Restrictive Covenants in Virginia Employment Contracts

Restrictive Covenants in Virginia Employment Contracts

Virginia is an at-will employment state, meaning that either an employee or the employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all.[i]  Except in certain circumstances, any duties and obligations an employee has to an employer—and vice versa—end when the employment relationship ends.  For a variety of reasons, many employees and employers alter the nature of their post-employment relationship by entering agreements that contain restrictive covenants.

Virginia Lawyer Robert Byrne
Virginia Lawyer Robert Byrne

The most common and easily recognizable restrictive covenant in the employment context is a noncompetition agreement, or a noncompete.[ii]  Many individuals are not aware that there are a number of other restrictive covenants that may exist in addition to a noncompete agreement, such as nonsolicitation of employee provisions, confidentiality covenants, nondisclosure provisions, or nonpiracy provisions.  Employees who are not aware of these provisions may be surprised to learn that they oftentimes impose significant restrictions on post-employment conduct.

With this in mind, here’s a brief discussion of each of these types of restrictive covenants that commonly arise in employment contracts.

Nonsolicitation of employee provision.  A nonsolicitation provision forbids former workers from “raiding” their former team members, staff members, or other personnel.  Such nonsolicitation provisions prevent a “brain drain” that could occur if a key employee left the business.  These provisions can be valid in Virginia so long as they are reasonable in scope.

Confidentiality covenants.  Our service-based society often operates based on trade secrets and other intellectual property.  Certain employees with access to this sensitive information, typically inventors, executives, engineers, technicians, programmers, and others that work with secret information, are often required to sign agreements with confidentiality provisions.

Nondisclosure provisions.  Nondisclosure agreements, or NDAs, are agreements that protect the confidentiality of information that is presented to another for a limited purpose.  NDAs serve several of the same purposes of confidentiality agreements, but these are nevertheless often included in agreements with confidentiality covenants.

Nonpiracy provisions.  In addition to noncompete agreements, many employers have provisions that forbid former employees from contacting or soliciting their former customers, clients, or business contacts, or from doing any business with them.  In many respects, these nonpiracy provisions can be even more far reaching than covenants not to compete.  This is because nonpiracy provisions may not be limited by function or industry in the same way that a non-compete provision would be.

Covenants Not to Compete.  Last but not least, Virginia law permits employers to restrict an individual’s post-employment activities by having them enter a noncompete agreement.  Covenants not to compete are disfavored under Virginia law, which means that courts may refuse to enforce a provision that it determines is broader than necessary to protect an employer’s legitimate business interest.

Most of these provisions are, in at least some sense, disfavored under Virginia law as unreasonable restraints on trade.  If you are an employer or employee seeking to enforce or defeat a restrictive covenant through litigation, it is important for you to confer with an attorney who is experienced with drafting and litigating matters involving noncompetes and other restrictive covenants.

Restrictive covenants are important for employers and employees alike.  Employees need to be mindful of restrictive covenants for assessing their post-employment options and when negotiating a severance agreement.  At the same time, business owners want to ensure they adequately protect their intellectual property by wisely using restrictive covenants.

For more information about restrictive covenants under Virginia law, contact Charlottesville Employment Lawyer Robert E. Byrne, Jr. of MartinWren, P.C. at (434) 817-3100 or by email at byrne@martinwrenlaw.com.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

[i] There are some exceptions to this rule, of course, such as when an employer terminates an employee for discriminatory reasons on the basis of race, ethnicity, disability, religion, or some other protected class.

[ii] See my article, “A Review of Noncompete Agreements in Virginia” for more information.  http://www.martinwrenlaw.com/wordpress/a-review-of-noncompetition-covenants-in-virginia/

 

Selling Anything in Charlottesville?

In downtown Charlottesville, public planners tightly monitor the goings-on around farmer’s markets, the downtown mall and other vending areas. In general, these kinds of oversight are effective in maintaining smooth-running operations, minimizing chaos and ultimately providing better, more deliberate supervision of public spaces. However, to businesses or entrepreneurs, such oversight can sometimes seem a little opaque.

