Virginia Boating Safety: New Required Operator Licenses and Education

Summary by: Robert L. Mertig

As summer approaches, it's important to be aware of recent changes in the boating laws in Virginia pertaining to the operation of personal water craft (PWC) such as Jet Skis and motorboats. These changes include a schedule of required licenses and boating safety instruction that begin to take effect this summer. Over the next few years, eventually all users of PWC will be required to have licenses and take courses to obtain these licenses.

By July 1, 2009, all operators younger than 21 and are operating a PWC of 10 horsepower or more will be required to have a license. If you have a PWC like this and are in this age group, you should sign up now for a class, so you get your license…

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Securing Witness Information After an Accident

Author: Chris Cloude

You are driving to the grocery store taking your time and following your normal route. As you approach an intersection, the stoplight is green and you proceed into the intersection. Out of the corner of your eye you see a flash, and your car is hit on the passenger side.

A few days later, an adjuster calls you from the insurance company for the person that hit you. The adjuster informs you that the insurance company is denying your claim from your auto accident because their insured says they had the green light, not you.

This story is one we hear almost every day. Without other witnesses, often there is not much that can be done to make a recovery. If the insurance company won't discuss…

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What Happened to Fair and Reasonable?

Author: Egena T. Younger

I worked on the defense side for insurance companies for over 17 years. I experienced many years of investigating, evaluating, and negotiating automobile and commercial claims. From the first day of work, I was told to settle cases for a fair and reasonable amount. I was proud to represent the insurance company and its investors by checking every bill and report, to ensure that only what was necessary, related and reasonable, would be considered in evaluating an appropriate settlement offer. I gave a lot of consideration to the amount of property damage, the amount of the bills, the duration of the treatment, and how credible a witness our insured would make in defending his/her actions. I was…

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What is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

By Attorney Charles L. Allen

"What is my case worth?" I am often asked this question by clients when I am first getting to know them. The simple answer is this; whatever a jury says it is worth.

Some people with personal injury claims are surprised to find out that they are not automatically entitled to a settlement from the insurance company. In fact, their only legal right is a trial to determine the amount of their recovery. The only way one can force an insurance company to pay is to successfully sue the person or company they insure. Cases involving very modest injuries are sometimes resolved by a judge in General District Court. However, more significant cases require Circuit Court trials which, in Virginia,…

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