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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Annual Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony of MADD of Virginia

Author: Attorney Melinda H. South

Recently I had the privilege of attending the Annual Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving - Virginia Chapter) at the Chesterfield Airport.  It was a moving evening to see the men and women of the local police departments and sheriffs' offices recognized for their contributions in stopping drunk drivers and in turn making the highways safer. The evening recognized officers in Central Virginia from Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan, Dinwiddie, Petersburg, Prince George, New Kent, Surry, Sussex, Hopewell, Emporia, Colonial Heights and Greensville.

Speaking on behalf of the Allen firm and…

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The Evolving Law of Contributory Negligence: "Putting One Foot in Front of the Other"

 Author: R. Clayton Allen

Contributory Negligence is the legal doctrine in Virginia which provides that a plaintiff's negligence, no matter how slight, that contributes in some way to her injuries, no matter the extent of the negligence of the Defendant, bars the plaintiff from recovery for those injuries.  Most states have the legal doctrine of comparative negligence, which says that if both the plaintiff and the defendant are negligent, then you compare the negligence of each to determine the percentage of the plaintiff's losses that the plaintiff can recover.[1]

The law of contributory negligence in Virginia continues to evolve.  Many of the harshest aspects of the doctrine have been further…

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Insurance Coverage - Are You Protected?

Author: Claims Consultant Robert L. Mertig

In Virginia, we see many instances where the at-fault party has only minimum limits of automobile liability insurance coverage, and the injured party also has only the minimum limit of $25,000.[1] Under these circumstances, often the most you can recover -- no matter how serious your injury or loss - is only $25,000.

Increasing your liability and UM (Uninsured Motorist) limits protects you in two ways.  If you are the at-fault party there is more money available to compensate injured parties and obtain a release on your behalf.  This increased coverage also comes into play to compensate you if the other driver (liable party) only had minimum limits of…

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Racing like a pro - Allen & Allen Sponsored Bridget Murray at the Soap Box Derby

Racing like a pro

Source: http://www.chesterfieldobserver.com/news/2010-08-11/Family/Racing_like_a_pro.html

By Caroline Gecker Chesterfield Observer INTERN

Rising fifth-grader Bridget Murray is the best driver in metro Richmond - or at least the best soap box stock car driver.

Bridget was recently named the champion of the stock car division of the Richmond Soap Box Derby, quite a feat for a first-time participant. Her impressive journey did not end there, however, as her first-place finish qualified her for a trip of a lifetime to the 73rd All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio.

Bridget's mother, LeeAnn, works as a receptionist at the Chesterfield office…

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What is mesothelioma? Why am I seeing so many commercials related to it?

Author Attorney Jason W. Konvicka

"Mesothelioma" is a rare form of cancer that typically involves the lungs, but can also affect the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum) and the lining of the heart (pericardium).  The only known cause of this cancer is exposure to asbestos.

The recent increase of mesothelioma advertisements is due in part to the unusually long latency period between the exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma.  The National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control estimate that latency period to be between 30 and 50 years.  Asbestos use in the United States peaked in 1973 when an estimated 1.6 trillion pounds were used.[1] Thus, when you consider…

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Virginia Expands the "Move Over" Law

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Author: David M. Williams, Jr., Stafford Personal Injury Attorney

When driving on the highway, it's not unusual to see police or emergency vehicles on the shoulder. Sometimes emergency vehicles may be stopped on the highway, due to a motor vehicle accident, a tree or other debris in the road, or some other emergency. Many drivers do not realize that Virginia law requires a driver in these situations to move over into a more distant lane, unless it would be unreasonable or unsafe to do so. If you cannot move over safely, then you are required to proceed with caution and at an appropriate speed. Recently the law was expanded to include almost any vehicle that has flashing lights on the shoulder.

Virginia's…

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News Story: Hometown Heroes Honored in Charlottesville at Fridays After Five

View the CBS 19 News Story Video Law Firm Honors "100 Hometown Heroes" at Fridays After Five

Posted: 11:22 PM Jul 9, 2010 Reporter: Jennifer Black Email Address: jennifer.black@newsplex.com

July 9, 2010

After months of collecting nominations, the Richmond-based personal injury law firm Allen & Allen chose their list of "100 Hometown Heroes." The law firm seeking nominations from all across central Virginia to help celebrate their 100th anniversary. Of the 100 heroes selected, 33 are from the Charlottesville area.

During the weekly Fridays After Five concert series at the Charlottesville Pavilion, staff from Allen & Allen and Mayor Dave Norris helped introduce the local heroes.

"We just wanted…

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Do I Need An Attorney After My Accident?

Author: Attorney Charles Littlepaige ("Litt") Allen

Often I am asked by people who are injured in accidents that are someone else's fault whether they will benefit from being represented by an attorney. Generally, the answer is yes. However, I always encourage people to take advantage of the opportunity for a free consultation that most personal injury law firms offer, and to use that free consultation to gather enough information to make an informed decision about whether to retain an attorney.

Sometimes people are only slightly hurt in an accident, and fortunately make a full recovery quickly. In these instances, I often explain to the injured person how they can handle their claim with the insurance…

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100 HOMETOWN HEROES Announced: Law Firm of Allen & Allen Begins Celebration Series

 Richmond, Virginia -- The personal injury law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen today announced the winners of the 100 HOMETOWN HEROES award in celebration of the firm's centennial anniversary.

"It's time to celebrate," said Douglas A. Barry, President. "In honor of Allen & Allen's one hundred year anniversary, we are thanking the people who make up the communities we serve and recognizing the everyday heroes who make Virginia a great place to live."

Nominations for the 100 HOMETOWN HEROES award were accepted from April 19, 2010 to May 7, 2010. The public was asked to complete a nomination form in honor of their favorite local hero. "We wanted to hear directly from the community what defines a hero. As a result,…

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