Vendor Permitting

The Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department handles vending applications for venues like the following:

  • Farmers in the Park
  • Midtown City Market
  • Holiday City Market

A 19-page document describes how vendors are required to set up in relation to the specific timeframes and settings mentioned for each event. Everything, including fees and costs, is included in that document. But for other general uses beyond events, the process will be different. For example, for general vending in the downtown mall area, applicants need a “peddler’s license” from the city, as well as a general business license. The fees for both range in the hundreds of dollars, and it can also be a significant time investment to secure the right paperwork for offering products for sale locally.

In an effort to boost growth and expansion the right way, even more established businesses have similar challenges and hurdles. Part of the cost of new products, services or processes, besides just the resources to produce, is the cost of regulatory compliance and working with local, state and federal government agencies to stay on the right side of the law. All processes and operations have to be taken into account in relation to federal, state and local tax systems, where additional recordkeeping and cost analysis can be involved.

Moreover, businesses face a range of liabilities and risks that must be addressed by appropriate insurance and risk management strategy. Some of these include issues around employment discrimination, public safety at business locations, special event coverage, and product liability issues.

Virginia business lawyers understand that dealing with all of these issues may be necessary, and they can mean challenges for local businesses. Attorneys understand what business leaders face on a routine basis, and know how they can navigate the city processes to successfully set up safe and reliable business operations.

Let a Business Lawyer Help

Individuals interested in starting or running local Charlottesville businesses can contact the Virginia business lawyers at MartinWren P.C. We help business leaders understand all of their risks and liabilities, and we assist them with charting a course for successful day-to-day business management. We know that getting secure operations in place is not a quick business.  It requires a fair amount of back-and-forth with city offices, as well as other types of planning. Let us help your business stand the test of time. Invest in qualified legal counsel today.

Medical Malpractice Claims in Virginia

Medical Malpractice Claims in Virginia

Virginia Lawyer Robert Byrne
Virginia Trial Lawyer Robert Byrne

According to the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer. That is staggering.  It shows that medical malpractice is a very real problem facing Americans.  Virginia is unfortunately not exempt from this problem, as medical errors cause injury and death here just as in every other state.

Medical malpractice claims in Virginia are a particular type of personal injury action.[i]  Just like personal injury actions based on negligence, to win a Virginia medical malpractice claim a patient must show that a doctor or other healthcare provider owes a legal duty to the patient, the doctor breached the duty, and the doctor’s breach caused harm or injuries to the patient.[ii]   These elements of a claim for medical malpractice in Virginia sound straightforward, but they often become complicated when viewed in light of a particular claim.

Because medical malpractice claims are commonly based on the negligence of physicians and healthcare providers, it might be helpful to compare a medical malpractice case to a typical personal injury case based on negligence.  A personal injury case can arise, for example, when someone driving a car disregards a red light and crashes into a pedestrian who has the right of way.  There, the driver had a duty to stop at the red light, but his breach of that duty caused injury to a pedestrian.

Medical malpractice actions are similar to, but a little different than, the red light example above.  Just like all drivers have a legal duty to stop at red lights and obey other traffic rules, doctors have a legal duty to follow certain safety rules that apply in the medical world.  The safety rules that doctors and nurses are required to follow are called “standards of care.” Depending on the type of situation a doctor faces, the standard of care requires doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other health care providers to provide care that a reasonably prudent doctor giving care in that situation would provide. Generally speaking, if a doctor provides healthcare that falls below or deviates from what a reasonable doctor would have done, the doctor will have breached the standard of care.

Establishing the Standard of Care

The plaintiff’s first challenge in a Virginia medical malpractice case is to provide evidence of what the standard of care is in their case.  That means the plaintiff must typically hire an expert witness to explain the standard of care in their case.  The expert will be required to explain what a reasonably competent doctor would have done in the situation presented by the plaintiff’s medical condition.  Except in very limited circumstances where the standard of care is understandable by a jury using common sense, a plaintiff’s failure to hire a standard of care expert may cause the case to fail.

