Overbey, Hawkins & Wright, PLLC
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Case Studies

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING CASE RESULT MUST BE READ IN CONTEXT AND DEPENDS ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO THIS SPECIFIC CASE. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTHING IN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE. OVERBEY, HAWKINS & WRIGHT CANNOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS FOR ANY CASE.   Advertising., Prof. Conduct Rule 7.1 (July 1, 2013).

 

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                    [post_content] => DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING CASE RESULT MUST BE READ IN CONTEXT AND DEPENDS ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO THIS SPECIFIC CASE. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTHING IN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE. OVERBEY, HAWKINS & WRIGHT CANNOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS FOR ANY CASE.   Advertising., Prof. Conduct Rule 7.1 (July 1, 2013).

David Hawkins and his former law partner obtained $343,996.00 in workers compensation benefits on behalf of the widow of a deceased worker whose death arose in and during the course of his employment.

In Virginia, if an employee’s death arises in and during the course of his employment, the dependent spouse or child[ren] of a deceased worker are entitled to recover from the Employer for the medical and funeral expenses of their deceased loved one. Additionally, the dependent spouse and child[ren] are entitled to two thirds of the deceased workers average weekly wage for 500 weeks. This benefit terminates for a dependent child upon the death of the child and when he or she turn 18, or if he or she is a full time student when he or she turns 23. The benefit terminates for a dependent spouse when the spouse remarries or dies.

Often the Employer will deny that the death of the worker arose in or during the course of the employee's employment and if that is the case, then the family of the deceased worker is forced to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission to obtain these benefits. The Employer’s insurance carrier rarely agrees to pay for the full value of the claim if it believes that the claim is contested or there is a chance that the benefit will terminate upon the death or remarriage of the dependent spouse. If either happens to you, you should hire an attorney to represent you before the Commission. The burden is on the claimant to prove that the Workers’ Compensation Act allows compensation and without an attorney, the claimant may fail to prove all of the essential elements.

Unfortunately, the Workers Compensation Act does not provide dependents with compensation for the emotional loss of your loved one and in most instances workers’ compensation is your exclusive remedy. However, if your loved one died during the course of his employment and as a result of the negligence of another person who does not work for the employer, then you may have two claims, one against the employer and another against the person causing the injuries.

Overbey, Hawkins & Wright offers free consultations to all personal injury and workers compensation victims. We will review your case for free and advise you regarding the proper steps you should take to protect your interest.
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                    [post_content] => DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING CASE RESULT MUST BE READ IN CONTEXT AND DEPENDS ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO THIS SPECIFIC CASE. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTHING IN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE. OVERBEY, HAWKINS & WRIGHT, PLLC CANNOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS FOR ANY CASE.   Advertising., Prof. Conduct Rule 7.1 (July 1, 2013).

David Hawkins and Sam Vance negotiate 875,000 wrongful death settlement in mediation.

In June of 2011, David Hawkins and Sam Vance negotiated an $875,000 wrongful death settlement that related to a motor vehicle accident on behalf of their client. The negotiations took place over the course of a long day in a mediation conference presided over by a retired judge mutually chosen by the parties to the litigation. In a wrongful death case in Virginia, any agreed-upon settlement between the parties must be approved by a circuit court. This is by statute - Virginia Code Section 8.01-55. This is different from other types of settlements involving motor vehicle accidents, where there has been no wrongful death. These settlements typically need no court approval.

As well, at the hearing on the motion or petition to approve the wrongful death settlement, the circuit court judge will consider not only Virginia Code Section 8.01-55, but also the wrongful death statute that determines the statutory beneficiaries, Virginia Code Section 8.01-53. In Virginia, the statutory beneficiaries to a wrongful death action are the surviving spouse and children (and children of any deceased children), or if none, the parents and siblings of the deceased, and any other relative who is primarily dependent on the decedent for support or services and who is also a member of the same household as the decedent, or . . . and continuing on (under the statute) until there are some statutory beneficiaries to take.

The statute is important because it is not unusual for those who live with, and who are dependent on, the deceased individual, to be ineligible under the statute, simply because of their relation to the deceased. An example of this would be where the decedent passes leaving a surviving spouse and both stepchildren and natural children. Under the statute, the stepchildren in this example do not take, even though they may have been treated as natural children by the deceased and may in some cases be closer to the deceased than the natural children.

Finally, the timing of the wrongful death beneficiaries statute is also important. Under the statute, the class and beneficiaries thereof eligible to receive such distribution is fixed (i) at the time the verdict is entered if the jury makes the specification, or (ii) at the time the judgment is rendered if the court specifies the distribution. In other words, the case is not closed as of the date of death of the deceased.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another and have questions regarding your potential wrongful death claim, please contact us and we would be happy to help you through this difficult time in your life.
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                    [post_content] => DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING CASE RESULT MUST BE READ IN CONTEXT AND DEPENDS ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO THIS SPECIFIC CASE. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTHING IN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE. OVERBEY, HAWKINS & WRIGHT, PLLC CANNOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS FOR ANY CASE.   Advertising., Prof. Conduct Rule 7.1 (July 1, 2013).

