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Benjamin W. Glass III & Associates
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Fairfax

  • 3915 Old Lee Highway Suite 22-B
    Fairfax, VA 22030
  • Phone: (703) 584-7277
  • Fax: (703) 783-0686
  • This office is open M-F, 9-5.
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Alexandria

  • 1010 Cameron St
    Alexandria, VA 22310
  • Phone: (703) 688-3944
  • xThis is a satellite office that is staffed several days a month. Please always call before dropping by!
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Arlington

  • 1655 Fort Myer Dr #700
    Arlington, VA 22209
  • Phone: (703)591-9829
  • This is a satellite office that is staffed several days a month. Please always call before dropping by!
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Dumfries

  • 17932 S. Fraley Blvd Suite 400-F
    Dumfries, VA 22026
  • Phone: (703) 988-7607
  • This is a satellite office that is staffed several days a month. Please always call before dropping by!
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Herndon

  • 13800 Coppermine Road 1st Floor
    Herndon, VA 20171
  • Phone: (703) 544-7868
  • Fax: 703.783.0686
  • This is a satellite office that is staffed several days a month. Please always call before dropping by!
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Fredericksburg

  • 1135 Heatherstone Dr
    Fredericksburg, VA 22407
  • Phone: (540) 227-4571
  • This is a satellite office that is staffed several days a month. Please always call before dropping by!
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Lexington

  • PO Box 530
    Lexington, VA 24450
  • Phone: (540)300-2716
  • Lexington attorney Van Hardenbergh graciously allows the use of his office for clients meetings at this location and, with client permission, serves as co-counsel in cases in this area.
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Manassas

  • 10432 Balls Ford Rd. Suite 300
    Manassas, VA 20109
  • Phone: (703) 988-7656
  • Fax: 703.783.0686
  • This is a satellite office that is staffed several days a month. Please always call before dropping by!
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Newport News

  • 11836 Canon Blvd Suite 100
    Newport News, VA 23606
  • Phone: (757) 932-9683
  • Newport News attorney Scott Wash is the BenGlassLaw team member at this office.
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Petersburg

  • 1658 Berkeley Avenue
    Petersburg, VA 23805
  • Phone: (804) 601-1179
  • Petersburg attorney Van Hardenbergh graciously allows us the use of his office for clients meetings in Petersburg and with client permission acts as co-counsel in cases in this area.
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Quantico - Stafford

  • 800 Corporate Drive, 3rd Floor
    Stafford, VA 22554
  • Phone: (540) 358-1371
  • This is a satellite office that is staffed several days a month. Please always call before dropping by!
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Reston

  • 12020 Sunrise Valley Dr. Suite 100
    Reston, VA 20191
  • Phone: (703) 988-7721
  • Fax: 703-783-0686
  • This is a satellite office that is staffed several days a month. Please always call before dropping by!
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Richmond

  • 1506 Willow Lawn Dr. Suite 121
    Richmond, VA 23230
  • Phone: (804) 597-0119
  • Richmond attorney Bob Battle graciously permits us to use this office for client meetings and, with client permission, co-counsels with us on Richmond area cases
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Virginia Beach

  • 4164 Virginia Beach Blvd Suite 204
    Virginia Beach, VA 23452
  • Phone: (757) 302-7527
  • Virginia Beach attorney Kellam Parks graciously permits us to use this office for client meetings and, with client permission, co-counsels with us on Virginia Beach area cases
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Williamsburg

  • 809 Richmond Road
    Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Phone: (757) 296-0594
  • Willaimsburg attorney Stu Spirn graciously permits us to use this office for client meetings and, with client permission, co-counsels with us on Williamsburg area cases
  • Get Directions

The Dangers of Liability Caps (Part A)

Liability caps have been in place for many years in U.S. legislation for select industries including manufacturing, oil drilling, and medical malpractice. The basic purpose of liability caps is to prevent the non-economic damage portion of a lawsuit settlement from becoming inappropriately costly.

Many of the liability caps in place currently are reflective of past case settlements with abnormally high non-economic damage awards. These sorts of case settlements were considered inappropriate or frivolous and liability caps were put in place to stop future occurrences.

How Liability Caps affect a Business

Liability caps were set in place to help protect businesses from the danger of being "taken for all they're worth" in the event of a serious issue such as product liability, medical malpractice, or a severe accident. As more consumers became aware of their rights to a lawsuit should they be harmed by a business's negligence, the more lawsuits began to arise asking for abnormally high non-economic damages.

Liability caps put a threshold on how high these "pain and suffering" parts of claim settlements could go. This protected the business from the threat of a limitless value the jury could potentially award the plaintiff for their case settlement.

At face value, it seems like things were fine now - businesses didn't have to worry about going bankrupt from a single lawsuit and consumers could still file for some non-economic damages in their case settlements.

One of the main concerns with liability caps and how they affect businesses is that if a company knows it can only be sued for a certain amount, they can use that amount to weigh the cost effectiveness of safety measures. Take for example an oil drilling company:

  • The oil company should be replacing a set of safety valves on its drilling rigs every 6 months.
  • The cost of this replacement is $500,000 per valve and there are 20 valves making a total cost of $20 million per year per rig.
  • The oil company operates 5 rigs, so the annual cost of replacing the safety valves on all their rigs is $100 million.
  • The liability cap for an accident is $75 million.

In this scenario it would actually cost less to forgo the additional safety measures and risk a lawsuit rather than perform the recommended maintenance every 6 months. In a world where the bottom line is all that matters, many companies have been found to be cutting corners on safety measures in order to save money.

Many believe that this lack of safety concern can be attributed to the limited risk of financial damage from a case settlement. If there's little financial risk to being lax on safety measures, why bother? We as consumers are worried that this may be a motive in the back of many industry minds, especially when it comes to doctors and medical malpractice.

Keep reading to see how the imposing of liability caps can directly affect you, the consumer, which can help you decide if you need a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer.

Continue to Next Page >>

You can order a free sample chapter of our free consumer guide, Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime, to learn more about medical malpractice

If you have a question for Ben, you can submit it confidentially online at JustAskBenGlass.com.

 

Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney