Auto Accident

Distracted Driving a Leading Cause of Car Accidents

by Keith Adkins | January 19th, 2015

There are countless contributing factors that can come into play in a motor vehicle collision, but one of the most common causes of car accidents today is distracted driving. In fact, some research shows as many as 8 out of 10 crashes that occur in the commonwealth of Virginia are the result of driver inattention.

So what is being done to deter Virginia’s drivers from engaging in this deadly behavior? In 2013, lawmakers made texting while driving a primary offense. This means law enforcement can stop a driver if they witness a motorist texting while driving. The behavior is punishable by a $125 ticket for a first offense and a $250 fine and three points on your license for every subsequent offense.

Texting and driving was previously considered a secondary violation, meaning the officer or trooper had to witness the motorist break another law before they could be stopped and ticketed for distracted driving.

This is just the first step, though. An article from The News & Advance points out that talking on a cellphone while driving is still legal, despite evidence showing the behavior is dangerous as well.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, we recognize the dangers distracted driving can pose to all motorists. That’s why our Norfolk personal injury lawyers ask that you put your phone down while driving and pledge not to drive while distracted.

If a distracted driver has injured you, it’s also important to know that we can help. Our legal team is standing by to offer you assistance with any questions you may have, and can help begin the legal processes to get you on the road to compensation. Call us anytime at (757) 459-CASH for a free consultation of your case.

How to Avoid Drowsy Driving Car Accidents This Holiday Season

by Keith Adkins | December 29th, 2014

The holidays are upon us and between the long drives to visit family or friends combined with the late night parties that accompany New Year’s Eve, it can be difficult to stay awake while behind the wheel. That’s why many are working to minimize the number of drowsy driving car accidents that occur this holiday season.

One program with a mission to reduce the number of drowsy drivers who are on the road is “Awake At The Wheel.” The campaign is sponsored by the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project and, according to Sleep Review, works to educate lawmakers and the public on the importance of getting plenty of rest prior to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. The organization was recently represented at the National Transportation Safety Board’s Highway Safety Forum by President-Elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Nathaniel Watson, who offered tips on how drivers can avoid falling asleep at the wheel.

Some of those tips include:

  • Don’t Depend on Gimmicks- Drinking caffeinated beverages, rolling your windows down, or turning up the stereo have all been proven ineffective in preventing motorists from falling asleep.
  • Get Plenty of Rest- Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep prior to driving. If you find yourself drifting off during your trip, pull over at a safe location to rest.
  • Don’t Drink And Drive- Alcohol tends to make many drivers drowsy on top of impairing judgment, so never get behind the wheel after drinking.

Our team of Norfolk personal injury attorneys here at Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers hopes these tips help you have happy—and safe—holiday travels!

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.

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.

 

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.

 

VDOT Works to Reduce Norfolk Car Accidents Involving Pedestrians and Cyclists at Berkley Bridge

by Keith Adkins | July 28th, 2014

There is currently a serious concern among local lawmakers about the high number of Norfolk car accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles. Just last month, a cyclist was hit on the pedestrian path of the Berkley Bridge near downtown.

The incident left many citizens calling for safety improvements to be made in the area and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has responded. According to an article from WAVY 10 News, the VDOT has not only repainted markings on the road and installed new signage, but they have also set up posts that will guide pedestrian and bicycle traffic across the span.

The VDOT didn’t stop there though. They also established regulations that would prevent motor vehicles from regularly traveling along the bridge. Now, golf carts will be used to shuttle employees from nearby businesses to and from their vehicles. Furthermore, walking spotters will be used to help identify any hazards when motor vehicles do have to travel along the bridge.

The VDOT says it will continue to evaluate the safety situation at the bridge and make any necessary changes to improve safety when they are pointed out.

Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley and his team of Norfolk personal injury lawyers understand the importance of protecting cyclists and pedestrians from the dangers car accidents can pose and are hopeful the changes that have been made are a success.

Virginia Beach DA to Prosecute All DUI Offenses

by Keith Adkins | June 23rd, 2014

Drunk driving has reached epidemic proportions in the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Estimates show the area sees approximately 2,300 drunk driving arrests each year, many of which are made after the impaired motorist has caused a Norfolk car accident. These individuals account for roughly 10 percent of all Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests in the commonwealth and give the area the title of having the highest total number of DUI arrests.

These numbers leave many citizens wondering what is being done to address this problem and there seems to be a solution being put into place. According to an article from WAVY 10 News, the District Attorney’s office has vowed to prosecute every DUI case that comes across their desk beginning on June 30.

