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5001 Seminary Road, Suite 110
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone: 703-370-8088
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Virginia Car Accident Claims: Recovering Compensation for Whiplash

Serious automobile accidents remain far too common in Northern Virginia. According to data from the Virginia Highway Safety Office, in the year 2015 there were more than 1,900 highway collision in the city of Alexandria alone. Collectively, these wrecks resulted in 731 reported injuries.

Auto accident injuries come in many different forms. Among the most common, and complex, are whiplash injuries. If you sustained a whiplash injury in a Virginia car accident, you deserve just compensation for your damage. Here, our experienced Alexandria auto accident attorneys discuss what you need to know about recovering compensation for a whiplash injury.

 

Understanding Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash is a type of neck strain injury that frequently occurs in car accidents. The reason for this is that collisions can cause an occupant’s head to be stretched back and forth in a very violent manner. Not only is this type of neck overextension extremely painful for the victim, but it can also cause serious damage to underlying soft tissue.

Notably, these types of injuries are difficult to diagnose. They often come with a delayed onset, and there is no specific medical test or x-ray test that can be used to definitively prove the existence or extent of a whiplash injury. If you feel as though you have suffered serious neck strain in a car accident, you need to get yourself to the doctor for an immediate examination. Some symptoms you should watch out for include:

  • Severe pain;
  • Neck stiffness and reduced motion;
  • Headaches;
  • Shoulder pain;
  • Back pain; and
  • General discomfort when sleeping.

 

Recovering Compensation for your Injuries 

In Virginia, whiplash victims are entitled to financial compensation for the full extent of their damages. Though, sadly, insurance companies make recovery for whiplash extraordinarily challenging. As whiplash injuries can be difficult to prove, insurance companies often undervalue these claims. To protect your interests, you need to work with a qualified Alexandria car accident attorney who can help you obtain the full settlement offer you deserve. You may be able to recover for any of the following:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Costs of physical therapy;
  • Lost current and future wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental distress; and
  • Loss of life enjoyment.

 

Contact Our Top-Rated Alexandria Car Accident Lawyers Today

 

At Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC, we have helped many auto accident victims recover fair compensation for their whiplash injuries. If you suffered whiplash or any other type of soft tissue damage in a Virginia car crash, please call us today at (703) 370-8088 to set up a free review of your case. From our office in the heart of Alexandria, we represent clients throughout Northern Virginia, including in Arlington, Fairfax and Springfield.

Who is Eligible to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Virginia?

Losing a loved one in an avoidable accident is a tragic, heartbreaking experience. We know that there is nothing that can truly make up for that type of deep personal loss. Still, family members of the victim should always exercise their full legal rights. The negligent party must be held accountable, and victims need financial relief to support themselves and their loved ones.

In Virginia, these types of claims must be brought under the state’s wrongful death statute. Unfortunately, not all loved ones of the victim have direct legal rights under this law. Here, our compassionate Alexandria wrongful death attorneys explain who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia.

 

Virginia Wrongful Death Lawsuit Eligibility  

Spouse and Children

Under Virginia law, statutory beneficiaries have the primary right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Indeed, no one else will be able to bring a claim ahead of the primary statutory beneficiaries. Under the law, the primary beneficiaries are:

  • The spouse of the victim; and
  • The children of the victim.

 

Other Immediate Family Members

Of course, some people do not have a surviving spouse or surviving children to bring a claim. Additionally, for whatever reason, a spouse or child may simply choose not to participate in the legal process. When this occurs, other parties can step into to take legal action on behalf of the deceased. Though, at this point, only immediate family members are eligible to bring a claim. This includes:

  • The parents of the victim;
  • The siblings of the victim; or
  • A blood relative who was a legal dependent of the victim.

 

The Estate 

Finally, if there are no eligible relatives to bring a claim, regardless of the reason, then the estate of the victim has a right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Anyone who is in line to inherit the property of the deceased may have the right to step in and take over the case as a representative of the estate. These situations are especially complex, so it is imperative that anyone in this position seek immediate legal assistance from a qualified Virginia wrongful death lawyer.

