Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Insurance Disputes

Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact BenGlassLaw. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you can either use the Live Chat option on the left or send attorney Ben Glass a confidential message.

You may also want to read The Virginia Accident Book, Why Most Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime, The Truth About Lawyer Advertising or Robbery Without a Gun.

If you would like to talk with our team of experts today, you can contact us by phone at (703)584-7277.

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  • How Long Do I Have to File a VA Medical Malpractice Claim?

    The Virginia Code allows for only two years to have elapsed from the date of injury before you are unable to file a Virginia medical malpractice claim. This is known as the "statute of limitations."

    This is for medical malpractice where the incident occurs in a single case such as an incorrect medication being administered. For cases that may not be reasonably discovered within the two years such as an object left behind after surgery, the time limit is extended one year beyond the date the object is discovered.

    There are many exceptions and nuances to these time limits, so it is best to speak with a Virginia medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after you believe the negligence has occurred.

    How long do you have to file a medical malpractice claim?An experienced attorney can help you quickly file a medical malpractice claim so you can hopefully avoid the statute of limitations deadline. If you have surpassed the two years since the medical procedure or emergency occurred, depending on the nature of your case you may still be able to file a Virginia medical malpractice claim due to the unreasonable time it took to discover the medical negligence.

    However, you also must have an expert in the form of a certified physician or medical professional to back up your claim before you file the lawsuit. Since this, too, can take a significant amount of time, you need to speak with an attorney right away if you are serious about filing this type of claim.

    Contact a Fairfax Medical Malpractice Attorney

    You don't have to deal with insurance companies and hospitals alone when you're looking to file a Virginia medical malpractice case. Fairfax medical malpractice attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas settle their medical malpractice claims.

    Before you go any further with your decision, order a copy of my free guide to Virginia medical malpractice claims, Why Most Victims of Medical Malpractice Never Recover a Dime. To set up a free consultation, call the team at BenGlassLaw at (703) 584-7277.

  • When Do I Need a Fairfax Personal Injury Attorney?

    When should you speak to an attorney for your Virginia accident case?A personal injury claim where there are minor injuries and little property damage generally does not need the help of a Fairfax personal injury attorney to settle. But, when you are facing serious injury and have large amounts of damages from your accident, speaking to an attorney before filing your personal injury claim can be of great benefit to your settlement.

    A 1999 study found that insurance companies paid higher settlements to injured parties who hired an attorney versus those who settled on their own. One of the reasons may be that an uninformed claimant may not know the real value of their personal injury claim. An attorney can help you understand all the damages you are entitled to, so you receive the compensation you deserve.

    If your personal injury claim is for very minor injuries it may be in your best interest to settle without a Fairfax personal injury attorney. If the settlement is likely to be small and only cover hospital bills for things like an x-ray and cast, and you aren't out of work for an extended period, you don't need attorney's fees to take away from that compensation.

    Contacting a Fairfax Personal Injury Attorney

    For a personal injury claim with substantial medical expenses, time out from work, permanent disability, and other serious expenses you should consult with a lawyer. You don't have to deal with insurance companies and paperwork alone when you're looking to file a Virginia personal injury claim. Fairfax personal injury attorney Ben Glass helps victims in Virginia to settle their personal injury claims.

  • What Is the Difference Between Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis?

    What is the difference between misdiagnosis and failure to diagnosis?When a doctor fails to diagnose a serious condition, the signs are often overlooked, allowing the disease to persist and often grow worse. Misdiagnosis can also result in the serious condition being overlooked, but also often results in the wrong treatment being given, sometimes leading to further complicating treatment of the original condition.

    Failure to diagnose a condition and misdiagnosis of a condition can both result in the same fact: The serious condition you are suffering from has been ignored. The danger of failure to diagnose is that because the condition is not properly diagnosed, it cannot be treated, often allowing it to only get worse.

    Misdiagnosis is a two-fold danger of medical malpractice as not only is the serious condition not identified, but you may be going through unnecessary or harmful treatment for a condition you do not have. The unnecessary or wrongful treatments resulting from a misdiagnosis will create additional medical bills, as well as create the danger of further aggravating your actual condition.

    Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are most commonly seen with cancer, although heart attacks and stroke are also common conditions that are often negligently handled. When your doctor fails to properly identify your condition and you suffer injury from that lack of scrutiny, you are eligible to file a medical malpractice claim for medical negligence.

    Contacting a Fairfax Medical Malpractice Attorney

    You don't have to deal with insurance companies and hospitals alone when you're looking to file a medical malpractice case in Virginia. Fairfax medical malpractice attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas settle their medical malpractice claims.

    Before you go any further with your decision, order a copy of my complimentary guide to Virginia medical malpractice claims, Why Most Victims of Medical Malpractice Never Recover a Dime. To set up a no-cost consultation, contact me today - 703-591-9829.

  • What is the Difference Between Survival Action and Wrongful Death in Virginia?

    What is the difference between wrongful death and survival action?Most simply, in Virginia, if death is caused by negligence or malpractice, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. If death follows the negligence or malpractice, but is not caused by it, then a survival action may be filed.