Typically, first-time offenders can have their case settled out of court in order to allow more focus to be placed on other cases involving repeat offenders or drunk drivers who kill or injure other motorists; however, every offender will now have a day in court before the judge.

In order to accommodate the approximately 1,400 extra drunk driving cases per year the area will see, a courtroom will be dedicated to prosecuting these cases. The District Attorney’s office is also working to raise awareness of their policy change through a public service announcement airing on local television stations and a Public Safety Night that will be held on June 27 at 7 p.m. at Mount Trashmore.

Our team of Norfolk personal injury attorneys with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley has seen the devastating results of accidents caused by drunk drivers. That’s why we applaud these changes and encourage anyone who has been harmed by an intoxicated motorist to speak with us about the compensation you may be entitled to.

Virginia Car Accident Risks Prompt Shut Down of Ride Sharing Services

by Keith Adkins | June 9th, 2014

Ride sharing services are offering eastern Virginia a new and more affordable transportation solution, but controversy is swirling around the legality and safety of these services. This battle reached a new level earlier this week when the Virginia Department of Transportation ordered two of the ride sharing industry’s top providers to halt services in the area immediately.

Uber and Lyft both operate by having patrons sign up and download the company’s application to a smartphone. Users are then matched with available drivers and vehicles in their area. A suggested payment is then offered and the user can decide how much they would like to pay their driver.

While the service sounds great, many are concerned there is a grey area in liability coverage in the event the ride sharing vehicle is involved in an accident. WAVYTV 10 News explains officials say these companies should have to meet the same authority requirements as cab drivers since money is being exchanged for a ride; however, the companies argue that each driver is required to provide their own liability coverage, which absolves the company of responsibility if a crash happens.

The state is currently conducting research into the use of technology in transportation and its effects on Virginia car accident numbers. Until conclusions are drawn though, companies will have to comply with the current state laws.

The team of Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley appreciate the convenience and value ride-sharing services offer, but want to ensure the public is safe and covered in the event of a car accident. If you’ve been injured in a car accident while using a ride sharing service such as Lyft or Uber, contact us to see how we can help.

Ride Share Companies Facing Fines Prior to Launching Operations in Coastal Virginia

by Keith Adkins | May 5th, 2014

Getting from one place to another can be time consuming and expensive. To help alleviate this problem in Virginia Beach, two companies are considering bringing their ride sharing services to the area, but the move is already being met with hesitation from government officials stemming from incomplete paperwork and concern over liability in the event of a Virginia car accident involving one of the companies’ drivers.

An article from WAVY 10 News explains ride share company, Uber, is facing civil penalties of $26,000 for failure to meet broker’s license requirements. The company argues that they should not have to pay the fees or carry the documentation, as they are not necessarily for hire, like a taxi or limo. Instead, they say their driver is the one who is hired and carries the onus of liability. Lyft is facing a $9,000 fine for a similar infraction.

While the companies are working to iron out the legal framework for this particular business model, several lawsuits have already been filed against the two companies stemming from accidents their drivers were involved in. In each incident, a passenger was injured and is seeking damages from the companies for their losses.

The Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell “the Hammer” Stanley recognize who complex the process of determining liability following an accident can be. That is why the firm urges anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle collision to discuss their legal options with an attorney immediately.

Three Major Contributing Factors to Norfolk Car Accidents

by Keith Adkins | March 24th, 2014

March 24, 2014

Motor vehicle collisions are a very serious danger to motorists in Virginia. In fact, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles shows that in 2012 alone, there were a total of 123,579 Virginia Car Accidents that led to 775 fatalities and approximately 64,000 injuries.

Statistics like these leave many motorists wondering what some of the most common contributing factors to these crashes are. The Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley explain they can be:

  • Speeding – Estimates show excessive speed to be a factor in as many as one-third of all fatal accidents. It is also being considered to blame as the cause for an accident ABC 13 News says claimed the life of a 18-year-old girl from Hampton, Virginia.
  • Distracted Driving - As many as 60 percent of motorists have admitted to taking a call or sending a text while at the wheel. Teens seem to be at an especially high risk of being involved in an accident when engaging in this behavior.
  • Drunken Driving - This is one of the most significant problems on the road today. Studies show that if the 17 million drunk drivers in our country had their own state, it would be the fifth largest in our nation.

Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley and his team of attorneys recognize these dangers, and they ask motorists to stay safe behind the wheel.