Passing and Overtaking on Two Lane Roads: Safe Driving

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Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald - Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

Although less than 20% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, about 55% of traffic fatalities in the United States occurred there in 2010.  Many of these rural motor vehicle fatalities were on two-lane roads.[1]

An older study based on 2003 data revealed that two-lane primary roads in Virginia accounted for almost half of all traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth.  However, only approximately 1/3 of the estimated miles driven on Virginia roadways in 2003 were on two-lane primary roads.[2]

Serious accidents on two-lane roads occur for a variety of reasons, including driver inattention, excessive speed…

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Clarification in Virginia Ethics Rules : Virginia State Bar Updates The Code on Legal Ethics Regarding Communication With a Guardian ad Litem: LEO 1870

Author: Christopher Allen Meyer

The Virginia State Bar Standing Committee on Legal Ethics issues Legal Ethics Opinions (LEOs) concerning the ethical obligations of attorneys.  Often a LEO explains or clarifies the application to a specific situation of a particular ethical rule governing the conduct of attorneys in Virginia.   On October 8, 2013, the Committee released LEO 1870, which clarifies the ability of a lawyer in a case to communicate with a person represented by a Guardian ad Litem (GAL)[1] without the consent of the GAL.  Under Virginia law, generally an attorney may not contact a person directly who is represented by an attorney; they should contact that person's attorney.  Apparently some attorneys…

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The Facts About Distracted Driving

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel - Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

There are roughly 8.2 million people living in Virginia[1], and approximately 5.4 million of them are registered drivers[2]. With this many people on our roads, it's a small wonder that there were only 124,000 reported traffic crashes in 2012[3]. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV") does give statistics on alcohol and speed related accidents, but doesn't currently give any for accidents caused by distracted driving. However, the US Department of Transportation ("USDOT") does have some national statistics on the issue. It reports that distracted drivers caused or contributed to 10% of crashes involving injuries in the…

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Bicycle Laws in Virginia – Protecting your Rights and Staying Safe

Author: Sandra S. Gregor - Fredericksburg, VA Personal Injury Attorney

When riding a bicycle on Virginia’s roadways, cyclists generally have the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles.[1] They are required to ride with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic signs, signals, lights, and markings.[2] Although cyclists may have these same rights, in the real world not all drivers appreciate having cyclists on the roads. Bicycles can cause delay or some drivers may think they simply get in the way. Knowing this, most cyclists try to be particularly courteous on the road. Since we share the road, it makes sense to be polite and cooperative while riding – staying to the far right of the roadway,…

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Allen & Allen is ranked Tier 1 in Best Law Firms 2014 by US News & World Reports

On November 1, 2013, U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers® announced that the Virginia law firm of Allen & Allen has been honored with a Tier 1 ranking in “Best Law Firms” for Personal Injury Litigation and Medical Malpractice – Plaintiff’s in Richmond, Virginia. The "Best Law Firms" rankings will be published in US News & World Reports later in November. The 2014 “Best Law Firms” list recognizes firms for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers and signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

Over 12,000 attorneys provided over 330,000 law firm assessments on which the 2014 Best Law Firms rankings were…

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Motor Vehicle Safety: Dangers of Texting While Driving & The Legal Responsibility for Distracted Driving

Author: Tammy Stafford Ruble, Esq.

We learn more every day about the dangers of texting while driving. A recent decision in New Jersey may signal a new era of expanding legal responsibility, not merely for the driver, but for those outside the car sending the texts.

According to the New Jersey decision, in September 2009, teenager Kyle Best was driving down a country road in New Jersey while texting back and forth with a female friend, Shannon Colonna. His pickup truck drifted across the highway and struck David and Linda Kubert in the oncoming lane of traffic. The Kuberts, riding on a motorcycle, suffered devastating injuries, each losing a leg in the collision. David Kubert saw it coming. "What…

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New penalties for DUI first offenders in Virginia - Virginia Motor Vehicle Laws

By: Kathleen Smith - Fredericksburg Personal Injury Attorney

According to the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), one person in the U.S. dies in an alcohol related collision every 52 minutes.[1] To combat the tragic consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), Virginia joined 15 other states adopting harsher penalties for first time offenders. Other states that have adopted the new, harsher DUI laws have seen a decrease by as much as 52% in alcohol related deaths, and a reduction in repeat drinking and driving offenses by an average of 67%.[2]

The primary change in Virginia law concerning first time offenders was that, as of July 1, 2012, a conviction requires…

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Congratulations to the 2014 Virginia Teacher of the Year: Melissa A. Porfirio

Allen & Allen is pleased to congratulate the 2014, Virginia Teacher of the Year, Melissa A. Porfirio. On October 11, 2013, Ms. Porfirio was awarded the honor of 2014 Virginia Teacher of the Year at an evening banquet and reception in Richmond, Virginia. Ms. Porfirio was recognized with seven other outstanding 2014 Regional Teachers of the Year from across the state. She is a first-grade teacher at Crestwood Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia and has taught at Crestwood for eight years. She earned her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University.

Melissa Porfirio worked as an English teacher to adolescents in Seoul, Korea and as a social…

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Allen & Allen Family Fun Day - Gayton Elementary School - Saturday October 19th

The personal injury law firm of Allen & Allen has teamed up with Henrico Fire Station 13 for a Family Fun Day on Saturday October 19, 2013 from 10 am - 1 pm at Gayton Elementary School, located on Church Road, east of Lauderdale Road. This family friendly event will feature a fire truck from Station 13 with the opportunity for the community to meet their local heroes and touch the truck. Dimples the Clown will be on site for face painting and balloons. Ice cream will be served and there will be give aways and prizes.

Allen & Allen is the oldest and largest personal injury law firm in Virginia. This event highlights the firm's commitment to the communities there they live and work. Allen & Allen has eight offices located…

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Asleep at the Wheel: The Facts About Fatigued Driving

Author: Christopher J. Toepp - Fredericksburg Personal Injury Lawyer

We live in a fast-paced world. Whether it’s working overtime, staying up late to finish a project or socializing with friends, studies suggest that long days and restless nights are common for most of us. The National Sleep Foundation (“NSF”) estimates that millions of Americans suffer from “self-imposed sleep deprivation.”[1] Everyone knows that sleep-deprived drivers create serious and potentially deadly car accidents on America’s roadways. A lesser known fact is that fatigued driving has reached almost epidemic proportions in today’s society.

The NSF survey reveals that 36 percent of Americans drive drowsy or fall asleep behind…

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