Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers Blog

New Plan Aims to Eradicate Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence in the U.S.

by Keith Adkins | August 11th, 2014

When our loved ones are unable to care for themselves, using a home care provider or nursing home’s services may be the best way to ensure they receive the medical attention they need. On the other hand, nursing home abuse rates are through the roof.

The National Center for Elder Abuse reports that as many as 1 in 3 nursing home residents will become victims of abuse or negligence. Experts are quick to point out this estimate may be on the low end though, considering a large number of cases may go unreported.

Officials are hoping to curb the number of elderly patients who are harmed each year by creating a new plan to address the problem. The Elder Justice Roadmap lays out five priorities that are key to combating nursing home abuse, and they include:

  1. Awareness- Finding new and innovative ways to educate the public about nursing home abuse through improved policies and research is crucial.
  2. Brain Health- Improving patient brain function through focused research is believed to also have a significant impact on nursing home abuse rates.
  3. Caregiving- Providing better support and training to healthcare workers.
  4. Economics- Pinning down the costs associated with nursing home abuse will also work to dissuade the behavior.
  5. Resources- Investment in resources to support victims of nursing home abuse is important to victims’ recovery.

The Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers are hopeful these changes will successfully bring an end to nursing home abuse in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Penalties Increased for Failing to Carry Virginia Workers’ Compensation Coverage

by Keith Adkins | August 4th, 2014

State law requires most employers in the Commonwealth of Virginia to carry an insurance policy that will cover expenses in the event an accident occurs that leaves a worker injured. Unfortunately, many employers attempt to avoid the costs of carrying Virginia workers’ compensation coverage by misclassifying employees on their payroll.

The state is working to address this issue though. In fact, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission just announced it would be increasing the penalties for any company that is caught committing infractions of employment fraud.

A press release from the agency states uninsured employers will face a civil penalty of as much as $250 per day—with a maximum of $50,000— for non-compliance. The new regulations apply to any company or person who hires two or more part- or full-time employees. Those who use subcontractors must also count those individuals as their employees as well.

The hope is that new regulations and better investigations will deter companies from attempting to list employees as “independent contractors” in order to save money. The agency says they will be closely observing how control is exerted over a worker’s manner and means of completing their tasks in order to make a determination as to how an employee should be classified.

At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, our Norfolk personal injury attorneys have seen the effects a lack of benefits and resources can have on injured workers, which is why we are hopeful the reforms being made in Virginia will help provide Virginia workers’ compensation coverage to more workers.

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.

2 Recent Changes to Virginia Workers’ Compensation Law

by Keith Adkins | July 22nd, 2014

Employers in the commonwealth of Virginia have a responsibility—by law—to protect the health and safety of workers they hire. Failure to do so has resulted in costly penalties and the potential of facing civil litigation in the past, but now the laws have been changed to make the punishment for not providing Virginia workers’ compensation coverage even greater.

Under previous Virginia state law, an employer not carrying a workers’ compensation insurance package to cover the costs associated with a workplace accident could result in a fine of anywhere between $500 and $5,000. According to an article from The News Virginian, the penalties were raised on July 1 to anywhere between $250 per day, per noncompliance, or a total of up to $50,000 in penalties plus collection costs.

These are the first changes to the penalties for failing to carry workers’ compensation coverage in about 20-years and were made in an effort to curb the number of employers who found it cheaper to face penalties in the event of an accident than to carry insurance.

Other changes to Virginia workers’ compensation law that went into effect this month include stiffer penalties for employers who misclassify employees in order to avoid coverage or reduce rates.

The key to these reforms being effective will be holding companies responsible. That means employees who are hurt on the job should report the incident to the proper authorities immediately. The Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley also encourage accident victims to discuss their potential rights to compensation with an attorney prior to settling with a workers’ compensation insurer.

Virginia Medical Malpractice Cap Rises to $2.15 Million

by Keith Adkins | July 14th, 2014

Medical professionals have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect the safety of their patients. Failures to do so may result in civil litigation against the parties responsible for the patient’s harm.

In cases of Virginia medical malpractice, determining the amount of money an injured patients can receive is complicated by a cap schedule the state has placed on such awards.