    Example of Survival Action from Our Own Case Files

    An elderly gentleman was very seriously injured in a car accident when he was hit by a young, barely licensed, female driver. He lost a part of his hand in the accident. About 90 days after the accident, he died of a pulmonary embolism (blood clot). His doctors said that his death was not directly caused by accident (he had some preexisting conditions.)

    This means that a survival action was filed. A survival action is filed by his estate, and the money goes into his estate, to be divided by his will.

    His estate was entitled to recover for his injuries, pain and suffering and medical bills. His survivors were not allowed to recover for their own mental anguish. Again, we look to the will to see where the money goes.

    A court does not get involved in the "approval" of a survival action settlement.

    What Would It Look Like as a Wrongful Death Claim?

    Now, let's assume that his death was determined to have been directly caused by accident.

    A wrongful death action is filed by a representative of his estate but the damages are different and where the money goes is different.

    There is no recovery for his own pain and suffering. (That ended with his death.) His survivors can recover for their own grief suffered because of his death. This means that if a near relative had no real relationship with him they might get nothing.

    The money is divided up by the jury if the case goes to trial. If it is settled, generally the family agrees on the division. In a wrongful death case, the court must approve the settlement and the distribution of the money.

    Are You Dealing with a Potential Survival Action or Wrongful Death Claim?

    Contact our team of experts at BenGlassLaw by calling our main office in Fairfax at (703) 584-7277.

    BenGlassLaw has additional offices to meet with clients throughout Virginia, including in Fredericksburg, Arlington, Alexandria, Dumfries, Quantico/Stafford, Richmond, and more.

  • What is Contributory Negligence?

    What is contributory negligence and how will it affect my personal injury case?Contributory negligence is a law in which, in order to recover compensation for damages, a person cannot have contributed to their injury in any way. Virginia is one of only a few states in addition to the District of Columbia that still follows the most strict contributory negligence laws. The law essentially means that if you are found to be even the slightest bit at fault for your accident/injury, you can't recover damages for it.

    Where most states observe comparative negligence, in which each party may be found to be at fault for a certain percent of the damages, with contributory negligence you must be 100% innocent of causing the accident to recover any damages at all. This means that even a 1% degree of fault will render you ineligible to collect damages from the other party who was 99% responsible for your accident.

    Proving fault in a state with contributory negligence can be extremely difficult and frustrating without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. You will need solid evidence to show that the other party was completely negligent in their actions and caused the accident that resulted in your injury. One of the most important things that any attorney brings to the table is his or her experience dealing with complex laws like contributory negligence. Your attorney's job is to put together the best argument in favor of your case by gathering and closely examining the available evidence. Don't assume that the insurance company is going to be helpful just because you've been paying them money for so long - they are looking to keep the cost of the claim as low as possible.

    Want to Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney About Your Case?

    You don't have to deal with insurance companies and hospitals alone when you're looking to file a Virginia personal injury claim. Board-certified attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia settle their injury and accident claims.

    You can reach out to the BenGlassLaw team by calling the main office in Fairfax at (703)584-7277.

  • When Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Virginia?

    When can you file a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia?A wrongful death lawsuit is valid only when a loved one dies because of the negligence or reckless behavior of another party. If it is found that the deceased contributed to their own death, the surviving family may not be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.

    In Virginia, the contributory negligence laws make it so that a victim cannot be found to have contributed to their injuries in any way to recover damages. Negligence is the most important factor in determining whether the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

    Defective products, dangerous drugs, medical malpractice, and many types of fatal accidents are all typical incidents where a wrongful death lawsuit may be valid. In all of these cases, you must be able to prove that your loved one was injured because of the behavior of another party and that those injuries proved fatal.

    You should contact a local wrongful death attorney immediately to discuss your situation. Well-documented evidence of the negligent or reckless actions will be necessary to show that your loved one died through no fault of their own and that their case is truly a wrongful death.

    Contacting a Fairfax Wrongful Death Attorney

    The unexpected loss of a loved one is a difficult time in your life that shouldn't be made worse by the stress of dealing with the insurance companies. Fairfax wrongful death attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas with wrongful death cases.

    You can download a FREE copy of our consumer guide, The Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim, to learn more about personal injury claims.

    If you have a question for Ben, you can submit it confidentially online at JustAskBenGlass.com.

  • What Happens if the Defendant is a 'No Show' at my Virginia Personal Injury Trial?

    What happens if the other person doesn't show for trial?The absence of a defendant in the trial for your Virginia personal injury claim can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on the circumstances of your case. On one hand, the defendant has no ability to give their side of the story. But on the other hand, your attorney cannot speculate on the defense's evidence and testimony, leaving that side of the argument largely unresolved.

    In most cases, an absentee defendant is a help to your side of your Virginia personal injury claim, as the jury will only be able to hear your first-hand account of the story. While this by no means permits you to lie in court, this also means that you are the authority on the circumstances of the accident. Only testimony from eyewitnesses will have as much strength as your account.

    As you give your testimony at the trial, remember that you need to be as objective and non-biased as possible when explaining the situation that led to the accident. A personal injury attorney will have only their documented evidence to go by if their client is unavailable to testify in court. In many cases, this means all an attorney will have is the details of the police report and maybe witness testimony.

