School Bus Safety

Author: Elizabeth M. Allen

It's that time of year. Schools are opening, and children are traveling on school buses again. Over and over, students will hear the same admonitions: "stay seated and talk quietly during your bus ride", "don't stand or play in the aisle", "follow the bus driver's instructions", and "don't throw things in the bus or out the window". These are all important rules of safety and civility that parents should discuss with their children to prevent school bus accidents. This year, however, you should consider spending extra time talking about those safety rules that are most likely to save your child's life.

What is the most serious danger facing children who take a bus to school every day?…

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Virginia's DUI Punishments Enhanced: Ignition Interlock

Author: Attorney David M. Williams, Jr.

In representing victims of drunk drivers, I have seen firsthand the devastating consequences of drinking and driving. As states across the country continue to pass tougher laws to combat this deadly problem, we have fortunately seen a decline in the number of deaths and injuries from drunk driving. However, the statistics are still alarming: nationally, in 2008, an estimated 11,773 people died in alcohol-related traffic collisions 1. In Virginia, 354 people died and 7,000 were injured in 2008 as a result of alcohol-related crashes 2. Experts estimate that about 3 in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash…

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Back to School - Child Pedestrian Safety

Author: Attorney Tammy Ruble

Another school year has started, which means that many drivers will encounter school buses and school children while out and about. According to the August 2009 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the America Academy of Pediatrics, each year approximately 900 children are killed as pedestrians. In addition, another 51,000 children are injured as pedestrians, and 5,300 of them are hospitalized due to the seriousness of their injuries. You can help reduce those numbers of child pedestrian accidents by following a few simple guidelines.

Know when you need to stop for a school bus. Virginia law 1 says that a driver must stop "when approaching from any direction, any school…

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What Can I Do To Help Get The Best Result In My Case?

Author: Attorney Charles "Litt" Allen

As a personal injury trial lawyer, I am often asked by my clients when I first meet with them what they can do to help get the best result in their case. The answer is simple. I tell them to "be a good patient."

What does that mean?Three things:

First, keep your appointments with your doctors, therapists, or other health care providers.

Secondly, follow the doctors' advice.

Third, when asked by the health care provider how you are doing, give a thorough and accurate response.

Being a good patient helps to get the best result because the treating doctor's comments and opinions…

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My Favorite Legal TV Shows and Movies in No Particular Order...

By Attorney Paul D. Hux

As an attorney for the past 18 years, I have lived a fairly stressful, deadline-driven life. But I do enjoy what I do for a living. I also enjoy watching television and movies as they provide an escape from the day-to-day worries. These shows allow me time to decompress and do not require me to talk. So, what better way to combine several of my favorite things than by watching legal shows that have very little to do with the real world. I watch and dream of what it would be like to? or how much fun it would be to?.

Here is a list of my top ten legal television shows and legal movies in no particular order.

1. L.A. Law - this showed…

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State of Virginia - Insurance Requirements

Author: Robert L. Mertig

To purchase license plates or decals, you must certify that the vehicle is covered by the minimum insurance requirements or pay the "Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee". Insurance requirements also apply to antique motor vehicles. Virginia requires the following minimum coverage:

- Bodily injury/death of one person $25,000 - Bodily injury/death of two or more persons $50,000 - Property damage $20,000

The $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle (UMV) fee, which is paid to the Department of Motor Vehicles, (DMV), does not provide any insurance; it only allows you to drive an uninsured vehicle at your own risk. It expires with your…

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Mining for Gold on Facebook and My Space: The Legal Side

Author: Attorney Melinda H. South

Remember in grade school (or later) passing notes in class? Remember the feeling when someone was caught and the teacher threatened to read the note to the entire class? Would you be ok with the information from your social networking site being produced in discovery in a criminal or civil case? Social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are a potential source of electronic discovery also known as E-discovery.

E-discovery refers to any process in which electronic data (such as text, pictures, videos or documents posted to online social networking web sites) is sought with the intent of using it as evidence in a civil or criminal case. E-discovery is an…

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Legal Liability for Other Children at a Sleepover


Author: Attorney Christopher A. Meyer

All of us who are parents have probably either let our children visit other families' homes or have had other children over at our home. Sometimes these are just afternoons, sometimes they are "sleepovers" or even longer. I think we all recognize that when other people's children are placed in our care we have a moral obligation to see that they will be well taken care of. But is there a legal obligation as well?

In a recent case, Kellermann, Administrator v. McDonough (July 17, 2009) the Virginia Supreme Court said yes. In addition the Justices said that if a promise is made, such as the children will not be allowed to be in a car with a young male…

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History of Charlottesville, VA and Albemarle County


To better serve clients in the Piedmont region and the Valley, the personal injury law firm Allen, Allen, Allen and Allen opened its Charlottesville branch on March 17, 2008. The office is located in the former Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital on Route 29 in the Rio Hill Center across from Lowes.

Charlottesville and the surrounding Albemarle County are home to over 134,400 residents and are located about 110 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and about 70miles west of Richmond. According to the county website, Albemarle County is one of the most attractive and desirable locations in Virginia, with excellent school systems, low crime and unemployment rates.Albemarle County and the City of…

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Highway Construction Worksites: A Danger Zone for Motorists

Author: Attorney George E. Allen III

When I settled a case recently, I was reminded just how dangerous highway construction work sites can be for passing motorists - and in so many different ways. In my case, the accident happened around noon in a construction zone on Interstate 70 near Terre Haute, Indiana as the family I represented was returning to Virginia in a motor home after taking a summer vacation trip. At the time of the accident, the left (passing) lane of I-70 was closed, and construction workers had directed traffic from the passing lane to the right lane. As a result, my family's vehicle was stopped in a long line of traffic waiting to merge into the single right lane.

Well before…

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