Capped Out: New Studies Show Damages Caps Are Doing the Damage

Malcolm P. McConnell

By: Malcolm P. McConnell III, Richmond, VA Medical Malpractice Attorney

Did you know that our legal system actually prevents some defendants from having to pay for the full value of the injuries they cause? Perhaps the most egregious example is medical malpractice caps, which prevent severely injured patients from obtaining a full recovery from doctors whose negligence has been proven. Even out-of- pocket expenses are limited by Virginia’s cap, so if a negligent doctor causes terrible harm, the cost of caring for his victim will be shifted to the taxpayers – to you – for the rest of the victim’s life. 

Proponents of caps on damages argue that such laws are necessary to limit the cost of health care and allow doctors to…

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Virginia Bike Laws

Trent S. Kerns

Author: Trent S. Kerns, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Bicycles share the road with cars, trucks, and other automobiles. The Virginia Legislature has passed a number of laws to help foster a safe environment for everyone sharing the road. Many of these laws are aimed at cyclists and dictate where they may ride and how they should behave while on the road. These cycling rules can be separated out into a number of categories, listed below[1]:

Rights and Duties:

People riding bicycles on a highway are subject to the Virginia Code provisions on motor vehicles and have the rights and duties applicable to drivers of motor vehicles unless a provision clearly states otherwise.[2]

Traffic Controls:

Bicyclists must…

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Gap Insurance: Avoid a Nightmare in the Aftermath of an Accident

Sandra S. Gregor

By: Sandra S. Gregor, Fredericksburg, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Imagine the following scenario:  You buy a new car – or a car that is new to you.  Days, months, or perhaps even years later, you are in a car accident that ‘totals’ the vehicle. The car can’t be driven and the cost to repair it is enormous.  The insurance company offers you $15,000 for your loss but you still owe $20,000 on your loan. You no longer have a car but you are still obligated to pay $5,000 to pay off the note.

At Allen and Allen, our clients face this nightmare on a regular basis. Unfortunately, after the fact there is very little that can be done. Many cars depreciate in value faster than owners can pay off their loans.  This hassle can be avoided…

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Medical Malpractice – Gross, Indeed: New Standards for Negligence Fail to Deliver Promised Benefits

Jason W. Konvicka

By: Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond, VA Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice has always been a buzzword for disagreement and controversy, and a new study released by the New England Journal of Medicine seems likely to fan the flames for a fresh round of debate. The issue of medical malpractice is inextricably linked with the high cost of health care and the question of who deserves the blame for that cost. The medical industry would like people to believe that lawyers are at fault, forcing doctors to drive up the cost of health care with unnecessary tests and diagnostics to protect themselves from lawsuits. However, that idea is now being challenged by new research.[1]

The study in question stems from a decade old…

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Technically Legal: Social Host Responsibility Regarding Drunk Drivers

Trent S. Kerns

Author: Trent S. Kerns, Chesterfield VA Personal Injury Attorney

The holiday season is approaching, and the time is here for friends and family to gather and celebrate. You may even wish to throw a party this season, but the prospect of serving alcohol to a large group can be worrisome. What level of responsibility do you have? What if a guest at your party drives drunk? What if they hurt themselves or someone else?

The answers to these questions are rooted in a Virginia legal doctrine known as contributory negligence. Contributory negligence states that if a person is injured, they can only make a recovery for their injury if they did not contribute at all to the accident. In this case, the drinker clearly contributed…

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Alcohol Related Fatalities Are Rising in Virginia: Governor McAuliffe Launches Website "Virginia Faces of Drunk Driving" to Combat DUI

Scott D. Fitzgerald

By: Scott D. Fitzgerald, Richmond, VA Personal Car Accident Attorney

In 2013, 741 individuals lost their lives on Virginia’s roadways. While shocking, this number constitutes a slight improvement over 2012, when 775 individuals died in crashes on the roads of the Commonwealth.  Unfortunately, 253 of those traffic deaths in 2013 resulted from driving under the influence of alcohol.  That figure represents a 10.48% increase over alcohol-related fatalities on Virginia’s roadways in 2012.  The increase in 2013 followed what had been a 5 year decline in alcohol related fatalities.[1

In an attempt to reduce this alarming trend, Governor Terry McAuliffe has rolled out the state’s newest campaign, a website called: “Virginia Faces…

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Medical Malpractice - Don’t Get Defensive: New Study Reveals Doctors are Better People than They Give Themselves Credit For

Malcolm P. McConnell

By: Malcolm P. "Mic" McConnell, III, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

Malcolm P. “Mic”  McConnell, III, Richmond Medical Malpractice Attorney

A study recently released by the New England Journal of Medicine offers groundbreaking new conclusions about the relationship between medical malpractice laws and the cost of health care. For decades the medical industry has placed the burden for high health care costs on the back of the legal community, citing the need to protect themselves from lawyers as the primary source of expensive extra tests and procedures.

Interestingly, it is doctors themselves that are the first to blame lawyers for the high standard of care their patients receive. They claim that without spurious…

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Contempt of Court: Forced Arbitration is Denying Americans Access to Their Court System

Bridget N. Long

By: Bridget N. Long, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Have you bought a car in the last few years? How about a cell phone, or a television, or a computer? If so congratulations, you have probably lost your right to sue the company you bought it from and have your day in court. More and more companies are using forced arbitration clauses hidden deep in the fine print of contracts to opt out of the American justice system.

Forced arbitration is exactly what it sounds like, a clause that denies you access to the courts and forces your case to be decided by an arbitrator. In most cases, that arbitrator is chosen by the company. That’s right, in this game one of the teams gets to hire the ref. Small wonder these arbitrators…

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The Dangers of Bounce Houses

Ashley T. Davis

Author: Ashley Davis, Esquire, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

The number of children who are injured in bounce houses is on the rise.  According to a recent study, bounce house-related injuries jumped 1,500% between 1995 and 2010.[1]  In 2010, there were 31 children treated in emergency departments every day – about one child every 45 minutes.

The study found that nearly 62,159 children were treated in emergency rooms throughout the United States for bounce house-related injuries from 1995 to 2010.  More than half of these injuries (55%) occurred between 2005 and 2010.  In the last two years of the study (2008 to 2010), the rate of injuries more than doubled.  More than half of the children were in the 6- to 12-year-old…

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Parents Can Contribute to the Distracted Driving Problem

James M. Kessel

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Short Pump, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Cell phone use has increased dramatically over the last decade. There is no doubt that cell phones have added a certain measure of convenience to daily life, but their use is not always appropriate. Increasingly, cell phones are being used behind the wheel, distracting drivers and causing accidents. Public outcry over news stories involving distracted drivers using cell phones prompted a number of states to take action and pass laws banning their use behind the wheel.

Almost every state has some sort of ban on cell phone use while driving and studies have shown that their enactment has been effective in reducing the number of accidents caused by…

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