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John Paul Harris
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John Harris’s Answers

28 total

  • Is it wise to go after your insurance for the underinsured motorists when the accident is not your fault?

    I am worried about my medical bills and the future ones to come. I don't know the policy limits for the responsible party just yet. If I settle with them and fear that my settlement (based on policy limits) will not cover my bills plus pain and su...

    John’s Answer

    I tell my clients that they should not settle their claim until the true extent of their injuries are known. Once they have finished treatment then it is time to evaluate the case to determine the value of the case. When a case is settled it is settled forevermore and you can not go back and say I have this problem or that problem now. It is in your best interest to do your best to get as well as possible before you get serious about settling your case. After all it better to get well and have a little case than it is to have a big case and have a permanent injury that will effect you for the rest of your life. Regarding the insurance polices, the defendant's policy pays first. Then if there is damage to you which is more than his policy limit, your company may pay the rest up to your policy limit. An example, you are hurt $50k worth and he has $50k or more, you do not get to your policy. If you are hurt $50k worth and he has only $25k worth of coverage, your company may pay the next $25k. Your company will then try to get their $25k back from him which is a lot better than you trying to get the second $25k from him.

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  • I was in an accident last Dec..I was rear-ended.Is there a certain amount one can expect to recover from insurance?

    I had a claim for damages to my vehicle.Which they paid for repairs by a check for me to give to the repair shop.They told me if it was more than that to just let them know.Did I handle that correctly? I am in physical therapy for neck/shoulder ...

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    In Virginia, there is a claim for damage to your property (your car) and a claim for injury to you. They are separate claims. Virginia allows the wrongdoer ( usually his insurance company) to pay the replace the car or repair the car whichever is less. When one has their car repair they are entitle something in addition the cost of repair (something for depreciation because it has been wrecked). I do not have enough info to give you estimate on the value of your injury. My advice there is to get well as soon as possible because it much better to have a small case and be well than it is to have a big case and have permanent health problem. If you are seriously injured, you need a personal injury lawyer, not the real estate lawyer you used to close the deal on your house. You need a personal injury lawyer. Feel free to call my office if you like. I will get you lined up with someone in your area that has the right kind of experience.

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  • I'd like advice on how to handle medical issues my wife is experiencing since being in an auto accident that was not her fault.

    The responsible party and their insurance do not want to make payments until the doctor signs a full release on her. I do not believe these expenses should be a burden to me or my wife for something that was no fault of her own.

    John’s Answer

    It is not unusual for the insurance company to defer settling the case until she finishes treatment. And, she does not want to settle the case until her treatment is finished because when she settles the case, it is settled forevermore. Don't forget to look at your own policy for medical payments coverage. If you have this coverage, she is entitled to that coverage in addition to whatever coverage the defendant has. You need a personal injury lawyer to help you.

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  • Can I change the cause of death on my lawsuit after its been filed,

    my mother was in a hospital to have mitral valve replacement , the hospital the hospital declared her not serious enough for the procedure , she stayed a month and her kidneys were destroyed by over lasik , they were at a 3 when she went in and...

    John’s Answer

    Without an autopsy, you will have a very hard time proving the cause of death. Talk to your lawyer, ask if he regularly does malpractice. If he does not regularly do malpractice cases, find a lawyer who regularly does malpractice cases. This is not a job for your family lawyer, or divorce lawyer, or real estate lawyer. There a number of good malpractice lawyers in the Woodbridge area. You might want to use AVVO to find one.

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  • I want to know if I have the start of a Medical Negligence case.

    My spouse was recently released from the hospital after suffering a series of mild seizures. However, in viewing his condition a cardiologist advised me that he was treating him for what appeared to be pneumonia like symptoms. (2) days later we ru...

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I do not disagree with the prior answer. Medical malpractice cases are generally expensive to even investigate and very, very expensive to pursue. Therefore, the first question that must be answer in my office is the damage severe or is it permanent. This going to sound cold, but you would have a great case if it killed him not a case I would be interested in if he gets well. It's sort of good news bad news. The good new is he gets well, the bad news is that it happened at all.

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  • What shall i do after they deny my offer from a slip n fall

    i slip on a wet floor in walmart and wrote them a demand letter and had an MRI checked on my lower back and i had a permanent injury on my tail bone

    John’s Answer

    You should contact a Virginia attorney, one with experience in slip and fall case. They are very, very difficult case because Virginia still has "contributory negligence". In my opinion you have no chance of being treated fairly by Walmart without a lawyer

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  • The insurance sent us a letter saying if we want to settle we can give them a call should i settle?

    My mother was on the job and she hurt her back and when she went to the doctor they put her on light duty but the job couldnt accomendate so they sent her home everyday. She got the impression that she had to quite so she did and then she couldnt ...

    John’s Answer

    You have not include enough information to be able to be of much help to you. Exactly what was she doing when she hurt her back? Is it possible that she has a third-party claim? For the correct answer to your question, you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer or a worker's comp lawyer.

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  • Disconnected flue pipe: Can I sue my landlord for carbon monoxide exposure and why is he asking for my medical records

    I've been living in my apt since March 2010. In August of 2011 I returned home from a trip and within 3 hours I became dizzy and felt like I was going to faint. I went the ER they found nothing. From 8/2011 to the present I've had chest pains . I ...

    John’s Answer

    If your doctors link the injuries to the CO poisoning then you may have a case. The problems I see with the case include did the landlord know of the problem and damages. The good news is no one died from CO poisoning. The bad news is since apparently everyone is now OK the damages are limited which may effect your ability to take the case even if the landlord new of the problem. If you were to consider suing the manufacture or installer of the furnace, a statute like 8.01-250 might be a problem.

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  • Can I sue the skating rink for severe shattered wrist after being shoved down by teenagers playing tag?

    I am experienced skater, grown woman , had my own skates. It was early evening never been there before. I had just went around the rink about 4 laps ( 1) in which I skated backwards. I discovered the surface of floor was brown painted concrete, ro...

    John’s Answer

    I like the part where you said: "No signs were posted, no supervision/skate guard." Some years ago, during "all skate" and adult was skating backwards when he slammed into a little girl knocking her to the floor. The force of the fall split her forehead open. That case was able to be settled on the grounds there was negligent supervision. So, in my opinion you have a case worth pursuing.

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  • I posted this yesterday and was kindly advised to get an injury lawyer. No one wants to help, What now? Suffer?

    I had a full Hysterectomy 7 Dec 2011. I was taken to my room on the recovery bed. Woke up for a brief moment going downt the hallway then next thing I knew the charge nurse in my room said to move over to my bed. I told her I couldnt. She said pic...

    John’s Answer

    I stand by my earlier answer -- Technically you probably have a case, but medical malpractice cases are so expensive to pursue that unless you have very, very serious injury they are, in my opinion, not worth pursuing.--- Of course if your injury is permanent and serious it may be worth pursuing.

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