 

Contact Our Alexandria Wrongful Death Attorneys Today

 

At Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC, our compassionate wrongful death lawyers want you to be able to focus on your family, while we handle all of your legal issues. For immediate assistance with your claim, call us now at (703) 370-8088 to get a free case evaluation. Our firm is located in Alexandria, and we serve communities throughout the region, including in Fairfax County and Prince William County.

Overloaded and Improperly Loaded Trailers are Extremely Dangerous

 

Commercial truck accidents remain a very serious public safety problem in Virginia. According to a report from the Virginia Highway Safety Office, there were 4,883 large truck accidents in the state in the year 2014. Collectively, these crashes resulted in at least 3,300 injuries, many of which were life-altering. Due to their tremendous size, semi-trucks are inherently dangerous. To protect the health and safety of the public, the big trucking companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that their fleet is always being operated in the safest manner possible. Unfortunately, far too frequently, trucking companies breach this obligation.

 

Sloppily Loaded and Overloaded Trailers Cause Accidents

A commercial truck’s trailer must be loaded in a very specific way. Adequate attention needs to be given to ensure that the load is properly balanced, and that it is not too heavy for the vehicle. When trucking companies cut corners, either by overloading a trailer or rushing the job and loading it in a dangerous manner, that vehicle becomes unsafe. Trucks with improperly loaded trailers present many different safety problems. Specifically, improperly and overloaded trucks:

  • Are more likely to be involved in a rollover crash
  • Have trouble making turns
  • Have difficulty maintaining lane integrity
  • Take far longer to come to a safe stop

 

Holding a Trucking Company Liable for Its Negligence 

If a trucking company puts a vehicle with an improperly loaded trailer on the road, and that truck ends up in an accident, the company must be held legally liable for its misconduct. Under Virginia law, injured truck accident victims have a legal right to hold the at-fault trucking company legally liable for the full value of their losses. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, this could include compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Long-term medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Severe physical impairment

 

That being said, improperly loaded trailer personal injury claims are notoriously complex. A comprehensive investigation must be conducted by a legal professional so that evidence can be collected to prove that the trucking company loaded the trailer in an unsafe manner. Often, this requires getting the company to turn over records to the victim.

 

Contact Our Top-Rated Alexandria Truck Accident Lawyer Today

 

At Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC, our Virginia semi-truck accident attorneys have helped many injured victims recover full and fair compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash with an overloaded or improperly loaded truck, please call us today at (703) 370-8088. We represent truck crash victims in Alexandria and throughout the region, including in Arlington and Fairfax.

Three Important Estate Planning Tips for Small Business Owners  

 

Operating a small business can be extremely challenging. As a small business owner, there is seemingly no end to the issues that you will need to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Of course, it is also important that you prepare for the long-term. Do you know what will have to your business after you pass away? Will you be able to pass on your business interests to your loved ones? To protect yourself and your family, it is imperative that you have a well-crafted estate plan. Here, our experienced estate planning lawyers have put together a list of our top three estate planning tips for small business owners.

 

  1. You Should Avoid Probate

The last thing you want is for your business to be forced to go through probate. While a will is a critically important part of any estate plan, it is usually not sufficient to properly protect a small business. Most business owners should consider setting up a revocable living trust to better protect the rights of their heirs.

 

  1. Careful Business Succession Planning is a Must

When you pass away, ownership and operational control of your company must be transferred to another party; it may be a family member, a friend or a trust professional associate. Regardless, you need to make sure that these individuals will have the tools and legal authority to take the reins of the company without delay. To do this, you should work with an estate planning attorney to put a customized business succession plan in place.

 

  1. You May Need a Buy-Sell Agreement

Does your business have co-owners? If so, it is crucial that you have a buy-sell agreement in place. Essentially, this type of agreement is a contract between small business co-owners that becomes active the moment that any of them become incapacitated. It sets up clear parameters for how their shares of the company will be handled. Without this type of agreement, there is a very high risk that you or your loved ones will end up in a contentious dispute over the control of the business.

