricacies of settling a personal injury case.  This will benefit you as you navigate this new experience. Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq. [post_title] => The Insurance Adjuster Said… (A Continuing Series) [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-insurance-adjuster-said-a-continuing-series [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-07-12 21:04:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-12 21:04:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=280 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2014-10-21 14:04:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-10-21 14:04:19 [post_content] => What if you stop and help someone in trouble, simply trying to be a Good Samaritan. (See Luke 10:30-36). Could you be held liable for any injuries that the person you are trying to help might receive in the course of your assistance?  The answer—as unsatisfying as it may be—is, it depends. Business Man Life Guard At first, it might seem odd that you could be held financially responsible to another person when all you are trying to do is help them. While you may have a moral duty to help or rescue another, legally, you have no duty to rescue another person. The rationale is simple, you should not be legally required to rescue a drowning person if you cannot swim. You will likely cause more harm than good. If you choose, however, to give such assistance, you may have unwittingly assumed a legal duty. The common law rule is that “one who undertakes to act, even though gratuitously, is required to act carefully and with the exercise of due care and will be liable for injuries proximately caused by failure to use such care.” Creasy v. United States,645 F. Supp. 853, 855 (W.D. Va. 1986) (quoting Neal v. Bergland, 646 F.2d 1178, 1181-82 (1981)). A good Samaritan is only liable to the extent that he or she fails to use due care. This is called negligence. It can be broken down into four elements: (1) duty to exercise reasonable care, (2) breach of that duty, (3) that breach proximately caused (4) damages. This is not a mechanical calculation, though, and whether the good Samaritan acted like a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances is a very difficult question to resolve. If you are a good Samaritan, do not fear. Even though the Virginia law on the common law Good Samaritan Rule is scarce, the General Assembly has enacted a statute that presupposes that the Rule applies in Virginia. This also seems apparent from Code § 1-200. Nonetheless, Virginia has adopted what is commonly referred to as the Good Samaritan Statute to encourage Virginians to help each other. Code § 8.01-225. There, the Virginia General Assembly created a long list of immunities against liability under the Good Samaritan Rule. For example if you, in good faith, give “emergency medical care or assistance, without compensation, to any ill or injured person (i) at the scene of an accident, fire, or any life-threatening emergency; (ii) at a location for screening or stabilization of an emergency medical condition arising from an accident, fire, or any life-threatening emergency; or (iii) en route to any hospital, medical clinic, or doctor’s office,” you will qualify for one circumstance exempting you from civil damages for injuries resulting from your assistance. This particular immunity is just one of many listed here. Review this list and keep in mind those situations that you might encounter in life. To be sure that I am not misunderstood, none of this is to say that you should refrain from rendering assistance, being a good Samaritan and giving help to those in need. Indeed, the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 ends with Jesus’ instruction to “go and do the same.” However, this is to say that you should assume such duty with open eyes and you should exercise due care in helping others. I’d say that there is no better way to "love you neighbor as yourself" than to give help and exercise reasonable care. That is truly a good Samaritan. If you only undertake to help, without good faith and without exercising reasonable care, then you will be despised and liable for any injuries your negligence may cause. Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq. [post_title] => When The Good Samaritan is The Despised Samaritan [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => when-the-good-samaritan-is-the-despised-samaritan [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-21 15:22:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-21 15:22:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=111 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 295 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2014-10-02 21:42:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-10-02 21:42:50 [post_content] => After your lawyer files suit, you will go through several stages of a process called discovery. Most people do not know what that means or what it looks like, so I will give you a snapshot here. Discovery picture

Written Discovery: Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents and Things, and Request for Admission.