Breach of the Standard of Care

In addition to showing what the standard of care is, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must show that their healthcare provider – a doctor, nurse, osteopath, surgeon, midwife, or other medical caregiver – violated that standard of care.  That means that the plaintiff must show that their medical provider either took actions that a reasonable doctor would not have taken, or failed to act in the same manner that a reasonable doctor would have.

Satisfying the standard of care does not require doctors, nurses, osteopaths or other healthcare providers to provide perfect healthcare or to guarantee that a surgery will go exactly as planned.  Rather, the standard of care establishes the minimum level of care a healthcare provider must give to a patient. If that healthcare provider meets that minimum level of care, the patient will not have a medical malpractice claim even if the patient does not obtain the results the patient desired.

As an example, the standard of care for surgeons will require that a surgeon and his or her staff remove all sponges and other foreign objects from a surgical site before closing the wound.[iii]  A surgeon will violate this standard of care when he or she leaves tools, sponges, or other items in the patient’s wound before closing the site.  If that happens, the defense doctor has most likely violated the standard of care, breached a duty, and formed the basis for a medical malpractice action in Virginia.

Causation

To get compensation for a medical malpractice injury, an injured patient must show that the healthcare provider’s breach of the standard of care caused an injury.  Using the previous example, it may be the case that a physician left a sponge inside a patient’s body and failed to remove that sponge during surgery, and it will most likely be the case that the retained object will cause the patient to develop a terrible infection.  In that case, it should not be extremely difficult for a plaintiff to prove that the retained object caused the infection.

Showing a “causal link” between the retained sponge and the injury is more difficult if the injury were, for example, a heart attack suffered by the patient after the sponge was retained.  The patient would face an uphill battle showing that the retained sponge set in motion a chain of events that caused the patient to suffer a heart attack.  That’s not to say it would be impossible, but it would certainly be considerably more difficult and the patient would need very persuasive expert witnesses to draw the connection between the retained sponge and the heart attack.

Harm

To have a medical malpractice case worth pursuing, a patient or his or her family must not just show that their doctor breached a standard of care that caused an injury, they must be able to show that the injury was significant enough to justify the stress, expense, and disruption that will a medical malpractice lawsuit will entail.  Medical malpractice lawsuits can be incredibly expensive, may take years to resolve, and oftentimes end in victory for the doctor or other healthcare providers.  Because of that uncertainty, an injured patient should consider pursuing a medical malpractice claim in Virginia when the injuries are severe enough to justify the difficulty involved.  Having a serious injury caused by medical malpractice will increase the chances of obtaining an amount of money that will justify pursuing such a claim.

Conclusion

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, please contact Virginia personal injury attorney Robert E. Byrne, Jr. of MartinWren, P.C.  Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases and obtaining compensation for our clients, we offer free consultations, and we’d be happy to meet with you at a time and place that is convenient for you.  Please call Bob at (434) 817-3100 or email him at byrne@martinwrenlaw.com.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

 

[i] Howell v. Sobhan, 278 Va. 278, 283 (2009).

[ii] Virginia’s Medical Malpractice Act defines a “health care provider” broadly to include “a person, corporation, facility or institution licensed by this Commonwealth to provide health care or professional services as a physician or hospital, dentist, pharmacist, registered nurse or licensed practical nurse or a person who holds a multistate privilege to practice such nursing under the Nurse Licensure Compact, optometrist, podiatrist, physician assistant, chiropractor, physical therapist, physical therapy assistant, clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, professional counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed dental hygienist, health maintenance organization, or emergency medical care attendant or technician who provides services on a fee basis.”  Va. Code § 8.10-581.1.  The statute reaches even further, and includes professional corporations, partnerships, nursing homes, professional limited liability companies, or other similar entities that employ or are comprised of licensed health care providers or primarily render health care services.  Id.

