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Norfolk Personal Injury Law Blog

Driver cited for defective equipment in fatal truck accident

A Nov. 14 truck accident in Prince William County, Virginia, has left one man dead and another man cited for his role in causing the fatal accident. Police say that they received a call from a motorist that evening about a dump truck stopped in the middle of I-95 near the 149-mile marker.

A Virginia State Police spokesperson reported that officers were dispatched towards the scene within two minutes of having received the initial call. They had hoped to get to the disabled dump truck and provide assistance. Despite their best efforts, another vehicle struck the stranded dump truck from behind as it sat stalled in the northbound lane of I-95.

Reset your future in Virginia with expungement

What is expungement, and why should you care about it when facing criminal charges or after you've been convicted? Expungement is also known as expunction, and it's when the court orders that all records of an arrest or conviction sealed. That means that the conviction or arrest you face will not be able to be seen by the public and can't be used against you by the law. Essentially, the transgression is erased from your background.

After an expungement, you won't have to provide information to anyone regarding that record. So, if you go to get a job and have to have a criminal background check, you don't need to disclose your criminal background to the company at all. No record of your arrest or conviction will appear during a background check, and that means you can apply for jobs, schooling and other activities without worrying about a troublesome past.

Norfolk crash closes intersection, 3 cars involved

Red lights and other traffic signals serve a very important purpose on public roadways. These lights and signs let drivers know when it is safe to drive. Failing to stop at a stop light or stop sign or even failing to yield at a yield sign can have serious consequences. A recent accident in Norfolk left a busy intersection closed as police worked an accident.

The accident happened when the driver of a 2002 Lincoln LS failed to stop at a red light. That car ran into a car that was making a left turn. The impact from the Lincoln hitting that Chrysler Sebring sent the driver of the Sebring to the hospital with injuries that weren't considered life-threatening.

Do I have a right to refuse a field sobriety test in Virginia?

The short answer is yes. Virginia law requires individuals placed under arrest to submit to blood alcohol concentration tests but does not require individuals to perform field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are used to confirm a police officer's suspicion that you have been driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The reality is that if a police officer is asking you to participate in a field sobriety test, then he or she already has sufficient information to arrest you.

Police officers are required to have clear reasons to arrest you for drunk driving. These may include evidence of erratic driving such as frequent or unsafe lane changes prior to the traffic stop. Once the stop has been initiated, the police may arrest you if they discover empty or open containers of alcohol in your vehicle, notice that you are excessively slurring your speech or observe you losing your balance when exiting your vehicle.

Nursing home care: You can fight back over injuries in Virginia

You placed your loved one in a nursing home in Virginia because you believed it was the safest place for them. You expect nurses to check on your loved one and to be notified if an emergency has taken place. Finding out that the people who were supposed to be caring for them actually abused them is heartbreaking. Fortunately, the law is on your side, and even though you can't take back what happened or erase the painful memories of the situation, you can aim to make things right now and in the future for all patients at the care center.

Nursing home injuries are typically due to the lack of staff members at the facility. Understaffing can mean that residents go without supervision, and that means they could be left suffering for hours without care. The result of going without care can cause painful suffering, injuries and even death for some nursing home patients. Regardless of the reasoning behind it, this kind of understaffing is truly negligent in itself. Some patients may suffer in silence, but you can be their voice.

Drug paraphernalia: An interesting drug charge

We have often covered drug crime charges on our blog. Some of those posts might have our readers in Virginia wondering what various types of charges mean. This week, we are going to discuss what it means when someone is charged with drug paraphernalia.

Drug paraphernalia charges usually stem from a person having items in their possession that can be used to do drugs. While some of the items are common household items, they might still net a drug paraphernalia charge if a police officer or another person in authority deem they were being held to facilitate drug usage.

Cause of Suffolk, Virginia, motorcycle accident still unknown

On Oct. 21, a collision between a motorcycle and a pickup truck snarled morning traffic in Suffolk, Virginia. A spokesperson for the first responders who tended to that accident, said that dispatchers received a call reporting the crash on Tuesday morning at around 7:14 a.m.

The cause of the accident has yet to be determined and remains under investigation. However, it has been revealed that the accident involved two vehicles: a pickup truck and a motorcycle. Authorities say that the accident occurred along Route 17. The incident continued to block traffic on Bridge Road as Suffolk Police worked the scene and directed traffic around the mash-up.

What are the laws against elder abuse in Virginia?

In the United States, each and every state has laws concerning the abuse of elderly people. There is a system in place that allows for the reporting of abuse and for the investigation of said abuse. In many states, victims have a civil cause of action they can use to seek compensation and a remedy to the situation.

In Virginia, the abuse of an elderly person is a crime. If someone you love has been abused in a nursing home, you'll need to report the abuse to the state's adult protective services agency. You may also want to report the abuse to the nursing home itself and then speak with a legal representative. If the allegations are founded on facts, then the state's agencies will respond to them by offering appropriate services to the victim. Some of those services may include counseling, special transportation services or placement in a new residential setting.

Serious representation needed in all DUI cases

In our last post, we touched on some of the basic drunk driving facts for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In that post, we discussed how age, gender and other factors can affect the blood alcohol concentration of motorists. Toward the end of the post, we touched on some of the penalties that people convicted of a drunk driving charge might have to endure. Community service, ignition interlock devices, fines and jail time were some of the ones mentioned.

On top of the criminal penalties that come with a conviction, there are also other consequences that can drastically alter a person's life. A dramatic increase in car insurance rates, for example, will likely impact your bank account. A loss of your driving privileges might affect your ability to go to work or do simple errands like getting groceries.

Some facts about drunk driving in Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia considers anyone operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 percent to be legally drunk. This means that a person's motor skills such as distance judgments, coordination, response times and overall driving abilities are diminished to a point where they have become a safety hazard to other motorists.

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, over a million DUI arrests are made each year across America. Those most likely to offend are younger drivers typically between the ages of 21 - 34. That demographic represents nearly half of all alcohol-related crash fatalities nationally.

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