Women’s Injury

Articles | The Women's Injury Law Center

Daycare Injuries

Day Care Providers – What You Need to Know to Protect Your Children

Working parents throughout Virginia depend on day care providers to look after their children. Unfortunately, children at day care facilities who are injured often are too young to speak up for themselves. These injuries are varied and numerous and can range from milk bottle burns to playground accidents to being left behind abandoned on a field trip. If

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When Victims Prefer Female Personal Injury Lawyers – Are They Available?

A woman with horrific scaring after a botched breast reduction; a rape survivor suing her landlord for hiring the convicted criminal who attacked her; a class action lawsuit against a trans-vaginal medical product – all scenarios where plaintiffs might feel more comfortable working with a female personal injury attorney.

However, they may struggle to find one. An ABA study titled “First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table”,

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New Laws Regarding Domestic Violence and Stalking in Virginia

As of July 1, 2016, new laws took effect in Virginia in the following areas relevant to domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking:

1. Protective Orders ("POs") Emergency POs to prohibit respondents from being in the physical presence of their victims can be obtained. These include prohibiting a respondent from intentionally maintaining direct visual contact with the victim or unreasonably Read More

Salon and Spa Injuries

Most individuals making appointments with beauty or hair salons or medical spas do not anticipate the risk of injury associated with these businesses. However, it is essential to do your homework before making an appointment for a salon or spa procedure – even just a simple highlight or coloring job! It is important to sign up with only licensed, bonded, insured and well-qualified beauticians

Read More

“Building Families and Rebuilding Lives”: Super Lawyers Article Features Quinn

Colleen M. Quinn discussed her practice in a recent issue of Virginia Super Lawyers: Clients of multidisciplinary lawyer Colleen Quinn have a history teacher to thank. “When we would get our tests back, which were multiple choice, if I got an answer wrong that I thought should be right, I would argue,” Quinn says. “Initially all the students would roll their eyes like, ‘Oh, gosh, there she goes again,’ and Dr. Read More

Women’s Injuries Discussed on Legal Aid Radio

Colleen Quinn was a recent guest on Central Virginia Legal Aid Radio, discussing women's injuries. From the broadcast: "Private attorney Colleen Quinn talks about women's injuries, whether from assault, sexual assault, or rape, and explains how these cases are presented from initial evidence gathering to trial strategy." Listen to the complete broadcast  »

New Quinn Presentation Available: “From Prosecution to Suit: Civil Recoveries for Criminal Acts”

From the course description: "When the unthinkable happens and someone becomes a victim of a rape, sexual assault or other crime of violence, justice is often sought through the criminal justice system. However, there is another important side to seeking justice beyond criminal sanctions and penalties against a perpetrator: the civil remedies that may be afforded to a victim of a crime of violence. Although sometimes the victim Read More

Recognizing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment

Recognizing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment

The Journal of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Winter 2000-2001 Recognizing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment Comments and guidelines for a congenial workplace by Colleen M. Quinn Click Here To Download/View  -> Recognizing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment

Traps and Pitfalls in Handling Immunity Cases

Traps and Pitfalls in Handling Immunity Cases

The Journal of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Volume 20 Number 1, 2008 Traps and Pitfalls in Handling Immunity Cases by Colleen M. Quinn Click Here To Download/View  -> Traps and Pitfalls in Handling Immunity Cases

Injury Case Intake

Injury Case Intake

The Journal of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Fall 2004 Evidence Injury Case Intake - a primer on preserving and gathering the evidence

by Colleen M. Quinn Click Here To Download/View  -> Injury Case Intake

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Daycare Injuries


Day Care Providers – What You Need to Know to Protect Your Children

Working parents throughout Virginia depend on day care providers to look after their children. Unfortunately, children at day care facilities who are injured often are too young to speak up for themselves. These injuries are varied and numerous and can range from milk bottle burns to playground accidents to being left behind abandoned on a field trip. If you are a parent of a child in day care, what do you need to know about the daycare to ensure the safest environment for your child? What should you know to be able to obtain adequate remedies in the event of injury?

