Understanding Virginia Negligence Laws

‘Negligence’ is an area of tort law that refers to harm caused to one individual due to the failure to act or carelessness of another. An individual that suffers loss, physical or financial, due to the negligence of another can sue for compensation from the person whose negligence caused them harm. Hence ‘negligence’ is a wide umbrella term that can cover a number of situations. From someone not doing their job to simply standing by when a person is in need of help, personal injury lawyers in Richmond and Virginia can help you with filing a negligence claim to get you the maximum amount of compensation.

Proving Negligence

Proving negligence can be a tricky thing without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. This is because proving negligence involves defining how a reasonable person should be in the situation. A lawyer is experienced in the process of proving negligence, and can thereby argue your case to get you the compensation you are entitled to.

Virginia Negligence Laws

Law is not universal and varies from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. When it comes to Virginia negligence laws, a term called ‘contributory negligence’ comes into play.

Contributory vs.Comparative Negligence

The Virginia negligence law of contributory negligence means that if the person claiming injury has in some way contributed to the situation that caused the injury, regardless of how small, they will not have a case. Contributory negligence is a strict rule that still exists within the Commonwealth.

Many states have adopted the more flexible fault law of ‘comparative negligence’. This refers to a partial legal defence under which the amount of compensation awarded to the plaintiff is adjusted based on the amount of involvement in the injury the plaintiff is found to have.

Virginia adheres to the pure contributory negligence law which states that the person guilty of negligence has to be 100-percent responsible or no compensation for damages will be awarded.

Common Carrier

Under Virginia negligence laws, there is an exception to the comparative negligence law. known as the ‘common carrier exception’. Under the common carrier exception, people who have been injured while a passenger on a bus, plane, or any common carrier are eligible for compensation under a negligence claim against the carrier company as well as the individual carrier operator. If it is found that a safety code has been violated or not adhered to, the plaintiff’s comparative negligence will not interfere with the compensation owed by the common carriers. Compensation for a negligence claim against a common carrier company and operator would include any medical expenses, lost wages due to missed time from work, and any damages caused by physical or mental pain and suffering.

Not only do laws differ from state to state, state laws are constantly changing. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer can help ensure you will get the maximum amount of compensation for your personal injury claim. As Virginia negligence laws are stricter than in many states due to the comparative negligence rule, proving negligence can be a more challenging process. Enlisting the help of a Virginia lawyer who is not only familiar with the challenges of proving negligence under the contributory negligence rule, but who is always up to date on any changing laws will help make your personal injury claim run as smoothly and painlessly as possible.



Financial Cost of a Broken Bone

The financial cost of a broken bone can vary depending on several conditions. One thing is for certain, no broken bone is cheap. It makes it easy to see why it is common for people to seek a personal injury attorney when suffering a bone break at the hands of someone else’s negligence.

There are several factors that determine the true financial cost of a broken bone. While it might seem like location of the bone is the biggest determining factor it proves to be just one consideration, and not always the costliest factor. Another misconception that arises when determining the financial cost of a broken bone is that the cost end once the limb has been set and or placed in a cast. The reality, healing is often more expensive that the initial treatment of the break.

Initial Costs of Treating a Break

When it comes to the initial costs of treating a break whether or not you have insurance has the biggest influence on the price tag. Prices can escalate between 25 and 100% more without insurance than the price of your hospital visit with insurance. This is a hefty increase, but what will cause the initial cost of treating a bone break to escalate is the need for surgery. A bone break that requires surgery can cost up to eight times more than that same bone break that does not require surgery. These are costs increases that are painful with or without insurance.

Financial Costs of Healing and Recovery from a Bone Break

This is where prices begin to soar. Again, it is quite difficult to say just how much it will cost to heal a specific break. These costs vary from person to person even when comparing the exact same break between people. These costs vary because of the difference in each person’s ability to heal and the level of activity of each person. Someone who has a sedentary occupation might have more time to heal than a person whose job entails manual labor.

