Legislative "Caps" on Recoveries: An Unseen "Bailout" Taxpayers Pay for Every Day

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from the British Petroleum platform is a catastrophe of growing proportions. Recent projections that the spill could turn the corner of Florida and cover the beaches of the East Coast bring this disaster uncomfortably close to home. Nobody should make political hay out of a disaster, but we cannot ignore the history lesson before us.

Since the 1990's, there has been a concerted effort to limit the rights of juries to assess full and fair compensation for injured persons. 1 It all started with the infamous McDonalds' hot coffee case, where an elderly woman suffered third degree burns on her genitals when she accidentally spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee in her lap.…

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Frequently Asked Question - Are there any special state and federal laws or regulations that could affect my tractor trailer accident case?

There are state and federal laws and regulations that apply specifically to commercial truck drivers or tractor trailer drivers and the trucking companies that employ them. These laws and regulations can sometimes hold the key to a successful outcome in your case. This means your attorney must be familiar with the rules in order to handle your case properly. For this reason, it is important to hire an experienced tractor trailer accident attorney.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) comprise the single most important set of rules which apply to the operation of commercial trucks such as tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, tankers, hazardous materials carriers, and logging trucks. The regulations are designed…

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Interstate Rest Stops to Reopen Allowing Truck Drivers to Catch a "Break"

An Update on Virginia Rest Stops

Shortly before taking office, Governor Bob McDonnell announced he will reopen the interstate highway rest stops closed last summer because of Virginia's budget shortfall. 1 As of April 15, 2010, all 19 have now been re-opened. 2 Although all tired motor vehicle drivers will benefit from this development, long distance tractor trailer operators should benefit the most.

At The Allen Law Firm, our tractor trailer accident attorneys often see the terrible injuries and ruined lives caused by crashes involving truck driver fatigue. Every year, 5,000 people or more are killed in truck crashes. If the new governor's decision ultimately prevents even a few truck…

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Should you represent yourself or hire a lawyer in a small civil suit?

General District Courts in Virginia

Author: Attorney Kathleen Llewellyn-Duncan

If you want to file a civil suit in Virginia representing yourself rather than hiring an attorney, there are several things to consider. You would need to decide on which court to file in. 1 Your decision affects the costs and potential recovery in your case. If your case is worth less than $4,500, you must file in General District Court. 2 If your claim is for any amount up to $15,000, you may still file in General District Court instead of Circuit Court. If you are in General District Court, then a judge -- not a jury -- will listen to the evidence and decide the outcome of…

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Is it important to talk to an attorney if you've been injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer?

If you've been seriously injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer and the accident wasn't your fault, you should consult a trucking accident attorney immediately. The same is true if you have a relative who was killed in an accident with a large truck.

You need someone on your side from the very beginning to protect your rights, to investigate and preserve critical evidence, to help you navigate the medical world as you undergo what may be a slow recovery, and to give you practical advice about how to deal with everyday life in the face of serious injuries.

It is not uncommon for trucking company representatives to suggest you don't need an attorney. They say they will be happy to work with you to resolve…

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Virginia Traffic Laws: Virginia Set to Raise Speed Limit to 70 MPH


Author: Fredericksburg Attorney David M. Williams

Governor Bob McDonnell recently signed a bill passed by this year's Virginia General Assembly that allows the speed limit to be raised from 65 mph to 70 mph on certain sections of Virginia's highways. 1 While this law is set to take effect July 1st, it is likely to be months - or even longer - before drivers are allowed to push their accelerators a little harder.

§ 46.2-870 2 of the Code of Virginia was amended to read in relevant part as follows:

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the maximum speed…

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The Recent Toyota Recalls - Should You Be Concerned?

Author: Attorney Jason W. Konvicka

"We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations ...  Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families. For those reasons, we are seeking the maximum penalty possible under current laws." 1

With those stern words, the United States Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking the maximum civil penalty of $16.375 million against Toyota Motor Corporation for failing to notify the auto safety agency of the dangerous "sticky…

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Medical Issues: The Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury - What to Look For

For decades, the brain injury attorneys at the law firm of Allen & Allen have worked with clients who have suffered brain injuries caused by the negligence of others. Often these injuries are a result of falls, as a result of product defects, from car, motorcycle, or truck accidents, or from a myriad of other circumstances. Each year, approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) of some degree. 1 Because many of our clients have sustained this type of injury, our attorneys are accustomed to seeing the many and varied causes and manifestations of traumatic brain injury.

Of course, we are not physicians, and we do not diagnose brain injuries. However, we try to remain alert to…

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100 Hometown Heroes- Brought to you by the personal injury law firm of Allen & Allen

As the Virginia personal injury law firm of Allen and Allen celebrates its 100 year anniversary, we are thankful for the communities we serve and for the everyday heroes who make this a great place to live. This year we are honoring 100 Home Town Heroes. Do you know a hero? Let's hear it for your neighbor, your friend, your co-worker or your relative. The person who has made a difference in your community and your life.

Click to nominate your Hometown Hero between April 19 - May 7, 2010.

100 Hometown Heroes will be selected and recognized in your community. Award winners will be notified by May 17, 2010. All 100 Hometown Heroes will be announced on June 16, 2010. Application Deadline: Friday, May 7, 2010. Applications…

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The Virginia Tort Claims Act: It's Not Enough to be Ordinary


Editors Note: Under the old English common law, on which much of American law is based, a person could not sue the king or "sovereign government". This prohibition was carried over into American common law, and prevents claims against the government. However, this absolute prohibition has been changed in most states in some ways by written statutes. In Virginia, one of these ways is the Virginia Tort Claims Act, which allows civil claims for damages to go forward against the Commonwealth of Virginia and its subsidiary agencies and political subdivisions under certain circumstances. This article describes the Act and some of those circumstances.

The Virginia Tort Claims Act 1 (hereinafter,…

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