In 1999, state officials designed a schedule that would allow a slight increase in the amount that can be awarded to victims of Virginia medical malpractice. It began with a $1.5 million medical malpractice cap on July 1, 2000, and has progressed to a cap of $2.15 million on July 1, 2014.

The amount that an individual can be awarded depends on when the accident, injury, or medical error occurred. In other words, an individual can only be awarded the amount of the cap during the year their injury occurs.

In 2031, the cap will max out at a total of $3 million.

There are also statutes of limitations that apply to Virginia medical malpractice claims, which is why it’s important to speak with an attorney about your case as soon as possible. The Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley are aware of how confusing the legal process can be and are here to help victims of Virginia medical malpractice.

Man’s Brain Injury the Result of Headbanging at Motorhead Concert

by Keith Adkins | July 7th, 2014

Millions of music fans around the world enjoy the driving guitars and deliberate drumming of heavy metal—a genre of rock and roll that became prominent in the 1970s.  They show their appreciation for the music by whipping their heads up and down to the beat in a practice that has become known as “headbanging.” What these fans may not realize though, is that going through this motion may cause a serious brain injury.

The LA Times has released an article that tells the story of a 50-year-old fan of the band Motorhead, who was headbanging so hard at a concert the band put on in January 2013 that he caused his brain to bleed. The medical team who treated the victim released their findings in a recent publication of a medical journal, stating the patient had no history of substance abuse or prior brain injury but had been “headbanging regularly for years.”

The victim stated that after attending the concert, he suffered constant and worsening headaches that drove him to seek medical attention. Upon testing, medical staff determined the victim had suffered bleeding of the brain caused by his brain hitting his skull repeatedly while headbanging.

The Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley say the incident highlights the need to always keep safety at the forefront of the mind, especially when attending concerts.

Study Shows Traumatic Brain Injuries Lead To Higher Alzheimer’s Rates In Veterans

by Keith Adkins | June 30th, 2014

Each day, more light is shed on the long-term effects suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the line of duty may have on soldiers and veterans. This trend is continuing with the discovery that a TBI may lead to an increased risk of veterans suffering from the degenerative brain disease known as Alzheimer’s over time.

An article released by USA Today explains the study was conducted by researchers from University of California-San Francisco and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and examined the records of more than 188,000 service members. The findings that were published in the journal Neurology showed 16 percent of soldiers and veterans who had suffered a TBI were later diagnosed with Dementia, the precursor to Alzheimer’s. Only ten percent of service members who had not suffered a head injury were diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Many experts find this 60 percent difference in numbers astonishing. The team has conceded that there are numerous factors that lead to a patient’s diagnosis of Dementia or Alzheimer’s, but say the results show a need to further evaluate the correlation between TBIs and other neurological conditions.

The Norfolk personal injury lawyers with Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley see the devastating results of TBIs all too often and are hopeful this research can be used to better protect soldiers and civilians from these injuries and their dangers.

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.

Defective Tires Can Be a Serious Car Accident Risk

by Keith Adkins | June 16th, 2014

There’s an endless list of potential factors that can contribute to motor vehicle accidents, but one of the most common and preventable is a defective tire.

Problems with a tire’s tread or the way the product is manufactured can lead to premature wear that can cause a loss of air pressure. In turn, the driver may not be able to maintain control or brake the vehicle in a manner to prevent an accident from occurring.

Such problems were highlighted when a trailer tire manufacturer, Double Camel Tyre Co., and Lionshead Specialty Tire and Wheel announced a voluntary recall of an estimated 4,000 tires earlier this week. Reports indicate the tires can separate from their rims, causing loss of pressure that can result in accidents. The recall comes on the heels of a larger recall the company issued earlier this year, in which an estimated 40,000 tires were recalled.

To help address these risks, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has created a website offering the latest information in tire safety. The site provides the latest insight into tire maintenance and wear, as well as what to look for when buying new tires.

Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley, a Norfolk personal injury lawyer with decades of experience helping accident victims, has seen the devastating injuries that can result from driving on defective tires first-hand and encourages victims of such accidents to speak with an attorney about their potential legal rights to compensation immediately.

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.