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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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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A Note About Social Media and Juries

John G.

By John G. "Jack" Berry, Charlottesville, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Discussions about social media dominate today’s culture. Despite the inherent tendency of our legal system to move slowly in adjusting to cultural trends like this one, it, too, has been required to address issues raised by the pervasive use of social media.

The right to trial by jury is the most fundamental cornerstone of our democracy. We can trace its roots to the earliest days of our republic and across the Atlantic back to medieval England and beyond. While the infringement on the right to a fair and impartial trial before a jury of fellow citizens is often initiated by those in the halls of government and big business,…

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My Doctor Told Me My Last Doctor Should Have Treated Me Differently. Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

Author: Malcolm P. McConnell, III - Richmond Medical Malpractice Attorney

I have been a medical malpractice attorney for 26 years. On many occasions, on meeting with a potential client, they have assured me that a new physician was critical in some way of a prior physician. Often, my potential client will think this proves medical malpractice. My response to this situation is always the same: No, it doesn’t mean that at all.

Medical malpractice has a legal definition. It is not enough to prove that a doctor made a mistake. It is not enough to prove that treatment ended with a bad, unexpected result. And it is not enough that another doctor (the new doctor) would have done things differently, or…

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Motorcycle Safety: Reduce Your Risk of Serious Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident

Author. Bridget N.Long - Richmond Personal Injury Attorney

According to the Virginia Highway Safety Office, in 2012, motorcycle riders who were injured made up about 3% of all traffic injuries in Virginia.[1] Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents accounted for over 10% of all traffic fatalities in that same year.[2] When motorcyclists are involved in traffic accidents, the injuries they receive more usually more serious than other motor vehicle operators, and these injuries are more often fatal. The most common injuries from motorcycle accidents are injuries to the brain, the spine, and the internal organs, as well as broken bones (fractures), all of which can be life-threatening. A fracture can be debilitating…

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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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Tractor Trailer Accident Statistics - Infographic

Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle - Virginia Truck Accident Attorney

Every day thousands of Virginians take to the roads alongside some of the largest, most dangerous vehicles in the world. It is estimated that more than 2 million tractor trailers are cruising America’s roadways and every year they are involved in more than 500,000 accidents. These truck accidents often result in catastrophic injury and even death. Shifting and falling cargo, drowsy drivers, and improperly maintained trucks all take their toll, but in fact only 16% of accidents involving a tractor trailer are the fault of the truck driver. By learning how to drive safely in the shadow of large trucks, motorists can greatly reduce their…

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Distracted Driving Statistic: Infographic

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

Distracted drivers are one of the greatest dangers on the roads today. Studies have shown that driving with a significant distraction such as texting is equivalent to driving drunk. In addition, distracted drivers are on the road in much greater numbers and at all hours of the day. Cell phones, food and drink, and even loud or disruptive passengers all slow the reaction time of ordinary people operating dangerous machines. Distractions caused by texting and talking on the phone account for more than 40% of all auto accidents.

We are only now beginning to understand the dangers of distracted driving. New laws are going into…

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UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE IN THE WAKE OF A HIT AND RUN: A Touch of Relief in the Wake of Tragedy

By: Christopher J. Toepp, Fredericksburg Personal Injury Attorney

On Saturday May 11, 2013 – the day before Mother’s Day – news reports in Richmond, VA and Chesterfield, VA detailed two unrelated accidents involving hit-and-run drivers. Will Bagby and Jonathan Clark were severely injured when a tractor trailer struck their bicycles as they were riding on the side of the road.[1] Elizabeth West, a 19 year old girl, was tragically killed as she was walking across an intersection near her home.[2] Both drivers – unidentified at the time of this writing – fled the scene of the accidents.

As families across the country prepared to honor their mothers and grandmothers with a day of celebration, my thoughts…

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Brain Injury Statistics: Infographic

Author: Courtney Allen Van Winkle, Richmond Personal Injury Attorney

Every 21 seconds someone in the United States sustains a brain injury. This often results in a litany of difficult choices and medical treatments for the injured and their family. Brain injuries are among the most devastating and traumatic afflictions one can suffer. They are caused by a wide variety of factors and present with a massive array of symptoms and conditions that experts are still struggling to understand. Often, brain injuries are permanent; requiring a lifetime of treatment and care.

Even a minor brain injury has the potential to seriously impact the victim’s life. Possible symptoms include personality changes, inability…

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