[iii] There may be exceptions to this rule, such as if a medical device is supposed to be surgically placed or implanted and left inside the patient’s body.

Dealing with Domestic Violence in Virginia

Local individuals and groups are working to handle frightening rates of domestic violence within their central Virginia communities. In late October, the Daily Progress reported on the work of a local organization, Shelter for Help, as the group celebrates 35 years of serving the community. In October, the group planned events related to domestic violence awareness month, including a brown bag lunch event at the Community Outreach Center in Charlottesville. This kind of coverage highlights how local groups continue to work toward a safer result for local women in general.

Local Resources and Law Enforcement

In remarks to the press, leaders at the shelter noted how progress has been made on domestic violence. Although these types of events do still occur, the shelter has been successful in assisting victims of domestic violence and creating awareness in the community. Officials also noted that they work with local police, prosecutors and judges, as well as other agencies, in a mutual effort to curb the devastating impact of this kind of violence in the community.

Personal Injury Lawyers and “Behavioral” Impacts

Injury lawyers may also be involved in this kind of effort, while taking a slightly different approach. When called upon to represent their clients in local courts, personal injury lawyers look at the full context of the case.

Many instances of injury are in some way related to behavioral problems or public safety threats that are “people oriented” rather than accident-related. For instance, injury lawyers may look at whether reasonable safety protocols were in place to prevent an individual from committing criminal behavior, or whether conflict between criminals and police end up harming innocent bystanders. Sometimes, these issues are at the heart of a case that involves not only what people do, but the public spaces in which they act and the public planning that has been done relative to public safety in general.

Those representing injury victims may also look at how and when the victim received care. All of these types of “peripheral issues” are actually critical details in a case that may or may not have a criminal component, but they are also necessary where injury victims need access to settlements and compensation as they heal. Obtaining the best outcome possible can mean dealing with insurance lawyers, talking to witnesses in a community or doing other types of research and advocacy for which victims rely on local legal firms.

Call Virginia Injury Lawyers

In Charlottesville Virginia and Albemarle County, MartinWren, P.C. offers experienced Virginia injury lawyers who can evaluate and assist with personal injury claims. We will take the time to look at the full context of a personal injury claim and help you evaluate your legal options. We will keep our clients informed every step of the way, providing both qualified, effective counsel, as well as a listening ear for your concerns. Let Virginia injury lawyers help you access your rights under the law in Central VA.

UVA Students Work on “Synthetic Biology”

Some of the most groundbreaking work being done in biological science is currently being pursued at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. Recent newspaper reports show how groups of student researchers are making advances in looking at synthetic biology activities. More specifically, the article explores the nature of synthetic biology, which goes beyond the kinds of genetic modifications now common in today’s food industry. Through a next-generation process of engineering genetic material, researchers will likely be able to create a range of consumer products, like vanilla extract or cheese, in a lab, rather than growing them or raising them naturally.

Scientific Progress and Outlook

Nearly everyone applauds scientific progress that allows innovation and improvement in areas like health care and public planning, but there are roadblocks and concerns along the way that often arise.

A brief look at the use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in food is an excellent example. While some champion this kind of work as enabling a wider production of food for a hungry world, many others ask critical questions about risks and liabilities associated with manipulating plants and other species in this way. Already, there are real questions about the risks of using GMO foods, for instance, where European regulators have banned the procedure outright, but the American food industry still clings to GMO crops as an ostensibly safe process. There is a great amount of debate about GMOs, and Virginia business lawyers have to sift through the haze to see what may really affect a business and draw lines with respect to what is advisable regarding processes like manufacturing and distribution.

Virginia Business Lawyers: Risk and Business Law

When Virginia business lawyers look at issues surrounding synthetic biology and GMOs, they typically consider the range of possible public health and safety risks that may apply. Those legal professionals who are tasked with providing business counsel will look carefully at a particular business process or set of processes, as well as the related risks. They will help executives and business leaders ensure that everything that is done in a company is done with appropriate care and consideration of public safety. This, in turn, will help the company to “weather the storm” if legal challenges arise at a later time.