Initially, after suit has been filed, your lawyer will send the other side a series of questions that the Defendant has to answer in writing, under oath. Those questions are called Interrogatories. Interrogatories are limited to 30 in number unless there is a good reason for why you need more and then the judge has to approve it first. At the same time, your lawyer will send Request for Production of Documents to the Defendant, or his attorney. This is a formal request for the other side to produce documentation that they will use to combat the lawsuit. And lastly, Request for Admissions are usually done after all the written discovery and depositions described below are completed. In this process, your lawyer can ask the other side to admit certain things to conclusively establish facts prior to trial. This usually streamlines the trial and highlights the areas of disagreement for the court and the jury.  It can also serve as a basis for a motion for summary judgment.

Party Depositions.

In every case, the other side’s lawyer gets to sit down across the table from you and ask you questions about your case. These questions could be questions about the car wreck, about your prior medical history, or about your current injuries, treatment, or prognosis. This is usually pretty informal and most attorneys are just interested in obtaining information directly from you. Your lawyer will set next to you the whole time and object to anything that might be objectionable. At the same time, your lawyer will likely depose the defendant and ask questions about the wreck to establish his or her negligence, recklessness, etc.

Other Depositions.

If there are witnesses to the car wreck or other witnesses, including doctors, that might testify at the trial, they can be deposed too. The deposition puts the witness on the record stating what his or her testimony might be. If the witness testifies differently at trial, the lawyer can pull out the deposition and show the jury or the judge that the person either lied in court or lied in his or her deposition.

Defense Medical Examination (DME)

The Defense attorney is entitled to hire a doctor to examine you if your injuries are still persisting and those injuries are observable. That doctor is then required to write a report with his or her findings and that report must be filed with the court. The Defense attorneys usually call this an independent medical examination, but there is nothing independent about it. The doctor is hired by the Defense attorney and paid by the insurance company. That bias usually comes out during the doctors deposition. Alternatively, the Defense attorney may hire a doctor just to review your medical records and give an opinion. That type of “record review” is not the same as a DME. The same bias applies and the doctor never sees you in person, which limits his or her ability to truly and honestly evaluate your injuries and treatment. After all of this is complete, your case is typically ready for trial.  Your lawyer will likely set the trial date somewhere in the middle of this process.  This trial date gives you and your lawyers a date to work towards. I hope this helps to shed some light on the process that we call discovery. Please note that this is a general overview, or a snapshot, if you will, of a very long and complicated process. Every case is different so some of these tools may not be used in your case. As a personal injury law firm, we do these things on a daily basis and we can help you navigate this complicated process.  Contact us for a free personal injury consultation and we will walk with you through this difficult time. Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq. [post_title] => Four Stages of Discovery in a Typical Personal Injury Case [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => four-stages-of-discovery-in-a-typical-personal-injury-case [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-21 15:23:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-21 15:23:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=295 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 5 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 286 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2015-01-13 21:26:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-01-13 21:26:49 [post_content] => Do you remember Regis Philbin’s famous question from the TV show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? You remember, right? The game show from the late 90's and early 2000's where a contestant was challenged to  select one of four potential answers to questions that get progressively more difficult to answer as the stakes correspondingly escalate all in an effort to win one million dollars. business man writing trust building concept Prior to answering a question worth significant amounts of money, the contestant had three opportunities to use a lifeline. I always found the phone a friend option particularly interesting. Almost every time a contestant phoned a friend, the friend’s answer was the answer given. I was always shocked at how some people would trust that friend’s intelligence. The contestant picked that friend prior to the show for that 30 seconds spot where the friend would answer a potentially million dollar question. During that 30 seconds, it was pivotal that the friend is not only a good friend, but also a trusted advisor. After the contestant picks an answer, Regis would always ask the contestant, “Is that your final answer?” Sometimes the answer would be right and sometimes the answer would be wrong, but either way, the answer was final. It is just as important to pick the right lawyer. Your lawyer is your trusted advisor. He or she should be helping you along the way to make informed decisions. This is likely your one and only personal injury case in your life. This is your one opportunity to phone a friend. Hopefully, you’ve chosen a lawyer who practices personal injury law so frequently that he or she knows how to work up and value your case. And when the time comes for you to phone a friend, you will know that you are making the best decision possible because you trust 100% that you picked the smartest, most skilled friend to help you make good decisions. Your lawyer is there to help you make good decisions. Of course, you can disregard your lawyers advice and pick a different answer, if you wish. You may be right or you may be wrong. Either way, settlement of your personal injury case is final. You cannot have a do over and you can never recover a dime more for your injuries. Once you accept that check and sign that release, then you are forever precluded from revisiting that cause of action. Make sure that you chose a lawyer that specializes in personal injury cases. Is that your final answer? Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq. [post_title] => Is That Your Final Answer? 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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Is That Your Final Answer?

