What is Tort Law?

By Attorney Melinda H. South

A tort is a wrongful act resulting in injury or damages, for which the civil law provides that the injured person (or the person suffering damages) may seek recovery from the person who caused the injury. The person or "party" who suffers harm from the wrongful conduct of another is known as the plaintiff or claimant. The person or "party" who caused the injury is known as the defendant or tortfeasor. The lawsuit is called a "tort action".

There are three elements of a tort action, which are often referred to as the three-legged stool. All three must be present to have a valid claim. These are (1) a duty; (2) a breach of that duty; and (3) damages resulting from the breach of that duty.…

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What is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

By Attorney Charles L. Allen

"What is my case worth?" I am often asked this question by clients when I am first getting to know them. The simple answer is this; whatever a jury says it is worth.

Some people with personal injury claims are surprised to find out that they are not automatically entitled to a settlement from the insurance company. In fact, their only legal right is a trial to determine the amount of their recovery. The only way one can force an insurance company to pay is to successfully sue the person or company they insure. Cases involving very modest injuries are sometimes resolved by a judge in General District Court. However, more significant cases require Circuit Court trials which, in Virginia,…

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Safety Myth or Reality --Are Teenage Drivers at a Higher Risk for Crashes and Fatalities?

 

We frequently hear in the local news about automobile crashes and fatalities involving teenage drivers. Are teenage drivers involved in accidents more than other age groups ? Recently I had the opportunity to study reports from Virginia Commonwealth University Transportation Safety Training Center-Crash Investigative Team. The reports provide a comparison of crash frequencies and causes are examined to explore reasons why and what possible remedial actions can be taken to reduce these problems. In review of one report entitled Special Report #14: Special Report on Young Drivers Involved in Fatal Crashes(January 2001), I found that not only are teenage drivers involved in more accidents with fatalities, there also appears…

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Should You Carry Medical Expense Coverage On Your Policy?

Kathleen M. Smith, Fredericksburg, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Author: Kathleen M. Smith, Fredericksburg, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Medical Expense coverage (sometimes known as "Medical Payments") is an optional coverage available on Virginia Automobile Policies. This coverage covers all reasonable and necessary medical expenses for injuries resulting from a motor vehicle collision, or even arising out of the use of a motor vehicle. Medical Payments coverage covers anyone named on the policy (the "named insured"), a spouse, and any relative residing in the household. It also covers anyone occupying a vehicle on the policy. It will pay the medical expenses regardless of any other insurance and regardless of who is at fault. Medical Expense coverage covers medical…

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What About My Car? How to deal with your car damage after an accident.

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You may not have been injured after your accident but WHAT ABOUT YOUR CAR? If your car was damaged in an accident that wasn’t your fault, here are some guidelines to help you in dealing with the insurance companies and getting your car repaired. This guide describes how to handle your property damage in general. Your insurance company may follow different procedures.

What is covered?

If the accident was entirely someone else's fault, you’re entitled to payment for any damage done to your car. You’re also entitled to payment for personal belongings and property that were in your car at the time of the accident. Personal…

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What Should I Do At The Scene of a Car or Truck Accident?

Car and truck accidents create confusing and chaotic scenes. Knowing what do to at an accident scene can help protect your rights after the accident.  Here are some general guidelines to follow at an accident scene:

Do I have to stop? Where do I stop? Should I call the police? What should I tell the investigating police officer about the accident? What if I can't call the police at the scene of the accident because of my injuries? What if I don't do these things? What information should I get at the scene from the drivers of other vehicles involved in the accident? Can the investigating police officer obtain insurance information from the other drivers for me? Should I take photographs of the vehicles and the…

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So you want to go to law school? How to get into the law school of your choice.

So you've been reading the Allen and Allen blog, and now you're inspired to become a personal injury lawyer. Next step: applying to law school! Here are some tips from my personal experience on getting into the law school of your choice:

Study what you love in college. College grades are very important in the law school admissions process. The more you love what you study, the better you'll do. Don't worry about majoring in a subject you think is an appropriate "pre-law" subject such as political science or economics. Major in what you love -- whether it is philosophy, religion, drama, to name a few examples -- and you'll be more motivated to actively learn and participate in class, study, and do well.

Participate…

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The Rule of Seconds - Calculating Safe Following Distances

Ryan E. Wind, Mechanicsville, VA Personal Injury Attorney

 Author: Ryan E. Wind, Mechanicsville, VA Personal Injury Attorney

The Virginia Commercial Driver's Manual outlines the information truck drivers must know to pass Virginia's exam to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL). The manual describes a technique for a truck driver to use to calculate a safe following distance. Known as the "rule of seconds," practicing this technique could help to save your life.

Tractor trailers and cars

We have all looked in the rear view mirror only to see a tractor trailer bearing down on us. It can be frightening because we know that in an accident, trucks and buses most often strike the vehicle directly in front of them because their heavy weight prevents…

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Why I Became a Trial Attorney

By Malcolm "Mic" McConnell I am a Richmond, Virginia native. I am a product of Henrico County Public Schools, having attended Skipwith Elementary, Tuckahoe Middle, and graduating from J. R. Tucker High. My father taught handicapped children for Henrico County Schools and supervised the County's programs for those students.  My mother was a surgical nurse. I grew up attending and serving as a youth leader of Monument Heights Baptist Church (corner of Monument and Libbie Avenues), which my grandfather, a Baptist minister, founded in 1950.

How did the son of a teacher and a nurse and the grandson of a preacher become a medical malpractice trial lawyer? It all seems quite natural to me, especially when you add the endless…

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Insurance Companies Denying Claims

The American Association for Justice Reports

What are some of the tactics used by insurance companies to make money at the expense of consumers? "Some of America's most well-known insurance companies--the same ones that spend billions on advertising to earn your trust--have endeavored to deny claims, delay payments, confuse consumers with incomprehensible insurance-speak, and retroactively refuse anyone who may cost them money." This is quoted from "Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse and Refuse," a research report recently released by the American Association of Justice. The report outlines six tactics that target insurance policyholders, identifies the insurance companies that…

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