    Contacting a Fairfax Personal Injury Attorney

    After you've been seriously injured in a car accident, slip and fall or other Virginia accident where someone else's negligence was to blame, you should focus on recovery. Let a Fairfax personal injury attorney like Ben Glass relieve the stress of dealing with the insurance companies. Ben Glass Law fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas settle their personal injury claims. 

    You can download a FREE copy of our consumer guide, The Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim, to learn more about personal injury claims.

    If you have a question for Ben, you can submit it confidentially online at JustAskBenGlass.com.

  • What Constitutes Negligence in a Virginia Personal Injury Claim?

    What does negligence mean in a Virginia personal injury claim?Negligence is defined as the carelessness of another to act within the recognized standards of behavior established by law. In layman's terms, negligence is when someone else fails to act responsibly and causes you harm by their actions. In Virginia, you must prove the negligence of another was entirely responsible for an accident when you file a Virginia personal injury claim.

    The state of Virginia is a contributory negligence state, meaning you must show that you in no way contributed to your injuries and accident to file a Virginia personal injury claim. Negligence can take many forms, but the bottom line is that the negligence of the other party must be the sole cause of the accident and your injuries.

    A Virginia personal injury claim can arise from many types of accidents that involve negligence. The most common is a car accident, where the negligence of the other driver causes you harm. This can result from a driver's failure to obey traffic laws by running a red light or by driving under the influence. 

    A Virginia personal injury claim can also result from acts of negligence such as safety violations. Stores that do not properly keep their floors clean from hazards or construction sites that fail to follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for worksite safety can all result in accidents and injury that require a Virginia personal injury claim.

  • What are the Common Causes of Wrong Site Surgery?

    Why do wrong side surgeries happen?Neglecting to follow the "universal protocol for patient safety" during surgery is the main factor contributing to wrong site surgery. The universal protocol was established to create a series of safety checks that every surgical team should follow to prevent surgical errors.

    Wrong site surgery can occur when the surgical team fails to meet before the procedure and verify:  

    • the patient's identity,
    • the procedure to be performed, and
    • the exact location where the surgery is to take place on the patients' body.

    Unfortunately, wrong site surgeries continue to happen, despite what seem like clear-cut guidelines in confirming these details.

    One member of the surgical team should be charged with marking and verifying the surgical site and must be present during the operation to verify the site again.

    In the operating room, before an incision is made, the team should call a time-out and re-verify the operation details to prevent a wrong site surgery. Many surgical teams skip this step because they may have performed the procedure so often that the steps seem automatic. Unfortunately, skipping the time-out step is often the cause of most wrong site surgery claims.

    Wrong site surgery errors are generally the product of an overconfident surgical team thinking they can skip necessary protocol, or a team that is in a rush to get a surgery underway. Either case can lead to an increase in wrong site surgery errors and medical malpractice claims.

    Thinking of Contacting a Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney?

    You don't have to deal with insurance companies and hospitals alone when you're looking to file a Virginia medical malpractice case. Fairfax medical malpractice attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas settle their medical malpractice claims.

    Before you go any further with your decision, get your free copy of Why Most Victims of Medical Malpractice Never Recover a Dime, our guide to medical malpractice claims in Virginia. To set up a free consultation, call BenGlassLaw today at (703) 584-7277.

  • How Do I Know if I Have a Virginia Personal Injury Claim?

    How do you know if you have a personal injury claim in Virginia?A valid Virginia personal injury claim involves 3 main things: 

    • a person injured in a Virginia accident;
    • a person whose negligence caused the Virginia accident; and
    • substantial damages resulting from the Virginia accident. 

    Virginia is a contributory negligence state, meaning you cannot be found to have contributed in the slightest amount to causing your injuries. The other person who you are blaming for your injuries must be found to be entirely at fault for the accident.

    Once you've determined that it was 100% the other person's negligence that caused your injuries, you must have substantial enough losses to recover compensation for. Minor injuries like cuts and bruises are not cause for a Virginia personal injury claim. However, serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries, head trauma, and so on are all likely to cause substantial medical bills from treatment and recovery.

    Damages resulting from a Virginia accident include the medical bills, lost wages from inability to work, and pain and suffering. You must show a financial need arose from your Virginia accident to claim damages in a Virginia personal injury claim.

    When you are considering filing a Virginia personal injury claim and are unsure whether you have a valid claim, you should speak to a personal injury attorney. Once you have provided your attorney with the details of your accident, they can help you determine the best way to go about obtaining a fair settlement for your injuries. 

    Contacting a Fairfax Personal Injury Attorney

    After you've been seriously injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or other Virginia accident where someone else's negligence was to blame, you should focus on recovery. Let a Fairfax personal injury attorney like Ben Glass relieve the stress of dealing with the insurance companies. Ben Glass Law fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas settle their personal injury claims. 

    You can order a FREE copy of our consumer guide, The Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim, to learn more about personal injury claims.

    If you have a question for Ben, you can submit it confidentially online at JustAskBenGlass.com.