What Are the Texting and Driving Laws in Virginia?: Video

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Personal injury attorney Jamie “Mick” Kessel explains the dangers of texting and driving and the laws enacted to reduce this risk.

In addition to texting, any distraction that could divert a driver’s attention away from the road is a dangerous activity. These distractions include:

Using a cell phone or smartphone Eating and drinking Talking to passengers Grooming Reading, including maps Using a navigation system Watching a video Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Under Virginia law, texting while driving is a primary offense for drivers of all ages. A violation carries a fine of $125.00 for a first offense and a fine of $250.00 for subsequent offenses. This law does not apply to any…

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New Report Shows Self-Driving Cars Involved in Eleven Accidents

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Author: James Mick Kessel, Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Self-driving cars have been a major up-and-coming technology for more than half a decade.  In the past year Google has at last secured permits allowing them to test their latest self-driving models on public roads. As a part of this next phase of development, the company is required to disclose all accidents involving the self-driving cars. According to the most recent report released by the company, there have been three accidents since the new reporting rules went into effect in September, and eleven since the early days of the technology in 2009.[1]

Google accompanied the report with a statement describing all of the accidents…

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Safety Tips for National Heatstroke Prevention Day July 31st

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Author: James Mick Kessel, Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Safe Kids Worldwide (Safe Kids) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have teamed up again this year to make July 31, 2015 National Heatstroke Prevention Day. This nationally recognized day is meant to bring awareness to the dangers of leaving children, pets and adults in hot cars.

Medically defined as “hyperthermia,” heatstroke is a particular danger to children because their bodies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults. Children injured due to heatstroke in hot cars suffer ailments including permanent brain injury, blindness and the loss of hearing. Often heatstroke deaths and injuries occur when…

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Boating Safety: What Does Virginia Law Require?

Paul D. Hux, Chesterfield, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Author: Paul D. Hux, Chesterfield, VA Personal Injury Attorney

The weather is warmer and pollen season has passed.  It’s time to hit waterways with family and friends (and the dog) on the boat.  But before you put your boat in the water there are a few rules with which you should be familiar.

In 2007 the Virginia General Assembly passed a law that requires operators of personal watercraft (PWC)[1] and motorboats to complete a boating safety education course.[2]  For help finding a boating safety class click here. 

Virginia watercraft and motorboat training requirements

Who has to complete this course, and by when?

As of July 1, 2014, all PWC operators age 14 years and older all…

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Pool Safety – The Dangers of Residential Pools

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Author: John G. "Jack" Berry, Charlottesville Personal Injury Attorney

When summer rolls around, one house on the block inevitably becomes the most popular. The kid with the pool in his backyard can expect to be entertaining guests throughout the summer months, but those idyllic days can all too easily end in tragedy. Every year roughly 5,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for pool-related injuries, and more than half of those injuries occur in residential pools.[1]

Many parents are used to taking their children to the community pool, where staff members are paid to protect everyone’s safety. Unlike community pools, backyard pools might not have any adults supervising the swimmers, let…

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Understanding Your Car Insurance Policy

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Author: Bridget N. Long, Petersburg, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Often people don’t understand exactly what their car insurance covers until they are involved in an accident.  Many people believe because they have “full coverage” they are protected when they get an accident.  It is important to understand the different kinds of coverage a standard automobile liability policy in Virginia contains and how each of these coverages works. 

What is "full coverage" car insurance?

What does “full coverage” mean?  Typically, when an insurance agent or company says a policy contains “full coverage” it means the policy provides both liability and collision coverage.  In other words, if you are involved…

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2015 Allen & Allen HOMETOWN HEROES Award Winners Announced

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The personal injury law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen has announced the winners of the 2015 Allen & Allen HOMETOWN HEROES award in celebration of local acts of kindness and heroism.

“The winners of the 2015 Allen & Allen HOMETOWN HEROES represent the spirit of giving and define what being a community is all about,” said Trent Kerns, President of Allen & Allen. “For over 100 years Allen & Allen has been inspired by the everyday heroes around us – people who devote their time, energy, and talents toward improving our communities.”

Nominations for the annual Allen & Allen HOMETOWN HEROES award were accepted from April 7, 2015 to May 24, 2015. The public was asked to complete a nomination form…

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Summer Pool Safety – Staying Safe at Your Community Pool

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Author: Derrick L. Walker, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Few summer traditions can compare to a day at the community pool. The warm sun, the cool water, the smells of chlorine and baking concrete. But the community pool can also be a dangerous place, one that warrants continuous supervision of children and constant vigilance against an accident. An average of 390 children under the age of 14 drown in pools or spas each year.[1]

Community pools are particularly dangerous for young children, and the younger they are the more the danger grows. Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death among children aged one to four, and 76% of child drowning victims are under the age of five.…

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Can You Understand Your Insurance Policy Simply By Reading It? VIDEO

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As you take the next steps after an accident or injury, you may look for answers to your questions by reading your insurance policy. However, that document may not provide all the information you need to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Senior partner and trial attorney Coleman Allen describes the challenges you face when you read your insurance policy and try to understand it.

Insurance coverage is complex

Can you understand your insurance policy simply by reading it? The answer is no -  insurance coverage is a very complex area. Words that are used in your insurance policy have special technical meanings, and don't mean what they mean in everyday usage.

Some benefits aren't described in your…

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Who Is My Case Against – The Other Driver, Their Insurance Company or My Insurance Company?

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Author: Robert C. T. Reed, Richmond, Va Personal Injury Attorney

People who have been harmed due to someone else’s careless conduct often know they have a right to be compensated for their injuries. But, the source of that compensation can be unclear to those who have not had such a claim before. 

For instance, take a motor vehicle collision between two vehicles without passengers.Both drivers have automobile insurance, and one driver is at fault and the other driver is injured. In this example, the injured driver has a legal right to recover compensation from the at fault driver. The injured driver’s “claim” can include medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, inconvenience, and mental anguish. …

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