From the very first paperwork used to start a business, to growth and expansion and ongoing operations, commercial litigation attorneys and business lawyers are in some ways the backbone of a healthy established business. In the Charlottesville, Virginia area, businesses can rely on premiere business law firms like MartinWren, P.C. Our attorneys help business leaders understand their responsibilities and the challenges they face, as well as their legal options and what makes the most sense for continuing or expanding local operations. We bring careful consideration of federal, state and local law to the forefront to help business management and leadership deal with issues as diverse as product liability, premises liability, employment and labor law and more. Let us help your local Charlottesville or Albemarle County business thrive by safeguarding it against whatever legal issues might come its way.

UVA Family Commends Police Chief

Amid the ongoing activities surrounding the heartbreaking case of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham’s disappearance, members of the family are expressing gratitude for the work of the local Charlottesville Police Department and Chief Timothy Longo.

In the weeks since the UVA student went missing September 13, police have been trying to handle the case with care, including looking at a “person of interest” in what is currently an open case. In a letter in the Daily Progress, the father of the missing student commends Chief Longo for “passion and purpose; his articulate, well-considered, forceful and humane words.”

Public Leaders and Public Safety

Even in the worst kinds of challenges that a community can face, public leaders with positive images provide help to those whom they serve to connect and work toward resolution. This is true in many different kinds of cases, and it is something that is evident to not only the first responders and public planners who administrate, but to other professionals such as personal injury lawyers who work toward their own goals from different vantage points.

It is evident to experienced attorneys and other legal professionals that the outlook and leadership of law enforcement and municipal leaders makes a big difference in all sorts of cases where a family seeks protection from the law and assistance from a legal system. What those in power do, including municipal leaders and the heads of police departments, sets the stage for resolution and sets a tone for how a community handles adversity. The right kind of leadership considers the safety and care of local residents; the wrong kind of leadership often fans the flames of contention, whether it is through negligence and inattention to public safety, or even callous comments and mentalities that show a disregard for the citizens whom appointed and elected public officials serve.

Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers: Standing with Families

Like public leaders, local law firms stand with families as they struggle with events and circumstances beyond their control. The guidance that these firms give is different, essentially based on the needs of the clients they represent and on the realities of bringing injury or wrongful death cases through local courts. Through it all, a qualified and dedicated firm will keep clients informed, listen to what they say and work closely with them from the beginning to the end. At its core, the work that these Virginia personal injury lawyers and other local attorneys do is based on empathy for clients, on respect for what they have gone through and on a relentless effort to help them access their rights after a tragic event has rocked their families.

Those seeking justice for family members in Virginia communities can rely on the Virginia personal injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. to assist in evaluating claims and bringing them forward according to a client’s rights under the law. Call to get more information about how this process works in the state of Virginia.

Locals Planning for Book Festival

As Fall progresses, business leaders in the Charlottesville area are busy at work planning events for Virginia’s Festival of the Book in March of 2015. Reports in the Daily Progress reveal that speakers are being selected for the event, which will go on at various Charlottesville locations, including the Omni Charlottesville Hotel and the local Culbreth Theater.

According to this newly released information, featured speakers will include local journalist Beth Macy, author of “Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — and Helped Save an American Town,” and Frances Mayes, author of “Under the Tuscan Sun” and other best-selling novels.

The lineup is also set to feature Kate DiCamillo, National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature award winner. DiCamillo also won two Newberry awards for her novels “A Tale of Despereaux” and “Flora and Ulysses.” Another crowd draw will be Karin Slaughter, author of “Cop Town,” who will speak at a Crime Wave Brunch on March 21 at the Omni.

Book Festivals in Central VA

Books are big business in Virginia. With annual book sales and festivals, and a number of different bookstores and manufacturers in the region, print media is a significant part of industry in the Central Virginia area. But in many cases, a lot work that patrons and others do not always get to see goes into these businesses.