On August 1, 2011, Frank Wright won a plaintiffs verdict of $655,000 here in Campbell County in a personal injury automobile accident case. The Plaintiff was driving to her son’s school when the defendant pulled out in front of her at an intersection in Appomattox.

The Plaintiff had significant injuries resulting in what her doctors diagnosed as facet joint syndrome. She had to have facet injections and she ultimately underwent what was described as a very painful procedure called a rhizotomy. Before trial, the Plaintiff went through six rhizotomies and her doctors projected that she would have to have to complete the same procedure every nine months for the rest of her life. At the time of trial, the Plaintiff’s medical bills were just over $55,000. Her expected future medical expenses were in between $250,000 and $478,000.  The defense admitted liability but contested the extent of the Plaintiff's injuries.

The defense offered $140,000 to settle before trial but Frank refused to settle the case for less than it was worth. Frank asked the jury for $875,000. The jury deliberated for less than two hours and returned a verdict for $655,000.
                    [post_title] => Frank Wright Wins $655,000 Plaintiffs Verdict
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                    [post_content] => DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING CASE RESULT MUST BE READ IN CONTEXT AND DEPENDS ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO THIS SPECIFIC CASE. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTHING IN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE. OVERBEY, HAWKINS & WRIGHT, PLLC CANNOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS FOR ANY CASE.   Advertising., Prof. Conduct Rule 7.1 (July 1, 2013).

On August 27, 2012, Frank Wright won a plaintiff's verdict of $50,000 in Bedford County in a personal injury automobile accident case.

The Plaintiff was driving home when the defendant pulled out in front of her at an intersection in Forest.

In addition to mild cuts and bruises, the Plaintiff suffered stress fractures in her right foot.  A stress fracture is an incomplete fracture in a bone, which typically exhibits symptoms less severe than a complete fracture.  Doctors treated her conservatively with a 5-session course of physical therapy, home exercises and a foot brace.  At the time of trial, the Plaintiff’s medical bills were just over $10,000.  The defense admitted liability but contested the extent of the Plaintiff’s injuries.

The defense offered $33,000 to settle before trial but the client followed the firm's recommendation not to settle the case for less than it was worth.  The jury deliberated for less than fifteen minutes and returned a verdict for $50,000. Whether your case is small or large, our firm works hard to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for all your injuries.

Call or email us for a free personal injury consultation.  We will sit down with you and talk about your personal injury case free of charge.
                    [post_title] => Frank Wright Wins $50,000 verdict in Bedford County, Virginia
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                    [post_content] => DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING CASE RESULT MUST BE READ IN CONTEXT AND DEPENDS ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO THIS SPECIFIC CASE. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTHING IN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE. OVERBEY, HAWKINS & WRIGHT, PLLC CANNOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS FOR ANY CASE.   Advertising., Prof. Conduct Rule 7.1 (July 1, 2013).

On June 8, 2010, David Hawkins, joined by Jim Hunter of O’Keefe & Spies, won a $500,000.00 jury verdict in Campbell County Circuit Court against the Lynchburg Livestock Market, Inc. The trial lasted three days and David and Jim presented evidence for over a day and a half. The jury deliberated for approximately an hour and a half before returning a plaintiff’s verdict.

The facts were that Jack Hammack was an independent contractor who was called to repair a problem in the Market’s scale house. To get to the scale house, Jack had to cross an alley where cattle traverse. On a sale day, which this was, the Market runs through approximately 2000 cattle.

After fixing the problem in the scale house, Jack waited for all cattle to clear the alley, opened the scale house door, looked left, looked right, looked left again, and, after seeing and hearing nothing, Jack entered the alley for a five foot walk across the alley to the catwalk. As he stepped out of the scale house door, a steer (which is a castrated bull) turned the corner and struck Jack in the stomach knocking him into the scale house door. Jack hit his head on the door jam and suffered a mild traumatic brain injury.

David Hawkins presented evidence from local expert doctors of Jack’s brain injury and Jim Hunter presented evidence to the jury from several lay witnesses who testified about the effect this injury had on Jack. The witnesses testified that Jack is not the same person he once was. Once a mechanical genius, Jack struggled after this injury to complete simple tasks.

The owners of domestic or wild animals are required to take notice of the characteristics and propensities of that animal. The evidence established that cattle could be easily startled and could turn back and run away from their handlers in a high stress environment like a livestock market. The Market is charged with that knowledge and should exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries from a startled steer.