Licensing. To ensure your child is in the safest environment possible, make sure that your child’s day care facility is licensed and regularly inspected by the Virginia Department of Social Services. Not all childcare providers are subject to the same background check, training, qualifications, health, safety, and inspection requirements as licensed providers. In fact, some programs, including religious exempt daycares, can be unlicensed but regulated, or unlicensed and unregistered. Ask for a copy of the license. More information about the types of day care programs in Virginia can be found on the Department of Social Services website at: https://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/cc/index.cgi. For the programs that are regulated by DSS, parents can check for inspection reports and violations at: https://www.dss.virginia.gov/facility/search/cc.cgi.

Insurance. In selecting a day care provider for your child, make certain that the provider is properly insured. There must be adequate insurance to cover any injuries that your child might suffer. If a day care provider is licensed, it should also be insured; however, we have handled cases where the provider let the insurance lapse. Insurance is critical, because even if you have a valid claim, a lack of insurance will prevent a full and just recovery. Ask them for proof of current insurance coverage. Also ask them if they have medical payments coverage under their insurance to cover any medical bills regardless of fault.

Training. Finally, find out what qualifications the employees hold and what training is provided. Ask how injuries will be handled, reported and documented. While you are at work, you want to have peace of mind that your child is going to be cared for very well.

At Quinn Law Centers, we have handled many matters involving injury to children including daycare injuries. To explore a civil recovery for a daycare or similar injury, contact info@lockequinn.com. This article was written by Colleen M. Quinn, Esq., and Kati Kitts Dean, Esq., and provides general information only. For more details, please be sure to contact an attorney.

When Victims Prefer Female Personal Injury Lawyers – Are They Available?


A woman with horrific scaring after a botched breast reduction; a rape survivor suing her landlord for hiring the convicted criminal who attacked her; a class action lawsuit against a trans-vaginal medical product – all scenarios where plaintiffs might feel more comfortable working with a female personal injury attorney.

However, they may struggle to find one. An ABA study titled “First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table”, discovered (using 2013 data) that women represented just 32% of lawyers on civil cases, 27% at trial, and 24% as lead counsel. This is in comparison to 68% of men taking on civil cases, 73% showing up to trial, and 76% being appointed as lead counsel.

The report notes that the disparity is even higher in tort (personal injury) cases, with 79% of lead counsel being male, and only 21% being female.

“What these numbers show is that the steps to the role of lead counsel and trial attorney are much steeper for women than men,” the report states. “ …While women lawyers have been entering the profession in large numbers for three decades, they have not advanced at nearly the same rate as men.”

The reports cites the impact of children and other family responsibilities on women’s careers; bias in the law field; male-centered social norms; outdated law firm cultures, policies and the short-term business focus of many firms among other factors in this disparity.

Where are the female tort lawyers?

Despite the fact that women have been getting law degrees for decades, there has not been a proportional growth of women in leadership positions at plaintiff-focused law firms.

“Since 1980, women have earned at least a third of all law degrees; currently the figure is 47%. So we are not talking about a sudden influx of women in law,” said Rayona Sharpnack, founder and CEO of the Institute for Gender Partnership™ and the Institute for Women’s Leadership. “They have been joining Big Law firms for decades.”

“But they don’t get much of anywhere. Today they make up 45% of associates—but only 25% of nonequity partners and 15% of equity partners,” Rayona said. “Traditionally biased attitudes, lack of challenging opportunities, inequality in compensation, and lack of professional recognition methods all contribute to keeping women from making a full contribution to their profession of choice.”

As a result Rayona says, there are fewer women lawyers – especially fewer high-powered ones – available to fight the good fight for women clients.

Jennifer Kain Kilgore, attorney editor at Enjuris.com, recalls that her law school class had far more women than men enrolled, and that this year her school’s daytime class actually has 68% female enrollment.

