Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers Blog

Virginia Defective Product Lawsuit Alleges Potentially Faulty Guardrails

by Keith Adkins | December 15th, 2014

Manufacturers of products—especially those designed to improve safety—are required to ensure their items don’t present a serious danger to members of the public. Any failure to do so could result in a product being deemed faulty, which could result in costly legal action.

Take the Virginia defective product lawsuit the commonwealth recently filed against Trinity Industries in regards to defective guardrails the company sold. Virginia is one of several states to file such legal action and is among 42 other states and the District of Columbia who have stopped using the guardrails.

According to an article from Bloomberg, the suit claims Trinity failed to inform the state of changes made to the design of the product after the company submitted specifications for the units. The lawsuit alleges that certain parts of the guardrails were shortened, which caused them to fail when struck by vehicles. Instead of properly crumpling and acting as a safety barrier, the lawsuit states that the guardrails impaled vehicles, causing serious injuries to some vehicle occupants.

The suit calls for Trinity to pay to replace the faulty guardrail units. Trinity has stated they are “disappointed” in the move and continue to deny any wrongdoing.

This case could take years to be settled. In the meantime, drivers wonder if they are at risk of being harmed by defective safety equipment. The Norfolk personal injury attorneys with Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers encourage you to speak with a legal representative if you were injured by a guardrail in a car accident. We can be reached to discuss your case by calling (757) 459-CASH today.

New Study Looks at Factors Involved in Cases of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

by Keith Adkins | December 8th, 2014

When we send our loved ones to live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, we expect them to be safe from harm; however, one new study is showing this could be far from reality.

Researchers have shown as many as 1 in 5 nursing home patients are the victims of abuse and an unlikely culprit caused a majority of the harm. They examined the reports filed in more than 2,000 cases of nursing home abuse at 10 different facilities and found that instead of staff members being the ones accused of causing a patient harm, it was most often another patient responsible for the abuse.

Facilities with poor staff-to-patient ratios were found to have higher rates of abuse. Other factors that raised a patient’s chances of being abused or neglected included feuds with roommates and crowded conditions.

New America Media reports the profile of the abuser was also not quite what researchers had in mind. They concluded those who are most likely to harm another patient were younger individuals who were less cognitively impaired and suffered from a mood disorder.

So what can you do to protect yourself or a loved one from nursing home abuse? Norfolk personal injury attorney, Lowell Stanley, points out that taking the following actions can significantly reduce the chances of being harmed by a caregiver or fellow patient:

  • Visit Often- Make a habit of routinely visiting your loved one where they’re staying.
  • Ask Questions- Be sure to have all questions and concerns addressed by your loved one’s caregiver and the facility’s management.
  • Know Your Rights- Speaking with an attorney can help you clarify any issues you may have surrounding a case of nursing home abuse or neglect.

 

Study Finds Many Defective Products Remain on Shelves as Holidays Approach

by Keith Adkins | December 1st, 2014

The holiday season is upon us, and for many, it’s a time for showering family and loved ones with gifts. What we may not realize though, is that many of the products on store shelves may not be safe.

A study published by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found a disturbing number of dangerous and potentially defective products are available for purchase in stores. The “Trouble in Toyland” report showed numerous safety infractions, from toxic chemicals to strangulation and choking hazards.

According to an article from WAVY 10 News,  one toy tambourine contained nine times the legal limit of chromium a product is allowed to contain. Researchers also identified several products that could be considered deadly if swallowed or ingested. Sound levels on some toys were also identified as a safety problem that needs to be further addressed.

So what can you do to keep your loved ones safe during the holiday season? The Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers suggest:

  • Check Labels- Make sure the item you’re purchasing is age-appropriate for the recipient.
  • Check for Recalls- The Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains a list of all items that have been identified as defective products. Make sure the gift you’re purchasing isn’t included on that list.
  • Follow Instructions and Warnings- Read through any manuals that come with the product to ensure it will be used correctly.

We hope these tips help you and your family have a happy and safe holiday season!

The Relationship Between Shipyard Employment and Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits

by Keith Adkins | November 22nd, 2014

All jobs come with certain inherent risks, but jobs in shipyards are some of the most dangerous jobs a person can hold. Those who work in shipyards face an on-the-job injury rate twice that of the construction industry. Although many shipyard and dock workers follow safety procedures and do their best to avoid workplace accidents, the Norfolk personal injury attorneys with Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers say fall hazards are one of the most regularly reported risks at this particular type of job site.