David and Jim both argued that the Market could have prevented this accident had it simply exercised reasonable care to make sure that the folks on the premises were safe. The market is fully equipped with gates that close off the alleyways and David and Jim argued that the Market should have closed at least one gate behind the steer to ensure that, if the steer startled and turned back, Jack was safe in crossing the alley from the catwalk to the scale house.

The attorney for the Market claimed that Jack shouldn’t have been in that alley because he was old and slow. He also argued that Jack was contributorily negligent by not exercising reasonable care to protect himself from this steer.  But the evidence from Matt Farris and Dwayne Gilliam, the owners of the Lynchburg Livestock Market, Inc., was that Jack didn’t do anything wrong. Both owners of the Market admitted this to David Hawkins on cross-examination.

After three long days of evidence, the jury deliberated for one and a half hours and returned a verdict for Jack in the amount of $500,000.00.
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                    [post_content] => DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING CASE RESULT MUST BE READ IN CONTEXT AND DEPENDS ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO THIS SPECIFIC CASE. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTHING IN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE. OVERBEY, HAWKINS & WRIGHT, PLLC CANNOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS FOR ANY CASE.   Advertising., Prof. Conduct Rule 7.1 (July 1, 2013).

Recently, David Hawkins tried personal injury case in Lynchburg Circuit Court involving a rear end collision that resulted in soft tissue neck back injuries to the Plaintiff. She was taken to the Emergency Room and later treated by a local chiropractor. The photographs of the car showed substantial damage. This was serious car wreck, with legitimate injuries.

The chiropractor had treated the plaintiff for three and a half years but tapered the treatment to once a month and then discharged her as improved but not cured. He testified that the Plaintiff's neck/back pain and migraines were caused by the accident and had now become chronic. Future flare-ups were expected but no prediction could be made of how often, so there was no estimate of future medical expenses.

Medical expenses on the date of trial were around $11,000. The insurance company was GEICO. The insurance company lawyers defending the case hired an orthopedic surgeon as an expert witness. The surgeon testified that the plaintiff had muscle strain and any treatment past three months was not beneficial. He said there was no way to justify the chiropractic treatment past three months.

The settlement offer from GEICO one week before trial was $12,000. The jury was only out 10 minutes and returned a verdict in the amount of $80,000.

Insurance company adjusters will admit in private that they only make low offers in Lynchburg because jurors there are ultra-conservative and render low verdicts. The only way to change this is to try cases and get good verdicts, as was fully justified in this case.
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            [post_content] => DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING CASE RESULT MUST BE READ IN CONTEXT AND DEPENDS ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO THIS SPECIFIC CASE. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTHING IN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE. OVERBEY, HAWKINS & WRIGHT CANNOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS FOR ANY CASE.   Advertising., Prof. Conduct Rule 7.1 (July 1, 2013).

David Hawkins and his former law partner obtained $343,996.00 in workers compensation benefits on behalf of the widow of a deceased worker whose death arose in and during the course of his employment.

In Virginia, if an employee’s death arises in and during the course of his employment, the dependent spouse or child[ren] of a deceased worker are entitled to recover from the Employer for the medical and funeral expenses of their deceased loved one. Additionally, the dependent spouse and child[ren] are entitled to two thirds of the deceased workers average weekly wage for 500 weeks. This benefit terminates for a dependent child upon the death of the child and when he or she turn 18, or if he or she is a full time student when he or she turns 23. The benefit terminates for a dependent spouse when the spouse remarries or dies.

Often the Employer will deny that the death of the worker arose in or during the course of the employee's employment and if that is the case, then the family of the deceased worker is forced to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission to obtain these benefits. The Employer’s insurance carrier rarely agrees to pay for the full value of the claim if it believes that the claim is contested or there is a chance that the benefit will terminate upon the death or remarriage of the dependent spouse. If either happens to you, you should hire an attorney to represent you before the Commission. The burden is on the claimant to prove that the Workers’ Compensation Act allows compensation and without an attorney, the claimant may fail to prove all of the essential elements.

Unfortunately, the Workers Compensation Act does not provide dependents with compensation for the emotional loss of your loved one and in most instances workers’ compensation is your exclusive remedy. However, if your loved one died during the course of his employment and as a result of the negligence of another person who does not work for the employer, then you may have two claims, one against the employer and another against the person causing the injuries.

Overbey, Hawkins & Wright offers free consultations to all personal injury and workers compensation victims. We will review your case for free and advise you regarding the proper steps you should take to protect your interest.
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            [0] => init_query_flags
            [1] => parse_tax_query
        )

)

$343,000 in Worker Compensation Benefits

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$875,000 Wrongful Death Settlement

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Frank Wright Wins $655,000 Plaintiffs Verdict

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Frank Wright Wins $50,000 verdict in Bedford County, Virginia

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Jack Hammack v. Lynchburg Livestock Market, Inc.

$500,000 Jury Verdict
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Lynchburg Jury Awards $80k in Soft Tissue Injury Case

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