It is also important to mention that the type of job a person holds determines if a break will cause them to miss work. It stands to reason that the costs involved for a person who misses work because of the injury will be more than the costs of someone who does not miss work. This is also perhaps when the location of a break has a bigger determining factor in costs. A larger bone will take longer to heal than a smaller bone. Likewise, a bone that does not bear weight will be easier to rehabilitate than one that does.

No matter what, bone breaks can cost the inured a great deal, both to your finances and otherwise.



What Does the Securities & Exchange Commission Do?

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a federal government agency that is responsible for the regulation of securities markets. Their goals include maintaining fair markets, facilitating capital formation, and protecting investors from investment fraud.

The SEC is also home to the Whistleblower program which allows them to obtain information about potential securities violations across the world. Continue reading to learn more about the purpose of the SEC.

Protecting Investors From Fraud

The most important goal of the SEC is to protect investors from fraud. There are numerous ways that investors can be taken advantage of. Some of the most often seen types of investment fraud include:

  • Insider trading – This occurs when a broker or someone else working in the financial industry makes a trade based on confidential information they obtained. Insider trading is tricky because it can be legal if the trader made the decision to trade without considering the information that hadn’t been made available to the public. Reporting suspected insider trading can only help protect investor funds.
  • Embezzlement – Embezzlement happens with alarming frequency. When you entrust your funds to another who then takes ownership of your money without your permission, you’ve been a victim of embezzlement. A good example could be an investor who hires a financial advisor who in turn makes small deposits from the investor’s account and into their own over time, effectively stealing from their client.
  • Pyramid schemes – In a pyramid scheme, investors are presented an investment opportunity that doesn’t exist. The program runner requires investors to recruit new investors and then pays higher-tiered investors with the funds from lower-tiered investors. This is a scheme because not only does the investment opportunity not exist, but these pyramids always fail when the fraudster either can’t keep up in repaying investors, or fails to get investors to recruit new investors.
  • Short selling – Short selling occurs when a trader secures the right to borrow stock and sells the stock when the price is expected to drop. This allows the trader to pocket the price difference. It becomes illegal if the trader made the decision to trade through confidential information or did not have permission to borrow the stock they traded.

These are just a few of the different kinds of investment scams that investors need to be wary of. Since there are so many ways that investors can be scammed, the SEC relies on whistleblowers who expose these securities violations so that they can begin investigating corporations and individuals who engage in fraudulent activity.

Home Of The Whistleblower Program

The SEC’s whistleblower program was designed to allow would-be whistleblowers to provide tips and information to the SEC. If the whistleblower meets specific requirements as laid out in the Dodd-Frank Act, they’ll be able to collect an award for taking the risk of blowing the whistle on securities violations.

These criteria include coming forward on a voluntary basis, and the tip given being original. In addition, the SEC will need to be able to take enforceable action against the individual or company being investigated whether that be by imposing sanctions or shutting down the business altogether.

For the whistleblower to earn an award, the SEC will also need to be able to recover sanctions of more than $1,000,000, of which the whistleblower will be entitled to between 10% and 30% depending on how valuable their information was to the success of the SEC’s investigation.

Despite the potential for substantial awards, many whistleblowers are afraid to come forward when they come into information about fraud due to the fear of retaliation. The Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Act contain provisions that protect whistleblowers from being harassed, demoted, made to endure a hostile work environment, or terminated for becoming a whistleblower.

If the company you work for retaliates against you, your attorney will bring a wrongful termination claim against them, and the SEC will also impose sanctions to punish them for violating the Dodd-Frank and SOX Acts.

Submit Your Tips By Working With An SEC Whistleblower Lawyer

Now that you have an idea about what the SEC’s purpose is, if you become aware of possible securities violations or other fraudulent activity that could put investors at risk, you can report your tips to the SEC and potential become an award winning whistleblower.

Consult with an SEC whistleblower law firm before you do so that you have the option of remaining anonymous when you report, and have a skilled attorney by your side who can help you prepare for the whistleblowing process.