How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question

Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17123
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
18321761
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husband was recently released from prison in VA after serving

Resolved Question:

My husband was recently released from prison in VA after serving 12 years. He is not on parole, nor does he have probation - we are free and clear. My question arises because he has a shoulder injury due to negligence on the part of a guard at his last correctional facility who closed his cell door on him. The injury is documented, and the prison medical people kept promising he would be seen by an orthopaedic specialist (because the doctor on site was a general practictioner). Eight months later he was released because his time was served. He is 51 years old and now his shoulder injury keeps him in pain. The prison never did get him checked or treated properly and now we are worried his injury will keep him from working. A physical therapist confirmed verbally, that his rotator cuff is torn. I am a professional educator. We've kept good records, but the VA Dept. of Corrections is a formidable and overwhelming force. We were too frightened of imminent retribution to create too many waves when he was still incarcerated. Now he is out. Is there a precedent or a possibility that we might have a case against VA DOC - as he was a ward of the state and injured (there were witnesses) due to their negligence, and is still injured - for continued negligence and supreme indifference. We cannot get insurance for him until he gets a job and he can't start working while his shoulder is so painful - so we're stuck. Also what kind of lawyer would you recommend?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

The state and its agencies and employees are immune from suit or prosecution when operating within the line of duty, unless you could show negligence or misconduct. I obviously have only very little information here, but it's possible that you would be able to establish negligence in the causing and the failure to provide adequate treatment for your husband. You and your husband would have to sit down with a personal injury lawyer, and get a sense of how viable this suit may be and whether it would be worthwhile to spend the time and funds to bring the legal action.

We are not able to personally recommend specfic attorneys or firms, but if you weren't sure where to start to find a personal injury litigator, you could get a one time inexpensive referral to a pre-screened member of the Virginia Bar in good professional standing for $50 or less, which would include a half hour consultation with the lawyer by going through the Virginia State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. There's no obligation for you to retain the lawyer at the end of the conference.

Another option would be to use a referral service to which lawyers subscribe in order to solicit business. A very reputable one of this kind is http://www.martindale.com/. Although they do not prescreen, they have a rating procedure which would give you some additional information.

One big problem with suits of this kind is getting anyone to go head to head against the state. However, if your injury claim is strong enough you may not only be able to find one, but you may be able to get him to take it on a contingecy basis. That is, you only payup front for filing fees and whatever incidentals you and the lawyer agree upon before you retain him. From there, he would only get his actual fee if he won for you at trial, or negotiated a settlement that you agreed to take. Then he'd get 1/3 of your award or thereabouts. Since the lawyer doesn't get paid if he doesn't win or force a good settlement, if no lawyer will touch a case on a contingency basis, it may also be a reality check as to how good a plaintiff's case may actually be.

Apart from this, the poor level of medical care in prisons throughout the country is a big concern of the ACLU, which brings class actions on behalf of inmates subjected to substandard medical treatment. I don't know the extent of the issues they are involved with regarding the Virginia Department of Corrections, but it might be worth contacting them as well, since they may be addressing this subject as a civil rights issue, and they are a pro bono organization.

Edited by FranL on 1/1/2011 at 8:10 PM EST
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17123
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Zoey, JD and 14 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Lawyer
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Lawyer
17123 Satisfied Customers
Active member of the NYS bar since 1989