 

Get Estate Planning Assistance Today

 

At Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC, we have considerable experience helping small business owners with their estate planning needs. To learn more about how we can help you and your family, please call us today at (703) 370-8088. Our firm is located in Alexandria, and we proudly represent clients in Northern Virginia, Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Dental Malpractice Claims in Virginia

Dentist and dental hygienist negligence are serious problems in the United States. According to data provided by the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), dental malpractice is responsible for nearly one in every seven medical malpractice claims. For the victims, dental malpractice can cause serious physical, emotional and financial pain.

 

All medical malpractice victims have a right to recover full and fair compensation for their injuries. Though, these types of legal claims can be extremely challenging. If you were the victim of dental malpractice in Virginia, it is imperative that you consult with an Alexandria medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

 

Common Examples of Dental Malpractice

 Dental malpractice occurs when the negligence of a dental professional causes harm to a patient. There are many different forms of dental malpractice. These cases have the potential to be incredibly serious, sometimes even resulting in patient death. A person’s oral health is sensitive, and it must be treated with adequate skill, attentiveness, and expertise. Some of the most common examples of dental malpractice cases that we see include:

  • Dental misdiagnosis
  • Failure to diagnose a serious oral health problem
  • Unnecessary dental operations
  • The use of unsanitized or improper dental tools
  • Failure to stop an infection
  • Overly rough treatment, causing gum damage or broken teeth
  • Incorrectly removing teeth
  • Serious anesthesia errors

 

Holding a Negligent Dentist Liable

 If your dental procedure went wrong, in any way, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. In Virginia, you will need to prove negligence in order to hold a dentist or dental care provider legally responsible for your injuries. Negligence occurs when a dentist provided you with lower quality care than the ordinary dentist would have provided you, under similar circumstances. When dental negligence leads to patient injuries, medical malpractice has occurred.

 

If you believe that you or a family member might have been the victim of dental malpractice, you need to take immediate action. Your claim should be reviewed by a qualified legal professional. Under Virginia law, you are entitled to financial compensation for the full value of your damages. This includes compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and mental distress.

 

Contact Our Dental Malpractice Lawyers Today

 

At Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC, our Virginia medical malpractice lawyers have extensive experience handling dental malpractice claims. To request a free review of your case, please call us today at (703) 370-8088. From our office in the heart of Alexandria, we represent victims throughout the region, including in Washington, DC and Montgomery County, Maryland.

 

 

 

The Victim’s Family versus the Victim’s Estate in a Wrongful Death Case

When an individual dies because of another party’s negligence, the victim’s family may file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their financial damages related to the death. These damages can include the victim’s medical costs before his or her death, his or her funeral expenses, and the losses of the individual’s income, employment benefits, and companionship felt by his or her family.

 

In a wrongful death claim, certain damages are compensable to the victim’s immediate loved ones and others are compensable to the victim’s estate. This is an important distinction to make – although the victim’s beneficiaries do receive much of the victim’s estate after his or her death, the compensation the estate receives does not go directly to them and may be used to repay the victim’s debts.

 

Which Assets Belong to the Victim’s Estate?

Through a wrongful death claim, the following damages may be compensated to the victim’s estate:

  • The victim’s medical expenses related to his or her final injury or illness;
  • The victim’s funeral and burial costs; and
  • Any pain and suffering, such as mental anguish, the victim experienced between his or her accident and eventual death.

 

Which Assets Can be Claimed by the Victim’s Family?

The victim’s spouse, children, and in some cases, other dependents can also recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. These individuals can receive compensation for the losses they experienced directly because of the victim’s death, such as the following:

  • Their own mental anguish surrounding the death;
  • The loss of the victim’s guidance, companionship, and love;
  • The loss of the victim’s noneconomic contributions to his or her household, such as domestic tasks and household management;
  • The loss of the victim’s regular income and employment benefits like health insurance; and
  • The loss of the inheritance the victim’s loved ones could have recovered if not for his or her premature death.

 

Work with an Experienced Alexandria Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one to an accident is devastating. In some cases, you can avoid the financial losses associated with a loved one’s death through a wrongful death claim. To learn more about this process and the compensation you are entitled to receive, contact our team of experienced wrongful death lawyers at Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC today to set up your initial consultation with us.

Who is Most Likely to be Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

When a motorcycle and another vehicle collide, one or more of the people involved in the crash can suffer a severe injury. There are many factors that can play into who is injured and which of the victims is injured worst, such as the angle of the collision, each victim’s health and fitness level, the speed at which the collision occurred, and whether the victims were using safety devices like a helmet for the motorcyclist or seatbelts for those in cars and other passenger vehicles.

 

Statistically, certain individuals are more likely to be injured in motorcycle accidents than others. Motorcyclists are more likely than motorists to not only be involved in collisions, but to be injured by them. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for every 100,000 cars on the road, 13.1 are involved in fatal accidents each year versus 72.34 fatal crashes for every 100,000 motorcycles. Motorcyclists have an 80 percent chance of being injured or killed in accidents versus a 20 percent chance for motorists.

 

Different Injuries for Different Age Groups

Among motorcyclists, riders over the age of 40 are more likely than younger riders to be killed in collisions. Older riders are also more likely to suffer injuries, including severe injuries, than younger riders. This was attributed to a few factors, including:

  • Older riders’ slower reaction times;
  • Older riders’ more fragile bones; and
  • The increased likelihood of rollovers with larger motorcycles, which older riders tend to prefer.

 

Negligent Motorcyclists are Often to Blame for their Accidents

A motorcyclist’s age is not the only factor tied to an increased risk of injury. According to NHTSA from 2015, a significant percentage of motorcycle accidents can be attributed to motorcyclist negligence. A few statistics to support this include:

  • 33 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions were speeding at the time of their accidents, versus only 19 percent of passenger car drivers;
  • 27 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time of their accidents; and
  • 27 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions did not have valid licenses at the time of their accidents.

 

Work with an Experienced Alexandria Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can have substantial expenses. If you are facing large bills because of your motorcycle accident injury, you could be entitled to receive compensation for these bills through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team of motorcycle accident lawyers at Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC today to set up your initial consultation with us.

 

 

Granting a Loved One Power of Attorney

Estate planning refers to a series of designations to make, not just one or two legal documents. One of the numerous issues to determine through the estate planning process is to designate which individual or individuals have power of attorney for the party planning his or her estate. Power of attorney is the right to make legal decisions on another individual’s behalf, which can include medical and financial decisions. When an individual has power of attorney, it is his or her job to act in the incapacitated party’s best interest and according to his or her wishes.

 

Types of Power of Attorney

There are a few different ways to grant power of attorney. The party with power of attorney is known as the agent and the party who grants it is known as the principal.

  • Durable power of attorney. This permits the agent to make decisions on the principal’s behalf from his or her incapacitation to his or her death;
  • Non-durable power of attorney. With this arrangement, power of attorney is only granted for a specific period of time, often tied to a specific transaction, then ceases once the period of time expires;
  • Springing power of attorney. Springing power of attorney can be durable or non-durable. It goes into effect when a specific event occurs and the principal cannot attend to the event; and
  • Limited power of attorney. This type of power of attorney is even more narrow than non-durable power of attorney. It grants the agent the right to make choices on one specific transaction.

 

Power of Attorney is Not Automatic

A common misconception about power of attorney is that an individual’s spouse automatically has power of attorney for him or her. This is not true. An individual must designate another adult as having power of attorney for him or her, and this other adult can be anybody, such as the individual’s sibling or child.

 

Work with an Experienced Alexandria Estate Planning Lawyer

Designating a loved one’s power of attorney for you in the event you become incapacitated is an important part of the estate planning process. To ensure that your rights are protected and there is no room to dispute your choice, work with an experienced estate planning lawyer to complete this process. Contact our team at Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC today to set up your initial consultation in our office.

