The first occurred in May, when the cyclist crossed four lanes of traffic on Virginia Beach Boulevard and was hit by a Grand Prix. Then, in July, a second fatality occurred when a cyclist was hit after falling off his bike on South Independence Boulevard. Both serve as sober reminders of the importance of bicycle safety and driver awareness. Continue reading “Stay Safe Bicycling in Virginia: Know the Law”
While motor vehicle accidents often cause severe, noticeable injuries such as broken bones and lacerations, victims also suffer less obvious injuries to “soft tissues.” In my experience, no phrase has produced more unfair behavior from insurance companies, defense attorneys, and litigants than “SOFT TISSUE INJURY.” Because what is the implication? . . . that these injuries are minor, they don’t matter, they are faked, they can’t be proven, and a whole host of other misleading and mischaracterizing claims. Continue reading “Accidents and Soft Tissue Injuries”
Anyone out there remember Dead Man’s Curve, the 1964 song by Jan & Dean? A tragic story about teenagers drag racing. How many of you have seen Fast and Furious 1 through 7? People — ESPECIALLY YOUNG PEOPLE– (as well as Vin Diesel) don’t always appreciate the dangers associated with the operation of motor vehicles under even normal circumstances. That being said, it is more frightening to think about the possible outcomes of illegal drag racing. THINK ABOUT IT! Kids, who think they’re indestructible, racing cars at high rates of speed on public roads populated with unsuspecting drivers! Continue reading “Illegal Street Racing in Virginia”
Claims for personal injury are often based on a theory of negligence on the part of one person that caused harm to another. In order to establish negligence, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care in the situation in question, and that he failed to do so. Continue reading “The Three Degrees of Negligence in Virginia: Simple, Gross, and Willful, Wanton, and Reckless”
“People are dying.”
Those are the words from a guardrail installer turned whistle-blower who brought a successful suit against Trinity Industries, a major guardrail manufacturer.
A Texas jury awarded $175 million against Trinity after Harman reported that the company secretly changed its federally approved product, rendering it unsafe. By law, the jury’s verdict was tripled, and earlier this year, the judge tacked on additional civil penalties of $138 million. Continue reading “Man Injured After Guardrail Reportedly Impales Car”
Have you ever called someone NEGLIGENT because they cut you off in traffic? Many people use the word negligence, but under Virginia law, this word has a very specific meaning. In fact, all new law students study negligence because the American civil justice system depends on it.
To win a negligence case in Virginia, the person suing, known as a plaintiff, must PROVE four things:
1. That the person who injured him had a duty to exercise ordinary care toward him;
2. That the person who injured him breached, or violated, that duty;
3. That the person’s acts or failure to act caused the plaintiff’s injuries; and
4. That the plaintiff was damaged in some way. Continue reading “What Is a Negligence Case?”
LANE SPLITTING? What the heck is that? Lane splitting is a practice that is gaining popularity around the country that facilitates the movement of motorcycles through traffic under certain circumstances more safely and efficiently. So far, lane splitting is legal only in California, where the State Highway Patrol has adopted guidelines permitting the practice, in the absence of any law prohibiting it. Continue reading “Know the Law: Lane Splitting in Virginia”
There is a lurking threat around every corner out there: TEEN DRIVERS! Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 24 represent as much as 30% of the costs of motor vehicle injuries. In addition, on a per mile basis, drivers between 16 and 19 are three times as likely than older drivers to be in a crash resulting in death.
Why are teenagers more dangerous drivers? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have explained some of the more notable reasons: Continue reading “Motor Vehicle Accidents Are the Leading Killer of Teens”