O'Malley Tunstall PLLC
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Offices in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Eastern North Carolina

December 2011 Archives

Introducing O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC: New Name same great Injury and Disability Firm

Susan O'Malley and Joe Tunstall are pleased to announce that their firm has been renamed: O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC. We have a new name for our firm; but we will continue to offer small firm service with large firm capability.  Susan and Joe look at this name change as a way to move forward into 2012 in a positive way keeping our focus on client service and at the same time solidify to our clients the continued existence of this hard charging injury and disability law firm. Susan O'Malley, who is a Board Certified Social Security Disability Lawyer by the North Carolina State Bar, will continue to run our Social Security Disability Section here at O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC.  Susan, whose resume as a disability attorney while extremely impressive, only touches on her true value to her clients as her experience handling Social Security claims is unmatched.  Susan continues to be available for referral or consultation for other attorneys in the area of Social Security disability law.  Prior to focusing her practice on Social Security and Disability law Susan successfully handled workers' compensation claims and jury trials for our injured clients, including being co-counsel on several multi-million dollar verdicts. Our automobile injury and commercial truck injury section will also continue to be lead by Joe Tunstall.  Joe has extensive jury trial experience representing the injured and disabled.  He has tried to verdict and judgment cases from $1 to $5,500,000.00.  Joe is available for consultation or co-counsel arrangements for injury cases. In addition to our automobile and commercial truck injury section, Joe manages our personal injury litigation and workers' compensation sections.  He actively associates with attorneys both within and outside of North Carolina for injury claims and handles referrals for all levels of litigation. Both Susan and Joe continue to be active handling client's appeals in the North Carolina Court of Appeals, North Carolina Supreme Court, Federal District Court and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Often Susan and Joe handle client's appeals without the appeal  costing the client any additional attorneys' fees.  Give our office a call and one of our attorneys will explain how. Therefore, if you have an injury or disability case, take a look at our firm or give us a call as one of our knowledgeable attorneys will answer your question.  O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC will continue a great tradition of client service.

Can Facebook or Other Social Media Affect My Case?

Can Facebook or Other Social Media Affect My Case?

What do you need to know about filing for North Carolina Workers' Compensation?

The laws require that your employer, or your employer's insurance company, compensate you, or your family, for injuries or death that occur during the performance of your job. Under the Workers' Compensation program, you may be entitled to benefits that include:

My car is not totaled, can I recover for the loss in value? Diminution in value

If your vehicle has been damaged in an automobile accident, but no so much damage as to total the vehicle (more than 75% of the vehicle's worth in damage is a "total" by law) then the adverse insurance will pay for repairs to your vehicle.  These repairs should be done so that your vehicle is repaired to industry standards.  The issue discussed here is although your vehicle is now repaired, how can you recover for the loss in value to your vehicle due to the repairs? First, if your vehicle repairs are in excess of 25% of the total market value of your vehicle it must be disclosed to any potential buyer by law.  Therefore, common sense says that if by law you must disclose this damage then the potential buyer will pay you far less for your vehicle.  This loss in value is called diminution in value in the law. The jury instructions, what the judge tells the jury the law is in North Carolina prior to jury deliberations, is a good place to start when determining how to value your loss. PROPERTY DAMAGES-DIMINUTION IN MARKET VALUE. The plaintiff's actual property damages are equal to the difference between the fair market value of the property immediately before it was damaged and its fair market value immediately after it was damaged.  The fair market value of any property is the amount which would be agreed upon as a fair price by an owner who wishes to sell, but is not compelled to do so, and a buyer who wishes to buy, but is not compelled to do so. (If evidence is introduced regarding the actual or estimated cost of repair, the following paragraph should be used:  Evidence of [estimates of the cost to repair] (and) [the actual cost of repairing] the damage to the plaintiff's property may be considered by you in determining the difference in fair market value immediately before and immediately after the damage occurred.  ) The jury is instructed as to the definition of market value and told how to consider repairs and told they can consider the repairs when determining the amount of loss in value.  The jury is also told to consider not that the victim should be given the value of the vehicle to them, or how many payments they made, but instead what two people would negotiate the value to be if they were not forced to negotiate.  In other words, market value is not what a car dealership would sell the vehicle for nor what someone who is forced to sell their vehicle would sell it for, instead it is what two people would buy and sell the vehicle for if they were not forced to do so. The value of the vehicle after the repairs is often best determined by an expert.  Experts such as www.theclaimsgroupnc.com help determine the value of the loss.  The problem with using car dealerships for value is they have built in increased in value to make a profit on the sale.  This profit is not typically seen as part of the normal market value of a vehicle. Please remember, you must request diminution in value from the adjuster or they typically will not volunteer this amount is owed.  

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