Who is Liable for my Damages from an Injury Involving a Defective Medical Device?

Not all medical malpractice cases involve a doctor’s direct error. Sometimes, they involve other types of negligence, such as using a recalled medical device or using one incorrectly, causing the victim to suffer an injury or a worsened medical condition. When this happens, the victim may file a claim to seek compensation from the negligent, and thus liable, party – which is not always his or her doctor.

A defective medical device case can involve one or more of the following parties. How your injury occurred will determine which party is liable for your damages.

 

The Device’s Manufacturer

Manufacturers of consumer products have what is known as product liability. This is the responsibility to ensure that their products do not pose the risk of harm to consumers who use them in an intended manner. In the following scenarios, a medical device’s manufacturer may be deemed liable for a victim’s damages:

  • The product was rushed to market without being thoroughly tested;
  • The product can break down or dislocate within the victim’s body;
  • The product is not sterile or cannot be kept sterile, making it a possible infection hazard; and
  • The product does not work as it is supposed to work.

 

The Doctor or Other Medical Professional who Used the Device with you

When a manufacturer finds its product is not safe or could potentially be unsafe, it must issue a recall. Physicians who use recalled products and hospitals that stock recalled products for use are negligent and may be liable for any damages that arise from the use of these items. Even if an item has not been recalled, a doctor or other hospital staff member may be negligent by using it incorrectly, without properly sterilizing it, or despite knowing that the product’s risks outweigh its benefits to the patient. In cases where a doctor would not reasonably have used an item, but it is then used anyway, the doctor may be liable for the victim’s damages.

 

Work with an Experienced Alexandria Medical Malpractice Lawyer

 

If you are suffering from the financial results of an injury or worsened condition caused by a faulty or defective medical device, you could have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. To learn more about your rights in this situation, contact our team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC today to set up your initial consultation with us.

 

Hot Weather Makes Drivers More Susceptible to Road Rage. Do Not Fall into the Road Rage Trap

As you know, hot weather in the summer is uncomfortable. During these warmer months, man of us head to the pool, the beach, or retreat inside our air conditioned homes. Summer heat is associated with many safety risks, like heat exhaustion, power outages, and even car accidents.

During the summer, drivers are more likely to experience road rage. This can be attributed to the uncomfortable summer heat as well as the increased number of drivers on the road, many of whom are not local and thus not familiar with local roadways and traffic patterns. Aggressive driving puts the aggressor and all others on the roadway at risk of being involved in a collision, which can have serious or even deadly consequences.

 

Examples of Road Rage

Road rage can take many forms, such as:

  • Shouting at other drivers;
  • Tailgating;
  • Swerving aggressively through traffic;
  • Making rude gestures at others; and
  • Beeping aggressively.

The best way to handle an aggressive driver is to choose not to engage with him or her. Do not cut the other driver or or prevent him or her from changing lanes or making a turn in an effort to “teach a lesson” – the other driver will learn nothing, the aggression will escalate, and you will still be at risk of being involved in an accident.

 

You Cannot Control Other Drivers, But you Can Control Yourself

Although you cannot keep others from expressing road rage, you can keep yourself from behaving in an aggressive manner. Leave early for your destination so the stress of being late does not drive you to act irrationally. Other ways to reduce your stress levels and thus your likelihood of aggressive behaviors include:

  • Using your air conditioning to keep yourself physically cool and comfortable;
  • Keeping your blood pressure low with breathing techniques and calming music;
  • Keeping yourself hydrated;
  • Staying aware of your surrounding and choosing not to use your phone while driving; and
  • Being a courteous driver. This includes giving other vehicles ample following space, allowing others to make exits and lane changes, and being forgiving of others’ errors.

 

Work with an Experienced Alexandria Car Accident Lawyer

 

If you are injured in a car accident, work with one of the experienced car accident lawyers on our team at Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC to seek compensation for your damages. Contact our office today to set up your free legal consultation with us.