In fact, a Norfolk shipyard is facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines for exposing workers to such risks. An article from WAVY 10 News explains that during an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection conducted in May 2014, investigators found dozens of safety violations. Those infractions included exposing workers to fall risks of greater than 30 feet and failing to have fall prevention equipment in place. Reports show electrical risks were found as well.

The violations have resulted in fines of more than $100,000.

So what should you do if you work in a shipyard and are injured on the job? Filing a Virginia workers’ compensation claim should be your first step, but the steps to complete the process of receiving compensation can be complex. That’s why the team of lawyers with Lowell Stanley are available to help you with your claim. We will not only answer any questions you have regarding your legal situation, but we’ll also advocate on your behalf in court. We’re available to speak with you anytime about your Virginia workers’ compensation claim by calling (757) 549-CASH.

 

Tips for Avoiding Virginia Car Accidents This Thanksgiving

by Keith Adkins | November 17th, 2014

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and for many Virginians, that means it’s time to hit the road to visit family. Unfortunately, this travel rush can lead to an increase in traffic volume, which can in turn cause a rise in the number of Virginia car accidents.

This year is expected to be no different, considering experts believe the number of motorists on the road for the holiday this year will be even greater than previous year’s totals. According to an article from WAVY 10 News, TripAdvisor polls showed 43 percent of Americans were planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, which was a seven point jump from 2013. The trips aren’t short either, with 60 percent of travelers saying they plan to be in the car for more than 200 miles.

So what can you do to stay safe when traveling for Thanksgiving this year? The Norfolk personal injury attorneys with Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers suggest:

  • Leave Early- One of the best ways to avoid holiday traffic is to get out of town before everyone else.
  • Plan Ahead- Know the route and traffic conditions along the roads you plan to travel. Also, look for alternate routes in areas where traffic may become congested.
  • Inspect Your Vehicle- It may be wise to have your vehicle serviced and inspected prior to traveling. This can include changing your oil, rotating the tires, replacing wiper blades, and filling up with gas.
  • Obey the Law- Stay safe by buckling up, slowing down, eliminating distractions, and adhering to traffic signals.
  • Be Patient- Road rage is one of the leading causes of accidents today, so remember to breathe deeply and take your time if caught in traffic.

 

$550,000 Settlement Reached in Virginia Wrongful Death Case

by Keith Adkins | November 10th, 2014

Doctors not only have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect the well-being of their patients, but in some cases, they may also be responsible for offering the same protection to family members. This was highlighted by a recent Virginia wrongful death case that resulted in the victim being awarded $550,000 in damages.

After separating from the mother of his child, a man was required to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if the boy would be safe with the father during unsupervised visits. Against the wishes of the child’s mother, those visits were granted.

When the child died of “unknown” causes while under the care of the father, the mother filed a lawsuit. She claimed the psychiatrist who approved the unsupervised visits was negligent in protecting the safety of her son.

The Washington Post says the latest award comes on top of more than $650,000 the mother has received for the wrongful death of her son.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, we recognize the difficulties that can come with the unexpected loss of a loved one. That’s why our team of Norfolk personal injury lawyers hopes the latest settlement will bring a sense of closure to this tragic incident for the mother and family of the victim.

Risks Posed By Athletic Brain Injuries and How to Avoid Them

by Keith Adkins | November 3rd, 2014

The risks associated with repeat traumatic brain injuries among athletes have come under heavy public scrutiny in recent years. Despite an increase in awareness of the problem, fatalities due to brain injuries continue to occur.

Take the case of a Mecklenburg County, Virginia, teenager who died as the result of blunt force trauma to the head sustained during a recent football game. Reports indicate the teen suffered a brain injury during a head-to-head hit that occurred just before half time.

According to CBS 6 News, the athlete was treated on the sidelines, but collapsed and began to suffer seizures before being rushed by ambulance to a local hospital. Unfortunately, the young man died before medical assistance could be administered.

Athletic committees and school boards from across the commonwealth have adopted policies aimed at reducing the risks of accidents like this, but one of the best ways that has been found to prevent serious head trauma is educating athletes about what they can do to stay safe on the field, including:

  • Wear Recommended Safety Gear- While football players are required to wear helmets, studies have shown some types of helmets offer better protection than others. For sports like soccer and field hockey, headgears have been developed in recent years to offer athletes better protection from brain injury.
  • Get Proper Training- Many football programs are now teaching a “heads up” hitting technique that’s aimed at reducing brain injury numbers among players.
  • Report Your Injury- While many athletes are compelled to return to the field as soon as possible—with many not telling coaches or trainers about injuries they’ve suffered—this may not be wise. If you’re hurt during an athletic event, report your injury to team management as soon as possible.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, we recognize the risks athletes face on the field and our team of Norfolk personal injury lawyers hope these tips help to keep you or your athlete safe.

