Medical Malpractice: The Mythical Solution of Tort Reform

Tort Reform is back in the news. The Republicans in Congress insist that Tort Reform in the medical malpractice field is an essential part of any reform of our health care system. Tort Reform sounds like a great idea, doesn't it! Reform is always good because it means something must be wrong. Something needs fixing. And fixing it will make it better. What sounds good must be good, right?

In truth, Tort Reform is a myth cooked up to take away individual rights. Long ago, the powerful corporate interests and their conservative allies learned that claiming the judicial system is broken and needs fixing, while false, pays large dividends. Corporate America is terrified of the jury system because only there can it be held fully…

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Trucking Accidents: Prompt Investigation is Essential

Prompt investigation is important in every kind of accident, but is especially critical in obtaining a satisfactory settlement or an excellent jury verdict in a tractor trailer accident case. Under Virginia law, the injured party, called the plaintiff, has the burden of proving how and why his accident happened. If the injured party cannot do this, he cannot win his case. The person who caused the accident can remain silent; they have no obligation to present evidence or a defense of any kind at trial as to the accident's cause. This may not seem fair, but it is a fact the injured plaintiff and their tractor trailer accident attorney must live with. Consequently, in a trucking case, where the stakes are often high because injuries…

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Diminution of Value (Diminished Value): Is Your Car Worth Less After Accident Repairs Than If it Had Never Been Damaged?


The Allen Law Firm pursues diminished value claims on behalf of its personal injury clients as a "value added" service. Typically, the only expense is the appraisal fee unless the attorney is forced to litigate [1] the case in order to recover damages.

Virginia law allows that, even after proper repairs have been made, you can recover the "loss of value" of your repaired vehicle after an accident in addition to the cost of the repairs. [2] Insurance companies and auto repair shops called this loss of value the "diminution of value" or "diminished value" of the vehicle.

What is "diminished value?"

In layman's terms, "diminished value" means the difference in value between a vehicle that has never been…

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Automobile Safety: Shoveling Snow - Sidewalks & Parking Spaces


The Winter of 2010 in Virginia has seen more big snow storms than we've had in many years. (Too many big snow storms for some of us). Our arms and backs are sore from all the shoveling. Some folks live in urban areas where they park on the street, and sure enough, the snowplows added insult to injury by pushing a large mound of snow onto the side of your car. Out comes the snow shovel, and several hours of hard work later you've removed the snow barrier, the parking space is cleared of snow, and you can drive your car out.

However, once you have cleared the parking space and left for work or an errand, can some freeloader take advantage of your hours of work and park in the snow-free space that you've spent several hours…

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Skiing, Wakeboarding and Tubing Safety

Although the weather may still be cold and "Ole Man Winter" is still with us, it will not be too long before the warmer weather is upon us. Soon many of us will be getting out sports and outdoor equipment, and maybe getting the boat and water sports equipment ready for the season to enjoy water activities with family and friends. Although we are looking forward to summer fun while boating, we need to be prepared as there are also many dangers associated with water sports activities.

First, get prepared by having your boat inspected to make sure all the necessary equipment is up to date. Secondly, if you have not taken a boating safety course, it is a good idea to do so and may already be mandatory, depending on…

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Auto Safety & Seatbelts: Why use Safety Restraint Systems? Seatbelts can save lives.


Prevention of getting thrown form the vehicle (ejection) is one of the main reasons to use seatbelts. 1 Recently I had the opportunity to review accident reconstruction reports on the VCU Transportation Safety Training Center website. 2 One report reconstructs two multiple fatality crashes that occurred six days apart on interstate highways in Virginia. 3 Both crashes were single vehicle crashes, where the vehicles rolled over, involving out-of-state drivers who were transporting family members across the state in sport utility vehicles. Failure to use safety restraints (seatbelts) was a factor in ejection and/or death of some of the fatalities in each…

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INSURANCE INDEX DATA BASE SYSTEM: How insurance companies are using your personal information


Author: Egena T. Younger

You have been involved in an accident and are contacted by the insurance company. The adjuster requests your full name, address, date of birth and social security number. You feel uncomfortable providing such private information, but you are told that the information is required to handle your claim, or maybe you are told that it is required to properly issue your check upon settlement of your claim. No matter what the reason, this information is stated to be essential to the investigation and processing of your claim. So you give the adjuster the requested personal information.

What you don't know (and aren't told) is that this information is being put into a national…

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GIVING BACK: Public Service and the Allen Law Firm

Giving back and serving our communities is a deeply held value at the Allen Law Firm. When I joined the firm in 1996, I came with a strong Government and public service background as well as a commitment to giving back to the community that fit well with the Firm's values. For the first half of my career, I was an attorney in law enforcement, as a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and also as a prosecutor (Commonwealth's Attorney in two different jurisdictions in Virginia). During the time since I joined Allen & Allen as an attorney, then made partner, and then was chosen as President, I have emphasized and expanded how the Firm could better serve our community.

Under my direction, I expanded the program…

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What do Nelson Mandela and Jerry Springer have in common?

Famous people that also happen to be law school graduates

There are many famous people in the world today, and with media, the internet and the other multitude of publications, we think we know everything there is to know about these people. However, there are a number of movies actors, television personalities, sports stars, well known politicians and musical entertainers who all have something in common that very few people realize. This common thread is that they graduated from law school. The following is a list of some of the most well known people that have received their law degrees and why they are well known.

1. Barack Obama, in 1988 he started law school at Harvard Law School. He became…

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"I Just Found Out I Had Cancer Five Years Ago, But My Doctor Never Told Me! Can I Sue?"

The Statute of Limitations in Medical Misdiagnosis

Author: Attorney Malcolm P. McConnell 

If you have cancer that has been allowed to spread and threaten your life because of medical negligence, the answer is "yes." But it may shock you to learn that, only a few years ago, the answer was "no." Until recently, your right to sue could expire before you even knew you had a case! How could something so unfair be the law in Virginia?

All claims for personal injury in Virginia, including medical malpractice cases, are subject to time limits. 1 Although each case can be different, the general time limit for filing an injury lawsuit in Virginia is two years after the…

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