For every special event planned, there are people evaluating those plans and figuring out how to serve a community conveniently and safely. There are discussions about things like fire safety, parking, building conditions and much more that revolve around the central idea of public safety and feasibility for business projects. Collaborating partners manage risk according to their responsibilities. Individual business leaders look for appropriate insurance and different kinds of protections for those who will visit events meant to generate better business results in the local community. The same ideas are at work in the Charlottesville downtown mall, the local farmers markets, the busy downtown shops and everywhere that business happens.

Business leaders often need assistance with planning, not just for daily events, but with the long-term business operations that generate their profits. Businesses in Virginia rely on professional Virginia business litigation attorneys who advise them of all kinds of issues, from public event safety to employment law, trademark law and many other aspects of business where federal, state and local laws make decisions complex. Qualified Virginia business litigation attorneys help to guide executives and leaders toward the future and toward making sustainable, established business operations a positive part of their communities.

In Charlottesville and Albemarle County in Central Virginia, businesses can seek this kind of business legal advice from the Virginia business litigation attorneys at MartinWren P.C. Our lawyers have experience helping executives and business leaders craft a way forward that takes into account risks, safety and proper management. Let us help you safeguard an investment in a local business that will stand the test of time and contribute to the community as a whole.

 

UVA Volunteer Day for Back to School Season

As the last of a fairly mild summer passed by, some UVA students were taking advantage of the last day of their summer break to do some local community service.

August 25 reports on local NBC 29 show that hundreds of students were involved in a volunteer day in Albemarle County, under the Batten Builds program, a program of the UVA Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

From doing some cleaning and playing games with residents at the local Cedars Golden Living Center retirement community, to doing other kinds of community work at local businesses and non-profits, the students were setting an example for their peers, by going out and giving back to the community.

Allan Stam, dean of UVA’s Batten School, said the program is a chance for students to understand what it means to help their community, and focus not on themselves, but others.

Managing Volunteer Events

Although we like to see articles about volunteer service when we read about them online or in the paper, we often don’t think about all of the work that goes on behind the scenes with these kinds of projects.

Volunteer activities are done out in the field, in places where people can be truly useful to the community as a whole. With this in mind, there are often specific liabilities around these events that require an eye toward public health and safety.

Just like with on-campus events or programs, the top management at UVA is critically involved in looking at how to plan activities that address public health and safety. In other words, there’s a lot of planning and decision-making that goes into these kinds of volunteer events, even though they sometimes appear somewhat spontaneous. They are elective decisions that students make, but they still need to be planned and executed well.

Appreciating Public Safety

Local Virginia personal injury lawyers will know the difference between businesses and institutions that take public safety into account, and others where this kind of consideration may be lacking. A lawyer who has worked in the community will tell you that good management makes all the difference, whether it’s a college or university, a retail business or any other business. These legal professionals make a practice of looking at the details of injury cases and the contexts around them, and the realities around public health and safety, as they represent their clients in a court of law and help them to know what it takes to be responsible and attentive to safety concerns, and what happens when these concerns are disregarded by planners and managers.

Getting Help from Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers

In Charlottesville Virginia, call the law offices of Martin Wren P.C. to get advice from experienced Virginia personal injury lawyers about an unfortunate accident. We will work with our clients every step of the way and take the care and dedication to research your personal injury case, to get you the best chance at adequate compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.

Continental to Expand in Newport News VA

A U.S. auto supplier with a defined role in the international market is set to expand its operations in the Tidewater area.

Reports like this one from the Daily Press show auto supplier firm Continental is set to put $150 million into new manufacturing facilities in the Newport News, VA area.

The project, which is projected to add 500 jobs to the community, is partially based on a $2 million grant from the office of the Virginia governor and another $4 million grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership Program.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe told reporters through his office that the project will include turbocharger production, as well as the production of fuel injector parts.

