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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Safe Driving - Tailgating

Ashley T. Davis

Author: Ashley Davis, Esquire, Personal Injury Lawyer, Richmond Virginia

Tailgating is when one vehicle follows very closely behind another vehicle.  Tailgating is dangerous because if the vehicle in front suddenly stops or slows down, the tailgater might not have enough time or distance to avoid a collision.  Tailgating is illegal in Virginia, and can lead to tickets, fines and jail time.[1]

The statistics are staggering.[2]  Last year, there were 121,763 reported traffic crashes in Virginia – 1 crash every 4.32 minutes.  According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, 741 people were killed, and 65,114 people were injured.  In 2013, following too closely was identified in 28,345 (12.72%) of all motor vehicle crashes…

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Motorcycle Accidents: 5 Tips To Avoid The Dreaded Rear End Collision

Paul M. Curley

Author: Paul McCourt Curley, Fredricksburg VA Personal Injury Attorney

The sense of freedom and adventure from motorcycle riding is virtually unrivalled.  The feeling of the open air and views unobstructed by the “cage” of an automobile draws millions of Americans to saddle up and ride every year.  As a motorcyclist, I appreciate such well known phrases as “four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul” and “only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.” 

As an attorney representing motorcyclists who have been severely injured in accidents, I also appreciate the risks involved in riding a motorcycle and the extent of the injuries suffered by motorcyclists involved in collisions. Because there is…

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Why Didn’t I See the Police Report: Common Questions From Jurors and the Rules of Evidence in Virginia

Kathleen Smith

By: Kathleen Smith, Fredricksburg, VA Personal Injury Attorney

 After a trial I once asked a juror to give me feedback on the process of sitting through the trial, listening to the evidence, and deliberating on a verdict.  I asked her whether there was anything I could have done to make the process easier or more clear to a person hearing the facts for the first time.  The first thing the juror asked was: “If there was a police report about the collision, why didn’t we get to see it?”   I explained to her that, as attorneys, we must follow rules of evidence.  In Virginia police reports are inadmissible because they are considered hearsay.

 What is hearsay?   Hearsay is an out-of-court statement offered in evidence to prove…

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Are Liability Waivers Enforceable in Virginia?

Bridget N. Long

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

Liability waivers are everywhere.  If you have ever signed yourself or your child up for any type of recreational activity, sports team, physical fitness program or outdoor event, you have probably been asked to sign a liability waiver.  Liability waivers are usually located on the registration paperwork, sign-in sheet or entrance ticket for the activity, and are known by many names, such as:

Liability Waiver Waiver Release Disclaimer Indemnification Agreement Hold Harmless Agreement Assumption of Risk Exculpatory Agreement Assumption of Risk

Regardless of what they are called, most liability waivers require the participant (or the participant’s…

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The Danger of Drowsy Driving

R. Clayton Allen

Author: R. Clayton Allen, Mechanicsville, Va Personal Injury Attorney

Distracted driving is responsible for a large number of motor accidents, which is why many state legislatures have passed laws prohibiting texting and driving.  Speeding, reckless driving, improper equipment, and poor maintenance also cause many collisions, and there are laws against all of these.  However, another frequent cause of accidents is driving when a driver is drowsy.  

Remaining alert is critical to being able to respond quickly and to properly handle a car, truck, bus or other motor vehicle.  Recent serious crashes in the national news involving buses where a drowsy driver is suspected to be a cause have highlighted this issue.[1]   Unfortunately,…

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Arbitration Clauses: What's Hidden In The Fine Print Can Take Away Your Rights

Bridget N. Long

Author: Bridget N. Long, Richmond Personal Injury Attorney

If your son or daughter has ever been to a birthday party at an indoor trampoline park or other amusement facility, you probably signed a waiver saying that if he or she got hurt while there, you couldn’t have their personal injury case decided in a court of law.  Instead, you agreed to go through a private arbitration process and have any final award decided by an arbitrator. As a parent, it can be nearly impossible to tell your child they can’t participate in an activity because the facility has an arbitration clause. In many cases, parents don’t even bother to read the fine print at all.

The seventh amendment protects your constitutional right to settle disputes…

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Guardrail Endcap Company Convicted of Fraud; Government Calls for Additional Testing Amid Safety Concerns

Jason W. Konvicka

Author: Jason W. Konvicka, Personal Injury Attorney, Richmond, VA

Readers Note: Allen and Allen is actively investigating cases involving injuries resulting from ET-Plus guardrail endcaps. If you or a loved one has been injured by a guardrail during an accident, you may need an attorney to represent your interests. Allen and Allen offers free consultations to potential cases. Call us at 866-388-1307.

A major piece of highway safety equipment could be hiding a dangerous defect. No fewer than seven states have now banned further installation of the ET-Plus guardrail head as the Federal Highway Administration sent the system back to the crash course for additional testing. Virginia is among the states to raise safety concerns…

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