“We definitely outnumbered the boys,” she said. “Most of us went on to do great things. We’ve only been out for the better part of four years, though, so none of us would be partners yet unless we started our own firms — which some of us did! I have a fair number of friends who started practices because they were dissatisfied with the opportunities in the legal market.”

Some law firms stepping up

While the disparities remain high at the class-action level, there are some individual attorneys and smaller firms that are seeking to address the gap in personal injury law.

Colleen M. Quinn runs the Women’s Injury Law Center out of the firm Locke & Quinn in Richmond, VA, where she is a partner. The Center provides legal services for women who want to be represented by women.

She launched the Center because “it was clear to me that there were injury issues unique to women, especially in the areas of civil recovery for rape and sexual assault, head injuries that affect women differently and plastic surgery and cosmetology injuries,” Colleen said. “In many of these areas women prefer to work with a female attorney.”

Civil case options for assault victims

Colleen also wanted to raise awareness for victims of rape and sexual assault who may not realize that there are potential civil recoveries that they can receive, in addition to a criminal case.

While there can be compensation in a criminal trial, it is often minimal as compared to a potential civil case outcome, Colleen said. For example, one of her clients was raped, stabbed and left to die by a maintenance worker at her apartment complex.

Colleen and her client launched a civil case against the temp agency that employed the worker, which failed to do a thorough criminal background check on him, and the apartment complex that did not allow tenants to install deadbolts in their apartments.

Both companies were found liable and the woman received $3 million in settlement, which helped cover her therapy and other recovery needs, including her move to a house in safer part of town with a security system.

Colleen, herself a domestic violence and stalking survivor, worked during law school with battered women’s programs and realized that nobody was creating awareness for women on their potential civil rights in these cases.

“A civil lawyer can make sure that every stone has been turned over and that all remedies are looked into,” Colleen said.

Victims in scenarios like this find empathy and comfort from having a female attorney, Colleen said. “I have a good appreciation of what they are going through and it makes it easier for them to open up. I also make sure that therapists are still involved with the victims during the civil case.”

Head injuries and women

The Center also takes a different approach to traumatic brain injuries, arguing that women are impacted differently than men.

“Women have unique multi-tasking abilities,” Colleen said. “I describe it as women having 10 dresser drawers open and working on them all at once. Head injuries can impact that focus and attention in a different way for women.”

Botched medical procedures

There are also medical issues where women may feel more comfortable dealing with a female attorney, such as a botched breast reduction surgery or cases involving scars or disfigurement. But Colleen doesn’t see many firms reaching out to women in the way that hers does. She feels that it gives her firm an advantage when talking with clients.

“I saw all of these areas and just wanted to make sure that women knew there were empathetic female attorneys to help them,” Colleen said.

Women getting a seat at the table in class-action cases

Since the 2013 ABA report there has been some progress for female representation in class action lawsuits. As a Law360 article notes, female lawyers are gaining influence in multidistrict litigation (MDL).

The first female-dominated plaintiffs’ steering committee was formed after U.S. District Senior Judge Kathryn H. Vratil gave a speech at a 2014 MDL conference at Duke University, where she called for greater diversity among plaintiffs’ leadership.

The following November, in a product-liability MDL involving power morcellators, the judge worked with attorneys to appoint the first female-majority plaintiffs’ steering committee. (Power morcellators were found to potentially spread cancer and decrease the long-term survival of patients when used to remove uterine fibroids.)

Finding female attorneys

While their numbers may be less, there are ways of finding female attorneys to represent you in a personal injury or other civil case.

The National Women Trial Lawyers Association offers a directory listing female attorneys and their geographic location and practice areas.

The National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms offers a directory that allows searches by practice area.

The American Bar Association provides links to national and local women lawyers’ associations, some of which provide listing of local attorneys.

Many state bar associations have a women’s network and local contact information. For example the, Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts offers a directory for female attorneys broken down by practice area.

