Bankruptcy and Personal Injury Claims

How bankruptcy could affect your personal injury case

Author: Attorney J. David Douthit

[Neither the author nor the firm of Allen & Allen practices bankruptcy law or advises clients in bankruptcy matters.  This article is intended only to give an overview of personal injury law practice as it is affected by bankruptcy.  - Editor's note.]

A recent decision by the Virginia Supreme Court, Kocher v. Campbell, 282 Va 113 (2011),[1] has significant implications for personal injury claims.  In that case, the plaintiff was injured in a car accident.  Approximately a year and a half after the car accident, and before filing a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. …

Read more

Child Support Liens and Personal Injury Cases in Virginia

Author: Christopher A. Meyer, Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

Many people in the Commonwealth of Virginia are required by court order to financially support children and have been unable to keep up with the court ordered payments.  In such cases, the Commissioner of the State Department of Social Services may cause an order to issue that attaches to property and income owed to the debtor by a third person and requires that such property or income be turned over to the Commonwealth in satisfaction of the past due child support.  There is a specific statute, Section 63.2-1929[1], which discusses this issue in relationship to personal injury cases in Virginia.  

The operative sentence is as follows:

The orders…

Read more

Resolving Your Personal Injury Case: Using Arbitration Instead of Trial



Some personal injury cases may be resolved through means other than a lengthy, costly trial. Arbitration is one type of such alternative dispute resolutions.

Arbitration is a means of resolving a dispute using an impartial person (an "arbitrator") who otherwise has no interest or involvement in the case. In a personal injury case, the arbitrator also decides the amount of the award, meaning how much the insurance company must pay the injured person.

Arbitration is not appropriate for every case. The decision whether to arbitrate or not is a complicated one that should be made by you and your attorney.[1] Even the process of agreeing to arbitrate requires a number of steps and a number of decisions.


Read more

Bankruptcy and Personal Injury Cases

Author: Attorney Christopher A. Meyer

Taking bankruptcy can have a significant effect on a personal injury case.  In a recent personal injury case[1], the Virginia Supreme Court discussed the disastrous results that can occur when a plaintiff's taking bankruptcy and the pendency of a personal injury case are not properly coordinated.

In Kocher the plaintiff was injured in an car accident.  Over a year later, he filed for bankruptcy and received a discharge several months following his filing. His personal injury lawyer filed suit several months after that, complying with Virginia law[2] that requires attorneys to file suit (in most cases) within two years of the date of the injury. Failure to…

Read more

How much is my personal injury case worth?

Author: Claims Consultant Chris B. Cloude

This is a question I get from just about every client I assist at some point during their personal injury case.   Until a case is ripe for settlement, this question is impossible to answer.  To understand why this is true, it's helpful to understand the general process we go through to determine the value of a case.

Although we are roughly tracking the value of a case throughout a client's medical treatment, this is usually a very rough estimate until the client has been discharged from their care by a doctor. [1] After a client has been released by their doctor, we obtain the final office note and bill from the doctor.  Then I review the entire file with…

Read more

Is Mediation a process that may resolve my personal injury case ?

Author: Attorney Charles L. Allen

Our clients' only legal means to compel compensation from an automobile insurance company for their personal injury claim is by trial where a judge or jury determines the amount of their award. Securing a judgment at trial against a driver determined to be at fault for the collision triggers the obligation for an insurance company to pay the amount of the award.

While a trial by jury is our clients' only legal right to achieve a recovery, many cases are resolved through voluntary negotiations between the opposing parties which lead to a settlement agreement without a trial. Typically, these negotiations happen directly between the representatives of the parties.…

Read more

A Personal Injury Claim: "How Long Will It Take?"



One of the most frequently asked questions from our personal injury clients is, “How long is this going to take?"

Sadly, there is no guaranteed timeline because the process depends on a number of factors. The best way to answer this question is to explain the stages of a claim that must happen before that claim can be resolved. 

Stages of a Claim

There are several parts or stages of a personal injury claim leading to its conclusion. The first stage depends on the length of a client's recovery from their injuries. The end of this stage is reached either when the client has recovered and is discharged from medical treatment, or when the client has reached the point where, in the opinion of their…

Read more

The First 100 Years: My Grandfather's Influence

Author: Attorney Charles L. Allen

One hundred years ago, in 1910, my grandfather, George E. Allen Sr., a founder of this law firm, handled his first personal injury case. As a third generation family member of this law firm, I reflect back occasionally on the influence my grandfather and his legal career have had upon me. When I first began practicing law 25 years ago, attorneys and judges always spoke well of my grandfather. He was often cited as a shining example of professionalism who set a standard to which all successful attorneys should aspire. My grandfather was so passionate and committed about the practice of law late in his life when he wrote his memoirs he entitled the book The Law As A Way…

Read more

Ethics and Lawyers

Author: Attorney Christopher A. Meyer

We've all heard the lawyer jokes about ethics and whether they really have any. In fact, there are strict ethical standards that lawyers must follow that are quite specific about what lawyers can and cannot do. If you have watched any crime shows, you may at least have some passing knowledge of some aspects of legal ethics, but here are a few of the ethical constraints that we, as personal injury lawyers, must follow.

A lawyer must keep information given to him about a personal injury case or any case in total confidence. This is part of the "attorney client privilege"; it means under most circumstances, if you tell a lawyer something that is relevant to your case, your attorney…

Read more

What is a personal injury settlement?

Author: Christopher B. Cloude, Claims Consultant

Before we can talk about what a personal injury settlement involves, we must first look at what makes a successful personal injury case that leads to a settlement.

In order to have a personal injury case for which you can make a recovery, there are three basic elements that must be present:

1. Liability 2. Damages 3. A source of recovery

Liability is when a person or entity (corporation, association, etc.) is negligent (1) and has caused another person to suffer injuries and losses. The person that is negligent is often referred to as the defendant and the person that suffered the injury is referred to as the plaintiff. For example,…

Read more

Tel : (804) 353-1200
Fax : (804) 257-7599
37.580754 -77.493777
Tel : (804) 733-8753
Fax : (804) 733-8767
37.225366 -77.406431
Tel : (804) 746-4900
Fax : (804) 746-2315
37.609968 -77.353275
Tel : (540) 786-4100
Fax : (540) 786-9585
38.292658 -77.522033
Tel : (804) 836-1170
Fax : (804) 836-1189
37.65165 -77.615287
Tel : (540) 657-9222
Fax : (540) 657-9522
38.476396 -77.421376
Tel : (804) 745-1200
Fax : (804) 745-8997
37.410489 -77.648702
Tel : (434) 295-4961
Fax : (434) 284-4299
38.087828 -78.471035