The Harris Law Firm

Firm Overview

I was founding partner of Harris & Harris, P.C. That firm was a top personal injury firm in the Fredericksburg area for 29 years. On September 4, 2008, I founded The Harris Law Firm. The old Harris firm represented thousands of Virginians who were injured by the carelessness of others. The new firm is determined to be even better than the old firm.

I am the founding partner of both firms and neither firm has represented corporations. My focus is on helping people and keeping them from being taken advantage of. To that end, I have written a book entitled, THE SMART CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE. The subtitle is. "Things You Should Know and Questions You Should Ask." The book is designed to level the playing field for those who have been in an accident. Its purpose is to prevent people from being taken advantage of by insurance companies.

The Harris Law firm does exclusively plaintiff's personal injury work including auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, brain injury, and medical malpractice.

Example cases

Garnot was stopped at a red traffic light at the intersection behind three or four other vehicles. The defendant claimed he was unable to stop because he was faced with a sudden emergency. However the Virginia Supreme Court said, "The likelihood of sudden stopping is one of the reasons for requiring an automobile driver to keep a proper lookout, and to maintain a reasonable and prudent distance behind an automobile in front of him. Every driver knows that vehicles may stop suddenly for various reasons or causes. It is not necessary that one should foresee the cause for which a car may stop; but if he is prudent he must recognize the possibility of a sudden stop. Liability ensues when injury results from a risk or hazard which may be reasonably foreseen, although the precise injury may not be foreseen. If [a driver] fail[s] in any one of his duties to keep a proper lookout, to have his car under proper control, or to maintain a reasonable and prudent distance behind the car in front of him, then he took the risk of a collision with the car in front, a natural and probable consequence if the leading car suddenly stopped." I am very proud of this case. It is important because it basically eliminated the defense of a sudden emergency in rear-end collision cases.

I won this case in The Virginia Supreme Court. It is reported as Garnot v. Johnson, 239 Va. 81, 84, 387 S.E.2d 473, (1990)

The plaintiff's deceased was an 87-year-old patient suffering from a variety of minor ailments who was moved from a hospital to a nursing home. Twenty-four days later she returned to the hospital and it was discovered that minor bed sores had become extremely severe, extending to the bone. The patient had not been moved for more than a week at a time while she was in the nursing home. She died a month later. Her administratrix sued the nursing home for personal injuries allegedly sustained by the patient as a result of lack of treatment.

This is another case I am extremely proud of. This case is another case that went to the Virginia Supreme Court. It is reported as Lucas v. HCMF Corporation, 238 Va. 446, 446, 384 S.E.2d 92, (1989).

Main Office
1619 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Fredericksburg  VA  22401
  • (540) 371-4941
  • (540) 371-4946


Free Initial Consultation?
For prospective clients, I offer a free initial consultation of up to an hour and one-half which is a $525 value.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
I almost never bill at my hourly rate. I usually represent people on a contingent fee basis. The percentage charged depends on the case. It is sort of like parts and labor. If I don't fix it, you don't have to pay for the labor. Of, course, you still have to pay for the parts.
Hourly Rates

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Office Manager
Emergency After Hours

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

My chosen area of practice is personal injury. Once upon a time, I was a prosecutor. As the prosecutor, I found that it was a lot more fun putting the bad guys in jail than it was trying to keep them out. So, after I left the prosecutor's office, I felt it would be a lot more fun helping someone get something they are entitled to than trying to beat them out of it. I was right. It is more fun trying to help someone than it is trying to beat them out of something they are entitled to. And that, in a nutshell, is why I like representing plaintiffs against insurance companies so much.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I believe clients are at a huge disadvantage in dealing with legal issues without sufficient knowledge. That is why I wrote The Smart Consumer's Guide to Your Personal Injury Case. The book's subtitle is, "The Things You Should Know and The Questions You Should Ask." If a member of the public has not been in an accident they should read chapter three - "A Mini-Course in Insurance Law." This chapter will tell them the things their insurance agent probably did not tell them. If they have had an accident, before they talk to an adjuster, before they hire an attorney, and before they sign any form they will want to read, The Smart Consumer's Guide to Your Personal Injury Case.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Not applicable.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

Not applicable.

John Harris

John P. Harris, III

I was a Navy pilot. I used my G.I. Bill to go to law school. After law school, I went into private practice with my brother. I also became the Commonwealth's Attorney. When I left the Commonwealth's Attorney's office, I began a personal injury practice with the firm of Harris & Harris, P.C. In September 2008, I formed The Harris Law Firm.

I went to Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for two years and then I went to U.S. Naval Academy. Both institutions are about leadership and handling pressure. Following that I became a navy pilot. These experiences have given me the ability to handle pressure, to think on my feet, and to improvise. This makes me a better lawyer.

Experience is my strength. Some law firms might say they have 100 years of experience. Is that six or seven lawyers with a combined 100 years of practice? Is that a lot of experience? Maybe it is not as much as they would like for you to believe. I have been practicing law for 33 years. Your lawyer will have 33 years of experience.

Personal interests:

On a personal level, I enjoy my family, our pets, fishing, boating, learning things (especially computer stuff), making friends, and NFL football. And, believe it or not, one of my hobbies is practicing law. I love practicing law.

  • Bar Number: 16858
    Virginia , 1977
  • Cumberland School of Law
    J.D. , 1977
    Birmingham, AL
  • United States Naval Academy
    B.S. , 1965
    Annapolis, MD

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.