Benefits to having a female lawyer

In addition to adding personal comfort for some plaintiffs, having a female lawyer can also offer practical benefits, according to the ABA report:

“Women lawyers have many advantages in the courtroom—they connect well with jurors, particularly with women jurors, who often comprise half or more of the jury pool; are viewed as more credible and trustworthy; and are in many instances overprepared rather than underprepared. Women litigators have ample reason to be confident in their effectiveness as trial counsel.”

 

This article was originally posted on Enjuris.com.

New Laws Regarding Domestic Violence and Stalking in Virginia


As of July 1, 2016, new laws took effect in Virginia in the following areas relevant to domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking:

1. Protective Orders (“POs”)

  • Emergency POs to prohibit respondents from being in the physical presence of their victims can be obtained. These include prohibiting a respondent from intentionally maintaining direct visual contact with the victim or unreasonably being within 100 feet from the victim’s residence or job.
  • Where a victim is not a tenant of a residence but obtains possession of the premises through a PO; the law outlines the process by which the victim may become a tenant, and alternatively grants the victim 30 days to vacate.
  • Amendments to the laws make it a Class 6 felony if a respondent violates a PO to stalk or cause bodily injury to a victim.
  • Respondents under Family Abuse POs may not “knowingly possess any firearm while the [PO] is in effect.” The law allows them 24 hours after being served with the PO to transport a firearm in order to sell or transfer it. The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services provides a list on their website of agencies willing to accept firearms from respondents under Family Abuse POs.

2. Stalking

  • It now is easier for prosecutors to obtain convictions for stalking; and there is a higher penalty for certain repeat stalking offenders as well as lower requirements to obtain a Class 6 felony charge.

3. Trafficking

  • Virginia law now provides a civil cause of action for any person injured by certain human trafficking violations, which allows victims to pursue financial recovery.

Seeking Help

If you need help or know someone who does, the following resources are available:

  • YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline – 804-643-0888
  • Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline – 1-800-838-8238
  • The victim advocate program at your local Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

To explore a civil recovery for domestic violence or sexual assault, contact the Women’s Injury Law Center at Locke & Quinn at http://www.lockequinn.com/womens-injury-issues/ and quinn@lockequinn.com. This article was written by Colleen M. Quinn, Esq., and Kati Kitts Dean, Esq., and provides general information only. For more details, please be sure to contact an attorney.

Salon and Spa Injuries


Most individuals making appointments with beauty or hair salons or medical spas do not anticipate the risk of injury associated with these businesses. However, it is essential to do your homework before making an appointment for a salon or spa procedure – even just a simple highlight or coloring job! It is important to sign up with only licensed, bonded, insured and well-qualified beauticians and establishments. Most establishments will be very happy to share their credentials and all should have their professional and business licenses and credentials on clear display as well.

By way of example, a few “salon and spa” injury cases we have handled at the Women’s Injury Law Center at Locke & Quinn include:

  • Hepatitis C contracted by a client getting treatments to reduce some tummy fat;
  • Client contracting MRSA and spending eight days in the hospital on intravenous antibiotics from a hair weave/braid performed so tightly that it opened up her pores to infection;
  • Client’s hair completely burnt off when having it colored by, unknown to her, an unlicensed beautician. Most unfortunately, her hair never grew back other than some sporadic fuzzy little tufts of hair;
  • Third degree burns to a client’s neck from a curling iron dropped by a stylist; and
  • Nerves in the neck of a client accidentally sutured during a face (chin) lift.

The procedures and services offered at medical spas include massages, skin treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, fillers, injectibles, facials, laser procedures for wrinkles, tattoo removal, scar/cellulite minimization, radio frequency treatments, and hair removal. Some of these establishments also offer cosmetic surgery procedures such as face lifts.

