Multiple Claims Arising From a Single Accident

An overview of the different types of insurance claims in Virginia

Author: J. David Douthit, Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

All motor vehicle accidents are unique and every person injured in an auto accident has a different set of challenges to overcome in the aftermath of a collision. As personal injury attorneys, we understand that every case is different and recognize that each client requires individual attention. While a general summary of insurance claims or coverage can never be applied across the board, it is important to understand that multiple claims may arise from a single motor vehicle accident.  The following summary provides a brief explanation of what these claims may be and the insurance…

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Preserving Evidence After a Crash

Simple Steps You Can Take to Properly Document Your Accident

Author: Egena T. Younger, Claims Consultant

The immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle collision can be a chaotic and confusing time. Accordingly, many people involved in accidents rely on law enforcement officers or road assistance personnel to document and record the details of the collision. Typically, the primary objective of law enforcement officers or motorist assistants is to check for injuries, ensure the safety of people involved in the crash and clear the travel lanes for other motorists. As a result, important information about the collision itself may be lost forever once the cars are removed from the scene and property damage is…

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The Injuries of Personal Injury Claims: Soft Tissue and Whiplash Injuries

Author: Bob Mertig, Claims Consultant 

Motor vehicle collisions, falls, and other incidents giving rise to personal injury claims can cause a variety of injuries, but certainly the most common injuries are injuries to "soft tissues", including muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Often referred to generically as "muscle strains and sprains", these injuries are usually caused by the sudden acceleration or deceleration of parts of the body, which results in the sudden stretching or tearing of these soft tissues.

In a motor vehicle crash, when soft tissues are injured along the spine in the neck or back area, this is called a "whiplash injury".[1] In the field of personal injury…

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What To Do After a Car or Truck Accident?

Author: P. Christopher Guedri, Richmond VA Personal Injury Attorney

After law-enforcement officials have discharged you from the scene of an accident that caused injury or damage to anyone's vehicle or property, you should contact your insurance company and report the accident immediately. Contacting the insurance company to report an accident is required by your auto liability insurance policy. If you fail to do so, the company may deny you insurance coverage!

Here is what you should tell your insurance company:• That the accident occurred;• The date and time of the accident;• The location of the accident; and• The names and addresses of anyone involved in the accident.

However,…

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Vacation Travel: The Importance of Proper Rest Before Going On The Road

Author: Chris B. Cloude

With summer upon us, many of us will be heading to the highway for vacation.  Ours trips may involve driving for several hours to reach our destinations.   Unfortunately, many of us will be up late the night before packing or taking care of last minute preparations.   However, we need to remember that we need proper rest and sleep to stay alert and operate a motor vehicle.

"Drowsy Driving" is a leading cause of car accidents in the United States.  An article by CNN suggests that between 16% and 60% of all motor vehicle accidents involve sleep deprivation as a contributing factor.[1] The CNN article also suggests that going without sleep for 17 to 18 hours can have the same…

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Keep Your Child Safe in the Car

Author: Attorney Courtney Van Winkle

As we walked out of the gym, I could tell my 8 year old was brimming over with excitement. He had just scored his first bucket in his first basketball game with a 10 foot hoop. His 13 year old sister pumped him up even more by telling him she didn't score a basket until the next to last game of her first year. As we walked to the car Matt said, "Hey Mom can I sit in the front seat to celebrate?" Like many parents, I was tempted, but ...

Car accidents are a leading cause of death for young children in the United States. Every year thousands of children are killed or injured in car crashes. As a personal injury lawyer, I know all too well the anguish and devastation…

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Texting and Driving - What the Law in Virginia Actually Says

Author: Attorney J. David Douthit

Distracted driving remains a major cause of traffic accidents and fatalities.  CNN reports that distracted driving accounted for 16% of traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2009, which is unchanged from 2008.[1] Responding to this problem with regard to cellphones, the Virginia General Assembly enacted Va. Code § 46.2-1078.1, which became effective in July, 2009.[2] This statute largely prohibits driving while texting.

However, enforcement of this law presents some practical problems.  The statute does not make driving while texting a primary offense; that is, a driver cannot be stopped solely for driving while texting and can only be ticketed for violation of the…

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Bad Calls: Mixing Driving With the Use of Cell Phones

Author: Attorney George Edward "Ted" Allen, III

The use of cell phone while driving has resulted in an epidemic of accidents.  The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis reports that each year cell phone distractions cause 600,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, and 3,000 deaths. This works out to more than 1,643 crashes, 940 injuries, and 8 deaths per day. [1]

The number of cell phone subscribers in the United States has skyrocketed from 44 million in 1996 to over 285 million in 2009.[2] The Insurance Information Institute reported that by the end of 2009, 152.7 billion text messages were sent in the United States every month, more than fifteen times the number just four years earlier.[3]

The…

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The Shoulder of the Highway is a Dangerous Place

Trent S. Kerns, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Author: Trent S. Kerns, Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Each year, a staggering number of people are killed on the shoulder of interstates. Approximately 12% of all interstate highway deaths are pedestrians in the roadway or on the shoulder. That's an average of about 610 people per year in the U.S.[1] To avoid becoming one of these statistics, you should follow the following safety guidelines.[2]

If there is not an emergency, don't stop on the shoulder.

It is incredibly dangerous, especially at night, because drivers are often fatigued and cannot see what is on the shoulder. Many times accidents happen when fatigued drivers see lights ahead and think that they belong to a car traveling…

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Is Your Family Dog Protected Under Virginia Law in an Accident?

Author: Attorney Christopher Allen Meyer

The law firm of Allen & Allen represents people for personal injuries suffered in accidents. But sometimes an animal or pet, perhaps a family dog, is also injured in an accident. Can you recover for the emotional distress suffered by you or other family members when your beloved pet is injured and suffering, or perhaps for the grief that you suffer when a pet is negligently killed?

Unfortunately, the short answer is no. In Virginia, as in most states, pets are treated in the law as personal property, no matter how beloved they may be or how much a part of the family. You can only recover for the market value of the dog or, if less, the veterinarian bill…

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