Some of the Most Common Types of Birth Injuries Today

by Keith Adkins | October 27th, 2014

The day your child is born can be the most exhilarating day of your life. It can also be one of the most devastating if things don’t go according to plan during delivery.

Estimates show that in 7 of every 1,000 deliveries, the child or mother will sustain some sort of birth injury. This leaves many parents-to-be wondering what some of the most common birth injuries are. We have compiled a list of some of the most regularly occurring injuries, including:

  • Cerebral Palsy- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says this condition affects 1 in every 278 infants and is often the result of head trauma, a lack of oxygen, or infection. Cerebral Palsy is recognized by its impairment of the victim’s motor function and movement.
  • Brachial Plexus Injury- Such an injury occurs when delivery causes the bundle of nerves in the child’s spinal cords, arms, wrists, and hands to be severed or damaged. This can cause the child’s ability to move to be inhibited.
  • Asphyxia- A lack of oxygen can cause the child to suffer brain damage and even death.
  • Brain Damage- An infant’s head is one of the most sensitive areas of the body during delivery because of the compression of the skull’s plates during birth. Any force exerted on the head can cause serious damage to the brain, which can result in impaired cognitive and physical function.

If your child has been harmed during birth and is afflicted with one of these or another condition, the most important thing to remember is that help is available. The Norfolk personal injury attorneys with Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers have helped numerous birth injury victims and can do the same for you. To learn more about how we can assist you with your case, call us at (757) 459-CASH.

Video Aims to Reduce Virginia and Norfolk Bicycle Accident Numbers

by Keith Adkins | October 20th, 2014

The colorful leaves and cooler climates that accompany fall in Virginia make the commonwealth a great place to get out on a bicycle this time of year. Unfortunately, cyclists in Virginia are especially prone to involvement in accidents, especially in Norfolk.

Reports from the Department of Motor Vehicles show that in 2013, there were a total of 739 collisions between vehicles and bicycles. Of those crashes, 45 were a Norfolk bicycle accident.

Numbers like these leave many citizens wondering what is being done to improve bicycle safety in Virginia. It seems as though two bicycle advocacy groups have combined efforts to create a new video that’s focused on educating the public about bicycle safety.

According to an article from WDBJ 7 News, RIDE Solutions and the Blue Ridge Transportation Safety Board created the video. It not only discusses the laws of the road and how they pertain to cyclists, but also what’s needed to prevent bicycle crashes. Roanoke County Police Chief, Howard Hall, explained the message is that motorists need to be more vigilant of their surroundings when driving while cyclists need to recognize their responsibility to obey all traffic laws.

The video is set to debut as part of the Go Outdoors Festival.

The team of Norfolk personal injury attorneys with Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers recognizes the importance of bicycle safety in our community and we are hopeful the video is successful in spreading the message of accident prevention.

 

The “One Bite Rule” and Other Regulations Pertaining to a Dog Bite Injury

by Keith Adkins | October 13th, 2014

Each state in the U.S. has its own set of rules to govern what actions should be taken in the event a domesticated pet attacks a person. In Virginia, we have what’s known as the “One Bite Rule.”

One Bite Rule

This particular law states that an animal must have a history of violent or aggressive behavior before the owner can be held responsible for damages the animal inflicts in an attack. There is a loophole in the law that allows for an owner to be held accountable for a first incident of the animal inflicting a dog bite injury if negligence can be established.

What Happens to Dangerous Dogs and Their Owners?

If a dog is shown to have a history of violence, local animal control officials can take it into custody where it can be monitored for signs of disease. Owners of dangerous dogs may also face criminal or civil charges.

A Virginia Beach man has been charged with crimes in relationship to an attack committed by his dog. Reports from WAVY 10 News say the man faces two counts of failure to control a dangerous dog.

Getting Help After a Dog Bite Injury

Knowing the subtleties of the laws surrounding dog bite injuries is an area the Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley are familiar with and we can certainly help you if you’ve been hurt in an attack by canines. Not only can we answer the questions you have regarding your case, we can also help you collect and submit the necessary paperwork for filing a claim.

Call us today at (757) 459-CASH to learn more about what we can do for you.