Closing Highway Rest Stops due to Virginia State Budget Cuts: The Impact on Drowsy Driving

Author: Attorney George E. Allen, III

This past summer, I read a newspaper article announcing that the State of Virginia was closing many of its highway rest stops because of the State's budget shortfall. A few weeks later as I drove along Virginia's major thoroughfare, Interstate 95, I observed that all but one or two of the rest stops between the North Carolina border and Washington, D.C., had been closed. Big orange cans blocked the entrances.

For a Virginia personal injury attorney who has represented victims of hundreds of truck and car accidents over the past three decades, this was upsetting news. I had recently handled and eventually tried a tragic case in a Henrico County court. The college student I represented…

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Motorcycle Safety Tips: How to Avoid Accidents

 Author: R. Clayton Allen, Esquire

Anyone who drives a motorcycle knows how dangerous it is out there on the roads and highways. Many of the cars, trucks and buses being driven are being operated by drowsy drivers, inattentive drivers, speeding drivers, aggressive drivers. And present economic conditions means that many vehicles on the road are poorly maintained or have defective equipment, including brakes, tires, and signal lights, which make the roads even more dangerous. Although many motorcycle drivers do drive defensively and safely, here are some reminders and tips for safer driving.

1. Get Proper Training in Operating Your Bike and Practice Regularly. Many accidents and…

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"This Christmas, Don't Forget the Helmet" - Helmet Safety Information Just in Time for the Holidays

Author: Attorney Jason W. Konvicka

This Christmas, many boys and girls will wake up to a new bicycle, scooter or skateboard under the tree. Hopefully they will also unwrap a new helmet to go with it.

Did you know that nearly 50 percent of children age 14 and under who are hospitalized for bicycle, in-line skating, and skateboard-related injuries are diagnosed with a brain injury? Many of those injuries could have been prevented through proper use of a helmet. For instance, wearing a helmet when riding a bike can reduce your risk of head injury by 85 percent, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Similar statistics exist for other sports as well.

Not all…

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There's No Place for Drunk Driving During the Holiday Season

Author: Attorney Elizabeth M. Allen

With the Holidays come family gatherings, office parties, socializing with friends and Year End football game get-togethers. These are occasions we look forward to all year. But there can be a dark side to the holiday cheer: drunk driving and the injuries and deaths that result.

Every December we see a spike in highway fatalities in the United States during the Christmas and New Year Holiday periods. In 2005, there were 193 deaths involving at least one impaired driver during the three day New Year weekend. Another 160 people died over the three day Christmas weekend in 2006. These grim figures do not reflect the other horrific consequences of such accidents: a child's loss of…

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Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Thanksgiving Turkey

The latest trend in preparing a Thanksgiving turkey is deep frying. The results can be delicious but it can also be dangerous. (1) Without adhering to certain safety precautions, you may end up with an injury or fire. (2)

Deep Fryers can be dangerous for a number of reasons:

The fryer units can easily tip over, spilling the approximately five gallons of hot oil contained within the cooking pot. Overfilling the pot with oil can result in oil overflowing out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. This oil may hit the burner or flames causing a fire to engulf the entire fryer unit. Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover…

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How About Stopping Medical Malpractice?

Recent commentary in the local papers has contained several worthwhile suggestions to reduce health care costs. But some have also included the customary bash at medical malpractice victims and their lawyers, and claim the way to reduce health care costs is to put a cap on the damages injured victims can recover.

According to the Institute of Medicine, 98,000 people are killed annually by preventable medical errors. (1) In sheer numbers, if it were listed as its own category for causes of death, it would be the sixth largest cause of death in the United States. More people die in a given year as a result of medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents (43,458), breast cancer (42,297), or AIDS (16,516).…

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Traumatic Brain Injuries - More Common than You Might Think

Author: Attorney Jason W. Konvicka

I recently read an article that stated that a person sustains a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States every 21 seconds. In fact, the same article indicated that traumatic brain injuries occur more frequently and affect more people than breast cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer's disease combined. At first, I found these statistics surprising. I even questioned their accuracy despite having personally represented numerous traumatic brain injury victims over the years. Then, after further thought, the statistics made sense. It also reminded me that many times traumatic brain injuries go undiagnosed for weeks, months, and even years after an accident. In fact, some…

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Torts: The Distinction Between Civil Actions and Crime and Punishment - A Primer

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Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Black's Law Dictionary (7th Edition) (1) defines a "tort" as: "A civil wrong for which a remedy may be obtained, usually in the form of damages; a breach of a duty that the law imposes on everyone in the same relation to one another as those involved in a given transaction." The word, "tort" is a French word which means a "fault" or a "wrong." (2) Torts are not claims for breach of contract, except in very special and limited contexts. Torts can, but do not have to, constitute crimes. Actions in tort are civil cases, as opposed to criminal cases. An example of a tort that is not necessarily a crime…

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Motor Vehicle Accidents in Virginia - Why hire an attorney? - Part Two

Author: R. Clayton Allen, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

In Part One of this series, I talked about some considerations of why you might hire a personal injury attorney, and some ways insurance companies may take advantage of you if you don't have an attorney. In Part Two, I'll discuss some additional considerations.

1. The more money that is involved, the more you have to lose if you handle it wrong. And the more incentive the insurance company has to take advantage of you.

If your injuries and losses are small, then if you make a mistake in handling your claim then you haven't lost much. However, if your losses are more substantial, then you have more at risk if…

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Motor Vehicle Accidents in Virginia - Why hire an attorney? - Part One

Author: R. Clayton Allen, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

As a personal injury attorney, one of the questions I am most frequently asked is why an injured person needs to hire an attorney to represent them. Here's an outline of how I usually answer that question.

Sometimes you don't. If your injuries are relatively minor, if your medical treatment is for only a short period of time, and if your medical expenses and other damages are small, and if you are pretty savvy about business matters and negotiating generally, then you may be able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company that will net you about the same or maybe even a little more than if you had an attorney. But that's…

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