Frequently Asked Questions

{the nitty gritty}

Business Litigation
(Non-Compete Agreements)

Questions: what is a non-compete agreement in Virginia, whether we can review your contract in our office, how to avoid litigation, how to fight your ex-employer, how much it will cost, and preparing for trial.

A. We are happy to review your Virginia non-compete contract, employment contract, non-solicitation agreement, or non-disclosure agreement, so that you can better understand your rights and obligations and share with you recent court decisions that may control your situation. We will provide you with a letter opinion that you can share with a new employer during the hiring process to address any concerns. We can discuss the best strategies and tactics in dealing with your contract.

A. It depends on the language in your Virginia employment contract. Your employer will be required to pay for attorneys’ fees and costs at the end of litigation if your contract includes a provision that states the prevailing party must pay for all costs in a dispute. We would need to review your contract for you to advise whether a court would enforce a fee p.

A. The decision to challenge your Virginia non-compete contract, reach a settlement, or wait for it to expire depends on your individual situation. Every case is different, and during our review, we will discuss your options. If you decide to fight your non-compete, then we will defend you in any lawsuit against your former employer, or in the alternative, proactively file a declaratory judgment action with the court asking a judge to invalidate the contract.

A. Every case is different and depends on the length of the contract for the initial review. In the event that you need to retain us for litigation, such as a claim to invalidate the contract and defend against any countersuit, we have successfully concluded cases where no more than several hundred dollars in fees and costs have been incurred. In other cases, the costs for hourly attorneys’ fees and experts may exceed several thousand dollars, and we would work with you to make satisfactory financial arrangements for litigation.

A. Most business litigation cases are settled before trial. Many will require months of preparation, including depositions, motions hearings with the court, and other pretrial matters, before a resolution can be reached. It is impossible to know which cases will settle and which will be tried in a court of law. Although it is ultimately your ex-employer’s decision whether to file suit against you for breach of a non-compete contract, we advise our clients not to undertake a rigorous defense unless you are committed to try the case if necessary.

Nursing Home Abuse

Questions: recognizing signs of abuse and neglect, moving a loved one to a new facility, testifying at trial, handling Medicare and Medicaid payments, and what to do when you suspect neglect.

A. These claims arise in numerous situations including situations involving repeated falls, malnutrition, the development of bedsores or pressure ulcers (decubitus ulcers), dehydration, medication errors, and physical attacks/assaults by other residents or staff.

A. The best advice is to visit your loved one frequently and at different times of the day and days of the week. Your close observations will tell you if your family member is being well-fed and cared for. If your family member has bedsores, ask to see the wounds and ask how this medical problem will be addressed. Talk to roommates and nurses on the floor.

A. Yes. If you decide to keep your loved one in the same nursing home that you are pursuing for nursing home abuse, you risk mistreatment (retaliation) by disgruntled nursing home personnel. If the nursing home has failed to provide the necessary care for your resident, move to a facility that will.

A. A majority of nursing home abuse cases are settled. However, it is impossible to know which cases will settle and which will be tried in a court of law. Do not undertake the prosecution of a nursing home abuse case unless you are willing and committed to try the case if necessary.

A. Medicare and Medicaid are entitled to repayment of certain amounts under Federal and state laws. Medicaid and Medicare are deemed to be “secondary payers” and always request reimbursement in these types of cases. We work very hard to reduce the reimbursement payments as much as possible, but we can not avoid repayment of some portion of the expenses paid by Medicaid or Medicare.

Medical Malpractice

Questions: recognizing a medical mistake, how to obtain medical records, what to expect during a deposition, what to expect during trial, how much it will cost, how we evaluate cases, and our process for investigating a claim of medical negligence.

A. Our lawyers practice throughout Virginia but we narrow our Medical Malpractice work to Western Virginia, SW Virginia, Southside, Roanoke and New River Valley.

We review cases from the western half of the Commonwealth including SW Virginia: (Abingdon, Washington, Scott, Russell, Lee Counties); New River Valley: (Giles, Radford, Montgomery, Pulaski, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Wytheville); Southside Virginia: (Martinsville, Danville, Halifax, South Boston); Roanoke Valley (Salem, Roanoke, Botetourt, Bedford, Franklin Counties); Shenandoah Valley: (Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, Lexington, Rockbridge Co.) and more.

If you have a question as to whether we review, accept and handle medical malpractice cases in your area or against your local hospital or health care provider, call us today. Want to see if you have a case, or want us to recommend an attorney in your area of Virginia, call us 540-985-0098.

A. A medical malpractice claim is a claim filed against a corporation or an individual who provided negligent or substandard medical care.

A. First, we start with a thorough review and analysis of your medical records. Second, we will orchestrate a review of your records by qualified medical experts who can testify at trial that your treating doctors were negligent and that his/her negligence is a direct cause of injury or death.

A. We do not charge hourly rate for attorneys fees. We charge a % of the case outcome. No case is the same but most cases do involve litigation costs. Most of the expense in pursuing a medical malpractice case arises from the use of experts. Experts charge by the hour for their work on the file and total expert charges can range from a several thousand dollars to $30,000 or more. Under Virginia law, we cannot loan this money to our clients but work with every client to find a way to pursue claims of merit regardless of whether clients can pay costs. Question about costs – call our office.

A. Most medical malpractice claims take approximately 18 months from the date the complaint is filed until the case is resolved, by settlement or trial. Investigating a case prior to suit can also take many months. Sadly, this is not a fast or quick process. To do it correctly our office must request and review medical records, hire experts, draft discovery, take depositions etc. before a resolution is possible.

A. In Virginia, the general rule requires malpractice claims to be filed within 2 years of the date of the medical negligence. This time period can be shorter or longer depending on the facts surrounding the claim. Promptly consult with an attorney knowledgeable with medical negligence law as the expiration of the statute of limitations would forever bar a claim.

A. Medical malpractice lawsuits are very time-consuming and expensive. In some cases, the expenses incurred in litigating the claim are more than the damages you would be able to recover.

In some cases, negligence may exist but there was no harm from the physician’s mistake. We spend countless hours reviewing each and every case to determine if we believe all the elements of a case exist: Negligence that caused significant harm.

We will also decline to take valid cases if we fear our clients cannot benefit themselves from the litigation because of Medicare or Medicaid liens.

A. There is no way to predict which cases will be tried and which will settle without a trial. We advise each of our clients that they should not pursue a medical malpractice claim unless they are prepared to prosecute the claim at trial.

Each and every case is unique. Each and every client is unique. Call our office if you want to discuss whether you have a case in Virginia.

Understanding your Virginia Injury Case – So now you are a plaintiff

Have you ever been in an important meeting, listened for a long time – left, and wondered what was said? So have we, so we have begun a series called Understanding your injury case – so now you are the plaintiff, to help our existing clients understand what litigation looks like.

Each article will take no longer than 2 minutes to read, has been written by our attorneys (and your lawyers) and hopefully will discuss some of the important questions you have.

Although we are glad to provide general information, each case is different. Please contact our office to speak with an attorney for more specific advice.