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                    [post_content] => Our worst fear is that someone will injure our children. As parents, we will give anything or do anything to protect them. We live to serve our children. We drive them to and fro for activities that will make them smarter, socially well-adjusted, and well rounded individuals. We do all this to ultimately enhance their lives.

happy family sitting in the car

As a good parent, you always drive safely. You stop at stop signs and red lights, yield to oncoming traffic, and drive the speed limit. But the reality is that your safety on the road is contingent upon another person following the same rules of the road. So you are constantly on the lookout for folks who make a conscious or subconscious decision to violate those rules. When someone violates the rules and causes a wreck with your children in the car, your children are your first priority.

If your child is injured in a car wreck, his or her claim is a little different from your claim. Here are some examples of how the claim is handled differently:

First, the general statute of limitations is two years from the date the cause of action accrues. That is the date of the accident in car wreck cases, but it could be another date in other types of cases. But for children, the Virginia Code delays the beginning of the statute of limitations for persons who are under the age of eighteen until the day they turn eighteen. That means, the two year statute of limitations begins on your child’s eighteenth birthday, giving your child a significant amount of extra time to heal prior to having to file suit.

Second, if the insurance company agrees to settle your child’s bodily injury claim, the insurance company will likely require that the settlement be approved by a Judge to make sure that the contract cannot be voided. A person under the age of eighteen who enters into a contract, for whatever reason, has the right to void the contract when he or she turns eighteen. Lawyers call this a voidable contract. It is essentially unenforceable by the insurance company; and the child, when he or she turns eighteen, can still sue for damages after he or she has already received compensation. If the judge approves the settlement, then it becomes final once and for all and the insurance company is forever released.

Third, the court usually requires that the money be paid into the general receiver to be held in trust for the child until the child turns eighteen. This money does not belong to the parents, but rather, it belongs to the child. Parents have a right to recover medical expenses that they incur on behalf of the child as a result of the wreck, but the pain and suffering, inconvenience, etc. belongs solely to the child. In very rare circumstances will the court allow the money to be paid directly to the child or a parent of the child.  You should talk about this with your personal injury lawyer for more information.

These are just a few examples of how your child’s claim is different than yours. The same rules apply to children as they do to adults when it comes to the types of things you should do if you are injured in a car wreck. I’ve blogged about those things here and here and you can review them at your convenience.

If you have any questions about your child’s personal injury case, feel free to contact us for a free personal injury consultation.

Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq.
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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 ) [3] => 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 ) [4] => 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 ) ) [post_count] => 5 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 830 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2015-02-02 22:10:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-02-02 22:10:03 [post_content] => Our worst fear is that someone will injure our children. As parents, we will give anything or do anything to protect them. We live to serve our children. We drive them to and fro for activities that will make them smarter, socially well-adjusted, and well rounded individuals. We do all this to ultimately enhance their lives. happy family sitting in the car As a good parent, you always drive safely. You stop at stop signs and red lights, yield to oncoming traffic, and drive the speed limit. But the reality is that your safety on the road is contingent upon another person following the same rules of the road. So you are constantly on the lookout for folks who make a conscious or subconscious decision to violate those rules. When someone violates the rules and causes a wreck with your children in the car, your children are your first priority. If your child is injured in a car wreck, his or her claim is a little different from your claim. Here are some examples of how the claim is handled differently: First, the general statute of limitations is two years from the date the cause of action accrues. That is the date of the accident in car wreck cases, but it could be another date in other types of cases. But for children, the Virginia Code delays the beginning of the statute of limitations for persons who are under the age of eighteen until the day they turn eighteen. That means, the two year statute of limitations begins on your child’s eighteenth birthday, giving your child a significant amount of extra time to heal prior to having to file suit. Second, if the insurance company agrees to settle your child’s bodily injury claim, the insurance company will likely require that the settlement be approved by a Judge to make sure that the contract cannot be voided. A person under the age of eighteen who enters into a contract, for whatever reason, has the right to void the contract when he or she turns eighteen. Lawyers call this a voidable contract. It is essentially unenforceable by the insurance company; and the child, when he or she turns eighteen, can still sue for damages after he or she has already received compensation. If the judge approves the settlement, then it becomes final once and for all and the insurance company is forever released. Third, the court usually requires that the money be paid into the general receiver to be held in trust for the child until the child turns eighteen. This money does not belong to the parents, but rather, it belongs to the child. Parents have a right to recover medical expenses that they incur on behalf of the child as a result of the wreck, but the pain and suffering, inconvenience, etc. belongs solely to the child. In very rare circumstances will the court allow the money to be paid directly to the child or a parent of the child.  You should talk about this with your personal injury lawyer for more information. These are just a few examples of how your child’s claim is different than yours. The same rules apply to children as they do to adults when it comes to the types of things you should do if you are injured in a car wreck. I’ve blogged about those things here and here and you can review them at your convenience. If you have any questions about your child’s personal injury case, feel free to contact us for a free personal injury consultation. Posted by Brandon S. Osterbind, Esq. [post_title] => What if my child was hurt in a car wreck? 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Monday, February 2, 2015

What if my child was hurt in a car wreck?

When fear and anxiety overwhelm, take comfort in knowing the process

Our worst fear is that someone will injure our children. As parents, we will give anything or do anything to protect them. We live to serve our children. We drive them to and fro for activities that will make them smarter, socially well-adjusted, and well rounded individuals. We do all this to ultimately enhance their lives.

As a good parent, you always drive safely. You stop at stop signs and red lights, yield to oncoming traffic, and drive the speed limit. But the reality is that your safety on the road is contingent upon another person following the same rules of the road. So you are constantly on the lookout for folks who make a conscious or subconscious decision to violate those rules. When someone violates the rules and causes a wreck with your children in the car, your children are your first priority.

Category: Personal Injury
Continue Reading >
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
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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
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