Medical spas are often led by physician directors, many with plastic surgery and dermatology backgrounds. However, the rapid growth in the medical spa market suggests that physicians from other specialties and non-physician directors are entering the business. Medical spa staff members also come from varied backgrounds including dentists, advance practice nurses, physician assistants, registered nurses, medical assistants, aestheticians, and cosmetologists.

When making an appointment, to ensure a satisfied “salon or spa” experience, rather than experiencing a mishap, be certain to investigate credentialing, licensing, bonding, insurance coverage and expertise.

“Building Families and Rebuilding Lives”: Super Lawyers Article Features Quinn


Colleen M. Quinn discussed her practice in a recent issue of Virginia Super Lawyers:

Clients of multidisciplinary lawyer Colleen Quinn have a history teacher to thank. “When we would get our tests back, which were multiple choice, if I got an answer wrong that I thought should be right, I would argue,” Quinn says. “Initially all the students would roll their eyes like, ‘Oh, gosh, there she goes again,’ and Dr. Pfennig would say, ‘Ms. Quinn, if there’s anything you’re going to be, it’s a lawyer. And anyone that marked that answer, I will accept it.’” Quinn laughs. “Then it started to happen that after every test, everyone would look to me to start the next argument.”

She’s been arguing ever since, on behalf of clients in a broad range of cases. “I’ve had the fortune of being exposed to many different areas of the law,” says Quinn, who handles personal injury, employment and has an adoption/surrogacy niche. “I focus on building families and rebuilding lives. The adoption/surrogacy part is building families; with the employment/personal injury, there’s a sense of rebuilding lives.”

Click here to read the complete article »

Women’s Injuries Discussed on Legal Aid Radio


Colleen Quinn was a recent guest on Central Virginia Legal Aid Radio, discussing women’s injuries.

From the broadcast: “Private attorney Colleen Quinn talks about women’s injuries, whether from assault, sexual assault, or rape, and explains how these cases are presented from initial evidence gathering to trial strategy.”

New Quinn Presentation Available: “From Prosecution to Suit: Civil Recoveries for Criminal Acts”


From the course description: “When the unthinkable happens and someone becomes a victim of a rape, sexual assault or other crime of violence, justice is often sought through the criminal justice system. However, there is another important side to seeking justice beyond criminal sanctions and penalties against a perpetrator: the civil remedies that may be afforded to a victim of a crime of violence. Although sometimes the victim will receive some restitution from the criminal or a fund for crime victims, it usually is insufficient compared to the injury the victim has suffered. Join Returning Faculty member Colleen Quinn as she reveals how civil remedies for victims of criminal acts through a civil personal injury case can be of substantial benefit to the client. Ms. Quinn discusses the short term benefits such as how civil remedies provide a victim with compensation for medical and mental health bills, time lost at work, loss of future earning capacity, and funding for future care and treatment, as well as providing the victim the empowerment in holding the perpetrator accountable for his actions. Ms. Quinn also reveals long term effects of seeking civil remedies often extended to the protection of future targets of sexual assaults and other incidents of violence through holding third parties responsible for their failure to prevent these often foreseeable crimes. Do not miss out on a program that will be highly beneficial to both criminal and civil attorneys alike.”

Recognizing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment


Recognizing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment

The Journal of the Virginia Trial
Lawyers Association, Winter 2000-2001

Recognizing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment

Comments and guidelines for a congenial workplace

by Colleen M. Quinn

Click Here To Download/View  -> Recognizing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment

Traps and Pitfalls in Handling Immunity Cases


Traps and Pitfalls in Handling Immunity Cases

The Journal of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Volume 20 Number 1, 2008

Traps and Pitfalls in Handling Immunity Cases

by Colleen M. Quinn

Click Here To Download/View  -> Traps and Pitfalls in Handling Immunity Cases

Injury Case Intake


Injury Intake by Colleen M. Quinn


The Journal of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Fall 2004 Evidence

Injury Case Intake – a primer on preserving and gathering the evidence

by Colleen M. Quinn

Click Here To Download/View  -> Injury Case Intake

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