A High-Profile Auto Supplier

New plants like this one do more than just churn out parts — they help to develop relationships between communities and large companies. As in the case with the new Volkswagen plan in Chattanooga Tennessee, new facilities or expansions help to provide jobs and lift the economics of the local community, in this case, the areas around Tidewater cities like Newport News, Norfolk and Hampton Roads. The Daily Progress also reports that in this case, the state of Virginia won the project in competitive bids with parties in Mexico. That means this new expansion is also a win for U.S. manufacturing, which many experts have called moribund over the past ten years. On video, Gov. McAuliffe is seen praising the project and its potential, adding that the move doubles the local work force at Continental.

Turbocharger Technology

Newspaper reports show that although this is the first time that Continental has made turbochargers in the U.S., plans to offer this kind of technology manufacturing were underway for over four decades

Turbochargers are strategic resources for vehicles that help to improve fuel efficiency — articles like this one show how turbocharger technology makes the most of gasoline engines in conjunction with the exhaust system of the vehicle.

The Role of Business Lawyers

Although corporations are responsible to make their own decisions, they don’t get where they are without input from Virginia business lawyers. Virginia business litigation attorneys and other legal professionals help executives and top decision-makers to chart a course for an enterprise and make sure that its operations are based on solid ground.

Virginia business lawyers have to know their communities. They have to have a keen sense of what’s legal and what’s of her for it in various markets, and what will work in a particular Virginia location.

Call Virginia Business Litigation Attorneys

Virginia businesses rely on business litigation attorneys at firms like Martin Wren P.C. to provide critical business counsel in all phases of corporate growth. Our lawyers are experienced in helping to provide businesses with reliable, consistent legal advice. Ask us how we have helped many Charlottesville and VA businesses to excel in their fields and stand the test of time in local communities.

Ambulance Billing an Issue in Crozet

In communities around the country, the cost of ambulance service is a major issue. However, recent decisions by local planners mean that residents in Crozet no longer have to worry about getting billed for ambulance services.

Reports from the Daily Progress in late August show that a public meeting of established local ambulance services, including the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, saw an announcement that local rescue companies will not be billing residents for ambulance travel. This is in keeping with an insurance-only billing policy that, according to the newspaper report, is in place in several nearby counties, including Augusta, Nelson, Prince William, Roanoke, Stafford and Louisa counties, among others.

The report also reveals ambulance rides in the community generate bills of between $450 and $750, with a $13 per mile surcharge.

These rates are based on a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services fee schedule, according to Albemarle Fire and Rescue.

Ambulance Costs

One of the details facing public planners is that county departments are projected to experience a shortfall of about $200,000 because of the insurance-only billing practice.

However, to residents of these communities, this dedication to public health and safety is well worth the costs in terms of tax dollars. In other communities around the country, those unfortunate enough to need an ambulance ride are often outraged by medical bills totaling many hundreds of dollars, and into the thousands of dollars, for one ambulance ride.

Ambulance costs are just one factor in a very difficult industry. Unlike in retail industries, there is the real lack of price transparency in medical services. There’s also the issue that medical costs have skyrocketed out of control compared to every other indicator, for example, median household income or consumer price indexes.

Medical Costs and Personal Injury Law

One of the reasons that injury victims rely so much on professional Virginia personal injury attorneys is that they need protection from these sky-high medical costs.

Even routine care for an injury like a broken limb can generate bills into the six figures. These bills will typically be much more than a family can afford, even on a payment plan.

The staggering rate of medical bankruptcies in America is one reason the federal government has been pursuing healthcare reform and a plan to cover more Americans with insurance. The same problems hold true for the set of patients represented by personal injury attorneys — they are incurring these huge bills through no fault of their own, and they will need help to protect their family’s future and their finances.

Getting Help from Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys

In Charlottesville Virginia, residents who experience an unfortunate injury can call the local law firm of Martin Wren P.C. to get help from qualified Virginia personal injury attorneys. We take the time to listen to every client, and pursue their personal injury claims with attention to federal, state and local law. We will help you to get the best chance of collecting money for those enormous medical bills and other costs of care and recovery.