You might consider phoning a friend, or a lawyer.

Do you remember Regis Philbin’s famous question from the TV show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? You remember, right? The game show from the late 90’s and early 2000’s where a contestant was challenged to  select one of four potential answers to questions that get progressively difficult to answer as the stakes correspondingly escalate all in an effort to win one million dollars.

Prior to answering a question worth significant amounts of money, the contestant had three opportunities to use a lifeline. I always found the phone a friend option particularly interesting. Almost every time a contestant phoned a friend, the friend’s answer was the answer given. I was always shocked at how some people would trust that friend’s intelligence. The contestant picked that friend prior to the show for that 30 seconds spot where the friend would answer a potentially million dollar question. During that 30 seconds, it was pivotal that the friend is not only a good friend, but also a trusted advisor.

Category: Personal Injury
Continue Reading >
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Four Things to Bring With You For Your First Personal Injury Consultation

Come Prepared. Leave Equipped.

After you’ve been injured in a car wreck and you have scheduled your free consultation with a reputable law firm, it is time to gather your records. Get your things together so that you will be prepared to give all of the necessary information to the attorney who is evaluating your case.

Here is a simple list of the top four things you need to bring with you to your free personal injury consultation.

Category: Personal Injury
Continue Reading >
Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Insurance Adjuster Said… (A Continuing Series)

You will receive notice that the insurance company has issued your check

If you have been injured in a car accident, then it is likely you have had several unpleasant conversations with an insurance adjuster for the person who hit you.  You may remember that I posted here about these types of conversations.

After you have hired your lawyer, I have said before that you will not hear from the adjuster again.  You can read about that here. Indeed, it is one of the benefits to hiring a lawyer sooner rather than later. But that is not 100% true.  In fact, there is potentially one other time when you will receive a letter directly from the insurance adjuster, right after your case settles.

Category: Personal Injury
Continue Reading >
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When The Good Samaritan is The Despised Samaritan

If you can help, then help. But consider the consequences.

What if you stop and help someone in trouble, simply trying to be a Good Samaritan. (See Luke 10:30-36) Could you be held liable for any injuries that the person you are trying to help might receive in the course of your assistance?  The answer—as unsatisfying as it may be—is, it depends.

At first, it might seem odd that you could be held financially responsible to another person when all you are trying to do is help them. While you may have a moral duty to help or rescue another, legally, you have no duty to rescue another person. The rationale is simple, you should not be legally required to rescue a drowning person if you cannot swim. You will likely cause more harm than good. If you choose, however, to give such assistance, you may have unwittingly assumed a legal duty.

Category: Personal Injury
Continue Reading >
Thursday, October 2, 2014

Four Stages of Discovery in a Typical Personal Injury Case

Shedding Light On The Discovery Process

After your lawyer files suit, you will go through several stages of a process called discovery. Most people do not know what that means or what it looks like, so I will give you a snapshot here.

Written Discovery: Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents and Things, and Request for Admission.

Initially, after suit has been filed, your lawyer will send the other side a series of questions that the Defendant has to answer in writing, under oath. Those questions are called Interrogatories. Interrogatories are limited to 30 in number unless there is a good reason for why you need more and then the judge has to approve it first.

Category: Personal Injury
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