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Miner Martin & Hahn, PLC
1819 Virginia Avenue
Harrisonburg, VA 22802

Phone: 540-208-1501
Fax: 540-433-1104
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Miner Martin & Hahn, PLC 521 N. Main St. Woodstock, VA 22664
Phone: 540-208-1510
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Harrisonburg Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

Reckless Driving in Virginia

Virginia Code Ann. §46.2-862 is a reckless-driving law that allows as court to impose a sentence of up to twelve (12) months in jail; to suspend driving privileges for up to six (6) months; and a fine of up to $2,500. A conviction for reckless driving is a Class One (1) misdemeanor which is just one level below a felony.

While the potential punishment appears to be unduly burdensome it would come as a surprise to many drivers that reckless driving under the aforementioned statute is defined as driving in excess of 80 miles per hour on an interstate highway. Therefore, driving 81 miles per hour in a seventy mile per hour zone could result in a conviction under this statute.

Compensation for Virginia drivers with serious jaw injury

Because car accidents often result in traumatic injury, they are one of the most common sources of jaw dislocation or fracture for Virginia drivers to be aware of. These injuries can range from mild to severe and may cause a wide range of complications. Serious jaw injuries can result in lost time at work and often require surgical intervention to correct.

A jaw fracture is defined as any break in the bone of the jaw. A dislocated jaw happens when the jaw is dislodged from one or both connecting joints. These joints keep the jaw fastened to the skull, so when dislocation occurs, the teeth and jaw bone become misaligned. Not only can such conditions cause discomfort, but they often lead to chronic pain as well.

Comparative negligence versus contributory negligence

When a person suffers injuries and other damages in a car accident, they may wish to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the other driver. However, the state where the crash occurred may determine just how much in compensation they are legally allowed to seek. In certain states, for example, a driver may not seek any compensation if they contributed to the crash. In other states, they may only seek a certain amount of compensation based on their liability.

Most states adhere to the theory of comparative negligence. When a car accident occurs, it is determined how much at fault each driver is for causing the crash. The percentage of contribution is deducted from the amount of compensation that a person may receive. For example, if one driver's negligence contributed to the crash by 40 percent and the person is seeking $50,000 in damages, they may be awarded $30,000.

Drowsy driving and the risk of accidents

While many factors can contribute to accidents in Virginia, one of the more common driving behaviors can cause accidents that are especially catastrophic. Drowsy driving, which is when drivers continue to drive despite feeling fatigued, may result in serious injuries or death of both the fatigued driver as well as others who are on the road.

Drowsy driving accidents may be especially severe as they are more likely to occur on long stretches of highway that have higher speed limits. People who fail to pull off the road may have slowed reaction times. They may also fail to avoid collisions all together in the event they drift off to sleep.

Study shows that teens change clothes, do homework while driving

According to a new study published in the Journal of Transportation Safety and Security, 27 percent of teenagers sometimes change clothes and partake in other distractions while driving. Teens also reported doing homework, applying makeup and putting in contact lenses. Virginia teenagers and adults alike should take care not to drive while their attention is divided; distracted driving is the leading cause of accidents among drivers of all ages.

Although distracted driving is still a widespread issue, awareness campaigns seem to be effective. The leader of the study noted that around 40 percent of the teens surveyed reported texting while driving, which is an improvement over earlier studies.

Truck driver in 5-vehicle accident on I-64 charged

The name of the woman who died in a five-vehicle accident on Wednesday, March 11, in New Kent County, Virginia, has been released by Virginia State Police. The accident occurred early on Wednesday morning on Interstate 64 in New Kent County. The individual who was killed on the scene was a 43-year-old woman. She was driving a passenger vehicle.

Five vehicles total were involved in this accident. It began around the 214 mile marker on Interstate 64 when a disabled vehicle began to slow the stream of traffic going eastbound.

Virginia driver kills two and injures one

On the evening of March 1, an auto accident on Interstate 64 resulted in the death of two sisters, ages 49 and 51. Traveling home from a family member's baby shower, the 2012 Nissan Centra that carried the two women and at least one minor was struck from the rear by a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Police reported that both vehicles had been heading west when the accident occurred near mile marker 170. Accounts indicated that the minor, a 16-year-old male, woke up following the accident to find one of the deceased lying in his lap.

It was reported that the 24-year-old driver of the Sonata rear-ended the Centra, forcing the car off the road and into a tree. The Sonata struck a second vehicle after hitting the Centra. That driver was reportedly unharmed. However, the initial impact claimed the lives of the two sisters and injured the minor in the car. The driver of the Sonata, who was treated at a hospital for serious injuries, was later booked at the Henrico County Jail and charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Reports indicated that the driver had a previous DUI charge on his record.

Car accidents caused by distracted driving

Most Virginia drivers have probably heard about distracted driving but may not understand exactly what distracted driving is or consider themselves part of the problem. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, takes their hands off the wheel or is thinking about an activity other than driving, they are considered to be driving while distracted.

In the United States, distracted driving is a huge problem. Approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,150 people suffer injuries in car crashes that are caused by distracted driving daily. In 2012 alone, more than 3,300 people lost their lives and more than 421,000 suffered injuries in crashes that were attributed to distracted drivers. Texting or talking on cellphones is considered to be one of the biggest distractions for drivers. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of drivers in the United States reported talking on their cellphones while driving, and 31 percent reported texting or reading emails on their phones while driving.

Dislocation or fracture of the shoulder

Virginia residents who have been in car accidents may have suffered shoulder injuries as a result. A fracture or dislocation of the shoulder is a relatively frequent result of a high-speed car accident or collision. To understand what is involved with common shoulder injuries, it helps to understand the joints and bones that make up the shoulder.

The shoulder is made up of three joints and three bones. The bones that make up the shoulder are the arm bone, or the humerus, the collarbone, or clavicle, and the shoulder blade, or scapula. The joints that make up the shoulder are the sternoclavicular joint, acromioclavicular joint and the glenohumeral joint.

2 women die in head-on crash near Virginia state line

A 60-year-old woman and her 84-year-old mother were pronounced dead at the scene when their PT cruiser was hit head on by a minivan, according to Suffolk, Virginia, police. The accident happened on Whaleyville Boulevard near the Virginia and North Carolina border. Officials had to close the road for nearly five hours while attending to the accident.

A retired minister whose home was next to the accident scene called 911 when he saw what had happened. He then came outside to give what aid he could. He covered the victims with sheets and prayed with the injured male driver of the minivan. That driver had serious injuries and was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Other people pulled over to offer help as well.